Giwargi, bp. of the Arab tribes (d. 724) [Syr. Orth.]

Bp. and learned author. Shortly before his death Patr. Athanasios II asked Bp. Sargis Zakunoyo to ordain Giwargi bishop of the Arab tribes, which he did in Nov. 686. As a protegé of Athanasios II and a friend of Yaʿqub of Edessa, he belonged to a line of learned scholars associated with the Monastery of Qenneshre. On Yaʿqub’s death in 708 Giwargi completed the final book 7 of his commentary on the Six Days of Creation. Several of his works concern Greek philosophy, and he revised earlier translations of Aristotle’s ‘Categories’, ‘On Interpretation’, and ‘Prior Analytics’ (ed. G. Furlani); this is preserved in the 8th/9th-cent. ms. Brit. Libr. Add. 14,659, together with introductions and glosses. A number of verse texts are attributed to him: on the Patr. Severus, the monastic life, the Myron (sometimes attributed to Yaʿqub of Serug), Palm Sunday, the Forty Martyrs, and the Burial of Bishops (the last two remain unpublished). His 11 letters cover a wide range of topics, including philosophy, astronomy, theology, and literary criticism; he also wrote a short commentary on baptism and eucharist.

    Primary Sources

    • R. H.  Connolly and H. W.  Codrington, Two Commentaries on the Jacobite Liturgy (1913), 11–23, 3*–15*.
    • G.  Furlani (for his editions and various studies of Giwargi’s work on Aristotle’s Organon, see S. P.  Brock, ‘The Syriac Commentary tradition’, in his From Ephrem to Romanos[1999], chap. XIII, or Tannous [2008], 678, n. 32)
    • A.  Heinz, Die Eucharistiefeier in der Deutung syrischer Liturgieerklärer (2000). (GT, including Giwargi)
    • K.  McVey, George, Bishop of the Arabs. A Homily on the Blessed Mar Severus (CSCO 530–1; 1993).
    • F.  Rilliet, ‘Une homélie sur la fête des hosannas attribuée à Georges, évêque des Arabes’, OC 74 (1990), 72–102.
    • V.  Ryssel, Georgs des Araberbischofs Gedichte und Briefe (1891). (GT)
    • V.  Ryssel, ‘Poemi siriaci di Giorgio, vescovo degli Arabi’, Atti della Reale Accademia dei Lincei, Ser. 4, Classe di scienze morali, storiche e filologiche, 9 (1892), 46–93. (On the Myron and on monastic life).
    • B. Varghese, ‘George, bishop of the Arabs (†724), Homily on the consecration of Myron’, Harp 19 (2006), 255–80. (ET of poem ed. Ryssel).
    • A complete edition of the Letters, a few of which have been published earlier, is in preparation by J. Tannous.

    Secondary Sources

    • D.  Miller, ‘George, bishop of the Arabs, on the true philosophy’, ARAM 5 (1993), 303–20.
    • J.  Tannous, ‘Between christology and kalam? The Life and Letters of George, bishop of the Arab tribes’, in Malphono w-Rabo d-Malphone, ed. G. A. Kiraz, 671–716. (with further references)
    • A.  Vööbus, ‘The discovery of new important memre by Giwargi, the bishop of the Arabs’, JSS 18 (1973), 235–7.

| Giwargi, bp. of the Arab tribes |


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