Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

Translation of the Month

February 2017 [Posted February 2018]

Jacob of Sarug's Homilies on Women Whom Jesus Met. Edited and translated by Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Sebastian P. Brock, Reyhan Durmaz, Rebecca Stephens Falcasantos, Michael Payne and Daniel Picus. Texts from Christian Late Antiquity. Gorgias Press, 2016. ISBN 9781463205805.

The woman with the blood flow, mosaic from Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, 520-526 C.E
The woman with the blood flow, mosaic from Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, 520-526 C.E.
(Source: Mode of Life, labeled for non-commercial reuse )

The Gospels contain a number of stories about women whom Jesus met during his ministry. Most of these women are unnamed, but their stories were important for ancient Christians and continue to be so throughout Christian history. In this volume, we collect five verse homilies by the great Syriac poet preacher, Jacob of Sarug (d. 521) that treat these encounters: on the Canaanite Woman, on the Samaritan Woman, on the Hemorrhaging Woman, on the Woman Bent Double, and on Jairus' Daughter. In each of these stories, the unnamed woman suffered affliction, whether physical, psychological, moral or ethical. To each one Jesus offered healing by word and by deed.

These verse homilies also provide vivid examples of Jacob of Sarug's preaching. Crafted with lyrical beauty, presented in lively manner, and displaying profound discernment into human nature, they demonstrate why and how Jacob came to be called "the Flute of the Holy Spirit" in Syriac tradition. -- Description from the publisher's website. .

Ikone der Heiligen Eudokia, Einlegearbeit in Stein und Elfenbein, 10. Jh.Indexers select a translation each month that is significant in the ideas it presents.  This gives users an opportunity to see a range of newly translated medieval works of importance for women's and gender studies.  It also will build an archive of references to translations that will be useful as classroom readings.

Depending upon the content, an entire work may be indexed as a single title like the vita of a saint or the collected cartularies of a countess.  But in many cases the translation deals only in part with issues involving women and gender.  In those instances, indexing goes to a deeper level, identifying and describing specific sections within a text.  For example, there are 93 records for pertinent sections in the Siete Partidas.

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There are currently over 1800 records for translations in Feminae.  There are also over 300 records for editions in original languages.

Feminae welcomes unpublished translations and editions that authors may wish to make available.