Zingerle, Pius (Jacob) (1801–1881)

Jacob Zingerle was born on 17 March 1801, to a Roman Catholic merchant family in Meran, Southern Tyrol. After completing his high school education, Zingerle studied philosophy and theology at the university of Innsbruck. During this period, Zingerle’s interest in ancient languages was first stimulated, and he began his pursuit of Arabic, Greek, and particularly Syriac. In 1820, while still a university student, Zingerle entered the Benedictine monastery Marienberg at Meran, taking the name ‘Pius’. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1824. Zingerle initially served as assistant priest to a couple of local parishes before being called back to Marienberg in 1830, where he became a teacher at the monastery-run high school.

Zingerle spent most of the next three decades of his life in Meran. He combined his work as instructor and later principal of the school with a busy translation, and publication, schedule that yielded, amongst others, six volumes of Ephrem’s works and several collections of Syriac poetry in translation. In 1861, Pius IX called Zingerle to Rome, installing him as professor of Arabic at the Sapienza. Zingerle also served as scrittore for the Vatican Library, an office that allowed him access to primary sources that would fuel his scholarship for the rest of his life.

Health concerns and homesickness brought him back to Marienberg in 1864, where he remained until his death on 10 Jan. 1881. During this final period of his life, Zingerle published, amongst other works, a Syriac chrestomathy and dictionary; he is best remembered for his translations of Ephrem’s and Yaʿqub of Serugh’s sermons.

    Select publications by Zingerle

    • Echte Akten heiliger Märtyrer des Morgenlandes (2 vols.; 1836).
    • Ausgewählte Schriften des heiligen Ephräm (6 vols.; 1837).
    • Harfenklänge vom Libanon (1840).
    • Festkränze aus Libanon’s Garten (1846).
    • Marien-Rosen aus Damaskus (1853).
    • Leben und Wirken des heiligen Simeon Stylites (1855).
    • ‘Ephräm’s Reden wider die Ketzer,’ in Sämtliche Werke der heiligen Väter, vol. 28 (1859).
    • Monumenta Syriaca ex romanis codicibus collecta (1869).
    • Chrestomathia Syriaca cum indice vocabularum (1871).
    • Lexicon Syriacum in usum Chrestomathiae (1873).

    Secondary Sources

    • M.  Angerer, ‘Albert Jäger und Pius Zingerle. Zum 200. Geburtstag zweier bekannter Marienberger Patres’, Studien und Mitteilungen zur Geschichte des Benediktinerordens und seiner Zweige 112 (2001), 461–66.
    • U.  Berlière, ‘Souvenirs de Marienberg’, Revue Bénédictine 1 (1890), 79–89.
    • M.  Breydy, ‘Der Orientalist Pius Zingerle’, Orientalia Witto-Herdeckiana 1.1 (1988), 30–1.
    • J.  Innerhofer, Die Kirche in Südtirol: Gestern und heute (1982), 190–91.


How to Cite This Entry

Maria E. Doerfler, “Zingerle, Pius (Jacob),” 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/Zingerle-Pius-Jacob.

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

Maria E. Doerfler, “Zingerle, Pius (Jacob),” 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/Zingerle-Pius-Jacob.

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Doerfler, Maria E. “Zingerle, Pius (Jacob).” 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/Zingerle-Pius-Jacob.

A TEI-XML record with complete metadata is available at https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Zingerle-Pius-Jacob/tei.

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