Loʿozar bar Sobtho Lazarus (early 9th cent.) [Syr. Orth.]

Bp. of Baghdad; author of an Anaphora as well as of liturgical and theological works. Loʿozar served as bp. of Baghdad in the early 9th cent., taking the name of Philoxenos. There are indications that he also was known as Basil. If that is correct, he probably should be identified with the ‘Basil, bp. of Baghdad’, who along with his two brothers and the son of their sister donated several books to the Monastery of Mor Yuḥanon of Qurdis in Dara (one of these books is the present ms. London, Brit. Libr. Add. 12,151, which contains writings of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite).

Loʿozar is the author of an Anaphora (inc.: ‘Oh God, who are the sea of peace …’), which is preserved in a number of Syr. Orth. mss. Bar ʿEbroyo, in his Mnorat Qudše (‘Candelabrum of the sanctuary’), quotes passages from Loʿozar’s (otherwise unknown) work on the divine providence and human freewill, in which Loʿozar apparently tried to find a compromise between attributing absolute power to providence on the one hand or freewill on the other hand. Elsewhere in the same work, Bar ʿEbroyo quotes from one of Loʿozar’s letters, while in his ‘Ethicon’ the Maphryono states that Loʿozar wrote about the origins of Syriac liturgical chant and about the introduction in the Syriac churches of the ‘qonune’ of John of Damascus. We also know of a commentary on baptism, a mimro on the consecration of the holy chrism, and a commentary on the words said in the Eucharist, ‘the heavenly bread we break’, which led to a controversy and to a schism in Loʿozar’s day.

That in spite of Loʿozar’s obvious significance as a writer so little of his works is preserved may perhaps be due to the unfortunate end of his tenure as a bp. Michael Rabo, the chronicler of the year 1234, and Bar ʿEbroyo, in his ‘Ecclesiastical Chronicle’, report that Loʿozar was deposed as bp. by his Patr., Dionysios of Tel Maḥre, in 829, due to accusations brought against him by some of his own faithful. No details on the nature of these accusations are provided.


  • P.-H.  Poirier, ‘Les discours sur la Providence de Lazare bar Sabta’, JTS ns 38 (1987), 431–35.
  • E.  Renaudot, Liturgiarum Orientalium Collectio, vol. 2 (1847; repr. 1970), 399–408.
  • A.  Vööbus, ‘Important discoveries for the early stage of the West-Syrian liturgo-historical genre. Laʿzar bar Sabeta’, Sacris Erudiri 12 (1974–75), 289–93.
  • Wright, Catalogue … British Museum, vol. 2, 496.

How to Cite This Entry

Lucas Van Rompay , “Loʿozar bar Sobtho,” in Loʿozar bar Sobtho, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay, https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Loozar-bar-Sobtho.

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

Lucas Van Rompay , “Loʿozar bar Sobtho,” in Loʿozar bar Sobtho, 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/Loozar-bar-Sobtho.

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Van Rompay, Lucas. “Loʿozar bar Sobtho.” In Loʿozar bar Sobtho. 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/Loozar-bar-Sobtho.

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