Sahdona (Martyrius) (early 7th cent.) [Ch. of E.]

Monastic author. He was born in Halmon (Beth Nuhadra) and took up a monastic vocation under the influence of his mother and a saintly woman, Shirin. He lived as a monk of the Monastery of Beth ʿAbe until some time between 635 and 640, when he was made bp. of Beth Garmai. His views on christology were seen to be too Chalcedonian, and he was deposed at a synod. For a while he was re-instated, but then was again deposed. His fine ‘Book of Perfection’ is preserved, not quite complete, in a ms. copied in Edessa in 837. The work is in two parts; the first begins with the dogmatic foundations of the moral life of Christians (only parts of this are preserved), and then goes on to provide an introduction to the life of perfection, both coenobitic and solitary. The second part is devoted to discussion of the different virtues. A remarkable feature of the work is the very large number of biblical quotations and allusions (and very few references to non-biblical literature). Five Letters and a set of maxims on Wisdom also survive.

    Primary Sources

    • S. P.  Brock, ‘A further fragment of the Sinai Sahdona manuscript’, LM 81 (1968), 139–54.
    • S. P.  Brock, The Syriac Fathers on Prayer, 198–239. (ET of selections)
    • S.  Chialà, Martyrios (Sahdona). Sull’ amore perfetto per Dio e per gli altri (Bose, 1993). (IT of selections)
    • A.  de Halleux, Martyrius (Sahdona). Oeuvres spirituelles, vol. 1–3. Livre de la Perfection; vol. 4. Lettres à des amis solitaires; Maximes sapientiales (CSCO 200–1, 214–5, 252–5; 1961, 1965).
    • A.  de Halleux, ‘Un chapitre retrouvé du Livre de la Perfection de Martyrius’, LM 88 (1975), 253–95.

    Secondary Sources

    • S. P. Brock, ‘New fragments of Sahdona’s Book of Perfection at St Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai’, OCP 75 (2009), 175–8.
    • A.  de Halleux, ‘La christologie de Martyrios-Sahdona dans l’évolution du nestorianisme’, OCP 23 (1957), 5–32.
    • A.  de Halleux, ‘Martyrios-Sahdona. La vie mouvementée d’un ‘hérétique’ de l’Église nestorienne’, OCP 24 (1958), 93–128.
    • L.  Wehbé, ‘Textes bibliques dans les écrits de Martyrius-Sahdona’, Melto 5 (1969), 61–113.


How to Cite This Entry

Sebastian P. Brock, “Sahdona (Martyrius),” 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, https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Sahdona-Martyrius.

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

Sebastian P. Brock, “Sahdona (Martyrius),” 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/Sahdona-Martyrius.

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Brock, Sebastian P. “Sahdona (Martyrius).” 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/Sahdona-Martyrius.

A TEI-XML record with complete metadata is available at https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Sahdona-Martyrius/tei.

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