Yaʿqub bar Shakko Severos bar Shakko (d. 1241) [Syr. Orth.]

Bp. of Dayro d-Mor Matay and learned author. Born in Barṭelle, his baptismal name was probably Yaʿqub. He studied grammar under Yoḥannan bar Zoʿbi in the famous E.-Syr. monastery of Beth Qoqe (in Adiabene), and philosophy under Kāmāl al-Dīn Mūsā b. Yūnus at Mosul. He was first a monk and subsequently abbot and bp. of the Dayro d-Mor Matay, with the episcopal name Severos (according to Schrier, however, Severos was his baptismal name and Yaʿqub his episcopal one, but this would seem surprising). His surviving writings consist of 1. ‘The Book of Treasures’, a theological compendium in four parts, composed in 1231; this covers the Trinity, the Incarnation, Divine Providence, and the Creation; 2. ‘The Book of Dialogues’, in two Books, the first of which covers grammar, rhetoric, poetry, and eloquence (on the richness of the Syriac language), while the second deals with philosophical topics, divided into two parts, the first covering logic and syllogisms, the second with sections on definitions, ethics, physics and physiology, mathematics and music, and metaphysics; 3. two verse letters addressed to physicians; and perhaps 4. a symbol of faith. He also wrote some other works, now lost; these included a commentary on the liturgical services.

    Primary Sources

    • G.  Furlani, ‘La Logica nei Dialoghi di Severos bar Shakko’, Atti del Reale Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti 86.2 (1927), 289–348. (IT of Book of Dialogues, Book II, Part 1).
    • J. P. P.  Martin, De la métrique chez les Syriens (Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft, Abhandlungen 7:2; 1879). (Book of Dialogues, Book I, On poetry)
    • A.  Merx, Historia artis grammaticae apud Syros (1889), 2*–48*. (Book of Dialogues, Book I, On grammar)
    • J.  Ruska, Das Quadrivium aus Severus Bar Shakku’s Dialoge (Ph.D. diss, Leipzig; 1896). (Book of Dialogues, Book II, Part 2)
    • M.  Sprengling, ‘Severus bar Shakko’s Poetics, Part II’, AJSLL 32 (1915/6), 293–308. (Book of Dialogues, Book I, On poetry)

    Secondary Sources

    • C. A.  Havard, ‘Jacob bar Shakko, on the faculties of the soul’, in SymSyr VI, 259–68.
    • A.  Merx, Historia artis grammaticae apud Syros (1889), 209–29.
    • F.  Nau, ‘Notice sur le Livre des Trésors de Jacques de Bartela’, JA 9.7 (1896), 286–331. (resumé of Part 4).
    • J.  Ruska, ‘Studien zu Severus bar Shakku’s “Buch der Dialoge”’, ZA 12 (1897), 8–41, 145–61.
    • O.  Schrier, ‘The name and function of Jacob bar Shakko’, in SymSyr V, 215–28.
    • H.  Teule, ‘Jacob bar Shakko, the Book of Treasures, and the Syrian Renaissance’, in Eastern Crossroads. Essays on Medieval Christian legacy, ed. J. P. Montferrar Sala (2007), 143–54.


How to Cite This Entry

Sebastian P. Brock , “Yaʿqub bar Shakko,” 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/Yaqub-bar-Shakko.

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

Sebastian P. Brock , “Yaʿqub bar Shakko,” 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/Yaqub-bar-Shakko.

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Brock, Sebastian P. “Yaʿqub bar Shakko.” 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/Yaqub-bar-Shakko.

A TEI-XML record with complete metadata is available at https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Yaqub-bar-Shakko/tei.

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