David bar Paulos [Dawid bar Pawlos] (8th/9th century–Syrian Orthodox), born in Beth Shahaq, in the region of Nineveh, was cloistered in the monastery of Mor Sargis on the Dry Mountain in Sinjar. There he would later become the abbot.1 He left the monastery with his student, Zechariah, and 40 other monks as a result of a disagreement with the eastern bishop Yoḥannan. They evidently traveled to the Monastery of Qenneshre only to return 20 months later. Upon his return he brought back a previously unknown book of 170 hymns (ܡܥܢܝ̈ܬܐ) attributed to Severus of Antioch which he incorporated into the liturgy of the Syrian Orthodox Church around 785/6.2 A collection of his letters have been preserved (See Dolapönu below) as well as a dialog between a Jacobite and a Melkite about the Trisagion (See Assemani below), a theological fragment about the Devil, and an enumeration of Aristotle's categories. He is also the author of two major mēmrē on the seven climates of the earth and on the variations of the duration of day and night. He authored a work on trees and plants and their symbolism, some short grammatical works, a poem on the alphabet, and a commentary on Genesis 10. The partially anonymous cycle of 22 poems about the life of wisdom attributed to him are likely not his own, but rather derive sometime after the 13th century.3
- Geschichte der syrischen Literatur, mit Ausschluss der christlich-palästinensischen Texte. Bonn: A. Marcus and E. Webers, 1922.
- Pp. 272-73
- Bibliotheca Orientalis, vol. 1, 3 vol. Rome: Society for the Propagation of the Faith, 1719.
- Pp. 518-519 contain a Latin exerpt of the dialog on the Trisagion.
- Liber thesauri de arte poetica syrorum. Rome: Society for the Propagation of the Faith, 1875.
- Pp. 41-46 contain the work on the seven climates.
- Egrotho d-Dawid bar Pawlos d-metida' d-Bet Rabban. Mardin: The Syriac printing press of Wisdom, 1953.
- Letter on the composition of man [...beginning is ruined] (1)
- To a man whose name is Symmachus (2)
- To a man whose name is Thomas (6)
- To Hananisho' (9)
- To Deacon Jonah (14)
- To a man, concerning the book of Wisdom (17)
- On the organs of the body and wisdom (18)
- To Zechariah about the 10 commandments (23)
- An answer to a question about nature and about its property (27)
- [A letter] which is for his disciple: admonitions and commandments (28)
- About the iniquitous judge (32)
- On the Holy Trinity and on the nature and the person of Christ and on the procession of the Spirit (33)
- To Marbe the priest (40)
- To Bishop John, about vowel points (44)
- Exhortation to himself (49)
- To Bishop John, On the Thoughts (57)
- To Bishop John, On Praise (68)
- To Mar Elijah (72)
- To Constantius (74)
- About Greek and Syriac computations (76)
- [Reply to] Rabban David (83)
- Encyclical Letter (84)
- Encyclical Letter (87)
- [Letter] from a Bishop to a Bishop (90)
- An apology (91)
- To monks (92)
- To the Stylite of Taqrit (94)
- [Response] to Rabban David (95)
- On Traditions (97)
- [Response of] Abraham to Rabban David (100)
- Another letter of Abraham to Rabban David (101)
- [Response] to Rabban (103)
- To a female monastiic from Rabban David (104)
- [Letter] from a monastery to a monastery (108)
- To Mar Iwannis of Harran (109)
- About peace (110)
- A Prooemion (111)
- Another Prooemion (112)
- A Prooemion for Rabban David (112)
- A Prooemion for the priest Mar B'uth (113)
- A letter of John to Thomas the Stylite (113)
- Another of John to Thomas (120)
- A letter of David (121)
- A letter to the rich (121)
- A letter about the rich (122)
- A letter of admonition to the rich (124)
- A letter of wise [sayings] (125)
- A letter of David to Isho', the priest (125)
- A letter on the praiseworthy features of Rabban David (129)
- A letter of David to Deacon John (131)
- A letter of David to John, the priest (134)
- A letter of David to Athansius, the priest [Photocopy damaged] (138)
- A letter of David to Puqā, the chief priest, in Harran (139)
- A letter of David to Puqā about the tenth book, that is, the number in the chant of seven syllables (144)
- A letter of David to a rich man (158)
- A letter of David about negligence (160)
- A letter of David about arrogance (161)
- A letter of David about pride (162)
- A letter of David about arrogance (163)
- A letter of David about pride (164)
- A letter of David of explanation between the vine and the mystery (166)
- A letter of David on the characteristics of a book (167)
- A letter of reckonings for Gewargi (169)
- A letter of David to Zechariah (172)
- A letter of David about those who repeat words as though incantations (173)
- A letter of David about peace (175)
- A letter of David answering the questions of his disciple, Zechariah (176)
- A letter of David, an answer about the appelation of a name (180)
- A memra made by David on the measurements of the climata (182)
- A letter of David on trees and plants and their kinds (192)
- “Contributions to the history of geography, III”, Hebraica, no. 8, pp. 65-78, 1891.
- This article has the text of the 7 climata
- “Contributions to the history of geography III [Notes]”, Hebraica, no. 9, pp. 117-118, 1892.
- This provides a collation of Cardahi's text with a manuscript from the BnF
- “Dawidh bar Paulos, a Syriac grammarian”, Journal of the American Oriental Society, no. 15, p. cxi-cxviii, 1893. ,
- “A midrashic poem on the alphabet, attributed to David bar Paul”, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und verwandte Gebiete, no. 8, pp. 86-99, 1893. ,
- “Mēmrē da'bīdīn l-Dawīd d-Bēt Rabban Pawlos baqrāitā d-tartēn d-'al reḥmat ḥekmtā wīda'tā qadmāit”, in Directorium Spirituale, Rome: Ṭabʻa da-propagnda lwat maryatti, 1868, pp. 172-214. ,
- “Epistolae Rabban Davidis filii Pauli”, in Studia Syriaca, seu collectio documentorum hactenus ineditorum ex codicibus Syriacis: Documenta varia, vol. 1, 5 vol., Charfeh: Charfeh Patriarchal Seminary, 1904, pp. 44-47. ,
- For a listing of digitized manuscripts including the works of David bar Paulos, see our entry here.
- 1. , The Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2011. p. 116.
- 2. , Geschichte der syrischen Literatur, mit Ausschluss der christlich-palästinensischen Texte. Bonn: A. Marcus and E. Webers, 1922. p. 17.
- 3. , The Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2011. p. 18.