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A further note on 'asiantos' in Ephraem the Syrian

David G. K. Taylor


Asa devotee of Ephraem the Syrian I recently read with great interest T. S. Pattie's welcome edition and translation of a tenth-century Greek fragment of the 'Sermo Compunctorius' (CPG 3908) which has traditionally, though probably erroneously, been attributed to St Ephraem. Whilst editing this fragment Pattie noticed that it contained the extremely rare word 'asiantos' which previous editors of the complete text had sought, whether explicitly or tacitly, to emend. Against these earlier editors Pattie argued, with impressive manuscript support, that asiantos is the authentic reading, and in this he is indubitably correct. I disagree, however, with his proposed derivation for the word and wish to propose an alternative.

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