Syriac text versions and tradition
Affiliated Fellow LIAS/SMES, University of Leiden (1 February 2010-Present)
Research Fellow VU Theology, Syriac Alexander Romance (1 April 2013- 31 march 2016)
Replacement University Teacher Ancient History at the University of Leiden (1 September 2009- 1 February 2010)
Research Fellow at the University of Leiden. Project: `Michael the Syrian and His Sources' (1 October 2002 - 2008), member of NWO-PIONIER-project "The Formation of a Communal Identity among West Syrian Christians (451-1300)"
(ad interim) University Lecturer (Syriac and Eastern Christianity) at the University Leiden (1 September 2005 - 2007)
Grotius Research Fellow at the University of Utrecht. Project: `The Christian Chronicle in the Middle East: a Study of Genre, Tradition and Identity' (1 September 2000 - 31 August 2002)
Research Fellow of Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) Project: `Corpus of Letters by Jacob of Edessa (633-708)' (1 September 1996 - 31 May 2000) (at University of Groningen)
Teacher (Latin) at Maartens College Groningen (28 August 1995 - 1 December 1995)
Research Assistant of Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) Project: `John of Ephesus' (1 March 1991- 28 February 1995) (at University of Groningen)
Within Kalīla and Dimna, J. van Ginkel is in charge of researching variants of this text in the Syriac tradition.
This Mirror of Princes in the genre of animal fables is an important predecessor of Niccolò Machiavelli’s Il Principe. Nonetheless has it been studied mainly by Medievalists, exploring the translations into some fifty languages later to become the models to Jean de La Fontaine’s Fables.The Kalīla and Dimna is of Sanscrit origin and has reached the Arabic context via a Middle Persian translation now lost. The wildly diverging variants of the Arabic tradition evidently are little suited for a conventional critical edition. Instead, a representative choice from different manuscript clusters (of 80 manuscripts hitherto known) are being presented alongside each other by means of an electronic synopsis. This will allow to visualize details about textual genesis and tradition lines, as well as further research into socio-historical motifs and triggers.
We know of a Syriac-Aramaic translation/redaction of the lost Middle Persian copy, and there is a Syriac-Aramaic version of a rather early Arabic text variant. Comparative analysis will lead to an insight into tradition and early stages of the book.