Frantsouzoff Serge

Itinerary of Zosimas to the Blessed sons of Jonadab: shedding light on its arabic orthodox version

Frantsouzoff Serge (2018) "Itinerary of Zosimas to the Blessed sons of Jonadab: shedding light on its arabic orthodox version ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia III : Filologiia, 2018, vol. 57, pp. 124-130 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIII201857.124-130


This article is devoted to the Arabic Orthodox version of the tale about Zosimas and the Rechabites (the blessed sons of Jonadab; cf. Jer. 35), one of the works which came into being at the crossroad of hagiography and itineraries. 26 copies of it have been attested; 18 of them are written in the Arabic script and 8 in Garshūnī. Now one more copy should be added to them. It has been discovered in the collection of lives of saints, dated from the late 18th century AD and kept in the Library of the Academia Romana under the shelf-mark B.A.R. Mss orientale 365. It diff ers considerably (and in the textological aspect radically) from a Copto-Arabic version of that tale attested in the copy of the Bibliothèque nationale de France Arabe 72 (fol. 1v–21v). This article analyses the copy of Bucharest. As to the content of the Arabic version of the tale, some specifi c features have been revealed, such as the confusing of its main hero with Zosimas the Venerable of Palestine as well as his erudition in the Sacred Scriptures, especially in the Book of the prophet Jeremiah. Several traces of Islamic infl uence are noticeable in the terminology, toponymy and above all in the complete ignoring of the abstinence from wine as one of the merits of the Rechabites in order to exclude any analogy between them and the Muslims. Among the linguistic peculiarities of the Arabic version, one should note the use of the ending of the verbal perfect form of 2 m. pl. -tū (instead of -tum, typical of Classical Arabic), which seldom occurs in written texts.


Christian hagiography, genre of itineraries, Arabic Christian literature, St. Zosimas, Rechabites, Library of the Academia Romana, Post-Classical Arabic


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Information about the author

Frantsouzoff Serge

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in History;
Academic Rank: Associate Professor;
Place of work: Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences; 18 Dvortsovaya nab., St. Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation;
ORCID: 0000-0003-3945-8898;
Email: serge.frantsouzoff@yahoo.fr.

*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.