Shemʿon of Rev Ardashir (7th or 8th cent.) [Ch. of E.]

Author of a treatise on family and hereditary law; metropolitan bp. Shemʿon wrote his law book in Persian, but it is known to us only in the Syr. translation of an anonymous monk from Beth Qaṭraye. Presented in the form of questions and answers, the law book consists of 22  chapters and begins with some reflections on the sources of Christian law, for which the author gives priority to the tradition of the Fathers. This law book, in its Syriac version, became authoritative in the juridical tradition of the Ch. of E. It is included in the important ms. Alqosh Syr. 169, the primary source for the Synodicon Orientale.

The translator, in his introduction, refers to Shemʿon, the author of the Persian work, as ‘priest and teacher’ and metropolitan bp. of Rev Ardashir. This raises the important question of whether this Shemʿon is the same person as metropolitan Shemʿon of Rev Ardashir who was one of the protagonists in the rebellion against Cath. Ishoʿyahb III (649–59), a rebellion that spread to the bishops of Beth Qaṭraye. Unfortunately the law book cannot be dated with precision. While there is obviously some connection between Shemʿon’s law book and that of Ishoʿbokht of Rev Ardashir (whose dates are also somewhat disputed, but who belongs to the 8th cent.), it remains unclear which one of the two preceded the other. Sachau thought that Ishoʿbokht preceded Shemʿon and that the author of the law book should be distinguished from the rebellious bishop (xix-xx). Other scholars, however, leave the question open (e.g., Dauvillier and more recently Brock), even though Shemʿon’s law book is usually discussed before that of Ishoʿbokht (which is also the sequence in ms. Alqosh Syr. 169). Whether the two metropolitans by the name of Shemʿon are one and the same person must, therefore, also remain undecided.


  • S. P.  Brock, ‘Syriac writers from Beth Qaṭraye’, ARAM 11–12 (1999–2000), 85–96.
  • J. Dauvillier, ‘Chaldéen (Droit)’, Dictionnaire de droit canonique, vol. 3 (1942), 331–2.
  • E. Sachau, Syrische Rechtsbücher, vol. 3 (1914), xvii–xxii , 203–53 (Syr. and GT), and 345–62 (notes) .

| Shemʿon of Rev Ardashir |


Front Matter A (73) B (53) C (26) D (36) E (27) F (5) G (30) H (22) I (31) J (15) K (11) L (12) M (56) N (19) O (3) P (28) Q (11) R (8) S (71) T (39) U (1) V (5) W (3) X (1) Y (41) Z (4) Back Matter
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