Thursday, August 26, 2021

Alphonse Mingana a prominent orientalist.

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Hormez (Alphonse) Mingana (1878- 1937) was a very prominent orientalist, who is best known for his preserving the Collection of Syriac manuscripts. He was born in Sharanesh, Zakho (Iraq).
He was a polyglot who had expertise in: Syriac, Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Kurdish, English, Latin and French. He studied at the Mosul Seminary. His first teacher was the famous bishop and linguist Eugene Manna (1867-1928).
In 1902, he was ordained priest by the Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel II Thomas, and received a new name – Alphonse. He was one of the best students, and the patriarch was planning to put Alphonse Mingana in place of Eugene Manna to teach Syriac in the Seminary.
Since 1903, Mingana was working for the Dominican Press in Mosul.
In 1905, he wrote his paper “A Syriac Grammar”, the Study Guide for his students. In the same year, Mingana published the works of Narsai of Nisibis (AD 399-502), including the appendix of Bar Hadbeshaba, the glorious Mesopotamian writer. Mingana published dozen important histories in Syriac, including – “Chronicle of Arbela”, the story of the monastery of Sabrisho and Bar Penkaye, and others.
In 1913, Mingana left the Middle East and moved to Birmingham (England). He started his professional relationship with Professor Margoliouth. In Britain Mingana received a Doctorate of Theology.
As I mentioned, one of his important achievements is a gathering of a large collection of Syriac manuscripts named “Mingana Collection”.
Facebook post: Vasili Shoumanov.
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