Dolabani, Philoxenos Yuḥanon Yūḥannā Dūlabānī (1885–1969) [Syr. Orth.]
Modern writer, educator and Syr. Orth. bp. of Mardin (1947–69). He was born and raised in Mardin and embarked on a shoe-making career. As he was the only son to his parents, they objected to his idea of becoming a monk. Dolabani left his career and toured various local monasteries. At the request of his parents, Patr. ʿAbdullāh Ṣaṭṭūf tried to convince young Yuḥanon to forget about monastic life, but to no avail. In 1907, he joined Dayro d-Noṭpo, became a monk in 1908, and was ordained priest in 1918. He taught at the local school of Dayr al-Zaʿfarān, other monasteries, and the Syr. Orth. Orphanage of Adana (see Taw Mim Semkath). Dolabani accompanied Patr. Eliya III on two pastoral tours in the Middle East: the first in 1919 prompted by the aftermath of World War I and the Sayfo massacres, and the second in 1925 to Aleppo and Jerusalem where he spent two years teaching at the Monastery of St. Mark. When the newly consecrated Patr. Afram Barsoum moved the patriarchal seat from Mardin to Ḥimṣ in 1933 due to current socio-political difficulties, the community leadership in Mardin desired to elect Dolabani as anti- patr. in defiance. Dolabani rejected the move and denounced rumours of any such election publicly in 1934. In 1947, Mardin became a diocese and Dolabani was consecrated its bp. He spent his last days at Dayr al-Zaʿfarān where he was buried.
He edited the following works: an abridged version of the Beth Gazo (Mardin, 1913); a prayer book for priests (Mardin, 1952); a list of lectionary readings (Mardin, 1954); selected poems of Bar ʿEbroyo (Jerusalem, 1929); poems of Yuḥanon Bar Maʿdani (Jerusalem, 1929); poems of Nuḥ the Lebanese (1956); and Bar ʿEbroyo’s ‘Book of the Dove’ (Mardin, 1916). He authored over 40 books in Syriac, Arabic, and Turkish, the most important of which are the following: A pedagogical Syriac Grammar (vol. 1, Mardin, 1915; vol. 2 Glane/Losser, 1997); A history of the patriarchs (Glane/Losser, 1990); and Catalogues of the Syriac mss. of Dayro d-Mor Marqos, Dayr al-Zaʿfarān, and other churches and monasteries (Aleppo, 1994). Finally, he translated many works from Arabic into Syriac, especially Barsoum’s al-Luʾluʾ al-manthūr, and Boulos Behnam’s drama Theodora. Dolabani drew up a list of his writings of 82 items, most of which remain unpublished. His autobiography was published posthumously (Tašʿito d-ḥayaw d-Dolabani, 2007).
See Fig. 43.
- S. P. Brock and I. Gulcan, ‘A Syrian Orthodox Bishop and Scholar: Mar Philoxenos Iohanna Dolaponu (1885–1969)’, OKS 26 (1977), 47–52.
- Y. Ibrahim, Dolabani the ascetic Metropolitan of Mardin, Aleppo (1999). (in Arabic)
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
George A. Kiraz, “Dolabani, Philoxenos Yuḥanon,” 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/Dolabani-Philoxenos-Yuhanon.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
Kiraz, George A. “Dolabani, Philoxenos Yuḥanon.” 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/Dolabani-Philoxenos-Yuhanon.
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