Vita Virginis Iacobita
Standard abbreviation: Life Mary
Other titles: none
Clavis numbers: CANT 95
Category: Infancy Gospels, Hagiographa
Citing this resource (using Chicago Manual of Style): Burke, Tony. “Life of Mary (West Syriac).” e-Clavis: Christian Apocrypha. Accessed DAY MONTH YEAR. http://www.nasscal.com/e-clavis-christian-apocrypha/life-of-mary-west-syriac/.
Posted October 2016.
The West Syrian Life of Mary is a compilation of four texts divided into six books: 1. On her parents and her annunciation by an angel, 2. The birth of our Lord in the flesh, 3. The flight and vision revealed to Theophilus, 4. The childhood and education of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5. The story of the decease of the Theotokos Mary, 6. The departure of the Theotokos Mary from this world, and an epilogue entitled The departure of the Theotokos Mary to the life in Paradise. Books one and two are derived from the Protevangelium of James (book 1=Prot. Jas. 1-16; book 2=Prot. Jas. 17-26), book three details the activities of the Holy Family in Egypt as communicated in the Vision of Theophilus, book four is the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, and books five and six comprise the Six Books Dormition of Mary (book 5=6 Bks. Dorm. books 1-3; book 6 and the epilogue=6 Bks. Dorm. 4-6).
Named historical figures and characters: see the entries for the individual texts of the compilation.
Geographical locations: see the entries for the individual texts of the compilation.
3.1 Manuscripts and Editions
Cambridge, Trinity College, R.13.49 (date undetermined)
Charfet, Syrian-Catholic Patriarchate, Fonds Rahmani 48 (15th/16th cent.)
Charfet, Syrian-Catholic Patriarchate, Fonds Rahmani 52 (17th cent.)
Charfet, Syrian-Catholic Patriarchate, Fonds Rahmani 53 (date undetermined)
Edgbaston, University of Birmingham, Mingana Syr. 39 (1462)
Edgbaston, University of Birmingham, Mingana Syr. 114 (1901)
Edgbaston, University of Birmingham, Mingana Syr. 315 (14th/15th cent.) (books 5 and 6 only)
Mosul, Mar Behnam Monastery, MBM 172 (olim 409) (6th cent.) (books 5 and 6 only)
Mosul, Mar Behnam Monastery, MBM 207 (olim 14) (17th cent.) (books 2, 3, 5, and 6 only; portions missing)
Mosul, Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese of Mosul, 264: see the description in 188.8.131.52 above
Oxford, Bodleian Library, Hunt. donat. 32 (1549)
Vatican, Biblioteca apostolica, syr. 561 (1683)
Another two Garšūnī MSS are listed among the Ancien fonds of Charfet: 11/16 (dated 1693 and 1818), and 11/25 (16th cent.).
Burke’s edition of Life Mary’s book four (Infancy Gospel of Thomas) is based on three groups of manuscripts:
184.108.40.206 Group a
Additional ‘group a’ manuscripts:
220.127.116.11 Group b
18.104.22.168 Group c
22.214.171.124 Additional Syriac Manuscripts
Diyarbakir, Meryem Ana Syriac Orthodox Church, 99 (1728-1731) (listed as missing, perhaps identical to Mardin, Chaldean Bishopric, 80; both perhaps identical to manuscript D above)
Glane, Dayro d-Mor Ephrem (1567)
Mardin, Chaldean Bishopric, 80 (1728-1731) (listed as missing, perhaps identical to Diyarbakir, Meryem Ana Syriac Orthodox Church, 99; both perhaps identical to manuscript D above)
Burke, Tony. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas in the Syriac Tradition. Gorgias Eastern Christian Studies 48. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2017 (edition of Inf. Gos. Thom. portion of the compendium based on all the manuscripts assigned sigla above).
Çiçek, Julius Y. Die heilige Meryem/Tad’itho d’yoldath aloho Maryam. Holland: Bar Hebraeus Verlag, 2001 (diplomatic edition based on unnumbered Glane manuscript and Mingana Syr. 560).
3.2 Modern Translations
As yet no translation of the entire Life Mary compilation has appeared. For editions and translations of individual texts within the compilation see their respective entries.
3.3 General Works
Baumstark, Anton. Geschichte der syrischen Literatur mit Ausschluss der christlich-palästinensischen Texte. Bonn: A. Marcus & E. Webers Verlag, 1922 (discussion and manuscript listing pp. 69–70 and 99).
Burke, Tony. “The Infancy Gospel of Thomas (Syriac).” Pages 52–68 in Tony Burke and Brent Landau (eds.), New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, vol. 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016.
Horn, Cornelia B. and Robert R. Phenix. “Apocryphal Gospels in Syriac and Related Texts Offering Traditions about Jesus.” Pages 527–55 in Jörg Frey and Jens Schröter (eds.), Jesus in apokryphen Evangelienüberlieferungen. WUNT 254. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010.
Mimouni, Simon Claude. “Vies de la Vierge. État de la question.” Apocrypha 5 (1994): 211–48. Reprinted in Simon Claude Mimouni, Les traditions anciennes sur la Dormition et l’Assomption de Marie : études littéraires, historiques et doctrinales. VCSupp 104. Leiden and Boston : Brill, 2011.
Naffah, Charles. “Les ‘histoires’ syriaques de la Vierge: traditions apocryphes anciennes et récentes.” Apocrypha 20 (2009) : 137–88.