ʿAbdishoʿ bar Brikha Ebedjesus (d. 1318) [Ch. of E.]

Bp. and scholar. ʿAbdishoʿ was bp. of Sinjar and Beth ʿArbaye, before becoming metropolitan bp. of Nisibis (Ṣoba) and Armenia (ca. 1291). He wrote in Syriac and in Arabic. Although in many ways his writings crowned the achievements of a highly productive era in E.-Syr. scholarship, many of them do not survive, e.g., a commentary on OT and NT, along with other works treating doctrine, canon law, philosophy, and science. His surviving works include: Margānitā ‘The Pearl’, an influential systematic explanation of E.-Syr. theology; the Nomocanon, a compilation of synodal decrees containing the most complete collection of E.-Syr. canon law, still authoritative in the Ch. of E.; a ‘Treatise on the Rule of Ecclesiastical Judgements’, for use as an ecclesiastical court manual; and a collection of theological poetry entitled ‘Paradise of Eden’ (also known as the Maqāmāt). His metrical ‘Catalogue of Books’ is an invaluable repository of information about the authors and works of the Syriac literary heritage, including many that are no longer extant. Published with a Latin translation by J.-S. Assemani in Rome in 1725, the ‘Catalogue’ helped clarify for western scholarship the breadth and basic contours of Syriac literature, providing stimulus and some direction for the nascent study of Syriac literary history in the West.

    Primary Sources

      Nomocanon (Kunnāšā d-qānone sunhādiqāye)

      • A.  Mai, in Scriptorum Veterum Nova Collectio, vol.10.1 (1838), 191–331 (Syr., vocalized serṭo), 23–168 (LT).
      • J.  de Kelayta, The Nomocanon, or Collection of Synodical Canons of Mar Abdisho bar Brikha, Metropolitan of Nisibis and Armenia (1918).
      • I.  Perczel, The Nomocanon of Metropolitan Abdisho of Nisibis. A  facsimile edition of ms 64 from the collection of the Church of the East in Trissur (2005), with Introduction by H.  Kaufhold.

      Regulation of Ecclesiastical Judgements (Ṭukkās dine ʿedtānāye)

      • Chabot, in Synodicon Orientale (1902), 609–611. (Book I, chapter 2)
      • J.-M.  Vosté, Ordo Iudiciorum Ecclesiasticorum, collectus, dispositus, ordinatus a Mar Abdisho Metropolita Nisibis et Armeniae (S. Congregazione per la Chiesa Orientale, Fonti, Serie II, fasc. xv; 1940). (LT)

      Explanation of the Liturgical Services (= Book I, ch. 3 of Ṭukkās dine ʿedtānāye)

      • J.  Isaac, in Bayn al-Nahrayn (2004–5), 125–32. (with AT)

      Paradise of Eden

      • G. Cardahi, Pardaysa da-ʿden seu Paradisus Eden (1889).
      • J. de Kelayta, Pardaysa da-ʿden (1916; 3rd ed. 1988).

      The Pearl (Margānitā)

      • A. Mai, in Scriptorum Veterum Nova Collectio10.2 (1838), 317–66. (with LT)
      • J. de Kelayta, Marganita (1924; 3rd ed. 1989).
      • G. P.  Badger, The Nestorians and their rituals, vol. 2 (1852), 380–422. (ET)
      • Eshai Shimun XXIII, The Book of Marganitho (The Pearl) (1965; repr. 1988). (ET)

      Catalogue of Authors

      • Assemani, BibOr, vol. III.1, 3–362.
      • J. Habbi, Catalogus Auctorum: ʿAbdishoʿ Sob. (1986).
      • G.  P.  Badger, The Nestorians and their rituals, vol. 2 (1852), 361–379. (ET)

    Secondary Sources

    • Mar Aprem, ‘Codification of the Canon Law by Mar Abdisho’, in SymSyr IV, 371–9.
    • J.  Dauvillier, in DTC , vol.3 (1942), 361–63; 5 (1942), 91–134.
    • C.  Gallagher, Church Law and Church Order in Rome and Byzantium (2002), 207–26.
    • Graf, GCAL, vol.2, 214–6. (for Arabic translations)
    • N.  Katsumata, ‘The style of the Maqamat: Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, Syriac’, Middle Eastern Literatures 5 (2002), 117–137.
    • S. Khoury, ‘L’évangéliaire rimé de Abdišu de Nisibe et son importance cultuelle et culturelle’, ParOr 22 (1997), 381–90.
    • P.  K.  Varghese, ‘Mar Oudisho metropolitan of Suwa and his literary works’, Harp 8/9 (1995/6), 355–63.
    • H.  Younansardaroud, ‘A list of known manuscripts of the Syriac Maqamat of ʿAbdishoʿ bar Brika’, JAAS 20 (2006), 28–42. (incl. further references)


How to Cite This Entry

Jeff W. Childers, “ʿAbdishoʿ bar Brikha,” in Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay, https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Abdisho-bar-Brikha.

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

Jeff W. Childers, “ʿAbdishoʿ bar Brikha,” in Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay (Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018), https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Abdisho-bar-Brikha.

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Childers, Jeff W. “ʿAbdishoʿ bar Brikha.” In Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition. Edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay. Digital edition prepared by David Michelson, Ute Possekel, and Daniel L. Schwartz. Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018. https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Abdisho-bar-Brikha.

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