Antony of Tagrit

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Anton of Tagrit was a West Syriac writer, probably of the 9th century AD.[1]

Life and Works

Bar Hebraeus says that Anton was a monk, and a contemporary of the patriarch Dionysius of Tell Mahre (d. 22 August 845), but Brock says that he must have relied on oral tradition for this.

His surviving works are:

  • On the Science of Rhetoric. This is in five books. Anton states that his intention in writing this important work was to refute those "who call our Syriac language meagre, narrow, stunted and feeble, and who designate our literature as poor and niggardly." Only book 5, on metres and rhetorical figures, has been published, according to Brock. ET
  • On providence (unpublished)
  • On the myron (unpublished)
  • Consolatory letters (unpublished)
  • Prayers. Some of these are in verse, and probably constitute one of the earliest pieces of evidence for the use of rhyme.


  • Anthony of Tagrit, The fifth book of the Rhetoric of Antony of Tagrit, tr. J. W. Watt, CSCO vol. 480-481, Scriptores Syri t. 203-204. Lovanii:E. Peeters (1986) 2 vols. Syriac text, English tr.
  • Seven d-Beth Qermez, E. (ed.): Antony Rhitor of Tagrit, The Book of Rhetoric. (Södertälje: Författares Bokmaskin) ISBN 91-7910-253-0. (Edition of the complete Syriac text).


  1. Sebastian Brock, A brief outline of Syriac literature, Moran Etho 9, (1997), p. 67-8 and p. 136.