La verità visibile nella natura e nella scrittura. Sul baco da seta di Khamis bar Qardahe (fine del XIII secolo)

  • Alessandra Barotto
  • Paolo Riberi
  • Monica Volpicelli
  • Alessandro Mengozzi


Khamis bar Qardaḥe was an East Syrian author active in the last decades of the 13th century, probably a representative member of the East-Syrian community at the court camp of the Il-Khans, and somehow connected with the town of Arbela. In the present article, his poetic work is presented in the broader context of the so-called ‘Syriac Renaissance’, as an example of late East-Syriac literature profoundly influenced by Persian poetry. The poem On the Silk-Worm is here critically edited and translated for the first time into a European language. Its complicated imagery turns out to be an interesting mélange of philosophical concepts, meta-literary reflection – poetry as a way to knowledge and salvation –, Christian themes – including the virginal conception of Mary –, and Persian, possibly Sufic, motifs. The monorhyme poem is rich with sound figures such as alliteration and etymological play.


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