Aphraates, Jacob

Aphraates, Jacob surnamed the Persian Sage, a Syrian writer of the 4th century, is said to have been born of idolatrous parents. After his conversion he left his country, and went first to Edessa and afterwards to Antioch, where he did not cease from warning the faithful in every way against the Arian heresy. The Greeks commemorate him as a saint on Jan. 29:; the Latins, April 7. See Theodoret, lib. iv; Baillet, April 7; Landon, .Eccles. Dict. s.v. He is the author of homilies, which were erroneously ascribed by N. Antonelli to Jacob of Nisibis (comp. S. Jacobi Nisibeni Opera Omnnia ex Armeno in Lat. Sermonem Translata [Romse, 1756]), and likewise by Gennadius, who copied Antonelli. G. Wright published them in 1869, under the title The Homilies of Aphraates, the Persian Sage, edited from Syriac MSS. of the 5th and 6th Centuries (London). Eight of these homilies were translated into German by Bickell, in the Bibliothek der Kirchenvater, No. 102,103 (Kempten, 1874). More recently this writer has been treated by Schonfelder, Aus und uber Aphraates, in the Theologische Quartalschrift, 1878, p. 195-256; and by Sasse, in Prolegomena in Aphraatis Sapientis Persce Sermones Homileticos, Dissertatio Inauguralis, (Lipes 1878). See Schiirer, Theologische Literaturzeitung, 1879, No. 13. (B. P.)

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