Isḥaq of Amid (fl. 4th – early 5th cent.)

Priest and writer. One of three early persons named Isḥaq whose works may have survived in a single corpus (see Isḥaq of Antioch and Isḥaq of Edessa). According to a letter from Yaʿqub of Edessa to Yuḥanon of Litarba (Letter 14; ms. Brit. Libr. Add. 12,172, f. 123r–v), this Isḥaq was a student of Ephrem while he was in Amid, and then continued his studies there under Ephrem’s pupil Zenobius. It is more likely that Isḥaq studied with Zenobius than with Ephrem. In any case, after his studies, according to Yaʿqub’s letter, Isḥaq journeyed to Rome and to Constantinople during the time of Arcadius (395–408). This report probably identifies him with the Isḥaq mentioned in both the Chronicle of Pseudo-Zacharias of Mitylene (I.9) and the Chronicle of Zuqnin (I.193). According to the same letter of Yaʿqub, Isḥaq composed one memrā on the secular games held in Rome and another on the fall of Rome to Alaric in 410. Neither of these memre, however, has survived. After his stay in Constantinople, during which time he had been imprisoned for unknown reasons, he returned to his native Amid and then became a priest. The date of his death is unknown.


  • P.  Bedjan, Homiliae S. Isaaci Syri Antiocheni, vol. 1 (1903), iv–v. (Syr. of ‘Letter of Yaʿqub’)
  • T. J.  Lamy, Sancti Ephraem Syri Hymni et Sermones, vol. 4 (1902), 361–63. (Syr. of ‘Letter of Yaʿqub’)
  • E. G.  Mathews, Jr., ‘A bibliographical clavis to the corpus of works attributed to Isaac of Antioch’, Hugoye 5.1 (2002). (incl. further references)

| Isḥaq of Amid |


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