Enoch Within and Outside the Books of Enoch: Parabiblical Writings, Iconography and Oral Tradition


The Vorlage of parabiblical writings attributed to Enoch was composed (in either Aramaic or Hebrew) no later than 1st cent. BCE, although some of its constituents (e.g. The Astronomical Book, The Book of Watchers) are dated to an earlier period (3rd cent. BCE). Its intellectual offspring survived in multilingual cross-cultural landscapes of the apocalyptic Judaeo-Christian traditions in three versions. 1 Enoch is fully attested in Ethiopic, with a number of extant segments in Aramaic from Qumran, as well as Greek passages embedded (predominantly, but not only) in Byzantine chronographic compositions; there are also fragments in Latin, Syriac, Arabic. 2 Enoch is wholly extant only in Church Slavonic (hence its designation as the Slavonic Apocalypse of Enoch), and 3 Enoch is attested exclusively in Hebrew. Significantly, The Book of Watchers, which was also known to the Church Fathers (e.g. Tertullian and Origen), was quoted as “scripture” in the Epistle of Jude. Since hitherto the scholarly discourse has been focused predominantly on apocryphal compositions ascribed to Enoch (i.e. 1, 2 and 3 Enoch), the current Research Unit aims at interdisciplinary analysis of Enoch’s image not only within, but also outside of the writings designated by his name, contextualizing them within iconography and oral traditions.



Enochic Traditions (1 Enoch, 2 Enoch, 3 Enoch); Judaeo-Christian Parabiblical Literature; Islamic Exegetical Writings; Religious Art and Iconography; Ancient Science and Epistemologies (Astronomy and Calendar); Transmission of Knowledge; Scribal Practices in Antiquity and Middle Ages; Archaeography and Palaeography; Orality/Literacy


Florentina Badalanova Geller
The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, London / University College London

Ewa Balicka-Witakowska
Uppsala University

Iva Trifonova
Cyrillo-Methodian Research Centre, Bulgarian Academy of Science

Member Area

Syracuse 2023 Call for Papers

Among apocalyptic compositions, the extensive Enochic corpus (i.e. 1, 2 and 3 Enoch) stands out for its great complexity, length, and variety of themes. The current project plans to focus not only on the overarching multilingual metanarratives manifested in the Enochic corpus sensu stricto, but also on related Judaeo-Christian parabiblical traditions from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages and Modernity, along with Manichaean and Gnostic texts (e.g. Nag Hammadi Library) and Islamic exegetical writings. Religious art and iconography will also be taken into consideration, with special emphasis on the language of visual arts, as well as palaeography. The role played by the Enochic corpus in transmitting specific aspects of ancient science (e.g. cosmology, calendrical and astronomical knowledge, etc.) within complex multilingual and cross-cultural intellectual environments will be considered. Further attention will be paid to vernacular oral attestations of Enochic themes and motifs, which so far has been neglected by specialists.  Likewise considered will be the impact of Enochic traditions upon heresiological movements and esoteric writings. The three types of corpora diffusing Enochic intellectual heritage will be included — scribal traditions (in a multilingual setting), verbal/oral renditions (including cross-cultural and inter-confessional encounters), and iconography. The project will focus on 1, 2, and 3 Enoch within the broad framework of apocalyptic writings within the Judeo-Christian intellectual environment, in connection with palaeography and hitherto understudied iconography and oral traditions. Scholars with broad interdisciplinary interests are invited to participate. Along with specialists from the area of Enochic studies, researchers in related fields are encouraged to contribute papers dealing with allusions and references to Enochic imagery, as attested in all three Abrahamic religions. General studies of apocalyptic texts will also be welcome as potential comparative material, as well as explorations in the multilingual scribal traditions, along with the iconography of Enochic paradigms of knowledge.