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Jacob of Serugh, Mar

b. 449 ?, d. November 521

Bp of {Batnae} 519-21, and Syriac writer honoured for his verse works as the 'Flute of the Holy Spirit'. Son of a presbyter of Kurtam in Serugh, he trained for the priesthood at the {School of the Persians} in {Edessa} 469-73, where he may have been a contemporary of {Philoxenus}. He was then a monk at Haura and for many years an episcopal visitor for Serugh before being consecrated by the henophysite leaders {Severus of Antioch} and Philoxenus. He tried as far as he could to avoid christological controversy, though he wrote a few polemics to order. His disciple George wrote a verse panegyric.

Monastery. There is a monastery at Beth Debeh.

Lit. Works.

  • A large body of poetic discourses on the Passion, on faith and on the Beatitudes.
  • A homily on the vision of Ezekiel.
  • On the fall of idols', concerning pagan cults.
  • 'On theatrical spectacles', an indictment of the theatre at Edessa.
  • A homily 'On the burial of strangers'.
  • A homily on {Simeon Stylites}.
  • Three homilies on the {Confessors}.
  • A life of Mar Hannina.
  • A life of {Daniel of Aghlosh}.
  • Anaphoras and offices of baptism and confirmation.
  • A letter to the persecuted Christians of {Himyar}.
  • A letter to {Stephen bar S$,udaili}, prob. at Edessa, refuting his doctrine of the temporal duration of punishment.
  • Three letters to the Mar Bassus monks of Harim and a letter to {Paul of Edessa}, which manifest his henophysitism.

Bibliography
  • J.B.Segal, Edessa, Oxford, 1970, pp.170-3.
  • De L.O'Leary, Syriac Church and Fathers, London, 1909, pp.114-16.
  • W.H.C.Frend, Rise of the monophysite movement, Cambridge, 1972, pp.242-3, 297.
  • A.Voobus, History of asceticism, vol 3, in CSCO 500 Subsidia 81, Louvain, 1988, pp.110-22.
  • R.C.Chesnut, Three monophysite christologies, Oxford, 1976, pp.2-3, 6-7.
  • C.Vona in New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol 7, 1967, pp.792-3.

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Last updated: November 15, 1996