Bardaisan

Bardaisan [Bardesan], who served in the court of King Abgar VIII (177-212 CE), is still the first known Syriac literary author. While he is said to have written works against Marcion, none of his works have been discovered other than "The Book of Laws of Countries" which was likely penned by his pupil, Philip. This work gained popularity and is quoted partially in Greek by Eusebius in his, "Preparation for the Gospel" (XI.10.1-48) and in the "Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions" (IX.19-29).[1] Other sources for the writings of Bardaisan come from St. Ephrem's Hymns against the heresies (1-6; 51-56) and his Prose Refutations. The text is only found in one manuscript: B.L. Add. 14,658. For a look at the editions of the text of Bardaisan as well as a list translations, see pages 17-23 of Dr. Dirk Bakker's very thorough Ph.D. dissertation which can be downloaded here.[2]  For more information on the life, times, thinking, and reception of Bardaisan, see this keyword search at A Comprehensive Bibliography on Syriac Christianity.

Sources for The Book of the Laws of Countries

(The following entries provide a short breakdown of the material contained in the work)

 


[1] S.P. Brock, "Bardaiṣan", GEDSH (Piscataway, 2011): 56-57.; Amar, J.P. "Ephrem, Life of", GEDSH (Piscataway, 2011): 147. 

[2] D. Bakker, "Bardaisan's Book of the Laws of the Countries, a Computer-Assisted Linguistic Analysis", Ph.D. dissertation, Universiteit Leiden, 2011.