[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Jacobus of Sarug, Bishop of Batnæ

V/VI Centuries
The great Syriac Christian hymnographer Ya`kub al-Saruji was born around 431 at Kurtam on the Euphrates and educated at Edessa. He became a priest and served at Hawra in the Serugh district of Mesopotamia as "periodeutes", wandering pastor of several villages. At the age of 67 he was made bishop of Batnan, where he died around 521. Jacob avoided the theological controversies of his age, and is claimed with equal eagerness by Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Christians as one of their own. Called "the Flute of the Holy Spirit and Harp of the Blessed Faith" by his admirers, he was a master of the Syriac twelve-syllable verse form and the author of hundreds of religious poems and hymns; 760 homilies and the Syriac translation of Evagrius also are attributed to him. Many of his writings are used as reading lessons in the Coptic and Syro-Jacobite churches to this day.

Norman Hugh Redington

Under construction --- far from complete! Read with caution.

(2007 May)
Return to St Pachomius Library.