JACOB OF SARUJ (Ya‘qub al-Saruji, 451-521)
Monophysite Syrian writer. He was born at Kurtam on the Euphrates and was probably educated at Edessa. He became a priest and served at Hawra in the Saruj district of Mesopotamia. During the time of the Persian domination of parts of Mesopotamia, he rallied the Christian population with his letters. He became bishop at Batnae (Batnan) at the age of sixty-seven.
He was called “the Flute of the Holy Spirit and the Harp of the Believing Faith.” An incessant, voluminous writer, he is said to have composed 760 metrical homilies, as well as other prose works, letters, and hymns. The verse works are largely in the Jacobite twelve-syllable meter. His writing does not emphasize his own Monophysite religious affiliation, and translated into Arabic from Syriac, it makes up an important part of the nonbiblical reading lessons for Jacobites and Copts.
- Bedjam, P., ed. Homilae Selectae Mar Jacobi Sarugensis, ed. P. Bedjan. 5 vols. Paris and Leipzig, 1905-1910 (Syriac text). McLean, N. “Jacob of Serugh.” In Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., Vol. 15, pp. 114-15. New York, 1911.
- Olinder, G., ed. Iacobi Sarugensis Epistulae Quotquot Supersunt. Paris, 1937. Repr. in CSCO 110. Louvain, 1952.
- Wright, W. Short History of Syriac Literature. London, 1893.