Rabbula of Edessa (d. 435/6)
Bp. of Edessa (411/2–435/6). Born into an aristocratic family in Qenneshrin (Chalcis), son of a pagan father and a Christian mother, Rabbula converted to Christianity as an adult, leaving his mother, wife, and children for the monastic life. Before long, he was elected bp. of Edessa, where he became one of the great church leaders of his time. A fierce advocate for Cyril of Alexandria in the emerging Christological debates, Rabbula was said to have campaigned violently against pagans, ‘heretics’, and Jews, and to have destroyed four temples and a synagogue. Rabbula was also renowned for his work among the poor, for building hospitals, for regulating clergy, monastics, and members of the Covenant ( Bnay qyāmā ) with extensive legislation; for promoting a revised translation of the New Testament, and for composing numerous hymns. His extant writings are few, and some of dubious authenticity: several collections of rules governing church order, a sermon he delivered in Constantinople (in Syriac translation), a few letters including correspondence with Cyril, and various hymns. There is a magnificent hagiography in his honor.
See Fig. 105.
- CPG 6490–6497.
- G. G. Blum, Rabbula von Edessa (CSCO 300; 1969).
- R. Doran, Stewards of the poor: The Man of God, Rabbula, and Hiba in fifth-century Edessa (2006), 65–105. (ET of the Life)
- H. J. W. Drijvers, ‘The Man of God of Edessa, Bishop Rabbula, and the urban poor: Church and society in the fifth century’, JECS 4 (1996), 235–48.
- M. Gaddis, There is no crime for those who have Christ. Religious violence in the Christian Roman Empire (2005).
- C. Horn and R. Phenix, The Rabbula Corpus (forthcoming).
- J. J. Overbeck, S. Ephraemi Syri, Rabulae episcopi Edesseni, Balaei aliorumque opera selecta (1865; repr. 2007), 157–248. (Syr.)
- K. Pinggéra, ‘Rabbula von Edessa’, in Syrische Kirchenväter, ed. W. Klein (2004), 57–70.
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
Susan Ashbrook Harvey, “Rabbula of Edessa,” 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/Rabbula-of-Edessa.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
Harvey, Susan Ashbrook. “Rabbula of Edessa.” 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/Rabbula-of-Edessa.
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