About the Project Manuscript Archives and Collections The Saint Thomas Christians in India About Kerala

Pampakuda, Konat Collection

In the picture above: a page from the Works of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, Kuriakos Bar Shamona's Syriac version, copied in Mosul in 1899 by Matthew of Mosul.
  • On the collection
  • Notes
  • On the collection

    The collection is presently owned by Fr. Johns Abraham Konat, grandson of the famous Matthew Konat, who, in his own time, was Great Malankara Malpan, that is, the most important teacher of Syriac in the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church. Presently the Konat family belongs to the Malankara Indian Orthodox Church. The collection is the largest in Kerala, numbering over 300 manuscripts, containing mostly West Syriac, but also East Syriac material. It is situated in Pampakuda, where the Konat family has built its own church and where the liturgical books of the Syrian Orthodox Church were printed by Mor Julius Press. The collection contains the most ancient manuscript of the Malabar Coast, namely the oldest copy of the West Syriac Nomocanon (or Hudoye), written by Gregory Abu'l Faraj, also called Bar Hebroyo (1226-1286). This manuscript is dated 1290 AD, that is, four years after the death of the author. The Konat library also contains many books copied, upon the order of Matthew Konat Malpan, by Matthew of Mosul, a famous scribe active towards the end of the nineteenth century, among others a splendid commented and illustrated Harklean Gospel. In 2000 we digitised 26 MSS of the collection, the image quality of the pictures taken being good, but not reaching the required minimum resolution of 300 dpi. The Konat collection is one of the most important and the best-known collections in Malabar. The earlier checklist by J.P.M. van der Ploeg listed 129 MSS; István Perczel's earlier estimate in “Syriac Manuscripts in India… ” was 300 MSS. [1]

    Notes

    [1] Earlier literature on the collection: E.R. Hambye, S.J., “Some Syriac Libraries of Kerala (Malabar), India: Notes and Comments,” 37–39; J.P.M. van der Ploeg, OP, The Christians of St. Thomas in South India and their Syriac Manuscripts, 159–179; Hubert Kaufhold, “Syrische Handschriften juristischen Inhalts in südindischen Bibliotheken,” 9, 27–33, 52–55; Andrew Palmer and István Perczel, “A New Testimony from India to the Syriac Version of Pseudo-Dionysius (Pampakuda, Konat Collection, MS. 239),” Iran and the Caucasus, vol. VI, 1–2 (2002): 11–26; István Perczel, “Syriac Manuscripts in India: The Present State of the Cataloguing Process,” 289–298.

    About the Project Manuscript Archives and Collections The Saint Thomas Christians in India About Kerala