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Jacob of Sarugh (451–521)

  1. Joseph P. Amar

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0716

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Amar, J. P. 2011. Jacob of Sarugh (451–521). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Jacob is considered by many to be the finest Syriac poet after Ephrem himself. He was born in Kurtam on the Euphrates River and became a rural bishop (“Chorepiscopus”) of Batnan of Sarugh in 519. He produced a large number of mimrê (“metrical homilies”) composed in hemi-styches of 12 syllables, a great number of which are as yet unpublished. Most deal with biblical topics presented in strikingly creative ways. The exegetical influence of Theodore of Mopsuestia is an obvious legacy of Jacob's education at the Persian School in Edessa. Jacob favorite topics include biblical themes, liturgical celebrations, and the ascetical life. His approach is essentially pastoral; he writes on the Virgin Mary and the saints as models of evangelical virtue and discipleship.


  • Jacob of Sarugh (451–521);
  • finest syriac poet, after ephrem;
  • theodore of mopsuestia, exegetical influence;
  • christological formula of council of chalcedon;
  • prose homilies on dominical feasts