Daniel bar Ṭubanitha (7th cent.?) [Ch. of E.]

Bp. of Taḥal (in Beth Garmai). ʿAbdishoʿ bar Brikha attributes several works to him: a ‘Book of flowers’ (Ktābā d-habbābe, possibly an anthology of poetry), funeral sermons, metrical homilies, questions and answers on the text of Scripture, various riddles, a treatise related to the fifth volume of Isḥaq of Nineveh (even though the attribution of a fifth volume to Isḥaq is problematic, see S. Chialà, Dall’ ascesi, 71–3), and a commentary on reše d-idaʿtā ‘Kephalaia gnostica’ (?). None of these works survive. Of his work on Isḥaq of Niniveh (in which apparently he voiced some criticism of Isḥaq) echoes can be heard in the later tradition, and it was known to Ishoʿdnaḥ. The existence of this work seems to suggest that Daniel lived around, or shortly after, the time of Isḥaq, possibly in the 7th cent. Moreover, Daniel bar Ṭubanitha, with his full name, is mentioned a number of times in the later exegetical tradition, in particular in Ishoʿdad of Merv’s biblical commentaries, even though no title of a specific work is ever provided.

The question arises whether Daniel bar Ṭubanitha might be the same person as Daniel bar MaryamṬubanitha ‘the blessed one’ serving as a synonym for Maryam, the Virgin Mary. This identification, which was first suggested by Chabot, certainly deserves to be considered, but one would have to go against the evidence provided by Ishoʿdad and ʿAbdishoʿ who, as Degen pointed out, clearly saw two distinct Daniels.


  • J.-B. Chabot, ‘Notes sur quelques points de l’histoire de la littérature syriaque’, Revue sémitique d’épigraphie et d’histoire ancienne 4 (1896), 252–57, esp. 257.
  • E.  Degen, ‘Daniel bar Maryam. Ein nestorianischer Kirchenhistoriker’, OC 52 (1968), 45–80, esp. 75–80.

| Daniel bar Ṭubanitha |


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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