Philologastry

The doings of American philologasters are, in truth, a curious study.

Progress Report 2

I’ve just added the eighth buta (chapter) of the Doctrine of John to the project blog. This chapter occupied most of pp. 27-32 in Lidzbarski’s manuscript, and the translation has nearly 750 words.  With one exception, the initial chapters of the manuscript are rather long.

In the eighth chapter, Radiant N’ṣab (nṣab ziua), the son of Yoshamin, goes from the realm of the æther all the way to the King of Light in Glorious Splendor (giuat eqara, evidently a place name) to beg forgiveness for his father, and his words sway the King of Light to grant it.  Knowledge-of-Life (manda ḏ-hiia) is none-too-happy, and tries to dissuade the King of Light, but the King of Light rebukes him with a bit of gossip: apparently, Knowledge-of Life desired a woman from Yoshamin’s family, but Yoshamin refused him, giving him reason to hold a grudge against him.

This chapter contains yet another parallel to the mysterious phrase addressed in two previous blog posts. On lns. 8-9 on p. 31, the text reads,

mn bnẖ qadmaiia

ladaurẖ minaihun hda

uananẖ bṭinba qasagian

This means,

Out of his firstborn sons,
not one among them remains‎‎,
and his wives go about filthily.

There is some confusion in the manuscripts about the word Lidzbarski amended to ladaurẖ. According to the footnotes in Lidzbarski’s translation (but, oddly enough, not in his critical edition), manuscripts ABD have ladaura, and C has ladaua with the letter r interpolated above. Lidzbarski reads ladauar, from the D-stem of the root d-w-r, and compares it with ladauart on p. 20, ln. 4 (mn bnak qadmaiia ṣauta ladauart minaihun had, which he translates, “from your firstborn children, you have not found a single partner”). On the basis of the parallels in the preceding chapters, I’d like to amend ladauar to ladaiar and translate it as “not one among them remains/abides,” and perhaps reconsider the interpretation of DJ20.4 as well.

The anomalous and modern “participial present-future tense” (using Macuch’s terminology) makes yet another appearance with the word qasagian “they go.” As I mentioned before, the verbal prefix qa- is rare in Classical Mandaic texts.

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