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Soghitha

(48 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[German version] (also Sogitha). A simple stanzaic form of Syriac verse, and a subcategory of the isosyllabic maḏrāšā. The soghitha normally has stanzas of four lines, each of 7 or 8 syllables. An acrostic and/or a dialogue may also be present. Madrasha Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)

Doctrina Addai

(207 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[German version] This Syrian tale recounts Addai's legendary missionary activity in Edessa and the subsequent conversion of King Abgar ‘the Black’ ( Abgar Legend). The beginning, which has its only parallel in the Greek version by Eusebius (HE 1,13), describes Abgar's exchange of correspondence with Jesus and Addai's arrival in  Edessa (in Eusebius: Thaddaios). The Doctrina Addai however, provides additional new information, in particular about a portrait of Jesus by Ḥannan, Abgar's emissary, the precursor of the Mandylion of later tradition, and…

New Testament Apocrypha

(1,541 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[German version] (NTA, from the Greek apókryphos/ ἀπόκρυφος, ‘hidden, concealed’, in Early Christian usage ‘esoteric’) refers to a complex collection of various writings outside the NT canon with Biblical figures as their subject or their fictitious authors, thus invoking the authority of these as the message's recipient, conveyer or guarantor. It would be more accurate to refer to them as ‘Early Christian Apocrypha’, since the writings frequently differ theologically from the canonic Biblical texts, …

Dionysius

(11,175 words)

Author(s): Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Karttunen, Klaus (Helsinki) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Et al.
(Διονύσιος; Dionýsios). Famous personalities: D. [1], the tyrant of Syracuse; the historian D. [18] of Halicarnassus. Dionysios (month),  Months, names of the. The chronicle of Ps.-D. by Tell Maḥre see D. [23]. I. Politically active personalities [German version] [1] D. I. Notorious tyrant in Syracuse c. 400 BC of Syracuse, son of Hermocritus, born in c. 430 BC, died in 367 BC. Founder of the ‘greatest and longest tyrannical rule in history’ (Diod. Sic. 13,96,4; appearance: Timaeus FGrH 566 F 29). Possessing a sophist education (Cic. Tusc. 5,63), D. had enormous ambitions a…

Sergius

(1,659 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Bartels, Jens (Bonn) | Müller, Christian (Bochum) | Schmitt, Tassilo (Bielefeld) | Eck, Werner (Cologne) | Et al.
Name of an old patrician family. The tribus Sergia was named after it. The family is attested to have attained consulship in the 5th cent. BC (S. [I 5]) but did not achieve lasting importance in the historical period. The attempt of its best-known member, L.S. Catilina, to attain the consulship once more failed with the Catilinarian Conspiracy. I. Republican Period [German version] [I 1] S., M. The brother of L.S. Catilina (?) According to Plutarch (Sulla 32,3; Cicero 10,3), the brother of L.S. Catilina, killed by him in 81 and posthumously put on the proscriptions…

Bible translations

(2,867 words)

Author(s): Marti, Heinrich (Küsnacht) | Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford) | Ott, Claudia (Berlin)
I. General [German version] A. Introduction The terms  Bible and translation are not clearly separable from each other since the acknowledged textual basis ( Canon) has changed in the course of time and even paraphrases are regarded as translations. Recent discoveries ( Qumran, papyri) have shown that even the texts of the source language, the so-called Masora text, and of the target language, the Septuagint (LXX; Peshitta; Vetus Latina), have undergone historical development and should be read only b…

Elias

(842 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Hadot, Pierre (Limours) | Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[German version] [1] The prophet Elijah (Elijah, prophet). The biblical character of E., according to the evidence of the Deuteronomic History, appears as a prophet of the northern kingdom at the time of king Ahab (871-852 BC) (cf. the E. traditions in 1 Kgs 17-19; 21; 2 Kgs 1-2); probably because of his miraculous translation to heaven (2 Kgs 2), E. comes to play a very important role in post-biblical Judaism. Thus, even in early Judaism, the notion arose of E.'s eschatological return (cf. Mal 3,23; …

Maruthas

(233 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
(Μαρουθᾶς, Marouthâs; Syrian Mārūṯā). [German version] [1] Bishop of Maiperqaṭ, c. 400 Bishop of Maiperqaṭ (Martyropolis [Martyr City], in the south-east of modern Turkey, was an Imperial envoy to the Sāsānid court on at least two occasions. In AD 410 he took part in the Synod of Seleucea/ Ctesiphon, at which the ‘Church of the East’ adopted the canons of the Council of Nicaea. It is thanks to him that news of the Persian martyrs under Šābuhr II ( Sapor) reached the Roman Empire. Of the numerous works ascri…

Aphrahat

(309 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[German version] (Greek Aphraates). Syrian author, mid 4th cent. AD in the time of the Sassanid empire. He is described as a ‘Persian sage’ and/or Jacob in the earliest sources (and, therefore, was confused with Jacob, the bishop of Nisibis (died AD 338); e.g., in Gennadius, de viris illustr. I). Later tradition that he was bishop of the Mar Matthew monastery is worthless, though it appears he had some influence in the Persian church. His 23 epideictic orations ( Demonstrationes, also called ‘Epistles’) are the earliest Christian writings in the Sassanid empire. Demonstrat…

Simeon Stylites

(252 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[German version] (Σιμεὼν Στυλίτης/ Simeṑn Stylítēs). Syrian ascetic and first of the stylites, b. at Sisium in Cilicia, d. AD 459. S. first became a monk at the monastery of Eusebona near Tall Āda (between Antioch [1] and Beroea [3]/Aleppo), but his ascetic practices did not endear him to the other monks, and eventually he moved to nearby Telanissus, where he took up a life on top of a pillar. This was increased in height as his extraordinary lifestyle attracted more and more visitors and pilgrims f…

Arbela Chronicle

(144 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[German version] The Syriac Arbela Chronicle covers the period from the 1st to 6th cent. AD in the history of the Christians of Arbela (modern Irbil, Iraq). After its publication in 1907 it was welcomed as a significant source, but comparison with other sources and suspect circumstances accompanying publication (of [1]) gave rise to the suspicion that it had been compiled by the editor. This dispute remains undecided: details of the Parthian period are surely invented, but the chronicle was able t…

Iohannes

(7,268 words)

Author(s): Frey, Jörg (Stuttgart) | Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich) | Markschies, Christoph (Berlin) | Rist, Josef (Würzburg) | Redies, Michael (Berlin) | Et al.
(Ἰωάννης; Iōánnēs). Well-known persons i.a.: I. [1] the Evangelist, I. [4] Chrysostomos, bishop of Constantinople and Homilet, I. [18] Malalas, author of the world chronicle, I. [25] of Gaza, rhetor and poet, I. [33] of Damascus, the theologian, I. [39] Baptistes. [1] I. the Evangelist [German version] A. Tradition and criticism According to the inscriptions, the author of a  Gospel (Jo), of three letters and the Apocalypse in the NT is called I. (= J.; the name appears only in Apc. 1:1; 1:4; 1:9; 22:8). Since the end of the 2nd cent. (Iren. adv…

Edessa Chronicle

(203 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[German version] Local Syrian chronicle, written in c. AD 540 based on Edessenic archives. The beginning as well as the end of the work consists of a description of local floods. The first one (November 201) includes informative details about the region's topography ( Edessa [2]). Furthermore, there is mention of a Christian church. Only eight of the 104 preserved headwords that are mostly presented in concise form can be dated back to the period before the 4th cent. The dominant topic is the appointme…

Memra

(83 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[English version] ( mēmrā). Name einer syr. Gedichtform in isosyllabischen Reimpaaren, gewöhnlich als Kombination von 7 + 7 oder 12 + 12 Silben verwirklicht; erstere Kombination ist mit dem Namen Ephraems des Syrers, letzere mit dem Jakobs [3] von Sarūḡ verbunden. Viele mēmrē sind der Form nach Vershomilien, ein charakteristisches Genre der syr. Lit., das hauptsächlich durch Narsai, Jakob von Sarūḡ und Isaak [2] von Antiocheia, alles Autoren des 5.-6. Jh.n.Chr., vertreten ist. Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford) Bibliography A. Baumstark, Gesch. der syr. Lit., 1922, 40 (Ndr. 1968).

Bardesanes

(225 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[English version] Bekannt als “aramäischer Philosoph” und Astrologe, ist B. (154-222 n.Chr.) der früheste bekannte syr. Autor von Edessa, wo er am Hofe Abgars [3] VIII. (177-212) tätig war. Iulius Africanus (kestoi 1,20) erwähnt, ihn dort im J. 195 getroffen zu haben. Obwohl B. gegen die Markioniten (Markion) und die Chaldäer schrieb, zogen sich seine Ansichten über die Kosmologie das Mißfallen späterer Schriftsteller seit Ephraem zu. Dies führte zum Verlust seiner Schriften (sowohl der Versdichtu…

Iohannes

(6,414 words)

Author(s): Frey, Jörg (Stuttgart) | Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich) | Markschies, Christoph (Heidelberg) | Rist, Josef (Würzburg) | Redies, Michael (Berlin) | Et al.
(Ἰωάννης). Bekannte Personen u.a.: I. [1] der Evangelist, I. [4] Chrysostomos, der Bischof von Konstantinopel und Homilet, I. [18] Malalas, der Verf. der Weltchronik, I. [25] von Gaza, der Rhetor und Dichter, I. [33] von Damaskos, der Theologe. [1] I. der Evangelist [English version] A. Tradition und Kritik Der Verf. eines Evangeliums (Jo), dreier Briefe und der Apokalypse im NT heißt nach den Inschr. I. (= J.; der Name steht im Text nur Apk 1,1; 1,4; 1,9; 22,8). Seit Ende des 2. Jh. (Iren. adversus haereses 3,1,1; Polykrates von Ephesos nach…

Narsai

(163 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[English version] Syr. Dichter (ca. 399-ca. 502 n.Chr.) und Leiter zunächst der “Persischen Schule” in Edessa [2] (möglicherweise bis 471), dann der Schule von Nisibis. Von seinen Schriften haben allein etwa 80 Vers-Homilien ( Mēmrā ) mit exegetischem, lehrhaftem und liturgischem Inhalt überdauert (nur wenige davon liegen bisher in Übers. vor). Eines seiner Mēmrā hat “die drei Lehrer” zum Gegenstand, d.h. Diodoros [20] von Tarsos, Theodoros von Mopsuestia und Nestorios. In Exegese und Christologie gleichermaßen…

Išōyahḇ III.

(138 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[English version] Syr. Autor und Patriarch der Ostkirche (649-659 n.Chr.), Sohn von Landeigentümern. Er wurde Mönch am Kloster Beṯ Abē, in der Folgezeit 627 Bischof von Niniveh (Mosul), 639 Metropolit von Arbela [1]; im J. 649 wurde er schließlich zum Patriarchen gewählt. Eine umfangreiche Sammlung von 106 Briefen liefert zahlreiche Informationen über die Ostkirche in der Übergangszeit von sāsānidischer zu arab. Herrschaft. I. führte weitreichende liturgische Reformen durch, ferner verfaßte er ein Werk über das Leben des Märtyrers Išōsabrān. Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford) Bibl…

Doctrina Addai

(204 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[English version] Diese syr. Erzählung berichtet von der legendären Missionstätigkeit Addais in Edessa und der folgenden Bekehrung König Abgars, “des Schwarzen” (Abgarlegende). Der Beginn, der seine einzige Parallele in der griech. Version von Eusebios (HE 1,13) hat, beschreibt Abgars Briefwechsel mit Jesus und Addais Ankunft in Edessa (bei Eusebios: Thaddaios). Die D.A. gibt jedoch darüber hinaus neue Informationen, insbes. über ein von Ḥannan, dem Gesandten Abgars, gemaltes Porträt Jesu, den Vorläufer des Mandylion der späteren Tradition, und …

Aphrahat

(302 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[English version] (griech. Aphraates). Syr. Autor, Mitte 4. Jh. n. Chr., zur Zeit des Sassanidenreiches. In den frühesten Zeugnissen ist er als “persischer Weiser” und/oder Jakob bekannt (und wurde darauf mit Jakob, dem Bischof von Nisibis (gest. 338 n. Chr.) verwechselt; z. B. von Gennadius, de viris illustr. I). Die späte Überlieferung, er sei Bischof des Mar-Matthäus-Klosters gewesen, ist wertlos, obwohl er, wie es scheint, in der persischen Kirche einigen Einfluß besaß. Seine 23 epideiktischen Reden ( Demonstrationes, auch ›Briefe‹ genannt) bilden die frühesten chris…
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