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Bardaisan 154-222 A.C

Bardaisan was born on July 11th, 154 A.C. of a noble idolater family. His father called Nouhomo and his mother called Naheshrayem. His parents left Arbil to Edessa where he was born in 154 AC. Because of his parents´ nobility and wealth, they became closed to the royal family and Bardaisan studied Syriac and Greek at the royal palace together with his friend prince Abgar.

In 163 Bardaisan´s family moved to Manbog. In Manbog he studied astrology and the idolism´s studies at the highest priest of idolism in the country. As like as music to complete the spiritual ceremonies.

When Abgar IX retrieved the throne of Edessa in 176 A.C. he asked Bardaisan to return and appointed him a principal to the school of Edessa.

At that time Bardaisan met Christianise priests and converted to Christianity at Hespes the bishop of Edessa who made him deacon and then priest. Bardaisan played an essential role in converting King Abgar IX to Christianity.

In Edessa Bardaisan established a choir, which consisted of two categories of people: the rich and the higher educated. In order to make the prayers more attractive Bardaisan wrote and composed 150 psalms like the psalms of King David in the Old Testament. Furthermore, he took the melodies of the popular folksongs at that time and wrote spiritual lyrics to them. As an example of the folksongs that he used their melodies "Bar´roubto Brishit" and "Men foulouti dashmayo". (St. Ephraim and others have changed Lyrics later). These two hymns are still sung until today in the "Sh´himo" (the book of the daily prayers).

Bardaisan developed lyric writing and was recognized with creating of the poetic genre of the "Madroshé" which St. Ephraim became later the earliest supporter of this literary genre. Aided by his son Harmonius, Bardaisan wrote many of the first Syriac hymns to popularize his teachings. Their literary value earned for him renown in the history of Syriac poetry and music.

At the beginning, his lyrics were compliant with the Orthodox dogma and became very popular; he attacked the fatalism of the Greek philosophers after Aristotle (4th century BC), particularly regarding the influence of the stars on human destiny. Later on he wrote hymns with some inserts of his old learning. Mingling Christian influence with Gnostic teaching, he denied the creation of the world, of Satan, and of evil by the supreme God, attributing them to a hierarchy of deities. Therefore he was excommunicated from church.

His chief writing, "The Dialogue of Destiny", or "The Book of the Laws of the Countries", is the oldest known original composition in Syriac literature.
St. Ephraim said about Bardaisan´s psalms that he implemented doctrines that were strange for orthodox and though them to the Edessian youth. His psalms had adorable melodies. Bardaisan´s hymns were totally eliminated from church at the beginning of the 10th century. Bardaisan lived his last days in the mountains of Armenia where he deceased in 222 A.C.

1) Beroulé Bdiré. H.H. Mor Eghnatious Epraim I
2) History of the Aramaic language and history. Fr. Albert Abouna
3) Edessa a blessed city. J.B.Cigale
4) History of Ashour and Caldo. Eddy Cher
5) Encyclopedia Britannica

By: Infomaster

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