News & Media

November 23, 2012
The Colloquium “Latin of the Maronites”

On November 23, 2012, The Center for Latin Studies at the Faculty of Letters at The Holy Spirit University of Kaslik organized a Colloquium entitled “Latin of the Maronites”, which took place in the Conference Hall on the Main Campus, in the presence of fathers, professors, researchers and students.

The Vice-President and Dean of The Faculty of Letters, Rev. Fr. Karam Rizk, inaugurated the first session entitled “Reviewing the Written Heritage”. He pointed out that the use of the Latin language by the Maronites is an important cultural phenomenon, showing that they entered the renaissance period from the outset. He added that the Maronites have played a prominent role in preserving Middle Eastern manuscripts as part of the oriental and international heritage today.

The Head of The Center for Latin Studies at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Dr. Mireille Issa delivered the speech of the Director of the Studies at the Higher Studies School for Social Sciences in Paris, Dr. Bernard Heyberger, who stated that the Maronite Scholar Ibrahim El Hakilani and his works characterized the renaissance era.

The Historian and Author, Mr. Antoine Khater spoke on the establishment of the Maronite School in Rome in 1584 and on three pioneers of the Maronite renaissance: John the Baptist El Hasrouni, Nasrallah Chalak El Akouri and Ibrahim El Hakilani.

At the end of the first session, Mr. Frederic Alpi, researcher at the French Institute for the Near East in Beirut, mentioned, in his speech, on the two letters of 517 and 518; the first sent by monks from Syria II to Pope Hormisdas and the second being the answer of Pope Hormisdas. Maronite Historians of the seventeenth century have used these documents, among which is Fauste Nairon, to shed light on the relationship between the Maronite Church and Rome, the theory of the “perpetual Orthodoxy”, and the Maronite conception on defending the Orthodoxy in the East.

During the second session entitled “History and some Linguistic Illuminations”, Father Abbot Elias Khalife, the former Superior General of the Lebanese Maronite Order, talked about the Latin of Joseph Simon El Semaani. Sister Benoite tackled the issue of some Latin words between the thirteenth and the eighteenth centuries, whilst Dr. Mireille Issa examined the historical and geographical discrepancies in “De nonnullis Orientalium urbibus de Sahiuni”.

During the third session, the USEK Historian and Professor, Dr. Paul Zgheib, showed that two intersecting locations were identified in Amchit. The Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in France, Aurelian Girard, spoke about Fauste Nairon and the Republic of Letters during the second half of the seventh century.

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