Giwargis Warda

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Giwargis/Giwardis Warda (East Syriac/Nestorian; fl. first half of the 13th century) was a famous poet from Arbela, who lived during the period of the Mongol invasions. Several of his poems deal with contemporary events, including the sack of Karamlais by the Mongols in 1235/6.

Many of his hymns were adapted for use in the liturgy, and one of the Nestorian service books, which contains them, is known ias 'Warda' (=Rose).

He wrote around 150 poems, mainly on the lives of the saints, or feast-days in the church calendar. Only 23 have so far been published.


  • Edition dreier syrischen Lieder [By Giwargis Warda] nach einer Handschrift der Berliner Königlichen Bibliothek. Inaugural-Dissertation ... von Aladar Deutsch. [Syriac text with an introduction, notes and German translation of 3 hymns] Berlin (1895) pp. 29, 26; 8o.
  • Isak Folkmann, Ausgewahlte Nestorianische Kirchenlieder uber das Martyrium des heil. Georg von Giwargis Warda, mit Einleitung, Anmerkungen und deutscher Ubersetzung. (Dissertation) Kirchhain : M. Schmersow(1896). 48, 55p. 22cm.
  • Heinrich Hilgenfeld, Ausgewahlte Gesange des Giwargis Warda von Arbel. Leipzig:Otto Harrassowitz
(1904). Syriac & German. With syrian pagenumbering. With translation, introduction and explanation. pp.86.


Flourished Giwargis Warda from Erbil who wrote Syriac poems, (two are dated; AD 1225 and AD 1254, [46]) and hymns. According to Vööbus [38], some of these are based on the Old Syriac gospel and some on the Peshitta. The MSS studied by Vööbus were Cambridge Syr 1982 and Vatican Syr 184 with an edition by Hilgenfeld. Other MSS include Mingana Syr 197 C and Mingana Syr 505 dated around AD 1500.
  • Hugoye 7.1 Article on colophons mentions an ms. of the poems of our author: Ms. Batnaya 40 (Haddad), dated 25 March 1745, written by the priest Shemcon, son of the priest Israel, son of the priest Giwargis, son of the priest Israel of Alqosh, in Alqosh. cunyātā d-mdabbrānutēh d-Māran d-Gīwargis Wardā – hymns of Giwargis Warda (and others) on the life of our Lord. Commissioned by Helen, daughter of the deacon Kazum, of Batnaya, for the church of Mar Quriaqos in Batnaya.