JACOB (JAMES) OF NISIBIS: Bishop of Nisibis, the chief city of Mygdonia, in northeastern Mesopotamia; d. 338. He is known also as Jacob of Mygdonia and Jacob the Great. After leading a severe life in the mountains of Kurdistan with Eugenius, the founder of Persian monasticism, he became first, or second, bishop of Nisibis in 309. In 313 he began to build the great church, the ruins of which still bear his name, and finished it in 320. He attended the Council of Nicĉa in 325, and the sudden death of Arius (q.v.) is attributed especially to his prayers (cf. the Synaxarium ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae [=Propylaeum ad ASB, Novembris], ed. H. Delehaye, Brussels, 1902, Jan. 13), as is also the protection of Nisibis against Sapor II. He was also present at the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. No writings of Jacob's are known, the great work in twenty-two or twenty-three parts' ascribed to him being really the production of Aphraates (q.v.), with whom he was early confounded. The Armenians mistakenly call him the friend of Gregory the Illuminator. His day, with the Syrians, is the 12th Iyar (May); with the Armenians, Dec. 15; with the Copts, the 18th Tobi (Jan.); in the Greek Church, Jan. 13 (14) and Oct. 31; in the Roman martyrology, July 15.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Ephraem, Carmina Nisibena, ed. G. Bickell, pp. 11, 20, 97, Leipsic, 1866; Eusebius, Vita Constantini, iv. 43, Eng. transl. in NPNF, 2d ser., i. 551; Theodoret, Hist. eccl., i. 7, ii. 26, NPNF, 2d ser., iii. 44-46, 91-92; Philostorgius, Hist. eccl., iii. 23; Gennadius, De vir. ill., i.; Acta martyrum et sanctorum, ed. P. Bedjan, iii. 393, iv. 262, Paris, 1890-97; J. S. Assemani, Bibliotheca orientalis, i. 17, 395, 557, ii. 398, 588. Consult: Ceillier, Auteurs sacrés, iii. 369-372, 525-526; A. P. Stanley, Lectures on the Hist. of the Eastern Church, lect. v., London, 1884; DCB, iii. 325-327.
JACOB (JAMES) OF SARUG: Bishop of Sarug; b. at Kurtam on the Euphrates toward the end of 451; d. Nov. 29, 521. He is mentioned about 503 as visiting presbyter (periodeutes)at the capture of Amida, and became bishop of Batnan (Batnae) in the district of Sarug in 519. He was a most prolific writer, and was called the "doctor" (malpana) of the Syrians or of the whole Church, and "the channel of the Holy Ghost." His memory is celebrated by Jacobites and Maronites (July or Dec. 29) and even the Nestorians recognize him, though he was monophysite till his end. Seventy scribes are said to have been always busy copying his homilies, which are all in the dodecasyllabic meter which bears his name. Seven hundred and sixty-three homilies are ascribed to him, besides other works: Bar Hebrĉus had 182 before him, and there are 233 in the Vatican. Four volumes of his Homiliae selectae have been published by P. Bedjan (Paris and Leipsic, 1903-08), but most of his works are still in manuscript.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: On his works cf. W. Wright, Catalogue of Syriac MSS. in the British Museum, pp. 502-505, London, 1877. The works are not published in collected form; some are in: Acta sanctorum martyrum orientalium, ed. S. E. Assemani, ii. 230, Florence, 1748; Acta martyrum et sanctorum, ed. P. Bedjan, i. 131, 160, iii. 665, iv. 471, v. 615, vi. 650, Paris, 1890-97; ZDMG, vols. xii.-xv., xxv., xxviii.-xxxi., 1858 sqq.; W. Cureton, Ancient Syriac Documents, pp. 86-107, London, 1864; his letter to Stephan bar Sudaili, a Syrian mystic, is edited and translated by A. L. Frothingham in Stephen bar Sudaili, Leyden, 1886; a discourse on Alexander is translated by E. A. W. Budge, London, 1889; six homilies were rendered into German by P. Zingerle, Bonn, 1867; another is published by Sib'ilani, Beirut, 1901. Consult: J. B. Abbeloos, De vita et scriptis S. Jacobi . . . Sarugi, Louvain, 1867; P. Martin, in Revue des sciences ecclésiastiques, 4th ser., vol. iii., 1876; J. S. Assemani, Bibliotheca orientalis, i. 283-340, Rome, 1719; DCB, iii, 327-328.
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