This page contains a list of Syriac authors to AD 451. For a  list extending to AD 754, click here.

For more information on Syriac authors, see The Center for the Study of Christianity’s Comprehensive Bibliography on Syriac Christianity.

Name Dates Writings G Bibliographical Reference
Mara bar Serapion 1st-3rd century letter referencing Jesus Christ S Brock, VI 79
Baumstark, 10
Barsoum, 180
Baba of Harran before Christian times or 255 “Revelation” Rosenthal, 220-232
Baumstark, 11
Ahikar 7th century BC Aramaic story Baumstark, 11
Bardaisan/Bar Daysan 154-222 Account of India
Polemic against Marcion and others
Astronomical works (now lost)
History of Armenia (from 216 or 217)
150 Psalms
Book of the Light and the Darkness
Book of the Intellectuality of the Truth
Book of the Moving and the Fixed
Psalms and Praises of Solomon
D Baumstark, 12-14
Barsoum, 225-226
Wright, 28-30
Harmonius of Edessa hymns/poems D Wright, 29
Baumstark, 14
Philip of Edessa Book of the Laws of the Countries D Wright, 29
Baumstark, 14
Ud(h)a/Ud(h)ai of Edessa apocalyptic writing Baumstark, 15-16
Tatian of Adiabene b. 110 compiled the Diatessaron (172/3) Baumstark, 19-20
Barsoum, 41-43
Palut of Edessa c. 200 Possible translator of the Evangelion da-mepharreshe Baumstark, 21
Burkitt, 5
Harnack, section 7
Melito of Sardis Canon of the Old Testament
“On Easter” (c. 167)
“On the corporeity of God”
Apology of Christianity written to Marcus Aurelius (c. 172)
Other doubtful or spurious works
Catholic Encyclopedia
Baumstark, 27
Aswana of Edessa early 4th century hymns/poems Segal, 92
Baumstark, 29
Theophilus of Edessa c. 302-309 writing on the martyrdom of Guriyya, Shamuna, and Habib Barsoum, 227
Isaiah bar Habdo of Persia c. 327 eye-witness account on the deaths of ten martyrs in Arzun (327) Barsoum, 228
Miles of Sus d. 341 letters and compositions (no longer extant) Barsoum, 228
Wright, 30-31
Simon bar Sabba’l of Seleucia and Ctesiphon d. 343 Epistles (no longer extant)
The Book of the Fathers
Barsoum, 228
Wright, 30-31
Apharat the Persian d. 364 The Homilies (337-346) – 22 in number
Separate homily “On the Cluster”
Baumstark, 30-31
Barsoum, 228-229
Wright, 32-33
St. Ephraim the Syrian of Nisibis d. 373 The Phanqitho (Book) of the Refutation of Jews and Heresies
The Phanqitho (Book) of the Martyrs of Nisibin
The Cave of Treasures
Songs of Nisibin
Commentaries on Genesis, and portions of the rest of the scriptures
Commentaries on the Diatessaron and Pauline Epistles
The Book of Opinions
Two discourses against the heretics Hypatius and Domnus
Two treatises on the love of the Most High and supplication
Additional 51 known treatises
Letter to the monks dwelling in the mountains
Stories of the apostles
Numerous memre (metrical homilies/poems)
A five-syllabic memro
Numerous madroshos (metrical songs)
Metrical testament
Metrical supplication
Other songs called Shobroyos and ‘Enyomos
Takhsheftos (supplicatory hymns) and cathismata
Baumstark, 31-52
Barsoum, 229-236
Wright, 33-37
Aba Commentary on the Gospels
Homilies in the fifth-syllabic meter
Homily on Job the Righteous
A seven-syllabic ode
Barsoum, 236
Wright, 38
Zenobius Biography of St. Ephraim
Letters and treatises refuting Marcion and Pamphilius
Barsoum, 236-237
Wright, 38
Simon of Samosata Biography of St. Ephraim Barsoum, 237
Julian (Paulonas) Songs
Refutations of Marcion and doubtful critics
Treatise on believers and the creed
Barsoum, 237
Wright, 38
Asuna Poetry in four-syllabic and six-syllabic meter Barsoum, 237
‘Absmayya the Priest Songs and memre about the Hun invasion of Mesopotamia and Syria in the years 395 and 404 Barsoum, 238
Isaac of Amid 363-418 Odes in the seven-syllabic meter Barsoum, 238
Dada the Monk of Amid Memre and madroshos (no longer extant) Barsoum, 239
Wright, 54-55
Cyrillona Poems on various topics (such as on the Hun invasion around 396) Baumstark, 67-68
Barsoum, 239-240
Wright, 39-42
Gregory the Monk of Cyprus Discourses and letters
General exhortations to his monks
Baumstark, 57-58
Wright, 42-43
Ahai the Catholicos of Ctesiphon d. 415 Book containing the chronicles of the martyrs of the East
Story of Mar ‘Abda
Baumstark, 54
Barsoum, 240
Wright, 46
Marutha of Miyapharqin d. 421 Book of Martyrs
Anthems and hymns
Syriac translation of the canons of the Council of Nicaea
Baumstark, 53-54
Barsoum, 240-241
Wright, 44-46
Rabbula the Metropolitan of Edessa d. 435 Syriac translations of some of Cyril’s writings
Takhsheftos for the principle feasts, the Virgin Mary, the saints, repentance and the dead
89 canons for monks, priests and ascetic women
46 letters to bishops, priests, princes, nobles and monks
2 homilies: one refuting the doctrine of Nestorius and the other on the dead
Baumstark, 71-72
Barsoum, 242-243
Wright, 47-49
Acacius the Bishop of Amid epistles N Wright, 51
Barsauma of Nisibis c. 449 Paraenetic and funeral sermons
N Baumstark, 108-109
Wright, 57-58
Jacob the Deacon of Edessa d. 451 Life story of Pelagia Barsoum, 244
Ibas of Edessa d. 457 Translations of Theodore of Mopsuestia’s works
Commentary of Proverbs
Sermons and madhrashe
N Baumstark, 101
Wright, 49-51
Kumi Translations N Baumstark, 101-102
Wright, 65
Probus of Antioch(?) Translations N Baumstark, 102
Wright, 64-65
Balai the Bishop of Balsh, of Balsh Aleppo 5 madroshos on Acacius, bishop of Aleppo (432)
Baumstark, 61-62
Barsoum, 243-244
Wright, 39-40
Dadhisho the Catholicos of Seleucia 421-456 Commentaries on Daniel, Kings and Ecclesiastes Wright, 56
Mana of Edessa and Persia Madrashos, memre and antiphons
N Baumstark, 105-106
Wright, 62-63
Samuel the Monk c. 458 Homilies, commentaries, treatises, poems and hymns
Biography of Barsoum of Samosata
Barsoum, 244-245
Wright, 66
Samuel the Stylite d. 459 Letters to emperor Leo, the abbot Jacob of Kaphra Rehima, and John I M? Baumstark, 60-61
Wright, 55-56
Samuel the Priest of Edessa c. 467 Treatises refuting the heresies of Ibas and Eutyches Barsoum, 245
Cosmas the Priest of Qallisura c. 472 Letter to Simon the Stylite
Biography of Simeon the Stylite(?–Wright claims there is no evidence of Cosmas’ authorship)
Barsoum, 245
Wright, 56

G = Group the writer is associated with

D = Daysanist
M = Monophysite
N = Nestorian
S = Secular


Barsoum, Ignatius Aphram I. The Scattered Pearls: A History of Syriac Literature and Sciences. Translated by Matti Moosa. New Jersey: Gorgias Press LLC, 2003.

Baumstark, Anton. Geschichte der syrischen Literature. Bonn: A. Marcus and E. Webe Verlag, 1922.

Burkitt, F. Crawford. Evangelion de Mepharreshe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1904.

Brock, Sebastian. Studies in Syriac Christianity. Brookfield: Variorum, 1992.

Harnack, Adolph. The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries. Translated by James Moffat. London: Williams and Norgate, 1908.

Rosenthal, F. “The Prophecies of Baba the Harranian.” In A Locust’s Leg: Studies in Honor of S.H. Taqizadeh. Edited by W.B. Henning and E. Yarshater, 220-232. London: Percy Lund, Humphries & Co. Ltd., 1962.

Segal, J.B. Edessa: The Blessed City. New Jersey: Gorgias Press LLC, 2005.

Wright, William. A Short History of Syriac Literature. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1894.

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