Ceriani, Antonio Maria (1828–1907)

Prefect of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan (1870–1907), editor of Syriac biblical texts. Monsignor A. M.  Ceriani is primarily known for his two impressive and carefully executed ‘photolithographic’ facsimile editions of early biblical mss. preserved in the Ambrosiana. The edition of the incomplete Syro-Hexapla ms. (C 313 inf., 8th or 9th cent.) appeared in 1874; the edition of the OT Peshitta (ms. B 21 inf., 6th or 7th cent.), in two volumes, appeared between 1876 and 1883. These editions revolutionized Syriac biblical studies, as they gave scholars for the first time access to some of the earliest available mss. (both mss. came to Milan from Dayr al-Suryān). Several decades later, the Milan Peshitta ms. was chosen as the base ms. for the critical edition of the OT Peshitta (Leiden, 1966–).

Ceriani was born in Uboldo (in the province of Varese, northwest of Milan) in 1828 and was ordained a priest in 1852. He entered the Ambrosian Library in 1855 and became its Prefetto in 1870. His study of Semitic languages (including Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, and Arabic) can be traced back to his early years in the Milanese seminary, an institution to which he remained attached throughout his life as an instructor of ‘oriental’ languages, primarily Hebrew. He made two study trips to Great Britain, in 1861 and 1866, and for many years maintained epistolary contacts with F. Field (1801–85), W. Wright (1830–89), and R. Payne Smith (1818–95). He also had contacts with prelates of the Uniate Eastern churches.


  • A. M. Ceriani, Codex Syro-Hexaplaris Ambrosianus photolithographice editus (Monumenta sacra et profana 7; 1874).
  • A. M. Ceriani, Translatio Syra Pescitto Veteris Testamenti ex codice Ambrosiano saec. 6 photolithographice edita (Monumenta sacra et profana 6; 1876–83).
  • A. M.  Zaffaroni (ed.), Monsignor Antonio Maria Ceriani. Uboldo, 2 maggio 1828 — Milano, 2 marzo 1907. Convegno nel centenario della morte. Uboldo, 4 marzo 2007 (Società storica Saronnese. Millennio Monografie; 2007), herein esp. C.  Pasini, ‘Ceriani all’Ambrosiana’ (23–50) and E.  Vergani, ‘Ceriani siriacista’ (77–97).

| Ceriani, Antonio Maria |


Front Matter A (73) B (53) C (26) D (36) E (27) F (5) G (30) H (22) I (31) J (15) K (11) L (12) M (56) N (19) O (3) P (28) Q (11) R (8) S (71) T (39) U (1) V (5) W (3) X (1) Y (41) Z (4) Back Matter
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