|Religion Syriac Orthodox|
Name Jacob Serugh
|Born c. 451Kurtam|
Known for contribution to Syriac literature and hymnody
Died November 29, 521 AD, Osroene
Books Jacob of Sarug's Homily o, Jacob of Sarug's Homily o, Jacob of Sarug's Homilies, Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, Jacob of Sarug's Homily o
Saint jacob of serugh day
Jacob of Sarug (Syriac: ܝܥܩܘܒ ܣܪܘܓܝܐ, Yaʿqûḇ Srûḡāyâ; his toponym is also spelled Serug or Serugh; Latin: Iacobus Sarugiensis; c. 451 – 29 November 521 AD), also called Mar Jacob, was one of the foremost Syriac poet-theologians among the Syriac, perhaps only second in stature to Ephrem the Syrian and equal to Narsai. Where his predecessor Ephrem is known as the 'Harp of the Spirit', Jacob is the 'Flute of the Spirit'. He is best known for his prodigious corpus of more than seven-hundred verse homilies, or mêmrê (ܡܐܡܖ̈ܐ), of which only 225 have thus far been edited and published.
- Saint jacob of serugh day
- Hymn of mor jacob of serugh for the washing of feet
- Works in modern translation
- Relevant literature
Hymn of mor jacob of serugh for the washing of feet
Jacob was born around the middle of the fifth century AD in the village of Kurtam (Aramaic: ܟܘܪܬܘܡ) on the Euphrates, in the ancient region of Serugh, which stood as the eastern part of the province of Commagene (corresponding to the modern Turkish districts of Suruç and Birecik). He was educated in the famous School of Edessa and became chorepiscopus back in the Serugh area, serving rural churches of Haura (ܚܘܪܐ, Ḥaurâ). His tenure of this office extended over a time of great trouble to the Christian population of Mesopotamia, due to the fierce war carried on by the Sassanian Shah Kavadh I within the Roman borders. When, on 10 January 503, the city of Amid (modern Diyarbakır) was captured by the Persians after a three months' siege and all its citizens put to the sword or carried captive, a panic seized the whole district, and the Christian inhabitants of many neighbouring cities planned to leave their homes and flee to the west of the Euphrates. They were recalled to a more courageous frame of mind by the letters of Jacob.
In 519, Jacob was elected bishop of the main city of the area, Batnan da-Srugh (ܒܛܢܢ ܕܣܪܘܓ, Baṭnān da-Srûḡ). As Jacob was born in the same year as the controversial Council of Chalcedon, he lived through the intense rifts that split the Church of the Byzantine Empire, which led to most Syriac speakers being separated from the imperial communion. Even though imperial persecution of anti-Chalcedonians became increasingly brutal towards the end of Jacob's life, he remained surprisingly quiet on such divisive theological and political issues. However, when pressed in correspondence by Paul, bishop of Edessa, he openly expressed dissatisfaction with the proceedings of Chalcedon.
From the various extant accounts of Jacob's life and from the number of his known works, we gather that his literary activity was unceasing. According to Bar Hebraeus (Chron. Eccles. i. 191) he employed 70 amanuenses and wrote in all 760 metrical homilies, besides expositions, letters and hymns of different sorts. Of his merits as a writer and poet we are now well able to judge from P. Bedjan's edition of selected metrical homilies (Paris 1905-1908), containing 146 pieces. They are written throughout in dodecasyllabic metre, and those published deal mainly with biblical themes, though there are also poems on such subjects as the deaths of Christian martyrs, the fall of the idols and the First Council of Nicaea.
Of Jacob's prose works, which are not nearly so numerous, the most interesting are his letters, which throw light upon some of the events of his time and reveal his attachment to the Miaphysite doctrine which was then struggling for supremacy in the Syrian churches, and particularly at Edessa, over the opposite teaching of Nestorius.
The Catholic Church regards Jacob of Serugh as a Saint. He is recorded as such on November 29 in the latest edition of the Martyrologium Romanum, that of 2004 (p. 649).
He is especially famous for his metrical homilies in the dodecasyllabic verse of which, says Bar Hebraeus, he composed over eight hundred known to us. Only a selection of them have been published in modern translations, e.g. on Simeon Stylites, on virginity, fornication, etc., two on the Blessed Virgin Mary, on the chariot of Ezechiel, and in the ongoing series of texts with English translations being published by Gorgias Press in the series, which has also republished the 5-volume publication of homilies by P. Bedjan with a supplemental sixth volume of additional homilies collected by S. Brock. He wrote his earliest homilies in his early twenties.