Abraham of Nathpar (late 6th – early 7th cent.) [Ch. of E.]

Monastic author. Very little is known about the life of Abraham. ‘Nathpar’ (in some sources, ‘Nephtar’, or ‘Nephrath’) appears to be the same as modern Guwair, southeast of Mosul in Iraq, and may designate either Abraham’s birthplace or the site of his monastery. Abraham flourished during the period of monastic revival sweeping the Ch. of E. due to the reforms of Abraham of Kashkar at Mount Izla. The ‘Catalogue’ of ʿAbdishoʿ credits Abraham with having written ‘various compositions’, mainly on the spiritual life, some of which were translated into Persian. A study of them suggests that Abraham tended to adapt older ascetic materials (e.g., Aphrahaṭ) rather than compose his own. Some of the works ascribed to him actually derive from other authors (e.g., Evagrius of Pontus and Yoḥannan Iḥidaya). In the mid-7th cent., Sabrishoʿ Rustam, while head of the monastery of Beth Qoqa, wrote a biography of Abraham, which has not survived (Assemani, BibOr, vol. 3.1, 454–5).


  • Assemani, BibOr, vol. 3.1, 191.
  • Brock, The Syriac Fathers on Prayer, 188–96. (ET of ‘On Prayer’)
  • C. Chahine, Abraham de Bet-Netpra, Discours (Memre). Introduction, texte critique et traduction (Ph.D. Diss., Rome; 2004).
  • F. Jullien, Le monachisme en Perse (CSCO 622; 2008).
  • A. Penna, ‘Abramo di Nathpar’, RSO 32 (1957), 415–31. (IT of Memrā d-martyānuthā)
  • R. Tonneau, ‘Abraham de Nathpar’, OS 2 (1957), 337–50. (FT of selected treatises)

| Abraham of Nathpar |


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