Theodosios Romanos the physician (d. 896) [Syr. Orth.]

Patr. (887–96), author, and physician. A monk from the Monastery of Mor Gabriel, Romanos was elected in 887, after a vacancy of four years, following the death of Patr. Ignatius I (883). As patr. he took the name Theodosios. No details of his tenure are known, except that a few canons attributed to him are known in the later tradition. In his primary field of expertise, Bar ʿEbroyo mentions ‘a wonderful medical compendium’ (kunošo tmiho b-osyuto), which after the author’s election as patr. circulated as ‘the compendium of Patr. Theodosios’ (Ecclesiastical History , ed. Abbeloos and Lamy, vol.  1, 389–92); this is, however, not preserved. In another work Bar ʿEbroyo reports that Romanos was from Tagrit (see Marsh, 176* and 186).

Theodosios’s preserved works include: 1. an explanation of 112 ‘symbolic sayings of wise men’ (melle remzonoyoto d-ḥakime), many of which are of Pythagorean origin, as the author himself points out (ed. and FT by Zotenberg; see also Marsh, 145, n. 2); 2. a commentary on the Book of the Holy Hierotheos (extracts in Marsh and Pinggéra); 3. (in Arabic) a synodical letter to the Coptic Patr. Michael III; 4. (also in Arabic) a homily for Lent.

Theodosios’s lengthy commentary on the Book of the Holy Hierotheos consists of five books. It is preceded by a letter to Eliʿozor (also called Loʿozar), bp. of Cyrrhus, who had requested the commentary, as well as by a general introduction, while each book has a separate introduction as well. Theodosios seems to accept Hierotheos’s authorship and, as far as can be judged from the published extracts, does not mention the name of Stephen bar Ṣudayli. Bar ʿEbroyo, who also wrote a commentary on the same book, knew Theodosios’s commentary and used it in his work.

    Primary Sources

    • F. S.  Marsh, The book which is called the Book of the holy Hierotheos with extracts from the prolegomena and commentary of Theodosius of Antioch and from ‘The book of excerpts’ and other works of Gregory Barhebraeus (1927), 143–72 (ET), 129*–59* (Syr.).
    • F.  Nau, Les canons et les résolutions canoniques de Rabboula, Jean de Tella, Cyriaque d’Amid, Jacques d’Édesse, Georges des Arabes, Cyriaque d’Antioche, Jean III, Théodose d’Antioche et des Perses (Ancienne littérature canonique syriaque 2; 1906), 101–2. (FT of canons of Theodosios)
    • K.  Pinggéra, All-Erlösung und All-Einheit. Studien zum ‘Buch des heiligen Hierotheos’ und seiner Rezeption in der syrisch-orthodoxen Theologie (SKCO 10; 2002), 179–97. (Syr. and GT)
    • H.  Zotenberg, ‘Les sentences symboliques de Théodose, patriarche d’Antioche’, JA 7.8 (1876), 425–76.

    Secondary Sources

    • S. P.  Brock, ‘Syriac translations of Greek popular philosophy’, in Von Athen nach Bagdad. Zur Rezeption griechischer Philosophie von der Spätantike bis zum Islam, ed. P. Bruns (Hereditas 22; 2003), 9–28, esp. 15.
    • A. L.  Frothingham, Stephen bar Sudaili the Syrian mystic and the Book of Hierotheos (1886), 84–90.
    • Graf, GCAL, vol. 2, 233.
    • Pinggéra (see above), 157–68.
    • M.  Tamcke, ‘Theodosios’, BBK , vol. 11 (1996), 987–88.
    • A.  Vööbus, Syrische Kanonessammlungen. Ein Beitrag zur Quellenkunde, vol. 1. Westsyrische Originalurkunden, 1A (CSCO 307; 1970), 223–7.

How to Cite This Entry

Lucas Van Rompay , “Theodosios,” in Theodosios, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay,

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

Lucas Van Rompay , “Theodosios,” in Theodosios, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay (Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018),

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Van Rompay, Lucas. “Theodosios.” In Theodosios. 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.

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