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Ephrem the Syrian, Saint (c.306–c.373)

  1. Joseph P. Amar

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0499

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Amar, J. P. 2011. Ephrem the Syrian, Saint (c.306–c.373). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Ephrem is the most celebrated writer in all of the Syriac-speaking Christian tradition and the most eloquent representative of Christianity expressed in its native Semitic milieu. Until around 363, he was active in Nisibis, on the eastern border of the Roman Empire; thereafter he worked in Edessa, also in Mesopotamia. He wrote in Syriac, the local Aramaic dialect, which at an early date had been adopted as the main literary language of Aramaic-speaking Christianity throughout the region.


  • ephrem the Syrian, saint (c.306–c.373);
  • Syriac life of ephrem;
  • Syrian ascetics;
  • byzantine cultural bias;
  • Greek hellenistic culture;
  • collections of madrashê (“metrical hymns”);
  • ephrem, a form of evangelical chastity;
  • reliance, on language and diction of scripture