Athanasios II of Balad (d. 687) [Syr. Orth.]
Translator, scholar, patr. (684–87). Athanasios studied under Severos Sebokht in the Monastery of Qenneshre and later was a monk at the Monastery of Beth Malka. After being ordained he served in Nisibis. In 684, the Synod of Reshʿayna made Athanasios patr. Bar ʿEbroyo, Michael Rabo, the Chronicle of Zuqnin, the Chronicle of 846, and the Chronicle of 819 speak only briefly of his patriarchate. A single work by Athanasios from this time survives, a letter written against Christians who attend pagan feasts and eat the meat of pagan sacrifices. A later scribe added an incipit claiming that the letter refers to the sacrifices of Hagarenes. Athanasios died in September of 687 and was succeeded by Yulyanos Rumoyo.
Throughout his life Athanasios was an avid translator of Greek philosophical works and patristic authors. Several of his translations still survive. These include a translation of Porphyry’s Isagoge that Athanasios completed in 645 (ms. Vat. Syr. 158), the translation of an anonymous Greek introduction to logic (ms. London, Brit. Libr. Add. 14,660, ed. Furlani), and selected letters of Severus of Antioch that Athanasios translated in 669 at the request of Matthew the bp. of Aleppo and Daniel the bp. of Edessa (ms. London, Brit. Libr. Add. 12,181; ed. Brooks 1902). Although none are fully extant, Athanasios also wrote commentaries; an excerpt from his scholia on Gregory of Nazianzus is found in ms. London, Brit. Libr. Add. 14,725 and Michael Rabo refers to Athanasios as an interpreter of the scriptures.
- Baumstark, Literatur, 256–7.
- G. Furlani, ‘Una introduzzione alla Logica Aristotelica di Atanasio di Balad’, Reale Accademia dei Lincei, Rendiconti, Ser. 5A, vol. 25, (1916), 717–78.
- A. de Halleux, ‘Les commentaries syriaques des discours de Grégoire de Nazianze’, LM 98 (1985), 103–47.
- Hoyland, Seeing Islam, 147–9.
- F. Nau, ‘Littérature canonique syriaque inédite’, ROC 14 (1909), 128–30. (Syr. with FT of Athanasios’s letter concerning pagan sacrifices)
- O. J. Schrier, ‘Chronological problems concerning the lives of Severus bar Mašqā, Athanasius of Balad, Julianus Romāyā, Yoḥannān, Sābā, George of the Arabs and Jacob of Edessa’, OC 75 (1991), 62–90.
- H. G. B. Teule, ‘Athanasius of Balad’, in Christian-Muslim relations, ed. Thomas and Roggema, 157–9.
- A. Vööbus, Syrische Kanonessamlungen, vol. 1 (CSCO 307; 1970), 200–2.
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
Michael Philip Penn, “Athanasios II of Balad,” 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/Athanasios-II-of-Balad.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
Penn, Michael Philip. “Athanasios II of Balad.” 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/Athanasios-II-of-Balad.
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