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Rabbulā, Rabulas

(234 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[German version] Bishop of Edessa [2] (AD 412-435 or 436). Information on his life comes from a Syrian panegyric as well as occasional references found in other sources (e. g. the Edessa Chronicle). Born to wealthy parents in Qinnasrīn (Chalkis), R. was brought up according to Greek custom; he was introduced to Christianity by the bishops Eusebius of Qinnasrīn and Acacius [3] of Beroea (Aleppo). With the help of the latter's influence, he was elected bishop of Edessa in the year 412. He offered guidelines for the lives of clerics and monks in his Kanónes ('Rules'; preserved in Syrian). I…

Michael

(1,757 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Berger, Albrecht (Berlin) | Tinnefeld, Franz (Munich) | Albiani, Maria Grazia (Bologna) | Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
(Μιχαήλ/ Michaḗl; Mîkāēl). [German version] [1] Archangel Archangel, [1] One of the most prominent angels (cf. the description archistratēgós, ‘supreme commander’ of the heavenly host, Joseph of Aseneth 14,8, cf. Slavonic Hen 22,5; 33,10), one of the seven (Ethiopic Hen 20,5) or four (Ethiopic Hen 9,1; 10,11) archangels (cf. [1]). The name means ‘who is like God’ or ‘who is victorious like God’. M., who was first mentioned in the ‘Book of Watchers (Ethiopic Hen 1-36, end of the 4th/beginning of the 2nd cent. BC)…

Memra

(96 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[German version] ( mēmrā). Name of a Syrian poetic form consisting of isosyllabic couplets, usually rendered in a combination of 7 + 7 or 12 + 12 syllables; the former combination is associated with the name of Ephrem the Syrian, the latter with that of Jacob [3] of Sarūḡ. Many mēmrē are homilies in verse form, a genre characteristic of Syrian literature and represented mainly through the 5th- to 6th-cent. AD authors Narsai, Jacob of Sarūḡ and Isaac [2] of Antioch. Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford) Bibliography A. Baumstark, Geschichte der syrischen Literatur, 1922, 40 (reprint 1968).

Philoxenus

(1,694 words)

Author(s): Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Robbins, Emmet (Toronto) | Montanari, Ornella (Bologna) | Albiani, Maria Grazia (Bologna) | Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) | Et al.
(Φιλόξενος; Philóxenos). [German version] [1] Name of several officers under Alexander the Great Several officers with the name P. are mentioned in the sources about Alexander  [4] the Great. They cannot always be distinguished with certainty. One P. was appointed by Alexander in 331 BC (incorrect [1]) ' to collect tribute on this side of the Taurus'(i.e. in Asia Minor) (Arr. An. 3,6,4). This cannot be correct. Arrian must, as often, have expressed himself imprecisely, as this duty had already been entrusted to somebody else. It can also hardly be th…

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…

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…

Bardesanes

(228 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[German version] Well known as ‘Aramaic philosopher’ and astrologist, B. (AD 154-222) is the earliest known Syrian author from Edessa, where he worked at the court of  Abgar [3] VIII (177-212). Iulius Africanus (Kestoi 1,20) mentions that he met him there in the year 195. Even though B. wrote against the Marcionites ( Marcion) and the Chaldaeans, his opinions about cosmology drew the disapproval of later writers since  Ephraim. This led to the loss of his writings (both poetry as well as prose). H…

Balai

(118 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[German version] Syrian poet from the first half of the 5th cent. AD, probably worked in Chalcis/Qennešrin (northern Syria). Two poems are definitely genuine, the one about the consecration of a church in Qennešrin, the other one about the death of bishop Acacius of  Beroea [3] (Aleppo) in the year AD 432. An epic poem in 12 books about the patriarch Joseph, which is also attributed to  Ephraim, could have been written by B. Many liturgical poems with verses in five syllables (‘Balai metre’) are attributed to him. Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford) Bibliography K. V. Zettersteen, Beiträge zur …

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…

Arbela-Chronik

(152 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[English version] Die syr. Chronik von Arbela umfaßt den Zeitraum des 1. bis 6. Jh. n. Chr. der Gesch. der Christen von Arbela (heute Irbil, Irak) ab. Nach ihrer Veröffentlichung 1907 wurde sie als eine bedeutende neue Quelle begrüßt, doch ließen der Vergleich mit anderen Quellen und verdächtige Begleitumstände bei der Herausgabe (von [1]) den Verdacht aufkommen, daß sie vom Herausgeber kompiliert worden sei. Die Streitfrage muß weiterhin unentschieden bleiben: Zwar sind Einzelheiten der Partherze…

Edessenische Chronik

(180 words)

Author(s): Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[English version] Lokale, ca. 540 n.Chr. verfaßte syr. Chronik, basierend auf edessenischen Archiven. Beginn und Schluß des Werks bestehen aus einer Schilderung örtlicher Überschwemmungen. Die erste (November 201) enthält informative Details zur Top. der Region (Edessa [2]); erwähnt wird darüber hinaus eine christl. Kirche. Lediglich acht der zumeist sehr kurz gefaßten 104 erh. Stichworte lassen sich auf die Zeit vor dem 4. Jh. zurückdatieren. Vorherrschendes Thema sind Bischofsernennungen, danebe…

Bibelübersetzungen

(2,606 words)

Author(s): Marti, Heinrich (Küsnacht) | Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford) | Ott, Claudia (Berlin)
I. Allgemein [English version] A. Einleitung Die Begriffe Bibel und Übersetzung sind nicht klar voneinander abgrenzbar, da sich der anerkannte Textbestand im Laufe der Gesch. änderte (Kanon) und auch Paraphrasen als B. galten. Neue Entdeckungen (Qumran, Papyri) haben gezeigt, daß sich auch die Texte der Quellsprache, der sog. Masora Text, und die der Zielsprache, die Septuaginta (LXX; Peschitta; Vetus Latina), histor. entwickelten und nur unter Bezugnahme auf kritische Apparate von Editoren gelesen w…

Dionysios

(10,308 words)

Author(s): Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Karttunen, Klaus (Helsinki) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Et al.
(Διονύσιος). Bekannte Persönlichkeiten: der Tyrann von Syrakus D. [1] I.; der Historiker D. [18] von Halikarnassos. Dionysios (Monat) Monatsnamen. Die Chronik des Ps.-D. von Tell Maḥre s. D. [23]. I. Politisch aktive Persönlichkeiten [English version] [1] D.I. berüchtigter Tyrann in Syrakus um 400 v. Chr. von Syrakus, Sohn des Hermokritos, geb. um 430, gest. 367 v.Chr. Begründer der ‘größten und längsten Tyrannenherrschaft in der Geschichte’ (Diod. 13,96,4; Aussehen: Timaios FGrH 566 F 29). Im Besitz sophistischer Bildung (Cic. Tusc. 5,63), war D. von größtem Ehrgeiz…
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