Yoḥannan Azraq Zroqa, al-Azraq (late 7th and early 8th cent.) [Ch. of E.]

Bp. of Ḥirta (al-Ḥīra), author. Yoḥannan’s name is connected with the rescue of the virgins, which he was able to achieve through prayer, after Caliph ʿAbd al-Malik had demanded from the Christian inhabitants of Ḥirta their virgin daughters. This led to an annual commemoration (‘Fast of the virgins’) and prayers authored by Yoḥannan, included in the E.-Syr. Ḥudra (e.g., ms. Cambridge, Univ. Libr. Add. 1981; see W. Wright and S. A. Cook, A catalogue of the Syriac manuscripts, vol. 1, 169–70). One other work survives, viz. a collection of riddles, which is partly of biblical content (OT and NT), but contributes little to the study of biblical interpretation (cf. C. Van den Eynde, Commentaire d’Išoʿdad de Merv sur l’Ancien Testament, vol. 2 [CSCO 179; 1958], XIX, n. 1).


  • Fiey, Assyrie chrétienne, vol. 3 (1968), 205 (‘Jean le Bleu’) and 122–23.
  • G.  Furlani, ‘Gli indovinelli di Giovanni Azraq’, in Rendiconti della Reale Accademia nazionale dei Lincei. Classe di Scienze morali, storiche e filologiche, ser. 5.32 (1923), 37–50. (Syr. and IT)

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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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