Ishoʿyahb II of Gdala (d. ca. 646) [Ch. of E.]
Cath. (628–45) and author. Originating from Gdala (in Beth ʿArbaye), he evidently studied at the School of Nisibis, and was one of the group who left the School ca. 597 in protest against the teaching of the director, Ḥenana of Adiabene. According to the Khuzistan Chronicle he had married ‘in his youth’, but nevertheless was appointed bp. of Balad (whether or not as a widower is unclear), before becoming cath. In 630 he was sent by Queen Boran on an embassy to Heraclius, together with the future Ishoʿyahb III and Sahdona; the meeting with the Byzantine emperor took place in Aleppo. Although late sources claim he corresponded with Muḥammad and met ʿUmar, in fact he appears to have left Seleucia-Ctesiphon when the city was taken by the Arabs in 637/8 and withdrawn to Karka in Beth Garmai. His only surviving writings are: a long letter to Rabban Abraham of Beth Madaye on christology (ed. Sako, with FT), a profession of faith (preserved only in Arabic; text and tr. in Sako, 59–60), and the tešboḥtā ‘Our father in heaven, holy in his nature ...’, which is also attributed in some mss. to Babai the Great. The Chronicle of Siirt provides a Letter in reply to Barṣawma, bp. of Susa, who had accused Ishoʿyahb of compromising the christological position of the Ch. of E. when he met Heraclius; according to Sako, however, this is not genuine.
- L. R. M. Sako, Lettre christologique du patriarche syro-oriental Ishoʿyahb II de Gdala (1983). (the introduction sets out and discusses all the sources for his life and writings)
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
Sebastian P. Brock, “Ishoʿyahb II of Gdala,” 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/Ishoyahb-II-of-Gdala.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
Brock, Sebastian P. “Ishoʿyahb II of Gdala.” 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/Ishoyahb-II-of-Gdala.
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