Drijvers, Hendrik (Han) Jan Willem (1934– 2002)

Scholar of Aramaic, Syriac, and religions of Late Antiquity. He was Professor of Semitic Languages and Cultures and the Archeology of the Near East at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). After his edition of the ‘Book of the Laws of Countries’ and his dissertation on Bardaiṣan of Edessa (1966), his broad and varied interests in Syriac studies were particularly focused on the language, literature, culture, and religion of early Syriac Christianity and its center, the city of Edessa. His many publications in this field concern among other things the pagan religions in Edessa and Syria, Judaism, Gnosticism, Christian heresies, Manichaeism, Marcionism, and early Syriac literature such as the Odes of Solomon, the works of Ephrem, and the Teaching of Addai. A special field of attention is represented by his studies of Aramaic inscriptions, in particular the Old Syriac inscriptions of Edessa and Osrhoene. Collections of his scholarly articles were published in 1984 and 1994. Two Festschrifts were offered to him in 1999.

    Select publications by Drijvers

    • The Book of the Laws of Countries. Dialogue on Fate of Bardaiṣan of Edessa (1965; repr. 2006 with new introduction by J. W. Drijvers).
    • Bardaiṣan of Edessa (Studia Semitica Neerlandica 6; 1966).
    • Cults and beliefs at Edessa (1980).
    • East of Antioch: Studies in early Syriac Christianity (Variorum Reprints; 1984).
    • History and religion in Late Antique Syria (Variorum Reprints; 1994).
    • (with J. W. Drijvers), The finding of the True Cross. The Judas Kyriakos legend in Syriac (CSCO 565; 1997).
    • (with J. F. Healey), The Old Syriac inscriptions of Edessa and Osrhoene. Texts, translations and commentary (Handbuch der Orientalistik I.42; 1999).

    Secondary Sources

    • J. J. van Ginkel, ‘In Memoriam Prof. Dr. Han J. W. Drijvers’, Hugoye 5.2 (2002).
    • Reinink and Klugkist (ed.), After Bardaisan, XV–XXX. (complete bibliography 1961–1999)
    • H. L. J.  Vanstiphout (ed.) with the assistance of W. J. van Bekkum, G. J. van Gelder, and G. J. Reinink, All those nations … Cultural encounters within and with the Near East. Studies presented to Han Drijvers at the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday (COMERS/ICOG Communications 2; 1999).


How to Cite This Entry

Gerrit J. Reinink , “Drijvers, Hendrik (Han) Jan Willem,” 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/Drijvers-Hendrik-Han-Jan-Willem.

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

Gerrit J. Reinink , “Drijvers, Hendrik (Han) Jan Willem,” 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/Drijvers-Hendrik-Han-Jan-Willem.

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Reinink, Gerrit J. “Drijvers, Hendrik (Han) Jan Willem.” 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/Drijvers-Hendrik-Han-Jan-Willem.

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