Elijah of Nisibis

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Elijah of Nisibis (11 Feb. 975-18 July 1046) was an East Syriac writer. [1]


Born at Shenna, and so sometimes called Elia bar Shinaya, he was ordained priest in 994 and studied at the monastery of Mar Michael, near Mosul. In 1002 he was appointed bishop of Beth Nuhadra, and in 1008 he became Metropolitan of Nisibis.


He wrote mainly in Arabic, but he used Syriac in composing a number of liturgical prayers which are still in use. Both Syriac and Arabic appear in two works:

  • Chronography FTLT. This important work contains short excerpts from many earlier sources which are now lost. Much of the work is taken up by elaborate tables.
  • An Arabic-Syriac glossary, entitled The Interpreter, to facilitate the teaching of Syriac.


  • Chronicle: LT by E.W.Brooks, CSCO Syr. 23-4 (1910); FT by L.-J. Delaporte (1910)


  1. Sebastian Brock, A brief outline of Syriac literature, Moran Etho 9, (1997), p. 71 and p. 139.