MSS lunch lecture Andy Hilkens, 'The medieval Armenian reception of bishop Jacob of Serugh (d. 520) and his writings'

05-03-2020 from 10:00 to 11:00
Ghent, Campus Boekentoren, Blandijn building, 3rd floor, Meeting Room 'Camelot'
Stefan Meysman
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Dr. Andy Hilkens fills in the lunch lecture spot on March 5th, 2020!

Thursday March 5th, 2020 (112.00 - 13.00), our very own Dr. Andy Hilkens will give a lecture on his latest research, in lieu of the cancelled lecture by Prof. Mattia Fochesato. Dr. Hilkens will speak on 'The medieval Armenian reception of bishop Jacob of Serugh (d. 520) and his writings'.

Please note that this lecture will take place at the Blandijn building, 3rd floor, meeting room 'Camelot'.


The non-Chalcedonian poet-theologian Jacob of Serugh (d. 520) who wrote in several genres (hagiography, hymns, poetry), is perhaps best known for the large number of homilies, in verse as well as prose, that have come down to us. The extant corpus of homilies (c. 400) consists not only of Syriac, but also of Arabic, Georgian, Coptic and Armenian translations. The topic of this talk will be the Armenian interest in Jacob’s homilies, which seems to have emerged in the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia (1080-1375), due to the cultural interests of the secular and ecclesiastical leaders of this kingdom, who sought to enrich the Armenian literary tradition with “foreign” literature. What began quite locally, in South Eastern Turkey, inevitably lead to the reception of his writings by Armenian communities all over the world (including the Armenian homeland, the Ukraine, Jerusalem and Bulgaria) as well as the inclusion of this Syriac saint in the Armenian menologion at the turn of the fifteenth century.


Andy Hilkens is a postdoctoral fellow of the Flemish Research Foundation (FWO). He obtained his PhD in History from Ghent University in 2010 with a dissertation on the Hebrew, Christian and Islamic sources of the Anonymous Syriac Chronicle of 1234, which explains his continuing interest in Syriac historical writing and its links with Greek, Arabic and Armenian traditions. Since 2016 he has been working (in Ghent and in Jerusalem) on a project on the Armenian reception of the Syriac non-Chalcedonian homilist and hagiographer Jacob of Serugh (d. 520).