Abraham bar Dashandad (8th cent.) [E.-Syr.]

Nicknamed ‘the Lame of Beth Ṣayyade’ after the village in Adiabene where he was born, he was the disciple of the reformer of ecclesiastical music Babai of Gbilta and later became teacher at the School of Bashosh in Persia, founded by Babai, and the School of Marga. At the end of his life, he established himself at the Monastery of Mor Gabriel near Mosul, known as the Upper Monastery. According to ʿAbdishoʿ bar Brikha, he was the author of a Book of Admonition, a Commentary of Marcus Eremita, a Disputation with the Jews, a work on the Royal Path, some memre on penitence and different letters. Of the latter, only his Letter to a certain Yoḥannan, who had decided to embrace the monastic life, is preserved. It is followed by some spiritual admonitions (zuhhāre). His importance for Syriac lexicography is acknowledged by Bar Bahlul, who mentions him in the introduction to his Syriac-Arabic lexicon. According to Timotheos I, a certain Abraham, who may have been Abraham bar Dashandad, was also active as a copyist of works of John Chrysostom (including one of his writings to the fallen Theodore [ CPG 4305] and the Letters to Olympias [ CPG 4405]) and Theodore of Mopsuestia. Following Krüger, the fragments of the commentary on Mark the Monk, preserved in ms. Brit. Libr. Syr. Add. 17,270, which according to the Catalogue of W. Wright ( Catalogue … British Museum , vol. 2, 482) may have been written by Abraham bar Dashandad, are rather to be attributed to Babai the Great. The Book of Admonition is partly preserved in an Arabic translation in Eliya of Nisibis’s ‘Book of Continence’.


  • V. Berti, Abramo Bar Dashandad. Custodisci te stesso. Lettera a Giovanni (2006).
  • O. Hesse, ‘Markus Eremita in der syrischen Literatur’, ZDMG Suppl. 1.2 (1969), 450–7.
  • G. Kessel, ‘A Fragment from Abraham bar Dašandad’s lost “Book of Exhortation(s)” in “Risāla faḍīlat al-ʿiffa” (Letter on Priority of Abstinence) of Elias of Nisibis’, in Gotteserlebnis und Gotteslehre. Christliche und islamische Mystik im Orient, ed. M. Tamcke (2010).
  • P. Krüger, ‘Überlieferung und Verfasser der beiden Memre über das ‘geistige Gesetz’ des Mönches Markus’, OKS 6 (1957), 257–9.
  • A. Mingana, Early Christian Mystics (Woodbrooke Studies 7; 1934), 248–55 (Syr.), 186–97 (ET).
  • K. Pinggéra, ‘Abraham bar Daschandad’, in BBK , vol. 17, 1–4. (incl. further references)

| Abraham bar Dashandad |


Front Matter A (73) B (53) C (26) D (36) E (27) F (5) G (30) H (22) I (31) J (15) K (11) L (12) M (56) N (19) O (3) P (28) Q (11) R (8) S (71) T (39) U (1) V (5) W (3) X (1) Y (41) Z (4) Back Matter
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