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Jacob of Nisibis

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'''Writer'''<br>
No writings of Jacob of Nisibis are known, although he has been confused in the past<ref group="note">with the fourth century Persian writer [[w:Gennadius of MassiliaAphrahat|GennadiusAphrahat]] speaks of Jacob as a copious writer, and gives the titles of twenty(ca.270-six different treatises of which he was the authorca.<br>:"These345), or some head of them, eighteen in number, were found by [[w:Giuseppe Simone Assemani|Assemani]] in the monastery of [[w:MechitaristsMar Mattai Monastery|Armenian convent of St. Anthony at VeniceMar Mattai]]...The titles of these treatises - ''De Fide, De Dilectionenear modern Mosul, De Jejunio, De Oratione, De Bello, De Devotis, De Poenitentia, De Resurrectione,'' etc. - correspond generally with those given by the rank of [[w:Gennadius of Massilia|Gennadiusbishop]]and, apparently, but the order is different. In the same collection he found the letter of episcopal name Jacob to the bishops of Seleucia and Ctesiphon, on the Assyrian schism. It is who composed a lengthy document, in thirtyseries of twenty-one sections, lamenting the divisions three expositions or homilies on points of the church Christian doctrine and the pride and arrogance which were their cause, and exhorting them practice.<ref group="note">According to study peace and concordProfessor T.D. These were all published with a Latin translation and a learned preface establishing their authenticity and notes by Barnes (University of Toronto):<br>:The twenty-three Demonstrations of [[w:Nicolò Maria AntonelliAphrahat|Nicholas Maria AntonelliAphrahat]] in 1756are not likely to be familiar to most students of Roman history or of Constantine. They were also printed in Aphrahat was head of the collection monastery of the [[w:MechitaristsMar Mattai Monastery|Armenian fathersMar Mattai]], published at Venice in 1765near modern Mosul, and again at Constantinople in 1824. The Latin translation is found in with the ''Patres Apostolici'' rank of [[w:Armand-Benjamin Caillau|Caillaubishop]]and, apparently, the episcopal name Jacob: as a consequence, he was soon confused with the better known Jacob of Nisibis, tomand independent knowledge of his life and career virtually disappeared. 25Fortunately, however, twenty-three treatises survived, ppwhose attribution to 'Aphrahat the Persian sage' seems beyond doubt.254-543Aphrahat wrote in Syriac and composed works of edification and polemic for a Mesopotamian audience outside the Roman Empire." (Sir William SmithT. D. Barnes. ''"[http://booksConstantine and the Christians of Persia.google.ca/books?id=7eItAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false JACOBUS (4) or JAMES bishop of Nisibis in Mesopotamia]".'' In: '''Volume 3 of A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and Doctrines: Being a Continuation of 'The Dictionary Journal of the Bible'Roman Studies.''' JVol. Murray75 (1985), 1882pp. p126-136.326Page 126.)</ref> with the fourth century Persian writer [[w:Aphrahat|Aphrahat]] (ca.270-ca.345), who composed a series of twenty-three expositions or homilies on points of Christian doctrine and practice.
The author of the homilies, who was earliest known as "the Persian sage", was a Persian subject, and tells us that he took the Christian name ''Jacob'' at his baptism. Hence he was already confused with Jacob of Nisibis by the time of [[w:Gennadius of Massilia|Gennadius]] (before 496), <ref group="note">[[w:Gennadius of Massilia|Gennadius]] speaks of Jacob as a copious writer, and gives the titles of twenty-six different treatises of which he was the author.<br>:"These, or some of them, eighteen in number, were found by [[w:Giuseppe Simone Assemani|Assemani]] in the [[w:Mechitarists|Armenian convent of St. Anthony at Venice]]...The titles of these treatises - ''De Fide, De Dilectione, De Jejunio, De Oratione, De Bello, De Devotis, De Poenitentia, De Resurrectione,'' etc. - correspond generally with those given by [[w:Gennadius of Massilia|Gennadius]], but the order is different. In the same collection he found the letter of Jacob to the bishops of Seleucia and Ctesiphon, on the Assyrian schism. It is a lengthy document, in thirty-one sections, lamenting the divisions of the church and the pride and arrogance which were their cause, and exhorting them to study peace and concord. These were all published with a Latin translation and a learned preface establishing their authenticity and notes by [[w:Nicolò Maria Antonelli|Nicholas Maria Antonelli]] in 1756. They were also printed in the collection of the [[w:Mechitarists|Armenian fathers]], published at Venice in 1765, and again at Constantinople in 1824. The Latin translation is found in the ''Patres Apostolici'' of [[w:Armand-Benjamin Caillau|Caillau]], tom. 25, pp.254-543." (Sir William Smith. ''"[http://books.google.ca/books?id=7eItAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false JACOBUS (4) or JAMES bishop of Nisibis in Mesopotamia]".'' In: '''Volume 3 of A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and Doctrines: Being a Continuation of 'The Dictionary of the Bible'.''' J. Murray, 1882. p.326.)</ref> and the ancient Armenian version of nineteen of the homilies was published under this latter name.
'''Liturgy'''<br>
The most famous miracle of St. Jacob was that by which he protected the city of Nisibis from the Persians, as is related by [[Theodoret of Cyrrhus|Theodoret]] both in his religious and ecclesiastical history, by [[Theophanes the Confessor|Theophanes]], and even by [[w:Philostorgius|Philostorgius]] himself, who was a rank Arian, and cannot be suspected of being too favourable to St. Jacob.
After [[Constantine the Great]] died in the year 337 and his sons had taken over the kingdom, the Persian king [[w:Shapur II|Shapur II]] (309-379) besieged Nisibis three times over, during his war against the Romans.<ref group="note">From 337-350, the Persian King [[w:Shapur II|Shapur II]] attacked Nisibis on three occasions, as it was the great city of Northern Mesopotamia and the bulwark of the eastern provinces. The first Siege of Nisibis took place in A.D. 338; the second in A.D. 346; and the third in A.D. 350, lasting three months.</ref> St. Jacob and St. [[Ephrem the Syrian|Ephraim]] prayed with the people in the church each time, asking God to help them. The bishops' intercession during the final siege in 350 saved the city:<ref group="note">The tale of the final siege of 350, which lasted three months, and of the bishop's successful efforts to save his city, can be read in the passages of [[w:Edward Gibbon|Gibbon]] (ch. xviii. vol. ii. pp.385ff.), or [[w:Auguste-Théodore-Paul de Broglie|de Broglie]] (''L'Eglise et L'Empire'', tom. iii. pp.180-195.).</ref> Theodoret offers a particularly vivid picture of his contribution to the defence of the fortress. At the urging of Ephraim and the rest of the inhabitants he ascended the walls of Nisibis to pray for them and curse the Persians.<ref>C. S. Lightfoot. ''Facts and Fiction: The Third Siege of Nisibis (A.D. 350).'' '''Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte'''. Vol. 37, No. 1 (1st Qtr., 1988), pp.105-125. Page 123.</ref> 
:The bishop would not pray for the destruction of any one; but he implored the divine mercy that the city might be delivered from the calamities of so long a siege. Afterwards, going to the top of a high tower, and turning his face towards the enemy, and seeing the prodigious multitude of men and beasts which covered the whole country, he said: “Lord, thou art able by the weakest means to humble the pride of thy enemies; defeat these multitudes by an army of gnats.” God heard the humble prayer of his servant, as he had done that of [[Moses]] against the Egyptians, and as he had by the like means vanquished the enemies of his people when he conducted them out of Egypt. For scarcely had the saint spoken those words, when whole clouds of gnats and flies came pouring down upon the Persians, got into the elephants’ trunks, and the horses’ ears and nostrils, which made them chafe and foam, throw their riders, and put the whole army into confusion and disorder. A famine and pestilence which followed, carried off a great part of the army; and Sapor, after lying above three months before the place, set fire to all his own engines of war, and was forced to abandon the siege and return home with the loss of twenty thousand men.<ref name="BARTLEBY">[http://www.aol.bartleby.com/210/7/111.html St. James, Bishop of Nisibis, Confessor] at Bartleby.com.</ref>
* [[Sergius V. Bulgakov|S. V. Bulgakov]]. ''[http://www.transfigcathedral.org/faith/Bulgakov/index.shtml Handbook for Church Servers].'' 2nd Ed. Kharkov, 1900. 1274pp. (Translated by Archpriest [http://www.transfigcathedral.org/about/clergy/FrEugene.shtml Eugene D. Tarris], December 13, 2006).
* Sir William Smith. ''"[http://books.google.ca/books?id=7eItAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false JACOBUS (4) or JAMES bishop of Nisibis in Mesopotamia]".'' In: '''Volume 3 of A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and Doctrines: Being a Continuation of 'The Dictionary of the Bible'.''' J. Murray, 1882.
* C. S. Lightfoot. ''Facts and Fiction: The Third Siege of Nisibis (A.D. 350).'' '''Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte'''. Vol. 37, No. 1 (1st Qtr., 1988), pp.105-125.
* Prof. T. D. Barnes. ''Constantine and the Christians of Persia.'' '''The Journal of Roman Studies.''' Vol. 75 (1985), pp. 126-136.
'''Greek Wikipedia'''
* [http://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CE%99%CE%AC%CE%BA%CF%89%CE%B2%CE%BF%CF%82_%CE%BF_%CE%9D%CE%B9%CF%83%CE%B9%CE%B2%CE%B7%CE%BD%CF%8C%CF%82 Ιάκωβος ο Νισιβηνός]
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