Pawlos of Nisibis (d. 573) [Ch. of E.]
Theologian, biblical commentator, and bp. of Nisibis, for which position he was selected in 544 by Cath. Mar Aba, his former teacher. As metropolitan bp. of Nisibis, Pawlos attended the Synod convened by Cath. Yawsep in 554 and signed the acts. He played an important role in the deposition of Yawsep, probably in 567, and, according to the Chronicle of Siirt, he had to cope with problems arising in the School of Nisibis, involving the newly arrived teacher Ḥenana of Adiabene. In the war between the Byzantine and Persian Empires, which broke out in 572, Pawlos is said to have supported Byzantine efforts to reconquer the city of Nisibis. When this failed, his death saved him from deposition and further humiliation.
Soon after 561, the Persian emperor Khusrau sent Pawlos, along with some other E.-Syr. theologians, to Constantinople. Of the official theological discussion, arranged by the emperor Justinian, Pawlos wrote a report that is preserved in a W.-Syr. ms. of Monothelete provenance. It was published and studied by Guillaumont, who argued that in this text the concept of the two hypostases (qnome) in Christ is mentioned for the first time. This concept was later generally accepted in E.-Syr. Christology.
ʿAbdishoʿ of Nisibis, in his ‘Catalogue’ (no. 65), presents Pawlos as the author of a biblical commentary. While this has not been preserved in direct transmission, a few fragments are incorporated into later E.-Syr. biblical commentaries.
- Brock, ‘The christology of the Church of the East’, esp.
- Fiey, Nisibe, métropole syriaque orientale, 51–5.
- A. Guillaumont, ‘Justinien et l’Église de Perse’, DOP 23–24 (1969–70), 39–66.
- A. Guillaumont, ‘Un colloque entre orthodoxes et théologiens nestoriens de Perse sous Justinien’, CRAIBL 1970, 201–7.
- C. Van den Eynde, Commentaire d’Išoʿdad of Merv sur l’Ancien Testament, vol. 3 (CSCO 230; 1963), XXXIV–XXXV and 141.3–4.
- Vööbus, History of the School of Nisibis, 170–2.
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
Lucas Van Rompay, “Pawlos of Nisibis,” 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/Pawlos-of-Nisibis.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
Van Rompay, Lucas. “Pawlos of Nisibis.” 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/Pawlos-of-Nisibis.
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