Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Balai (fl. early 5th cent. CE) was a Syriac poet and chorepiscopus in Roman Syria renowned to later generations for his compositions in five-syllable meter, of which he was (incorrectly) thought to be the originator. A large number of supplicatory hymns (ba‘awata) as well as other works in this meter are attributed to Balai in the West Syrian tradition, though titling does not always distinguish between works authored by him and those simply in his characteristic meter (Zetterstéen, 1902, 4). Of undisputed authenticity is a hymn (madrasha)…

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Griffin, Carl, “Balai”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 09 June 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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