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Welcome to the Encyclopedia of Syriac Literature.

Notes on Syriac Grammar -- Vatican Syriac manuscripts -- Catalogues of Syriac manuscripts -- François Nau

B. The 4th century A.D.

The first substantial works commence from the middle and second half of the 4th century.

  1. Aphrahat (Aphraates, 'Jacob of Nisibis')
  2. Ephrem (Ephraim Syrus)
  3. Liber Graduum (The Book of Steps)

C. The 5th to mid-7th centuries A.D.

5th century

  1. Cyrillona
  2. Balai
  3. Narsai
  4. John the Solitary (John of Apamea)
  5. Anonymous prose hagiography
  6. Marutha of Maiperkat
  7. Isaac of Seleucia-Ctesiphon

5-6th century

  1. Jacob of Serugh (W)
  2. Simeon the Potter (W)
  3. Philoxenus (W)
  4. Isaac of Antioch -- a name covering more than one person
  5. Symmachus (W)

6th century

  1. Joshua the Stylite (W) - author of an eyewitness Chronicle of the Persian war of Anastasius.
  2. Stephen bar Sudhaili (W) - a pantheist
  3. Sergius of Resh`aina (W) - the translator
  4. Simeon of Beth Arsham (W) - wrote to those persecuted by Jewish Arabs in Yemen
  5. Elias (W)
  6. Daniel of Salah (W)
  7. Thomas of Edessa (E)
  8. Cyrus of Edessa (E)
  9. The Chronicle of Edessa (W)
  10. John of Ephesus (W) - Justinian's evangelist to pagans. Author of two histories
  11. Peter of Kallinikos (W)
  12. Zacharias Rhetor (W)
  13. Ahudemmeh
  14. Abraham of Nathpar (E)
  15. Anonymous literature of the 6th century

6-7th century

  1. Barhadbeshabba `Arbaya (E)
  2. Barhadbeshabba of Halwan (E)
  3. Shubhalmaran (Subhalmaran) (E)
  4. Babai the Great (E)
  5. Martyrius (Sahdona) (E) - Tried to introduce ideas of Chrysostom.
  6. Isho`yahb II (E)
  7. John of the Sedre (W)
  8. Marutha (W)
  9. Gregory of Cyprus (E) - A Persian monk who spent time in Cyprus
  10. Anonymous literature of the early 7th century

D. Mid-7th to 13th century A.D.

In the middle of the 7th century, the Syriac-speaking world was occupied by the Arabs.

Second half of the 7th century

  1. Severus Sebokht (W) - greatest scientist and astronomer of his day
  2. Gabriel of Qatar (E)
  3. Abraham bar Lipeh of Qatar (E)
  4. The Khuzistan Chronicle (E) - covers end of Sassanid and start of Arab periods.
  5. Isho`yahb III (E)
  6. Isaac of Nineveh (Isaac the Syrian) (E) - most influential Syrian ascetic writer in the Greek and Latin west.
  7. Shem'on the graceful (Shem'on d-Taybutheh) (E)
  8. Dadisho' (E)
  9. John bar Penkaye (E) - world history includes eye-witness account of Arab conquest
  10. The Apocalypse of Methodius
  11. Hagiography of the 7th century

7th-8th century

  1. Jacob of Edessa (=James of Edessa) (W) - translator from Greek
  2. George, bishop of the Arab tribes (W) - pupil of Severus Sebokht

8th century

  1. The Diyarbekir Commentary (E)
  2. Sergius the Stylite of Gusit (W) - apologist against the Jews
  3. Elia (E)
  4. John of Dalyatha (=John Saba) (E)
  5. Joseph Hazzaya, "the seer" (E)
  6. Abraham bar Dashandad, "the lame" (W)
  7. The Chronicle of Dionysius of Tel-Mahre (Chronicle of Zuqnin) (W)
  8. Theodore bar Koni (E) - Author of the Liber scholiorum

8th-9th century

  1. Timothy I (E) - letters on Greek manuscripts and Dead Sea scrolls
  2. Isho` bar Nun (E)

9th century

  1. Job of Edessa (E)
  2. John of Dara (W)
  3. Isho`dad of Merv (E)
  4. Nonnus (W)
  5. Antony of Tagrit (W)
  6. Ps.George of Arbela (E)
  7. Thomas, bishop of Marga (E) - Author of the Book of the Governors
  8. Isho`dnah (E)
  9. The anonymous commentary on the Old and New Testament (E)
  10. Moshe bar Kepha (W)
  11. Chronicle of Seert

10th century

  1. Elijah of Anbar (E)
  2. The Book of the Cause of Causes (W)
  3. Emmanuel bar Shahhare (E)

11th century

  1. Elijah of Nisibis (=Elias of Nisibis) (E)

12th century

  1. Dionysius bar Salibi (Dionysius Syrus / Jacob bar Salibi) (W)
  2. Elijah III Abu Halim (E)
  3. Michael the Great (Michael the Syrian) (W) - Author of a massive Chronicle

13th century

  1. John bar Zo`bi (E)
  2. Solomon of Bosra (E)
  3. Giwargis Warda (E)
  4. The Chronicle of 1234 (W)
  5. Jacob Severus bar Shakko (W)
  6. Gregory Barhebraeus (Bar'ebroyo / Abu 'L Faraj / Gregorius Abulpharagius) (W)

E. The 13th to 14th centuries A.D.

Syriac is displaced by Arabic in the West in this period.

  1. `Abdisho` bar Brika (Ebed Jesu) (E) 1250-1318 AD. - wrote list of Syriac writers
  2. Khamis bar Qardahe (E) Late 13th/early 14th century.
  3. Dioscorus of Gozarto (E) Late 13th/early 14th century.
  4. The History of Yahballaha and Rabban Sauma (E). Soon after 1317.
  5. Timothy II (E) Died 1353 AD.

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