St. Ephrem: A Brief Guide to the Main Editions and Translations

Earlier versions of this Brief Guide was published in The Harp (SEERI) 3:1–2 (1990), 7–29, Saint Éphrem: Un poète pour notre temps (Antelias, 2007), 280–338, and (in Russian) in the Pravoslavnaja Enciklopedija 17 (Moscow, 2009), 79–94. The Antelias volume also includes indexes of first lines of both madrashe and memre, and of the qale.

Although St Ephrem (c. 306–373) undoubtedly ranks as the greatest of all Syriac creative writers, his extensive works have only become available in reliable editions within the last thirty or so years, thanks above all to the labours of Dom Edmund Beck OSB. Beck accompanied his editions in the great Louvain Corpus of Oriental Christian Writers (CSCO) with a German translation,[1] but for the English, French, and Italian readers there is unfortunately no complete translation of Ephrem's works available. The aim of this summary guide is two-fold: firstly, in Section I, to list the contents of the main editions, indicating where the older editions have now been replaced by better ones in the CSCO (or elsewhere); and then in Section II, to provide information concerning translations into English, French, and Italian, where available. At the end of this section a table summarizes the main editions and translations that are available, and brief indications are provided concerning the early manuscript tradition, and the chronology of Ephrem’s works. The following Section III offers a brief guide to the ancient translations, while Sections IV–V consist of indexes to the first lines of the memre and of the madrashe, and to the qale (melody titles) to which the madrashe were originally sung. It should be noted that this guide is not directly concerned with questions of authenticity, though an indication is given in cases where the attribution to Ephrem is definitely incorrect; this applies especially with some of the memre.

In Section I, if a text in one of the older editions has subsequently been reedited in CSCO or elsewhere, then reference to modern translations (if they exist) will be found under the re-edition, listed in Section II (cross references to re-edited texts are always given). In Section II references to other older editions, beyond those listed in Section I, are normally excluded. Secondary literature, in the form of studies of particular texts, is not included; for this, see above all the excellent Bibliography of St Ephrem the Syrian, by K. den Biesen, and the periodic bibliographies of Syriac studies in Parole de l’orient, which currently cover up to 2005.[3] Den Biesen’s Bibliography is organised as follows:

  • Classification of the Titles; this includes, as sections 17–173, a list of Ephrem’s works in Syriac (not all of which are genuine); since these entries conveniently list all editions, translations and studies, the appropriate section number (introduced by #) is given for each item in I–II below (if a work listed in I is re-edited in II, den Biesen’s number is only given under the latter).
  • Editions.
  • Titles exclusively dealing with Ephrem.
  • Titles partly dealing with Ephrem.
  • Titles incidentally dealing with Ephrem.
  • Appendices: these list the contents of the main pre-20th century editions of Ephrem’s works, in Syriac, Greek, and Armenian. The page numbers of these Appendices for the Roman edition, Overbeck, and Lamy are given for convenience below, in I.

Another useful survey of the different editions of Ephrem's works and their manuscript basis is provided by J. Melki in Parole de l'orient 11 (1983), 3–88.

It should be noted that this Guide includes only a summary of the ancient translations of Ephrem (in Section III), and is for the most part confined to modern translations in English, French, German, and Italian.[4] 

Abbreviations are listed here, below the Guide but above the footnotes.




Roman Edition (1732–1746). [den Biesen, 361–365]

This monumental work, entitled Sancti Patris Nostri Ephraem Syri Opera Omnia quae exstant GraeceSyriaceLatine, is in six volumes, but only the last three contain the Syriac texts (with Latin translation, often very free and unreliable), edited by P. Mobarak (Benedictus) and S.E. Assemani. A very useful index to this edition, indicating the manuscript sources (where these could be identified) was provided by F.C. Burkitt, in his SEphrem's Quotations from the Gospels (Texts and Studies 7.2; 1901), 6–19.

The Syriac texts contained in volumes 4–6 are as follows:

4.1–115, 4.194–235Commentary on Genesis and Exodus. This has been re-edited by Tonneau in CSCO 151–2.

4.116–93, 4.236–5.315Scholia on the Old Testament extracted from the Catena Severi [##122–149].[5] It is uncertain what, if any, of this material genuinely belongs to Ephrem (much is definitely not by him). Lamy (vol. 2, cols. 103–310) provides some further materials.

5.316–395Sermones Exegetici. Some of these have been re-edited by Beck in CSCO, as follows:

  • 318–329 = CSCO 198–199 (Hymns on the Church 45–50, 35–37).
  • 338–359 = CSCO 305–3066 (Sermones 1.4, 1.6, 1.5).
  • 359–387 = CSCO 311–312 (Sermones 2.1).

Those not re-edited in CSCO correspond to den Biesen ##116–120; of these #117 is the well-known Maronite and East Syriac hymn Nuhro; #119 (aloho habyulfono) has been republished by Mor Julius Cicek in Kapo d-habobe (Monastery of St Ephrem, Holland, 1977), 6–11, and it also features in the East Syriac Hudra (ed. P. Bedjan , 1.498–501; ed. T. Darmo, 1.769–772)[6]; there is an improved edition of #120 in P. Zingerle, Chrestomathia Syriaca (Rome, 1871), 254–275.

5.396–436De Nativitate Sermones. These Nativity Hymns have been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 186–187.

5.437–endSermones Polemici adversus Haereses. These Hymns against the Heresies have been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 169–170.

6.1–164De Fideadversus Scrutatores Hymni. These Hymns on Faith have been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 154–155.

6.164–208De Fide. These mimre (or Sermones) on Faith have been reedited by Beck in CSCO 212–213.

6.209–224Adversus Judaeos. This mimro has been reedited by Beck in CSCO 311–312 (Sermones 2.3).

6.225–359Necrosima [#33]. These await a critical edition and their attribution to Ephrem is dubious. English translation of some of the Necrosima in Burgess (a):

  • 2 = Burgess no. VIII
  • 9 = no. VII
  • 13 = no. IX
  • 17 = no. XVI
  • 25 = no. VI
  • 28 = no. XIV
  • 32 = no. XIII
  • 34 = no. IV
  • 35 = no. V
  • 36 = no. I
  • 37 = no. III
  • 42 = no. XIII
  • 43 = no. II
  • 48 = no. XXVI
  • 49 = no. XIX
  • 57 = no. XXI
  • 59 = no. XII
  • 60 = no. XX
  • 61 = no. X
  • 69 = no. XXII
  • 74 = no. XVIII
  • 81 = no. XV
  • 82 = no. XI

Italian translation: A. Paggi, Inni funebri de S. Efrem Siro tradotti dal testo siriaco (Firenze, 1851).

French translation of no. 21: E. Amann, Le dogme catholique dans les Pères de l’Église (2nd ed.; Paris, 1944), in the anthology on 215–223.

No. 5 is part of Hymns on Julian Saba 3:2,1; 4:1; 1–4; 1:2,1, 3; 2:2; 4:13.

No.10 = P. Bedjan, Homiliae Selectae Mar-Jacobi Sarugensis (Paris/Leipzig, 1906), 2.886–890 (under Ephrem’s name).

No. 12 is re-edited by Beck in CSCO 320–321 (Sermones 3.3).

No. 23 = opening (only) of Hymns on Julian Saba 7:1.

No. 24 = Hymns on Julian Saba 18:1–4, 6, 10, 12, 17–18, ?, 9, ?, 22, ?, ?.

No. 27 is cited in Sinai Syr. 10 as belonging to the Fenqitho of the Confessors and the Departed.[7]

No. 58 consists of Nisibene Hymns 52:1–2; 53:1; 68:1, and 52:3–6.

6.359–666De Libero Arbitrio. These have been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 198–199 (Hymns on the Church 2–3, 13, 6).

6.367–561Paraenetica [#36]. Of these 76 texts the following have been reedited by Beck:

  • no. 1 = CSCO 198–199 (Hymns on the Church 34),
  • nos.2–3 = CSCO 305–306 (Sermones I, vii-viii).
  • nos.17, 20 = CSCO 198–199 (Hymns on the Church 15, 23).
  • nos. 75–76 = CSCO 198–199 (Hymns on the Church 29–30).

For translations of texts re-edited in CSCO see below; English translations of other Paraenetica:

  • no. 2 = Malan (b), 13–50.
  • no. 14 = Malan (a), 209–214.
  • no. 26 = Malan (a), 202–208.
  • no. 30 = Burgess (a), no. XXVII.
  • no. 32 = Burgess (a), no. XXIII.
  • no. 41 = Burgess (a), no. XXVIII.
  • no. 45 = Burgess (b), 180–192.
  • no. 49 = Burgess (b), 192–200.
  • no. 54 = Burgess (a), no. XXXIV.
  • no. 55 = Burgess (a), no. XXX.
  • no. 58 = Burgess (a), no. XXXI.
  • no. 59 = Burgess (a), no. XXXII.
  • no. 64 = Burgess (a), no. XXIV.
  • no. 65 = Burgess (a), no. XXV.
  • no. 66 = Burgess (a), no. XXXIII.
  • no. 67 = Malan (a), xv-xvi.
  • no. 70 = Malan (a), 232–234.

Nos 39, 51–52, 62–63, 66–67 and 69–70 are found in both the Maronite Shehimto (Weekday Office), as soghyotho, and in the East Syriac Hudra as teshbhatha; English translation of these in S.P. Brock, "Some Early Witnesses to the East Syriac Liturgical tradition", Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies 18 (2004), 9–45, esp. 19–45.[8]

6.562–598De Paradiso Eden. These Hymns on Paradise have been reedited by Beck in CSCO 174–175.

6.599–endDe Diversis Sermones. Of these 18 texts the following have been reedited by Beck:

  • no.1 = CSCO 186–187 (Hymns on the Nativity 2).
  • nos.2, 4–12 = CSCO 198–199 (Hymns on the Church 51, 26–27, 5, 25, 52, 31–32, 28, 33).
  • no.3 = CSCO 363–364 (Nachträge, 39–42).
  • no.13 = CSCO 320–221 (Sermones 3.1).
  • no.16 was re-edited by A. Haffner, "Die Homilie des heiligen Ephräm von Syrien über das Pilgerleben", Sitzungsberichte der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist. Kl. Bd 135, Abh. 9 (Vienna, 1896).[9]
  • no.17 = part of a mimro in fact by Isaac of Antioch, re-edited in Lamy 4.147–186, and P. Bedjan, Homiliae Sancti Isaaci Syri Antiocheni (Paris/Leipzig, 1903), 49–70 (Hom. 6).
  • no.18 = Lamy 4.265–356, and Beck CSCO 305–306 (Sermones 1.2).


Overbeck (1865) [den Biesen, 375–376]

J. Overbeck's SEphraemi Syri Rabulae Episcopi Edesseni Balaei Aliorumque Opera Selecta (Oxford, 1865) contains the following works ascribed to Ephrem (Overbeck provided no translations):

3–20Carmina adversus Julianum. These Hymns against Julian have been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 174–175.

21–58Ad Hypatium adversus Haereses Tractatus Primus [#162]. This is the first of five prose discourses addressed to Hypatius; the remaining four were published by Mitchell in his S.Ephraim's Prose Refutations, vol. 1 (with an English translation of all five discourses): see further, below. German translation of this first discourse by E. Beck, "Ephraems Brief an Hypatios übersetzt und erklärt", Oriens Christianus 58 (1974), 76–120.

59–73Ad HypatiumManetemMarcionem et Bardaisanem Tractatus Secundus. This is the opening of the second discourse addressed to Hypatius; it was re-edited in full by Mitchell.

74–104Commentarii (Turgame) [#109–113]. These five prose texts have been studied and translated into French by T. Jansma in a series of articles in L’orient syrien 5–6 (1960–1961); Jansma considered only the third (88–94, on the plagues of Egypt) to be by Ephrem, though he thought that the fifth (99–105, on fasting) might be by a disciple of Ephrem. At least two of the others are translations from Greek, and so cannot be by Ephrem.

105–112De Misericordia Divina Tractatus Primus et Secundus [#60]. These take the form of short dialogues between Ephrem and a disciple. French translation of the first by B. Outtier, "Des discours de saint Éphrem méconnus", Parole de l’orient 20 (1995), 121–128. They could well be genuine Ephrem (thus Outtier).

113–131Epistola ad Montanos. This Letter to ascetics living in the mountains was re-edited by Beck in CSCO 334–335 (Sermones 4.3).

132–136Argumentum e Tractatu contra Bardesanem. This consists of parts of a mimro against Bardaisan. [#161]

137–158Testamentum S.Ephraemi. The Testament of Ephrem has been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 334–335 (Sermones 4.4).

339–350Hymni de Paradiso. This supplements the Roman Edition (6.562–598), but the whole cycle of the Hymns on Paradise has now been reedited by Beck in CSCO 174–175.

351–354Anonymi Hymnus. This hymn, which seems to be genuinely Ephrem's, has been reedited by Beck in CSCO 174–175, under the title De Ecclesia.

355–361SEphraemi Homilia de Regis Victoris Constantini Baptismo [#156]. This verse homily on the Baptism of the Emperor Constantine is in fact by Jacob of Serugh, and not Ephrem; Overbeck’s text represents just an excerpt, and the full text has subsequently been edited by A.L. Frothingham, L’Omelia di Giacomo di Sarug sulBattesimo di Costantino Imperatore (Reale Accademia dei Lincei, 279; Memorie, 3.8; 1882).[10]


Lamy (1882–1902) [den Biesen, 377–380]

T.J. Lamy's Sancti Ephraem Syri Hymni et Sermones (Malines 1882–1902) consists of four volumes; Latin translations are provided throughout. These volumes contain:

1.1–144Hymni de Epiphania. These have been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 186–187; they include three soghyatha (Lamy, Hymns 13–15 = Beck, Soghyatha nos. 6, 5, 4).

1.145–274Sermo de Domino Nostro (see also vol. 2.xxi-xxiii). This prose homily on our Lord has been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 270–271.

1.275–310Sermo de Admonitione et Poenitentia [#52]. English translation in Gwynn, 330–336.

1.311–338Sermo de Peccatrice. This verse homily on the Sinful Woman has been reedited by Beck in CSCO 311–312 (Sermones 2.4).

1.339–566Sermones in Hebdomadam Sanctam. These eight verse homilies on Holy Week have been reedited by Beck in CSCO 412–413.

1.567–636Hymni Azymorum. These hymns on Unleavened Bread have been reedited by Beck in CSCO 248–249.

1.637–714Hymni de Crucifixione. These hymns on the Crucifixion have been reedited by Beck in CSCO 248–249.

2.1–90Vita Sancti Ephraemi. This sixth-century Life of St Ephrem contains many episodes which cannot be historical. Another recension of the Life was published by J.S. Assemani, in his Bibliotheca Orientalis Clementino-Vaticana I (Rome, 1719; reprinted Hildesheim, 1975), 26–55, with Latin translation. Further recensions are to be found in Damascus, Patr. 12/17, and in the Sinai (New Finds) Fragment 53. A comparative edition of the Paris and Vatican recensions (also using British Library Or. 9384), with English translation, is given by J. Amar, The Syriac Vita Tradition of Ephrem the Syrian (CSCO Scr. Syri 629–630; 2011). Modern Greek translation by N. Kavvadas (Thera, 2007).

2.103–310Commentaria in IsaiamLamentationesJonamNahumHabacucSophoniamAggaeum [#133]. These are from the "Catena Severi" and they complement the edition of these scholia in vols. 4 and 5 of the Roman Edition.

2.311–334Sermo de Admonitione [#50]. This is in fact by Isaac of Antioch and has been re-edited under his name by P. Bedjan, Homiliae S.Isaaci Syri Antiocheni (Paris, 1903), as Homily no. 34.

2.335–362Sermo de Reprehensione. This has been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 305–306 (Sermones 1.1).

2.363–392Sermo de Reprehensione. This has been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 311–312 (Sermones 2.2).

2.393–426Sermo de MagisIncantatoribus et Diviniset de Fine et Consummatione. This verse homily (probably by Isaac of Antioch rather than Ephrem) has been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 320–321 (Sermones 3.2).

2.427–510Hymni de Nativitate. These have been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 186–187.

2.511–516Sermo super illud "In Principio" [#152]. These are extracts from an otherwise lost prose homily on the Prologue of St John's Gospel, though part of the penultimate text is from the Hymns on the Church, 38:18.

2.517–642Hymni de Maria [#31]. Of these 20 hymns (probably not by Ephrem) the last three (nos. 18–20) have been reedited by Beck in CSCO 186–187 (Soghyatha 1–3).[11]

English translation in Bride of Light; Italian translation by G. Ricciotti, Inni alla Vergine di S. Efrem Siro (Torino, 1925; 2nd ed. 1939).

Partial English translation in Ship of Treasures; of no. 17 in Treasurehouse. Partial German translation by E. Beck, "Altsyrische Marienhymnen", in S. Haering (ed.), In unum congregati: Festgabe für Augustinus Kardinal Mayer OSB (Metten, 1991), 89–106. Spanish translation of no. 1 (and parts of 7, 17) by I. Ortiz de Urbina, Marianum 41 (1979), 175–185.

2.643–824Hymni de Jejunio et de Christi Miraculis ac Mysteriis. These have been reedited by Beck as follows:

  • nos. 1–12 = CSCO 246–247 (Hymns on the Fast).
  • nos. 13–17 = CSCO 198–199 (Hymns on the Church, nos.40–44).
  • nos. 18–21 = CSCO 248–249 (Hymns on Resurrection, nos.1–4).
  • nos. 22–34 = CSCO 223–224 (Hymns on Virginity, nos.1–10, 14, 19, 33).

3.1–126Hymni de Rogationibus [#100]. These are supplemented by Lamy in 4.357–454.

3.127–88Sermo de Fine et Admonitione. This has been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 320–321 (Sermones 3.4).

3.187–212Sermo de Fine Extremo. This has been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 320–321 (Sermones 3.5).

3.211–330Oratio pro Vita Futura [#81]. This and the next two items are not likely to be genuine.

3.331–338Sedra de Probis et Justis [#45]. German translation of this in H. Kruse, "Ein audianisches Nachtgebet im römischen Brevier?", Oriens Christianus 66 (1982), 75–97.

3.339–348Hymni de Defunctis et Sancta Trinitate [#40].

3.349–640Sermones de Joseph (incomplete; the rest of the work is to be found at the end of vol. 4) [#75]. This cycle of twelve verse homilies on the patriarch Joseph is also attributed to Balai. The work has been published separately in full by P. Bedjan, Histoire complète de Joseph par Saint Ephrem (2nd ed.; Paris/Leipzig, 1891),[12] and in part by Overbeck (270–330, Homilies 1 and 8, under Balai's name).[13] English translation of Preface by A.N. Palmer, "The Influence of St Ephrem", Hugoye 2:1 (1999).

3.641–750Hymni de Confessoribus [#29]. The first six of this collection of 21 hymns have been reedited by Beck in CSCO 363–364; no. 20 (= Eccl. 11) is reedited in CSCO 198–199. No. 7 is cited in Sinai Syr. 10 as belonging to the Fenqitho of the Church.

3.749–936Hymni de Abraham Kidunaia et Juliano Saba. These hymns have been reedited by Beck in CSCO 322–323.

3.937–958Hymni de XL Martyribus [#30]. An English translation of these hymns on the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste is supposed to be forthcoming in a collection of Greek, Latin, Armenian, and Syriac texts on these martyrs in translation, to be published by Queen's University, Belfast; they cannot be by Ephrem.

3.959–990Hymni de Instauratione Ecclesiae [#26]. The first of these 5 madroshe is cited in Sinai Syr. 10 as belonging to the Fenqitho of the Bride of the King (its opening words). English translation of the last three (nos. 3–5) is to be found in Bride of Light.

4.1–84Acta Mar Abrahae Kidunaiae [#155]. English translation of the section on Mar Abraham's niece Mary will be found in S.P.Brock and S.A. Harvey, Holy Women ofthe Syrian Orient (Berkeley, 1987), 27–36. Ephrem is not likely to be the author of this work (in the oldest manuscript the Life is anonymous).

4.85–140Sermones de Reprehensione.

  • 85–134: re-edited by Beck, Nachträge, as Auszüge 4–7.
  • 135–140: re-edited by Beck, Nachträge, as Auszug 3.

4.141–86Sermo de MonachisAscetis et Eremitis [#106]. By Isaac of Antioch, and re-dited by P. Bedjan, Homiliae SIsaaci Syri Antiocheni (Paris/Leipzig, 1903), 49–70 (Hom. 6); on it, see E. Mathews, Le Muséon 103 (1990), 101–110.

4.185–208Sermo de Reprehensione [#93].

4.207–216Cohortatio ad Monachos [#51].

4.217–226Sermo de Oppressione et Calumnia [#80].

4.225–242Sermo de Cupiditate [#58]. By Isaac of Antioch and re-edited by Bedjan, Homiliae SIsaaci, 36–44 (Hom. 4).

4.241–262Sermo de Reprehensione [#92]. Also by Isaac, and re-edited by Bedjan, Homiliae SIsaaci, 13–24 (Hom. 2).

4.263–356Sermo de Reprehensione. This has been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 305–306 (Sermones 1.2).

4.357–454Sermones Rogationum [#100]. These supplement 3.1–125.

4.453–462Sermo de Poenitentia [#85]. This is also attributed to Isaac of Antioch.

4.497–670Hymni de Ecclesia et Virginitate. These have been reedited by Beck in CSCO 223–224 (Hymns on Virginity nos. 9–38, 43, 45–47, 49, 50, 52).

4.671–790Hymni Dispersi [#41]. Of these 25 hymns the first (which is likely to be genuine) has been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 174–175 ("de Ecclesia"), and likewise no. 19 (= de Fide 36), in CSCO 212–213. No. 13 is in fact by Jacob of Serugh (edition and English translation in S.P. Brock, "A Prayer Song by St Jacob of Serugh Recovered", in G.A. Kiraz (ed.), Jacob of Serugh and his Times (Piscataway NJ, 2010), 29–37.[14] No. 18 is cited in Sinai Syr. 10 as belonging to the Fenqitho of the Fast. No. 25 is re-edited, with English translation, S.P. Brock, "“Blessed is the Old Age Which Has Grown Old with Good Deeds”: A Neglected Poem Attributed to St Ephrem", The Harp 24 (2009), 7–21; for a palimpsest fragment of the poem, see also A.S. Lewis, Apocrypha Syriaca (Studia Sinaitica 11; 1902), xxvii, 125*–126* (the upper text contains hagiography in Arabic, 9th/10th cent.).

4.791–844Sermones de Joseph. These complete the verse homilies on Joseph, begun in vol. 3.349–640 (see under that entry).



The Syrian Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem Rahmani published, at Charfet (Lebanon), a volume of texts by Ephrem, without any title page or date, as Volume 2 of a larger collection of texts entitled Luqote da-mkanshin men soyume `atiqe (de Biesen, Title 139). This contains the following texts (since the volume is very rare, I give the incipits of texts not published elsewhere):

1–19Mimre on Praise at Table; these are more readily available in L. Mariès and L. Froman, "Mimre de Saint Éphrem sur la Bénédiction de la Table", L’orient syrien 4 (1959 ); see further under 2.C.

20–28: Fragments of mimre on Nicomedia, reedited by C. Renoux in Patrologia Orientalis 37.

29–32: On Purity of Heart and Contrition [#86]; incipit: ܒܪܝ ܒܝ ܡܪܝ ܠܒܐ ܕܟܝܐ

33–34: On how God is not the author of misfortunes, or of sickness of body and soul [#67]; incipit: ܠܘ ܢܦܫܐ ܐܝܬܝܗ̇ ܥܠܬܐ

34: Excerpt corresponding to Beck, Sermones 1.1,[15] beginning line 153: ܠܐ ܚܕ ܝܘܡ ܢܛܥܢ ܝܘܩܪܐ

35: Incipit: ܐܢ ܩ̇ܪܐ ܐܢܫ ܒܟܬܒ̈ܐ

36–37: On God’s care [#68]; incipit: ܕܫܒܩ ܪܢܝܐ ܕܐܠܗܐ

38–47: On the vigil which makes the soul shine [#114]; incipit: ܒܦܚ̈ܐ ܢܫܪ̈ܐ ܡܬܬܨܝܕܝܢ

48–52: On a person living in stillness and self-emptying [#69]. Also in P. Zingerle, Sancti Patris Ephraemi Sermones Duo (Brixen, 1869), 29–36; incipit: ܐܣܬܪܩ ܡܛܠ ܡܪܟ

52–55: On Repentance. Also in Lamy 4.453–63.

56–59: On Oppression. Also in Lamy 4.217–26.

59–65: On Humility and Fasting [#71]; also attributed to Isaac of Antioch,[16] incipit: ܒܐܘܪܚܗ

ܕܡܠܟܐ ܫܡܝܢܐ

66–80: On Solitaries; re-edited by Beck in CSCO 334–335 (Sermones 4.1).

81–90: On Solitaries; re-edited by Beck in CSCO 334–335 (Sermones 4.2).

91–92: On Supplication; incipit: ܫܘܒܚܐ ܠܟ ܡܪܐ ܕܪ̈ܚܡܐ

92–109: On Job, 1 [#73]; also edited by Bedjan, in his Homiliae Selectae Mar-Jacobi Sarugensis V (Paris/Leipzig, 1910), 180–202.

109–115: On Job, 2 [#74]; incipit: ܬܘ ܐܚ̈ܝ ܢܬܒܩܐ ܒܗ

115: Satan’s battle [#115]; incipit: ܚܘܣ ܡܪܢ ܥܠ ܐܢܫܘܬܢ

116–120: Admonition to Solitaries. Also in Lamy 4.207–216.

121–129: On Reproof. Also in Lamy 4.185–208.

129–130: Against Bardaisan. Part of mimro published in Overbeck, 132–136; incipit: ܡܘܬܐ ܕܓܙܪ ܐܠܗܐ = Overbeck, 132, lines 12–13.

131–132: On fourth siege of Nisibis [#102]; incipit: ܩܢܝܢ ܐܢܘܢ ܨܒܝܢ̈ܝܟܘܢ

132–133: On Reproof [#96]; incipit: ܠܢܟ̈ܦܐ ܕܝܢ ܘܠܢܟ̈ܦܬܐ

133–134: On Morning Praise [#56]; incipit: ܒܪܝܟ ܕܒܨܦܪܐ ܨܪ ܐܢܘܢ

134: From mimro 13 on the three sieges [#103]; incipit: ܐܢ ܕܝܢ ܐܢܫ ܢܐܡܪ ܕܐܝܘܒ



In contrast to the previous section, where the contents of the three main older editions, and of Rahmani’s volume, were listed, in the present section works under Ephrem's name[17] published in more recent editions are arranged by genre (prose works, artistic prose, verse homilies or mimre, hymns or madroshe). Translations, where available, are noted; references to secondary literature can readily be found by consulting den Biesen’s Bibliography (the relevant entries in this are again indicated by number introduced by #). At the end a summary list of works attributed to Ephrem and published in the last half century is given in tabular form, for purposes of quick reference; this indicates where complete translations are available.


Prose Works 

  • Commentary on Genesis and Exodus [#121, 123].

Edited with Latin translation by R. Tonneau in CSCO 152–153, Scriptores Syri 71–72 (1955). English translation of both in Selected Prose Works. English translation of Comm. on Genesis, Section 2 (on Gen. 2–3) in Paradise, 197–224. English translation of Commentary on Exodus by A. Salvesen, The Exodus Commentary of St Ephrem (Moran Etho 8; Kottayam, 1995). A complete, but unpublished, English translation of the Commentary on Genesis, by K. Refson, is on deposit in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (England) (M. Litt. thesis, 1982). French translation of the Commentary on Exodus, by P. Féghali, Parole de l’orient 12 (1984/5), 91–131. Dutch translation by A.G.P. Janson and L. van Rompay, Efrem de Syrier: Uitleg van het Boek Genesis (Christelijke Bronnen 5; Kampen, 1993). Syriac text with Arabic translation, by A. Assad (Stockholm/Aleppo, 2007; reprinted Piscataway, NJ, 2010).

It should be noted that the Commentaries in Armenian on Genesis – Deuteronomy, attributed to Ephrem, are in fact not by him; these have been edited, with English translation, by E. Mathews, CSCO 572–573, Scriptores Armeni 23–4 (1998), for Genesis, and CSCO 587–588, Scriptores Armeni 25–26 (2001), for Exodus – Deuteronomy.


  • Commentary on the Diatessaron [#150].

This survives complete only in an Armenian translation; of the Syriac original about three quarters survives. The Armenian was edited, with Latin translation, by Dom L.Leloir in CSCO 137 and 145 (1953–1954); the Syriac was likewise edited by Leloir, with a facing Latin translation, in his S. EphremCommentaire de l'Évangileconcordant (Dublin, 1963). Subsequently some new pages from the unique Syriac manuscript were acquired by the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, and an edition of these, with Latin translation, was published by Dom. L. Leloir under the same title (Leuven, 1990). English translation by C. McCarthy, Saint Ephrem’s Commentary on Tatian’s Diatessaron (Journal of Semitic Studies, Supplement 2; Oxford/Manchester, 1993). English translation of section 16 by A.N. Palmer, Hugoye 2:1 (1999); of 21.9–10, Brief Outline, 159–161. French translation by Leloir, Éphrem de Nisibe: Commentaire de l’Évangile concordant ou Diatessaron (Sources chrétiennes 121; Paris, 1966); French translation of excerpts from the pages published in 1990 were given by Leloir, Revue biblique 94 (1987), 481–518, and Augustinianum 27 (1988), 361–391. German translation of a series of excerpts by E. Beck are to be found in Oriens Christianus 73–77 (1989–1993); German translation of the whole by C. Lange, Ephraem der Syrer: Kommentar zum Diatessaron (Fontes Christianae 54:1–2; Turnhout, 2008). A Catalan translation of excerpts is given by Nin.

The Armenian Exposition of the Gospel, attributed to Ephrem, is not by him.[18] This has been edited, with English translation, by G. Egan, in CSCO 290–291, Scriptores Armeni 5–6 (1968).


  • Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles [# 153].

The Syriac original is lost and only an Armenian translation survives, edited by N. Akinian (1921). A Latin translation of the Commentary, together with an English translation of excerpts from it in an Armenian catena, by F.C. Conybeare, is available in F.J. Foakes Jackson and Kirsopp Lake (edd.), The Beginnings of Christianity 3 (London, 1926), 373–453.


  • Commentary on the Pauline Epistles [#154].

This too survives only in an Armenian translation. The only translation available is into Latin: Sancti Ephraem Syri Commentarii in Epistolas D.Pauli nunc primum exArmenio in Latinum Sermonem a Patribus Mekhitaristis translati (Venice, 1893).[19]


  • Five Discourses addressed to Hypatius [#163–166].

These have the sub-title Against false doctrine. The first (and the beginning of the second) discourse was edited by Overbeck, while Discourses 2–5 were edited by C.W. Mitchell, in his S. Ephraim's Prose Refutations 1 (London, 1912), together with an English translation of all five discourses. For Beck’s German translation of the first Discourse, see under Overbeck, above.


  • Memra against Bardaisan's discourse "Domnus" [#167].

This work, also entitled "Against the Platonists", was edited, with English translation, by C.W. Mitchell, in S. Ephraim's Prose Refutations (London, 1921) 2.1–49 (text), 2.i–xxii (translation). German translation by E. Beck, "Ephräms Rede gegen eine philosophische Schrift des Bardaisan", Oriens Christianus 60 (1976), 24–68.


  • Against False Teaching [#168].

Edited, with English translation, by Mitchell, Prose Refutations 2.50–102 (text), 2.xxiii–xlvi (translation). Mitchell entitles this "Against Marcion I".


  • Two prose Memre against Marcion [#168].

Edited, with English translation, by Mitchell, Prose Refutations 2.103–142 (text), 2.xlvii–lxv (translation). Mitchell entitles these "Against Marcion II–III".


  • Memra on Virginity [#170].

Edited, with English translation, by Mitchell, Prose Refutations, 2.170–189 (text), 2.lxxx–xc (translation). This is a prose counterpart to Hymns on Virginity nos. 1–3.


  • Memra against Mani [#171].

Edited, with English translation, by Mitchell, Prose Refutations, 2.190–229 (text), xci–cviii (translation).


Artistic Prose


  • Memra on our Lord (Sermo de Domino Nostro) [#158].

Edited, with German translation, by Beck, CSCO 270–271, Scriptores Syri 116–117 (1966), replacing the edition in Lamy, vol. 1. English translations in Gwynn, 305–330, and Selected Prose Works, 269–332; English translation of section 1 by A.N. Palmer, Hugoye 2:1 (1999); of 1–2 by S.P. Brock, Spirituality, 105–108. Catalan translation in Nin.


  • Memra on the Prologue of John [#152].

See under Lamy 2.511–16 (excerpts only are preserved; the second half of the penultimate excerpt in fact comes from Hymns on the Church 35:18). One further short excerpt, quoted by Philoxenus, has been published, with French translation, by F. Graffin, in Patrologia Orientalis 41 (1982), 62–63).


  • Letter to Publius [#172].

Two long extracts survive; these have been published, with English translation, by S.P. Brock, Le Muséon 89 (1976), 261–305. The Letter takes the form of a meditation on the Last Judgement. Another English translation is given in Selected Prose Works, 335–355. English translation of sections 22–25, Brief Outline, 161–163.


  • Memra on the signs which Moses performed in Egypt [#111].

Edited by Overbeck, 88–94 (see above). According to Jansma, who provided a French translation, this homily seems to be genuine: see L'Orient Syrien 6 (1961), 3–24.


Verse Homilies (memre).


  • Memre on Faith (Sermones de Fide) [#64].

The six verse homilies on Faith have been re-edited by Beck in CSCO 212–213, Scriptores Syri 88–89 (1961), replacing the Roman Edition, vol. 3. There is an old English translation, made from the Roman Edition and divided into three homilies, in Morris, 362–417. English translation of 3:215–38, 281–394, and of the whole of 5, by A. Palmer, Hugoye 1:2 (1998). (There are complete unpublished translations by A.N. Palmer and P. Russell).


  • Memre on Nicomedia [#78].

Only a few excerpts of the Syriac original of these verse homilies on the destruction of Nicomedia in an earthquake (in AD 358) survive; considerably more, however, is preserved in an Armenian translation. The Armenian and Syriac texts have been edited, with a French translation, by C. Renoux, Patrologia Orientalis 37 (fasc. 2–3), 1975. Catalan translation of Nicom. 9 in Nin.


  • Memra against Bardaisan [#169].

Edited, with English translation, by Mitchell, Prose Refutations 2.143–69 (text), 2.lxvi-lxxix (translation). Excerpts from another memra on the same subject were edited by Overbeck, 132–136. A further verse text against Bardaisan, also attributed to Ephrem [#54], was published, with English translation, by A.S. Duncan Jones, Journal of Theological Studies 5 (1904), 546–552; since, however, this is in the twelve-syllable metre (not otherwise used by Ephrem), it is unlikely to be genuine.


  • Memre edited by Beck in CSCO (Sermones 1–4).

By no means all of the twenty one texts edited, with German translation, by Beck in these four volumes are genuinely by Ephrem. For convenience of reference, the complete contents of each of the four volumes are listed in order, indicating which texts Beck considers to be genuine.


  • Sermones 1 (CSCO 305–306, Scriptores Syri 130–131; 1970).

Beck considers that only the first three of the eight memre published in this volume are probably genuine. No. 3 (On Reproof, #90) is published here for the first time, while the remainder are re-editions, as follows:

No. 1 = Lamy 2.335–362. On Reproof [#88].

No. 2 = Roman Edition 6.654–687 (no. 18); Lamy 4.265–356. On Reproof [#89].

No. 4 = Roman Edition 5.338–344. On Qohelet's words "All is vanity" [#87]. This memra has also been re-edited, with German translation, by K. Deppe, Kohelet in der syrischen Dichtung (Wiesbaden, 1975), and by St Ephrem's Monastery (Holland), Tlotho Mimre `al Ktobo d-Qohelet (1981), 3–15.

No. 5 = Roman Edition 5.350–159. On Admonition [#49].

No. 6 = Roman Edition 5.344–350. On Isaiah 26:10 [#72].

No. 7 = Roman Edition 6.369–379 (no. 2). On Repentance [#36]. English translation in Malan (b), 13–50.

No. 8 = Roman Edition 6.379–387 (no. 3). On Repentance [#36].


  • Sermones 2 (CSCO 311–312, Scriptores Syri 134–135; 1970).

Of the four memre published, with German translation, in this volume Beck considers only the first and the kernel of the fourth to be genuinely Ephrem's. All four memre are re-editions, as follows:

No.1 = Roman Edition 5.359–387.[20] On Nineveh and Jonah [#79; CPG 4082]. English translation, H. Burgess, The Repentance of Nineveha metricalhomily on the mission of Jonahby Ephraem Syrus (London, 1853).

No .2 = Lamy 2.363–392. On Reproof [#91].

No. 3 = Roman Edition 6.209–224. On the Holy Feast of Hosannas (Palm Sunday) [#63]. English translation, Morris, 61–84.

No. 4 = Lamy 1.313–338. On the Sinful Woman [#82; CPG 3952]. English translation, Gwynn, 336–341; another, by S.P. Brock, forthcoming in his Treasurehouse of Mysteries. Another edition of the Syriac, based on a different manuscript, is given, Luqote, 6879.


  • Sermones 3 (CSCO 320–321, Scriptores Syri 138–139; 1972).

None of the five memre published, with German translation, in this volume are thought likely to be genuine, and the fifth must date from the seventh century. All five are re-editions, as follows:

No. 1 = Roman Edition 6.629–638 (no. 13). On the Fear of God and on the End [#108].

No. 2 = Lamy 2.393–426. On Magicians etc, and on the End [#77].

No. 3 = Roman Edition 6.242–227 (Necrosima, no. 12) [#62].[21]

No. 4 = Lamy 3.133–188. On the (Second) Coming of Christ [#53].

No. 5 = Lamy 3.187–212. On the End, Judgement, Retribution, on Gog and Magog and on the False Christ [#65].[22]


  • Sermones 4 (CSCO 334–335, Scriptores Syri 148–149; 1973).

Of the four texts published, with German translation, in this volume Beck considers that only the second might possibly be genuine. All four are re-editions, as follows:

No. 1 = P. Zingerle, SPatris Ephraemi Syri Sermones Duo (Brixen, 1868), 1–28. Also in Rahmani. On the Solitary Life etc. [#107].

No. 2 = P. Zingerle, Monumenta Syriaca I (Oenoponti, 1869), 4–12. Also in Rahmani. On Solitaries (ihidaye) [#105]. There are two English translations, one (D. Miller) in The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian, translated by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery (Boston, 1984), 471–480 (not present in the 2nd edition, 2011); and the other by J. Amar, in V. Wimbush (ed.), Ascetic Behaviour in Greco-Roman Antiquity (Minneapolis, 1990), 66–80.

No. 3 = Overbeck, 113–131. This is the prose Letter to the Mountain Ascetics [#159].

No. 4 = Overbeck, 137–158. This is the famous Testament of Ephrem [#173; CPG 3947]. Partial English translation, Gwynn, 133–136. Edition, with French translation, by R. Duval, Journal Asiatique 9.18 (1901), 234–319. There is a further edition of the Syriac text in P. Bedjan, Liber Superiorum seu HistoriaMonastica auctore Thoma episcopo Margensi (Leipzig, 1901), 681–696.


  • Memre edited by Beck in Nachträge zu Ephraem Syrus (CSCO 363–364, Scriptores Syri 159–160; 1975).

This pair of volumes (with German translation) contains (beside some madrashe, on which see below) two memre on the Virgin Mary [#66] and some fragmentary memre from a manuscript on Mt Sinai (partially edited earlier by Lamy 4.85–140).

20–38: This first of the memre on the Virgin is edited here for the first time. English translation of lines 1–196, Bride of Light, no. 45. Lines 267–825 constitute a different recension of the Mimro on Mary and Joseph, edited in Luqote, 57–67, with English translation, Bride of Light, no. 47.

39–42: This second memra on the Virgin already featured in the Roman Edition 6.604–608. English translation, Harp of the Spirit (no.12); Ship of Treasures, 108–112; and Bride of Light, no. 46. Italian translation by S. Noseda of an early Arabic translation in P.F. Fumagalli (ed.), Arabic Homilies on the Nativity (Fontes Ambrosianae ns 3; Milan, 2000), 39–42.

43–44 (Auszug 1): The opening and title, as well as a folio in the middle, are lost.

45–49 (Auszug 2): On Reproach. The opening, and several folios in the middle, are lost.

49–53 (Auszug 3) [#94]: Earlier edition in Lamy, 4.135–140

53–71 (Auszüge 4–7) [#95, 97–99]: Earlier edition in Lamy, 4.85–134.


  • Memre on Holy Week, edited by Beck, Ephraem Syrus: Sermones in Hebdomadam Sanctam (CSCO 412–413, Scriptores Syri 181–182; 1979).

The attribution to Ephrem of these eight memre [#70] is not likely to be correct. In the (late) manuscripts they are allocated to liturgical hours; 8 is in fact for the Sunday after Easter, not the Resurrection itself. All are re-editions, with German translation, of texts already published by Lamy, as follows:

1. Monday (Ramsho) of Holy Week: Lamy, 1.339–358. Catalan translation in Nin.

2. Tuesday (Lilyo) of Holy Week: Lamy, 1.359–390.

3. Wednesday (Lilyo) of Holy Week: Lamy, 1.390–410.

4. Thursday (Lilyo) of Holy Week: Lamy, 1.410–430. French translation, E. Amann, Le dogme catholique dans les Pères de l’Église (2nd ed.; Paris, 1944), in the anthology, 215–223.

5. Friday (Lilyo) of Holy Week: Lamy, 1.430–450. English translation, D.J. Sheerin, The Eucharist (Message of the Fathers of the Church, 7; Wilmington, 1986), 137–143.

6. Friday (Sapro) of the Crucifixion: Lamy, 1.450–524.

7. Saturday (Lilyo) of Holy Week: Lamy, 1.524–552.

8. New Sunday (Lilyo): Lamy, 1.552–566.


  • Memre on Praise at Table [#57]

These were edited by I. E. Rahmani, Luqate da-mkanshin men sayome `atiqe (Charfet, no date), 2.1–19, and again, with Latin and French translation, by L. Mariès and L. Froman, "Mimre de Saint Éphrem sur la Bénédiction de la Table", L’Orient Syrien 4 (1959), 73–109, 163–192, 285–298. English translation by Mary Hansbury, Hymns of Saint Ephrem the Syrian (Fairacres Publications 149; Oxford, 2006). Italian translation by I. de Francesco, La Gioia della Mensa (Testi dei Padri della Chiesa 57; Monastero di Bose, 2003).


  • Memre on Joseph

In 12 Books, also attributed to Balai. Complete editions by P. Bedjan, Histoire complète de Joseph par Ephrem, poème en douze livres (Paris/Leipzig, 1891), and (with Latin translation) in Lamy, 3–4 (see below). Earlier editions: J. Overbeck, S. Ephraemi Syri...opera selecta (Oxford, 1865), 120–330 [Books 1 and 8]; P. Bedjan, Histoire complète de Joseph par saint Ephrem, poème en dix livres (Paris/Leipzig, 1887; and T. Lamy, Sancti Ephraemi Hymni et Sermones (Malines, 1889), 3.249–640 [Books 1–mid 10], and IV (1902), 793–844 [rest of Book 10–12]. (Books I–10 are also to be found in Gabriel Sowmy, Mardutho d-Suryoye 7 (San Paolo, Brazil, 1987), 73–227).


  • Two Memre on Job [#73–4]

Rahmani, 92–109, 109–115; the first of these was also edited by Bedjan in Homiliae Selectae Mar-Jacobi Sarugensis (Paris/Leipzig, 1910), 180–202.


Other memre Attributed to Ephrem Published in Recent Years

Since the seven-syllable metre is known as the metre of St Ephrem, a large number of memre which are certainly not by Ephrem are erroneously attributed to him in the manuscript tradition. This also applies to the following memre which have been published within the last few decades; none are likely to be genuine.


  • Memra on Abraham and Sarah in Egypt [#47; CPG 4160 Suppl.]

Syriac and Arabic texts edited, with English translation, by S.P. Brock and S. Hopkins, Le Muséon 105 (1992), 87–146.

The text is also to be found in Luqote, 16–22.


  • Two Memre on Abraham and Isaac [#55][23].

Edited, with English translation, by S.P. Brock, Le Muséon 99 (1986), 61–129 [Reprinted, From Ephrem to Romanos (Aldershot, 1999), chapter 6; English translation of the second in Treasure-House]; the text is also given in Luqote, 35–48.


  • Memra on the Prophet Elijah [#61]

Edited, with English translation, by S.P. Brock, Le Muséon 102 (1989), 93–113; English translation, The Harp 3:1–2 (1990), 75–86, and Treasure-House. French translation, by B. Outtier, Le saint prophète Elie. The text is also given in Luqote, 50–56.


  • Memra on Mary and Joseph

Edited in Luqote, 58–67. English translation, Bride of Light, no. 47. This is a different recension of Sermo 1, lines 267–825, Beck’s Nachträge (on which, see above).


  • Memra on the Apostle Andrew [#48]

Edited, with French translation, by M. van Esbroeck, in R. Lavenant (ed.), Symposium Syriacum VII (Orientalia Christiana Analecta 256; Rome, 1998), 95–105. English translation by A.N. Palmer, Hugoye 2:1 (1999).


Hymns (madrashe).

It is upon the hymns, of which some 400 survive, that Ephrem's reputation as a major poet depends. All the genuine hymn cycles (and a few which are not) have been edited by Beck in CSCO.[24] These are listed here alphabetically, by English title.


  • Madrashe on Abraham Qidunaya [#17]. ܥܠ ܐܒܪܗܡ ܩܝܕܘܢܝܐ

These 15 hymns on Abraham of Qidun, though early, are probably not by Ephrem. They have been reedited by Beck in CSCO 322–333, Scriptores Syri 140–141 (1972), replacing the edition in Lamy 3.


  • Madrashe on the Church (Hymni de Ecclesia) [#19]. ܥܠ ܥܕܬܐ

The 52 hymns in the cycle on the Church are edited, with German translation, by Beck, CSCO 198–199, Scriptores Syri 84–85 (1960), replacing the partial edition in the RE V=VI. French translation by D. Cerbelaud, Éphrem le Syrien. Le combat chrétien: Hymnes de Ecclesia (Spiritualité Orientale 83; Bégrolles-en-Mauge, 2004).

Translations of individual hymns:

Eccl. 1: English translation , P.J. Botha, "The Rhetoric Function of Polarity in One of Ephrem the Syrians Hymns on the Church", Journal for Semitics 3 (1991), 188–201.

Eccl. 9: English translation, R. Murray, Sobornost/Eastern Churches Review 2 (1980), 26–40; Italian translation by K. den Biesen, La Scala 46 (1992), 123–138.

Eccl. 36: English translation, S.P. Brock, Eastern Churches Review 7 (1976), 137–144, and in Select Poems, no. 7; also in Ship of Treasures.

Eccl. 37: English translation, Garland and Select Poems, no. 6; also, Ship of Treasures.

The single hymn "de Ecclesia", published by Beck at the end of the Paradise Hymns in CSCO 174–175, is translated in McVey, 121–125; Beck's edition of this replaces that in Lamy, 4.673–680.


  • Madrashe on the Confessors (Hymni de Confessoribus) [#20]. ܥܠ ܡܘܕܝ̈ܢܐ

These six hymns, of uncertain authenticity, are reedited, with German translation, by Beck, CSCO 363–364, Scriptores Syri 159–160 (1975) under the title Nachträge zu Ephraem Syrus, where they are numbered 8–13 (1–7 are lost); these correspond to Hymns 1–6, Lamy, 3.643–96. There is an English translation of the last hymn, on Shmoni and her seven sons (the Maccabean martyrs), R.L. Bensly, The Fourth Book of Maccabees and Kindred Documents in Syriac(Cambridge, 1895), xliv-xlviii.


  • Madrashe on the Crucifixion (Hymni de Crucifixione) [#21]. ܥܠ ܙܩܝܦܘܬܐ

These nine hymns have been reedited, with German translation, Beck, CSCO 248–249, Scriptores Syri 108–109 (1964), replacing the edition in Lamy, vol. 1. French translation, Rouwhorst, Cerbelaud, and Cassingena-Trevédy (Sources chrétiennes 502; 2006). Italian translation, de Francesco, Inni pasquali.

Translations of individual hymns:

Cruc. 1: Catalan translation, Nin.

Cruc. 2: English translation, Select Poems, no. 12.

Cruc. 2–3, 7–8: Dutch translation, G. Rouwhorst, Efrem de Syrier. Hymnen voor de viering van het kerkelijk jaar (Kampen, 1991).

Cruc. 4: English translation, P.J. Botha, "The Paradox between Appearance and Truth in Ephrem the Syrian’s Hymn de Crucifixione IV", Acta Patristica et Byzantina 13 (2002), 34–49.

Cruc. 5: English translation, P.J. Botha, "Polarity and Divine Economy in Ephrem’s Hymn de Crucifixione V", Acta Patristica et Byzantina 9 (1998), 23–34. 


Madroshe on Epiphany (Hymni de Epiphania) [#22]. ܕܒܝܬ ܕܢܚܐ

Of the 12 hymns on Epiphany which he edits, with German translation, in CSCO 186–7, Scr. Syri 82–3 (1958), Beck considers only a few to be genuine. His edition replaces that in Lamy I (which has a different numbering of the hymns). English translation, Gwynn, 265–89 (his no.13 corresponds to Beck's Soghitha 6, and his nos. 14 and 15 to Beck's Soghyatha 5 and 4; for Beck's Soghyatha, see below). French translation, F. Cassingena, Éphrem le Syrien: Hymnes sur l’Épiphanie. Hymnes baptismales de l’Orient syrien (Spiritualité Orientale 70; Bégrolles en Mauge, 1997). Romanian translation, I. Ica (see below, under Madroshe on the Nativity).

Translations of individual hymns:

Epiph. 3: French translation, J. Obeid, "L’onction baptismale d’après HdEpiph III de Saint Éphrem", Parole de l’Orient 17 (1992), pp.7-36.

Epiph. 6: English translation, Treasurehouse.


Madroshe on Faith (Hymni de Fide) [#23]. ܥܠ ܗܝܡܢܘܬܐ

The 87 hymns on Faith are reedited, with German translation, Beck, CSCO 212–3, Scr. Syri 73–4 (1961), replacing the edition in RE VI. English translation of the complete collection, Morris (hymns 81–87 will be found separate, on 84–105). (There are unpublished complete English translations by A.N. Palmer and P. Russell). French translation, F. Cassingena-Trevédy, forthcoming. For the question of interpolated stanzas, see Palmer (c, f, g, i).

Translations of individual hymns:

Fid. 1, 23, 29, 42 and 67: English translation, Burgess (a), 173–81, 126–34, 167–72, 156–66, and 135–41 respectively.

Fid. 2: English translation, P. Russell, The Harp 10:3 (1997), 45–54.

Fid. 7: English translation, A.N. Palmer, Sobornost/Eastern Churches Review 17 (1995), 28–40.

Fid. 8: English translation,GarlandTreasurehouse.

Fid. 10: English translation, R. Murray, Eastern Churches Review 3 (1970), 142–50; S.P. Brock, GarlandThe Harp (SEERI) 1:1 (1987), 61–8, Select Poems, no.17, and Treasurehouse (also, with a reedition of the Syriac text, St EphremA Hymn on the Eucharist (Lancaster, 1986).

Fid. 10, 14, 20, 81–5: Catalan translation, Nin.

Fid. 10, 18: French translation, F. Graffin, Parole de l’Orient 4 (1973), 117–21.

Fid. 14: English translation, Harp of the SpiritSelect Poems, no.18.

Fid. 18: English translation, P. Yousif, Eastern Churches Review 10 (1978), 52–60.

Fid. 20: English translation, R. Murray, Parole de l'Orient 6/7 (1975/6), 19–20; also (S.P. Brock), Garland, and The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life(Kalamazoo, 1987), chapter 2; and A.N. Palmer, in Palmer (a), 162–3. French translation, F. Cassingena-Trévedy, Lettre de Ligugé 316 (2006), 16–22. Italian translation, P. Bettiolo, Abba Isaia, Mar Efrem: Testi siriaci sulla preghiera (Testi dei Padri della Chiesa 3; Monastero di Bose, 1993).

Fid. 21–23: Spanish translation, Martinez, "Los himnos...".

Fid. 31: English translation, GarlandSelect Poems, no.2; and P.J. Botha, "God in a Garment of Words: The Metaphor of Metaphoric Language in Ephrem the Syrian’s Hymn 'On Faith XXXII [read: XXXI]'", Acta Patristica et Byzantina 3 (1992), 63–79.

Fid. 40: English translation, Garland.

Fid. 49: English translation, GarlandSelect Poems, no.3, Treasurehouse; and in Palmer (a), 175.

Fid. 68: English translation, Palmer (f), 162–3.

Fid. 73: English translation, Harp of the Spirit2.

Fid. 78: English translation, P.J. Botha, "Argument and art in Ephrem the Syrian’s hymn de Fide LXXVIII", Acta Patristica et Byzantina 7 (1996), 21–36.

Fid. 81: English translation, Garland; and Palmer (a), 208–9.

Fid. 81–5: English translation, E. Mathews, St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 38 (1994), 45–72; and A. S. Rodrigues Pereira, Studies in Aramaic Poetry (Studia Semitica Neerlandica 34; Assen, 1997); French translation, F. Graffin, L’Orient Syrien 12 (1967), 129–49; and J. Longton, in J-C. Polet, Patrimoine littéraire européen 1. Traditions juive et chrétienne: Anthologie en langue francaise (Bruxelles, 1992), 669–90. Italian translation, E. Vergani, Efrem il Siro: Il dono della perla (Testi dei Padri della Chiesa 78; Monastero di Bose, 2005). Spanish translation, F.J. Martinez, Salamanticensis 38 (1991), 5–32.

Fid. 81–7: English translation, Gwynn, 293–301.

Fid. 82: English translation, Harp of the SpiritSelect Poems, no.20.

Fid. 83: English translation, Palmer (a), 217–8.


Madroshe on the Fast (Hymni de Ieiunio) [#24]. ܥܠ ܨܘܡܐ

The 10 hymns on the Fast are reedited, with German translation, Beck, CSCO 246–7, Scr. Syri 106–7 (1964), replacing the edition in Lamy, vol.II. French translation, D. Cerbelaud, Saint Éphrem: Hymnes sur le jeune (Spiritualité Orientale 69; Bégrolles en Mauge, 1997). Italian translation, E. Vergani (Introd. M. Nin), Efrem il Siro: La restituzione del debito, Melodie e istruzioni sul Digiuno (Milan, 2011), and I. de Francesco, in I de Francesco, C. Noce, M.B. Artioli, Il Digiuno nella Chiesa Antica. Testi Siri, Latini, e Greci (Milan, 2011). Romanian translation, Ica, 101–28.

Translations of individual hymns:

Iei. 1 and 5: Dutch translation, G. Rouwhorst, Efrem de Syrier: Hymnen voor de viering van het kerkelijk jaar (Kampen, 1991).

Iei. 3: English translation, Garland, Outline and Select Poems, no.9.

Iei. 6: English translation, Harp of the SpiritSelect Poems, no.10, and Treasurehouse


Madroshe against Heresies (Hymni contra Haereses) [#25]. ܠܘܩܒܠ ܝܘ̈ܠܦܢܐ ܛܥ̈ܝܐ

The 56 hymns against Heresies are reedited, with German translation, Beck, CSCO 169–70, Scr. Syri 76–7 (1957), replacing the edition in RE V.

Translations of individual hymns:

Haer. 1: English translation, P.J Botha, "The Textual Strategy of Ephrem the Syrian’s Hymn Contra Haereses 1", Acta Patristica et Byzantina 15 (2004), 57–75.

Haer. 13: French translation, B. Outtier, Le saint prophète Élie. 

Haer. 14, 27: English translation, Burgess (a).

Haer. 25: English translation, P.J. Botha, "The Poetic Face of Rhetoric: Ephrem’s Polemics against the Jews and Heretics in Contra Haereses XXV", Acta Patristica et Byzantina 2 (1991), 16–36.

Haer. 53: Spanish translation, Martinez, "Los himnos...".

Haer. 55: Dutch translation, T. Jansma, Natuur, lot en vrijheid: Bardesanes, de filosoof der Arameers en zijn images (Wageningen, 1969), 13–15.


Madroshe against Julian (Hymni contra Iulianum) [#27]. ܥܠ ܝܘܠܝܢܘܣ ܡܠܟܐ ܕܐܚܢܦ

The four hymns against the Emperor Julian are reedited, with German translation, Beck, CSCO

174–5, Scr. Syri 78–9 (1957), replacing the partial edition,Overbeck. English translation, McVey, and J. Lieu in S.N.C. Lieu, The Emperor JulianPanegyric and Polemic(Liverpool 1986), 109–25 (2nd edition 1989, 105–28). Russian translation, A. Muraviev (Moscow, 2006).


Madroshe on Julian Saba (Hymni de Iuliano Saba) [#28]. ܥܠ ܝܘܠܝܢܐ ܣܒܐ

The 24 hymns on the ascetic, Julian the Old Man, though early, are probably not all by Ephrem.[25] They are reedited, with German translation, Beck, CSCO 322–3, Scr. Syri 140–1 (1972), replacing the edition in Lamy III.


Madroshe on the Nativity (Hymni de Nativitate) [#32]. ܕܒܝܬ ܝܠܕܐ

The 28 hymns of this ill-defined collection are reedited, with German translation, Beck, CSCO 186–7, Scr. Syri 82–3 (1958), replacing the earlier editions in the RE V and Lamy II. Complete English translation, McVey, which replaces the old partial English translations, Morris, 1–60, and Gwynn, 223–62 (Gwynn takes over Morris' translation of 13 hymns and adds a translation of six further hymns, by A.E. Johnston); it should be noted that the numbering of the hymns in these old translations differs from that in Beck's edition, and the correspondences are as follows:

Beck 1 = Morris and Gwynn 1.

Beck 3 = Morris and Gwynn 2.

Beck 4 = Morris and Gwynn 3.

Beck 5 = Morris and Gwynn 4.

Beck 7 = Morris and Gwynn 5.

Beck 8 = Morris and Gwynn 6.

Beck 9 (stanza 2 fol.) = Morris and Gwynn 7.

Beck 10 (st. 2 fol.) and 11 = Morris and Gwynn 8.

Beck 14–18 = Morris and Gwynn 9–13.

Beck 21–26 = Gwynn 14–19.

McVey's numbering is of course the same as Beck's.

French translation, F. Cassingena-Trévedy, Éphrem le Syrien: Hymnes sur la Nativité (Sources chrétiennes 459; Paris, 2001), and B. Hindo and C. Saleh, Chants pour la Nativité de saint Éphrem le Syrien (Paris, 1996). Romanian translation, I. Ica, Sfantul Efrem Sirul. Imnele Nasteri si Aratarii Domnului (Sibius, 2000). Arabic translation with vocalized serto text, J. Khoury, Hymnes sur la Nativité (Kaslik, 1994).

Translations of individual hymns:

Nat. 1, 3, 11: Catalan translation, Nin.

Nat. 3: Italian translation, K. den Biesen, La Scala 48 (1994), 9–24; Dutch translation, den Biesen, Benedictijns Tijdschrift 55 (1994), 138–53; Spanish translation, F.J. Martinez, Estudios biblicos 50 (1992), 475–91.

Nat. 5, 9, 16: Dutch translation, D.E. Mooij-Kemp, Kerstmis en Epifanie: Teksten uit de vroege kerk over de geboorte van Christus (Christelijke Bronnen 12; Kampen, 1997).

Nat. 11: English translation, Harp of the SpiritShip of TreasuresSelect Poems, no.4; French translation, P. Yousif, in R. Laurentin (ed.), Marie, Mère du Seigneur: Les plus beaux textes de deux millénaires (Paris, 1984), 78–80.

Nat. 17: in GarlandSelect Poems,no.5, Treasurehouse.

Nat. 23: Italian translation, K. den Biesen, La Scala 48 (1994), 373–83; Dutch translation, den Biesen, Tijdschrift voor Liturgie 82 (1998), 330–40.


Madroshe of Nisibis/the Nisibenes (Carmina Nisibena) [#34]. ܕܢܨܝܒܝܢ ܐܘ ܕܢܨܝܒܢ̈ܝܐ

The 77 Nisibene hymns are reedited, with German translation, Beck, CSCO 218–19, Scr. Syri 92–3 (1961) and 240–41, Scr. Syri 102–3 (1963), replacing the older edition, with Latin translation, G. Bickell (1866). English translation, J.T. Sarsfield Stopford of hymns 1–21, 35–42, and 62–68 in Gwynn, 167–219. French translation, P. Féghali and C. Navarre, Saint Éphrem: Sur les chants de Nisibe (Antioche chrétienne 3; Paris, 1997; and D. Cerbelaud, La descente aux enfers (Carmina Nisibena) (Spiritualité orientale 89, 2009).

Translations of individual hymns:

Nis. 1: English translation, Select Poems, no.19.

Nis. 10: French translation, F. Cassingena-Trévedy, "Requiem pour Anazit. Éphrem le Syrien, Carmina Nisibena X", in F. Briquel-Chatonnet and M. Debié (eds), Sur les pas des Araméens chrétiens (Paris, 2010), 327–32.

Nis. 13–14: Catalan translation, Nin.

Nis.35–42: English translation, A.S. Rodrigues Pereira, Studies in Aramaic Poetry (Studia Semitica Neerlandia 34; Assen, 1997).

Nis. 35, 65: French translation, P. Féghali, Parole de l’Orient 9 (1979/80), 5–25.

Nis. 36, 50, 52 and 69: English translation, Harp of the Spirit (52 and 69 only in 2nd edn).

Nis. 41: English translation, GarlandSelect Poems, no.13, Treasurehouse.

Nis. 52: French translation, P. Grelot, L’Orient Syrien 3 (1958), 443–52.

Nis. 53: English translation, Select Poems, no.14.


Madroshe on Paradise (Hymni de Paradiso) [#35]. ܥܠ ܦܪܕܝܣܐ

The 15 hymns on Paradise are reedited, with German translation, Beck, CSCO 174–5, Scr. Syri 78–9 (1957), replacing the editions in the RE.VI and Overbeck). English translation by S.P. Brock, St Ephrem the SyrianHymns on Paradise (Crestwood NY 1990; Romanian translation, I. Ica, Sibiu, 1998); French translation, R. Lavenant and F. Graffin, Éphrem de Nisibe. Hymnes sur le Paradis (Sources chrétiennes 137; Paris, 1968); Italian translation, I. de Francesco, Efrem il Siro: Inni sul Paradiso (Milan, 2006). Latin translation, Beck, Ephraems Hymnen über das Paradies (Studia Anselmiana 26; Rome, 1951); Swedish translation, S. Hidal, Efraim SyriernHymnerna omParadiset (Skelleftea, 1985).

Finnish translation, S. Seppälä (Valamo Monastery, 2004). For suggested interpolated stanzas, see Palmer (f, h).

Translations of individual hymns:

Par. 1: English translation, Garland.

Par. 1, 2, 7: French translation, R. Lavenant, L’Orient Syrien 5 (1960), 33–46.

Par. 1–2: Catalan translation, Nin.

Par. 2–3: English translation, Treasurehouse.

Par. 5: English translation, Harp of the Spirit and Select Poems, no.1; French translation, J. Daniélou, Dieu Vivant 22 (1952)77-86.

Par. 5, 14: English translation, A. Cunningham, Prayer, Personal & Liturgical (Message of the Fathers of the Church 16; Wilmington, 1985), 72–81.

Par. 11: See A.N. Palmer, Oriens Christianus 87 (2003), 1–46.

Par. 13–14: English translation (of hypothetical restoration), Palmer (f).


Madroshe on the Resurrection (Hymni de Resurrectione) [#37]. ܥܠ ܩܝܡܬܐ

The five hymns on the Resurrection are edited, with German translation, Beck, CSCO 248–9, Scr. Syri 108–9 (1964), replacing the edition in Lamy, vol.II, cols.741–74 (Beck nos.1–4 = Lamy nos. 18–21). French translation, Rouwhorst, Cerbelaud, and Cassingena-Trevédy (Sources chrétiennes 502, 2006); Italian translation, de Francesco,Inni pasquali. Romanian translation, I. Ica, 161–206.

Translations of individual hymns:

Res. 1: English translation, HarpSelect Poems, no.8; French translation, J. Slim, "Hymne I de saint Éphrem sur la Résurrection", L’Orient Syrien 12 (1967), 505–14; Catalan translation, Nin.

Res. 2: English translation, Harp of the SpiritSelect Poems, no.15Spanish translation, Martinez, "Los himnos...".

Res. 2, 4: Dutch translation, G. Rouwhorst, Efrem de Syrier: Hymnen voor de viering van het kerkelijk jaar (Kampen, 1991).


Madroshe on Unleavened Bread (Hymni de Azymis) [#38]. ܥܠ ܦܛܝܪ̈ܐ

The 21 hymns on Unleavened Bread are edited, CSCO 248–9, Scr. Syri 108–9 (1964), replacing the edition in Lamy I.

English translation, J.E. Walters, Hymns on the Unleavened Bread by Ephrem the Syrian (Piscataway NJ, 2011). French translation, Rouworst, Cerbelaud, and Cassingena-Trevédy (Sources chrétiennes 502, 2006); Italian translation, de Francesco, Inni pasquali. Romanian translation, Ica, 129–62.

Translations of individual hymns:

Azym. 1–2: French translation, B. Outtier, Parole de l’Orient 6–7 (1975/6), 53–61.

Azym. 1, 2, 14: Catalan translation, Nin.

Azym. 3: English translation, S.P. Brock, Parole de l’Orient 6/7 (1975/6), pp 21–8; also Harp of the SpiritSelect Poems, no.11, Treasurehouse.

Azym. 4, 9, 14–15, 17: Dutch translation, G. Rouwhorst, Efrem de Syrier: Hymnen voor de viering van het kerkelijk jaar (Christelijke Bronnen 3; Kampen, 1991).

Azym. 13: English translation, P.J. Botha, "A Poetic Analysis of Ephrem the Syrian’s Hymn de Azymis XIII", Acta Patristica et Byzantina 14 (2003), 21–37.

Azym. 17: French translation, B. Outtier, Le saint prophète Élie.,

Azym. 18: English translation, P.J Botha, "Antithesis and Argument in the Hymns of Ephrem the Syrian", Hervormde Theologiese Studies 44 (1988), 581–95.

Azym. 19: English translation, C. Shepardson, Anti-Judaism and Christian Orthodoxy: Ephrem’s Hymns in Fourth-Century Syria (Washington, DC, 2008), 32–3.


Madroshe on Virginity (Hymni de Virginitate) [#39]. ܥܠ ܒܬܘܠܘܬܐ

The 52 hymns of the cycle on Virginity are edited, with German translation, Beck, CSCO 223–4, Scr. Syri 94–5 (1962), replacing the partial edition in Lamy II and IV. English translation, McVey. French translation, D. Cerbelaud, Éphrem le Syrien: Le Christ en ses symboles (Hymnes de Virginitate) (Spiritualité Orientale 86, Abbaye de Bellefontaine, 2006).

Translations of individual hymns:

Virg. 1–3, 24–5, 31: French translation, P. Servant, in V. Desprez (introd.), "Saint Éphrem: Six hymnes sur la virginité", Lettre de Ligugé 258 (1991), 21–34.

Virg. 1–3: Spanish translation,F.J. Martinez, in R. Darling Young and M.J. Blanchard (eds), To Train his Soul in Books: Syriac Asceticism in Early Christianity (Washington, DC, 2011), 23–53.

Virg. 4–7: Spanish translation, F.J. Martinez, Compostelanum 32 (1987), 65–91.

Virg. 4–7, 28, 33: Catalan translation, Nin.

Virg. 7: English translation, Harp of the Spirit, Select Poems (no.16).

Virg. 12: English translation, P.J. Botha, "An Analysis of Ephrem the Syrian’s Views on the Temptation of Christ as Exemplified in his Hymn de Virginitate XII", Acta Patristica et Byzantina 14 (2003), 39–57.

Virg. 27–30: Italian translation, E. Vergani, Efrem il Siro: Le arpe del Signore (Monastero di Bose, 1996).

Virg. 31: English translation, R. Murray, Sobornost/Eastern Churches Review 1 (1979), 39–50; P.J. Botha, Acta Patristica et Byzantina 19 (2008), 44–72.

Virg. 33: English translation, Harp of the Spirit.


Soghyatha [#46]. ܣܘܓܝ̈ܬܐ

Beck republished six soghyatha, replacing the earlier edition by Lamy:

Beck nos.1–3 = Lamy II, Hymni de Maria nos.18–20.

nos.4–6 = Lamy I, Hymni de Epiphania, nos.15, 14, 13.[26]

None of these hymns is likely to be genuine Ephrem. English translation of Beck’s 1–4, Bride of Light; of his 4–6, Treasurehouse, and of 5, Sogiatha. There is an older English translation of 4, Gwynn, 287–9.


Hymns preserved only in Armenian translation [#18].

A collection of 51 hymns, which may well be genuine, was published, with Latin translation, L. Maries and C. Mercier, Patrologia Orientalis 30, fasc. 1 (1961).

Translations of individual hymns:

2–7, 9: French translation, F. Graffin, L’Orient Syrien 6 (1961), 213–42.

4–5: English translation, E.G. Mathews, Revue des études arméniennes 28 (2001/2), 143–69.

7: English translation, E.G. Mathews, Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies 9 (1996/7 [1999], 55–63.

46: English translation, R. Murray, Sobornost/Eastern Churches Review 11 (1989), 65–8.

48–50: French translation, B. Outtier, Lettre aux amis de Solesmes 1979:2, 1980:2, 1981:1 and 2.

49: English translation, Harp of the Spirit.


Summary Guide to the Main Editions and Translations of Texts Attributed to Ephrem


TitleCSCO/Scr. Syri Complete translations


Prose Works

Comm. Genesis, Exodus 152–3/71–2 Latin, English, French translations (Comm. Exodus)

Comm. Diatessaron Latin, English, French, German translations

Comm. Acts Latin

Comm. Pauline Epistles Latin

5 Discourses, to Hypatius English, German translations of no.1

Prose Refutations English, German translations of Against Bardaisan’s "Domnus"


Artistic Prose

Sermo de Domino NostroLatin, English, German translations

Letter to Publius English translation

Signs performed by Moses in Egypt French translation



On Abraham Qidunoyo 322–3/140–1 Latin, German translation

On the Church/de Ecclesia 198–9/84–5 German, French translations

On the Confessors 363–4/159–60 Latin, German translation

On the Crucifixion 448–9/108–9 Latin, French, German, Italian translations

On Epiphany 186–7/82–3 Latin, English, French, German, Italian translations

On Faith/de Fide 212–3/88–9 Latin, English, German translations

On the Fast 246–7/106–7 Latin, French, German, Italian, Romanian translations

Against Heresies 169–70/76–7 Latin, German translations

On Julian Saba 322–3/140–1 Latin, German translations

On the emperor Julian 174–5/78–9 English, German, Russian translations

On the Nativity 186–7/82–3 Latin, English, French, German, Romanian translations

Nisibene hymns 218–9/92–3; 240–1/102–3 Latin, French, German translations

On Paradise 174–5/78–9 Latin, English, French, German, Italian, Romanian translations

On the Resurrection 248–9/108–9 Latin, French, German, Italian, Romanian translations

On Unleavened Bread/de Azymis 248–9/108–9 Latin, French, German, Italian, Romanian translations

On Virginity 223–4/94–5 English, French, German translations



[Note: many of these are definitely not by Ephrem: see the main Guide]

On Faith/de Fide 212–3/88–9 English, German translations

On Nicomedia French translation

Sermones I.i-viii 305–6/130–1 German translation; Latin of i-ii, iv-viii; English translation of vii

Sermones II.i-iv 311–2/134–5 Latin, German translations; English translation of i. iii-iv

Sermones III.i-v 320–1/138–9 Latin, German translations

Sermones IV.i-iv 334–5/148–9 German translation; English translation of ii, French translation of iv

Mimre in Nachträge 363–4/159–60 German translation; English translation of 1–2

Mimre on Holy Week 412–3/181–2 Latin, German translations

Praise at Table Latin, English, French, Italian translations

Memre on Job

12 Memre on Joseph Latin

Memra on Abraham and Sarah in Egypt English translation

Memre on Abraham and Isaac English translation

Memra on Elijah English translation

Memra on Mary and Joseph English translation

Memra on Andrew English translation


The Early Syriac Manuscript Tradition

All the earliest manuscripts of Ephrem’s works derive ultimately from the library of Deir al-Surian, in Egypt. These were preserved thanks to the dry Egyptian climate and the bibliophile abbot Moses of Nisibis in the early decades of the tenth century.[27] After about the seventh century most of Ephrem’s writings, especially the madrashe, were no longer copied in full, but simply excerpted, hence the exceptional importance of the earliest manuscripts.

Prose works

These for the most part survive only in single manuscripts, as follows:

Commentary on Genesis and Exodus: Vatican Syr. 110 (6th century).

Commentary on the Diatessaron: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library ms 209 (5th/6th century).

Prose Refutations: British Library, Add. 14623 (a palimpsest manuscript; undertext: 5th/6th century). Once the techniques for reading palimpsest manuscripts have become more widely available, it should be possible to gain considerably more text of the works preserved in this manuscript.

Discourse on our Lord: British Library Add. 14570 and 14656 (both 5th/6th century).

Letter to Publius: excerpt only in British Library Add. 7190 (12th century).


For the most part the memre are only preserved in much later manuscripts.

The only memre preserved in manuscripts of the 6th century are:

Memre on Faith: Add. 12166.

Sermones I.i: Add.14573.

Sermones I.ii: Add. 14573 (to line 527).

Sermones I.v: Add. 14573.

Sermones II.i: Add. 14573.

Sermones II.ii: Add. 12176 (5th/6th century).


Four manuscripts survive which are precisely dated to years within the sixth century, while five further ones probably (on palaeographical grounds) date to the sixth century (two might even go back to the fifth).

On the Church: Vat. Syr. 111 (AD 522); Add. 14574 (5th/6th century); Add. 14635 (6th century); (Add. 14571).

On the Crucifixion: Add. 14571 (AD 519); Add. 14627 (6th/7th century),,

On Faith: Vat. Syr. 111; Vat. Syr. 113 (AD 552); Add, 12176 (5th/6th century); (Add.14571).

On the Fast: Add. 14571; Add. 14627 .

Against Heresies: Vat. Syr. 111; Add. 12176; Add. 14574.

Against Julian: Add.14571.

On the Nativity: Add. 14571 [16 poems]; Vat. Syr. 112 (AD 551) [18 poems].

On the Nisibenes: Add. 12176; Add. 14572 (6th century); (Add. 14571).

On Paradise: Vat. Syr. 111; Vat. Syr. 112.

On the Resurrection: Add. 14627.

On Unleavened Bread: Add. 14571 [2 poems]; Add. 14627

On Virginity: Vat. Syr. 111;

Since a number of these manuscripts have been damaged and have suffered loss, several of the madrashe collections do not survive complete; this applies to On the Church (several gaps), On Nisibis (missing 22–24, and parts of 25–26), On Unleavened Bread (most of 6–11), and On Virginity (much of 23–30, 38–40).

Beck also made use of quite a number of medieval liturgical manuscripts of the 8th/9th to 13th century, but, as a consultation of his apparatus will show, these only provide selected stanzas, and never any complete poem. A large number of isolated stanzas can be identified among the madrashe printed in the Mosul edition of the West Syriac Fenqitho, or Festal Hymnary.[28]


The Chronology of Ephrem’s Works

In the present state of knowledge very little can be said with any certainty concerning the chronology of Ephrem’s works. In some cases the allocation of a work to either his Nisibis or his Edessa period is reasonably assured: thus the Memre on Faith, the Lent and Paschal cycles of Madrashe (originally a single collection, to judge by the notice in Sinai syr. 10) and perhaps also the Madrashe on Paradise are likely to be early works. A terminus post quem is provided on internal grounds for at least those of the Memre on the Nisibenes concerning particular Nisibene bishops, for the Memre on Nicomedia (destroyed by an earthquake in 358), and for those against Julian (who died in 363). The Madrashe against Heresies and Prose Refutations are almost certainly from the Edessa period, and likewise the Madrashe on Faith (some of which polemicize against Eunomius). The Commentary on the Diatessaron was probably edited in its present form after Ephrem’s death.[28] For the other madrashe collections little or no clear evidence is available for the purposes of dating.

In the case of all the madrashe collections much will depend on whether Ephrem himself put the collections together, or whether this was done after his death. In the latter case, individual poems within a single collection could be of very varied dates; this of course could also be a possibility even if it was Ephrem himself who put them together. In any case this is the situation with the Madrashe on the Nisibenes for, besides containing material which strongly points to Nisibis as the place of writing, they also include one (no. 31) on bishop Vitus of Harran (near Edessa).

Among the few discussions of this matter, see N. El-Khoury, Die Interpretation der Welt, 155–7, and C. Lange, The Portayal of Christ, 28–35.




Only a very basic orientation is offered here.


Arabic translations of Ephrem go back to the very beginnings of Christian Arabic literature, and in some cases they also survive in early manuscripts of the ninth and tenth centuries. Normally the translations are made from the Greek Ephrem corpus, and not from Syriac. On this version, see in general G. Graf, Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur (Rome, 1944), I, 421–33. In recent years a number of analyses of early Arabic manuscripts containing Ephrem’s works have been made: see K. Samir, "Le recueil Ephrémien arabe des 52 homélies", Orientalia Christiana Periodica 39 (1973), 307–32; "Le recueil Ephrémien arabe des 30 homélies (Sinaï arabe 311)", Parole de l’Orient 4 (1973), 265–316; "Eine Homilien-Sammlung Ephräms des Syrers: Codex sinaiticus arabicus Nr. 311", Oriens Christianus 58 (1974), 51–75; and "L’Éphrem arabe: Etat des travaux", Symposium Syriacum 1976 (Orientalia Christiana Analecta 205, 1978), 229–42. and J-M. Sauget, "Le dossier Ephrémien du manuscrit arabe Strasbourg 4226 et de ses membra disiecta", Orientalia Christiana Periodica 42 (1976), 426–58 (some of the texts attributed to Ephrem in Strasbourg 4226, analysed there, were subsequently identified as being by Aphrahat: J-M. Sauget, Le Muséon 92 [1979], 61–69).



The importance of the early Armenian version has already been seen in that it has preserved several important genuine works which had been lost in Syriac. It is likely that the version goes back to the fifth century. A listing of the contents of the four-volume edition (Venice, 1836) is given, den Biesen, Bibliography, 381–3. This is supplemented by L. Mariès and C. Mercier, Hymnes de s. Ephrem conservées en version arménienne (PO 30.1; 1962), and L. Ter Petrossian and B. Outtier, Textes arméniens relatifs s. Ephrem (CSCO 473–4; Scr. Arm.15–16; 1985); the latter, however, only contains texts concerning, and not by, Ephrem; these include the Life and the Testament. The Armenian translation of the memra on Jonah was published by G. Garitte in Revue des Études Arméniennes ns 6 (1969), 23–43. Another homily of doubtful authenticity was published by B. Outtier in the same journal, 13 (1978/9), 165–74. The Exposition of the Gospel, edited with English translation, G. Egan, CSCO 291–2, Scr. Armeni 5–6 (1968) is definitely not by Ephrem (pace Egan): see B. Outtier, PdO 1 (1970), 385–408.


Christian Palestinian Aramaic

Fragments of homilies attributed to Ephrem survive in manuscripts of the sixth to eighth centuries; the translations are always from Greek (see CPG 3915, 3925, 3937 and 3946). A. Desreumaux gives a survey of the material in Hugoye 1/2 (1998). Among the "New Finds" at St Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai, CPA Sparagma 1 consists of 2 folios of CPG 3915 (de poenitentia).



The small number of works attributed to Ephrem in Coptic, all translated from Greek, are listed in CPG 3909, 3938–9, 3946 (in Suppl.), 3952, 4018 (in Suppl.), 4135 (in Suppl), 4153; cf. D. Proverbio, "Auctarium au dossier copte de l’Éphrem grec", Orientalia 66 (1997), E. Lucchesi, "Un corpus ephrémien en copte", Analecta Bollandiana 116 (1998), 107–14.



A few works have reached Ethiopic, but apart from what is preserved in the so-called Collectio monastica (CSCO 238–9, 1963), Patericon (CSCO 27?, 1967), and the Asceticon (CSCO 458–9, 1984), ed. V. Arras, hardly anything has been published; for details, see CPG 3909, 3942, 4082 (in Suppl.), 4170 (and in Suppl.).


Georgian translations of Ephrem come by way of Greek, Armenian or Arabic, though the great majority of them were made from Greek in the eleventh century by the famous translator Ephrem ‘the Less’; see CPG II 3905–9, 3911–17, 3919–45, 3947–8, 3950–1, 3953, 3957, 3959–62, 3968, 3994, 4001–2, 4007, 4014, 4018, 4021, 4025, 4082, and 4145 (and in Suppl.). In general, see B. Outtier, "Les receuils géorgiens attribués à saint Ephrem le syrien", Bedi Kartlisa 32 (1974), 118–25, and M. van Esbroeck, Les plus anciens homéliaires géorgiens (Louvain, 1975), index under ‘Ephrem’. Recent publications provided with a translation are: G. Garitte, Le Muséon 80 (1967), 75–119 (memra on Jonah), and 82 (1969), 123–63 (text based on Madroshe on Nisibis 35, 36, 39); and B. Outtier, Bedi Kartlisa 32 (1974), 109–17 (homily on fasting and penitence).


A glance at the second volume of the Clavis Patrum Graecorum (CPG) will indicate that the number of texts in Greek attributed to Ephrem (CPG 3905–4175, 366–468) is exceeded only by those attributed to John Chrysostom (CPG 4305–5197, 491–672). Attributions sometimes vary between manuscripts; thus several texts ascribed to Ephrem in fact belong to the Macarian Homilies; these (CPG 3959, 3961, 3992–3, 4032–3, 4035, 4048) were edited by W. Strothmann, Schriften des Makarios/Symeon unter dem Namen des Ephraem (Göttinger Orientforschugen, Reihe Syriaca, 22; 1981).

The second volume of CPG (1974) and the Supplement (1998) provide the essential guide to ‘Ephrem Graecus’, and include references to the main secondary literature.[31] The corpus is in fact very disparate in character, consisting of at least three very different elements: (1) translations of genuine works by Ephrem; (2) translations of Syriac works not by Ephrem; and (3) a large body of material, itself disparate in character, for which Greek is the original language. Some of the Greek texts employ a syllabic metre; these may belong to any one of the three categories.

Three of the six volumes of the eighteenth-century edition of Ephrem (conventionally designated I-III) contain these Greek texts (though earlier editions, notably that of 1709 by Thwaites, exist). The recent seven-volume edition of the Greek texts, edited by K.G. Phrantzolas,[32] is largely derived from the Rome edition, though the final volume contains some hitherto unpublished texts; for convenience, the contents of these volumes, identified here by their CPG numbers, are given in the sequence of their occurrence (‘ms.’ in vol. 7 indicates that the item has been published from a manuscript, and not from the Rome edition):

I CPG 3905–3919.

II CPG 3921–3936, 3950, 4014, 3943.

III CPG 3941, 3942, 3956=3975, 3976, 3959–61, 3963–6, 3968, 3971, 3920.

IV CPG 3944, 3945, 3969, 3946, 3948, 4007=4693,4012, [4012.2, ?,] 4014, 4016, 4029, 4044, 4009–11, 3985–8, 4003–6, 4030, 4035, 4031.

V CPG 4017, 4041, 3980=4679, 3981–4, 3989–94, 4002, 4001, 3998, 4000, 3997, 4015, 4018, 4032, 2415=4034, 4040, 4047, 4048, 4051,[ ?,] 4055, [?, ?, ?,] 4058–9.

VI CPG 4020–24, 3955, 3977=4503, 3978–9, 4028=7752, 4027, 3949, 4053–4, 3995–6, 4008, 4064, 4036, 4068–79.

VII CPG 3939, 4025, 4062, 4106, 4104, 4103, ms, 4046, 4061, 3953, 4026, ms, ms, 3954, ms, 4108, 3938, 4082, 3951, 3937, 3947, ms.

The distribution of the CPG numbers in their sequence as they feature in the seven volumes is as follows:

CPG 3905–3919 = vol. I; 3920 = Vol. III; 3921–3936 = Vol. II; 3937 = Vol. VII; 3938–9 = Vol. VII; 3942 = Vol. III; 3944–6, 3448 = Vol. IV; 3947 = Vol. VII; 3949 = Vol. VI; 3950 = Vol. II; 3953–4 = Vol.. VII; 3956, 3959–61, 3963–6, 3968 = Vol. III; 3969 = Vol. IV; 3971, 3975 = Vol. III; 3977–9 = Vol. VI; 3980–84 = Vol. V; 3985–8 = Vol. IV; 3989–94, 3997–8, 4000–4002 = Vol. V; 4003–7 = Vol . IV; 4008 = Vol. VI; 4009–12, 4014 =Vol. IV; 4014 = Vol. II; 4015 = Vol. V; 4016 = Vol. IV; 4017–8 = Vol. V; 4020–24, 4027–8 = Vol. VI;4025–6 = Vol. VII; 4029–31 = Vol. IV; 4032, 4034 = Vol. V; 4035 = Vol. IV; 4036 = Vol. VI; 4040–41 = Vol. V; 4044 = Vol. IV; 4046 = Vol. VII; 4047–8, 4051 = Vol. V; 4053–4 = Vol. VI; 4058–9 = Vol. V; 4061–2 = Vol. VII; 4064, 4068–79 = Vol. VI; 4082, 4103–4, 4106, 4108 = Vol. VII.

Subsequent to Phrantzolas’ edition, two further short Greek texts (CPG 4104, 4106) have been edited, with German translation, S. Held, Oriens Christianus 84 (2000), 1–22.

Here it will suffice to note that the following are the only Greek texts which have a Syriac original that can be identified; several of these cannot be genuine Ephrem: CPG II, 3909 (Sermo asceticus), 3937 (Life of Abraham and his niece Mary); 3939 (On the Transfiguration; attributed to John Chrysostom in Syriac), 3944 (On the Second Coming), 3945(?) (On the resurrection and the Second Coming), 3946(?) (On the Second Coming, 3947 (Testament), 3948 (On the Cross), 3950 (Admonition), 3952 (On the Sinful Woman; in fact the Greek is not a direct translation), 4012(?) (On Second Coming), 4025 (On the Passion; attributed to John Chrysostom in Syriac), 4028 (On those who sleep in Christ), 4054 (On those who investigate the nature of the Son), 4082 (On Jonah and the Repentance of Nineveh).



The various Latin versions were made from Greek. The earliest texts to survive are some papyrus fragments of a text on the patriarch Joseph (CPG 3938) and a manuscript with the Sermo asceticus (CPG 3903), both of the sixth century. From slightly later is a free rendering of the Homily on Jonah and the Repentance of Nineveh (CPG 4028). By the ninth century a small corpus of nine texts was circulating, including On Penitence (CPG 3915), which was to prove particularly popular, to judge by the large number of manuscripts. Likewise popular was the Life of Abraham and his niece Mary (CPG 3937), which was also adapted into a play by the Benedictine nun Hrotswitha (late tenth century). This small corpus was replaced in the fifteenth century by a new and more extensive translation of 19 texts from Greek, by Ambrogio Traversari (d.1439). Then in the sixteenth century a very much larger corpus, of over 120 texts, was translated from Greek by Gerardus Vossius, and published in three volumes (1589, 1593, 1598). Vossius also included in his second volume the first Latin translation made directly from a Syriac text. In the seventeenth century several liturgical texts attributed to Ephrem were translated into Latin, but it was not until the great Editio Romana, in the eighteenth century, that large quantities of Syriac texts were made available in Latin translation. Supplementum 4 (1967), 604–48, of the Patrologia Latina contains a number of Latin texts under Ephrem’s name. For the early printed edition, see T.S. Pattie, "The Early Printed Editions of Ephraem Latinus and their Relationship to the Manuscripts", Studia Patristica 20 (1989), 50–53.



The Slavonic translation of materials from Ephrem Graecus goes back to the tenth century. The ‘Parainesis’, as this collection of texts is known, consists of a large number of ascetic sermons (including CPG 3909 (the "Sermo asceticus") and 3942 (fifty "Sermones paraenetici ad monachos Aegypti"). The collection has been edited, in four volumes, by G/ Bojkovsky, Parainesis: Die altbulgarische Übersetzung von Werken Ephraims des Syrers (Monumenta Linguae Slavicae 20, 22, 24, 28; Freiburg i.Br., 1984–8); the individual texts in this edition can readily be identified by consulting the Supplementum of CPG (see also CPG 4175 in vol. II and in the Supplementum). For a general orientation, see F.J. Thomson, "The Old Bulgarian Translation of the Homilies of Ephrem Syrus", Palaeobulgarica 8 (1985), 124–30.


The following abbreviations are used for main editions and collections of translations:

Bride = S.P. Brock, Bride of Light: Hymns on Mary from the Syriac Churches (Moran Etho 6; Kottayam, 1994; new edition Piscataway, NJ, 2010).

Brief Outline = S.P. Brock, A Brief Outline of Syriac Literature (Moran Etho 9; Kottayam, 1997).

Burgess (a) = H. Burgess, Select Metrical Hymns and Homilies of Ephrem Syrus (London, 1853).

Burgess (b) = H. Burgess, The Repentance of NinevehA Metrical Homily on the Mission of Jonah by Ephrem Syrus (London, l853).

Cassingena-Trevédy = F. Cassingena-Trevédy, Éphrem de Nisibe: Hymnes Paschales (Sources Chrétiennes 502; Paris, 2006).

Cerbelaud = D. Cerbelaud, Éphrem: ‘Célébrons la Pâque’ (Hymnes sur les Azymes, sur la Crucifixion, sur la Résurrection (Paris, 1995).

CSCO = Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium (Leuven).

de Francesco, Inni pasquali = I. de Francesco, Efrem il Siro. Inni pasquali (Letture cristiane del primo millennio 31; Milan, 2001).

Garland = A Garland of Hymns from the Early Church, translated by S.P. Brock (St Athanasius' Coptic Publishing Center; Mclean, VA, 1989).

Gwynn = J. Gwynn (ed.), Selections translated into English from the Hymns and Homilies of Ephraim the Syrian..., A SelectLibrary of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, second series, vol. 13 (Oxford/New York, 1898).

Harp of the Spirit = S.P. Brock, The Harp of the Spirit18 Poems of St Ephrem, (Studies Supplementary to Sobornost; 2nd edition, London, 1983). [French translation, D. Rance, 1991; Italian translation, M. Nin, L’arpa del spirito (Rome, 1999); Arabic translation , Cairo, 1989].

Hugoye Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies

Ica = I. Ica, Sfantul Efrem Sirul: Imnele Paresimilor, Azimelor, Rastignirii si Ivnieri (Sibiu, 1999).

Lamy = T.J. Lamy, Sancti Ephraem Syri Hymni et Sermones (4 volumes; Malines, 1882–1902).

Le saint prophète Élie Le saint prophète Élie d’après les Pères de l’Église (Spiritualité Orientale 53; Abbaye de Bellefontaine, 1992).

Luqote = S.P. Brock, Luqote d-mimre d-‘al ktobay qudsho/Eight Mimre on Biblical Themes (Bar-Hebraeus Verlag, 1993).

Malan (a) = S.C. Malan, Meditations for Every Wednesday and Friday in Lent on a Prayer of St Ephraem...(London, 1859).

Malan (b) = S.C. Malan, Repentance: Chiefly from the Syriac of S. Ephraemand Other Eastern Sources (London, 1866).

Martinez, "Los himnos..." = F.J. Martinez, "Los himnos de San Efrén de Nisibe y la liturgia de la Iglesia en lengua siriaca", Liturgia y Padres de la Iglesia (Bilbao, 2000), 127–217.

McVey = K. McVey, Ephrem the SyrianHymns (Classics of Western Spirituality; New York, 1989).

Morris = J.B. Morris, Select Works of S..Ephrem the Syrian (Oxford, 1847).

Nin = M. Nin, Efrem de Nisibis: Himnes i homilies (Clàssics del Cristianisme 68; 1997).

Overbeck = J. Overbeck, S. Ephraemi Syri Rabulae Episcopi Edesseni Balaei Aliorumque Opera Selecta (Oxford, 1865).

Palmer (a) = A.N. Palmer, "The Merchant of Nisibis: Saint Ephrem and his Faithful Quest for Union in Numbers", in J. den Boeft and A. Hilhorst (eds.), Early Christian Poetry: A Collection of Essays (Supplement 22 to Vigiliae Christianae; Leiden, 1993), 167–233.

Palmer (b) = A.N. Palmer, "“A lyre without a voice”: The Poetics and Politics of Ephrem the Syrian", Aram 5 (1993), 371–99.

Palmer (c) = A.N. Palmer, "Words, Silences, and the Silent Word: Acrostics and Empty Columns in Saint Ephrem’s Hymns on Faith", Parole de l’Orient 20 (1995), 129–200.

Palmer (d) = A.N. Palmer, "A Single Human Being Divided in himself: Ephraim the Syrian, the Man in the Middle", Hugoye 1:2 (1998).

Palmer (e) = A.N. Palmer, "The Influence of Ephraim the Syrian", Hugoye 2:1 (1999).

Palmer (f) = A.N. Palmer, "Restoring the ABC in Ephraim’s Cycles on Faith and Paradise", Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 55 (2003), 147–94.

Palmer (g) = A.N. Palmer, "Interpolated Stanzas in Ephraim’s Madroshe LXVI-LXVIII on Faith", Oriens Christianus 90 (2006), 1–22.

Palmer (h) = A.N. Palmer, "Nine More Stanzas to be Banished from Ephraim’s Paradise Hymns", in Vom Nil an die Saale. Festschrift A. Mustafa (Hallesche Beiträge zur Orientwissenschaft 42 (2006 [2008]), 301–57.

Palmer (i) = "Interpolated Stanzas in Ephraim’s Madroshe III-VIII on Faith", Oriens Christianus 93 (2009), 1–27.

Prose Refutations = C.W. Mitchell, S. Ephraim’s Prose Refutations of Mani, Marcion and Bardaisan, I-II (London, 1912, 1921).

Roman Edition (RE) = P. Mobarak (Benedictus) and S.E.Assemani, Sancti Patris Nostri Ephraem Syri Opera Omnia quae exstantGraeceSyriaceLatine (6 volumes; Rome, 1732–46). [The Syriac volumes are cited as vols IV-VI].

Rouwhorst = G.A.M. Rouwhorst, Les hymnes pascales d’Éphrem de Nisibe, I-II (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 7:1–2; Leiden, 1989).

Select Poems = S.P. Brock and G. Kiraz, Select Poems of Ephrem: Vocalized Syriac and English (Provo, 2006)

Selected Prose Works = E.G. Mathews and J. Amar, St Ephrem the Syrian: Seclected Prose Works (The Fathers of the Church 91; Washington, DC, 1994).

Ship of Treasures = R. Beshara, Mary: Ship of Treasures (Brooklyn NY 1988).

Sogiatha = Sogiatha: Syriac Dialogue Hymns, translated by S.P.Brock (The Syrian Churches Series 11; Kottayam, 1987).

Spirituality = S.P. Brock, Spirituality in the Syriac Tradition (Moran Etho 2; Kottayam, 1989; 2nd edn 2005).

Treasurehouse = S.P. Brock, A Treasurehouse of Mysteries: Explorations of the Sacred Text through Poetry in the Syriac Tradition (Crestwood, NY, 2012).


[1] For this reason I have not given references to the older German anthologies by S. Euringer and A. Rücker; for these, see den Biesen’s Bibliography, titles 463–5.

[2] Giove in Umbria, 2002 (available from

[3] In vols 4, 10, 14, 17, 23, 29 and 33; those in vols 4, 10, 14 and 17 (covering 1960–1990) are also published in a combined form as a separate volume, Syriac Studies: A Classified Bibliography (1960–1990) (Kaslik, 1996). The bibliography for 2006–2010 will appear in a future number of Parole de l’Orient.

[4] If a recent translation exists, older translations in that language are not normally listed; references to these can be located through consulting ##17–173 in den Biesen’s Bibliography.

[5] On this see D. Kruisheer, "Ephrem, Jacob of Edessa, and the Monk Severus", in R. Lavenant (ed.), Symposium Syriacum VII (Orientalia Christiana Analecta 256; Rome, 1998), 599–605; B. ter Haar Romeny, "The Identity Formation of Syrian Orthodox Christians as Reflected in Two Exegetical Collections", Parole de l’Orient 29 (2004), 103–21, and "Ephrem and Jacob of Edessa in the Commentary of the Monk Severus", in G.A. Kiraz (ed.), Malphono w-Rabo d-Malphone (Piscataway, NJ, 2008), 535–557.

[6] In the third volume of the Greek/Latin part of RE, a Latin translation of this will be found (III, 569–70; CPG 4083).

[7] For Sinai Syr. 10, see the introduction to the Index of qole.

[8] On 22 I failed to note that Nuhro dnah l-zaddiqe is found in RE, V, 330 (under Sermones exegetici).

[9] According to den Biesen # 107, this was reedited by Beck in Sermones IV.i; this however is incorrect.

[10] The text of this mimro is included in the extra vol. VI of the Gorgias Press’s reprint (2006) of Bedjan’s five-volume edition of Jacob’s mimre, 297–323..

[11] No. 17 is the Dialogue between Mary and the Angel; this has been reedited in S.P. Brock, Sughyotho mgabyotho (Monastery of St Ephrem, Holland, 1982) and (with facing English translation) Mary and Joseph, and Other Dialogue Poems on Mary (Piscataway, NJ, 2011); English translation alone, Marianum 169/170 (2006), 121–30.

[12] The first edition has only Books I-X; this must be the source for the text in Gabriel Sawmy, Mardutho d-Suryoye, vol. 7 (São Paolo, Brasil, 1987), 73–227.

[13] On these memre on Joseph, see now R. Phenix, The Sermons on Joseph of Balai of Qenneshrin (Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum 50; Tübingen 2008).

[14] The text was earlier re-edited, Qolo Suryoyo 133 (2001), 230–27 [sic], with English translation, Sobornost/Eastern Churches Review 23 (2001), 40–44, and The Harp16 (2003), 349–54 (where through a printer’s error the Syriac text was omitted).

[15] Not I.ii, as inadvertently stated in den Biesen #89.

[16] Unpublished, but see no.83 in the index of incipits, S.P. Brock, "The Published Verse Homilies of Isaac of Antioch, Jacob of Serugh, and Narsai: Index of incipits", Journal of Semitic Studies 32 (1987), 279–313.

[17] Problems of authenticity are not the concern of this Guide, though some indication when works under his name are clearly not by him. The problem of interpolated stanzas in some of the madrashe is studied by A.N. Palmer in a series of articles (see the list of Abbreviations, under Palmer).

[18] For this composite work, see B. Outtier, Parole de l’Orient 1 (1970), 385–408, and D. Bundy, Le Muséon 103 (1990), 111–23.

[19] See V.S. Hovhannesian, "Armenian Manuscripts of the Commentaries on the Letters of the Apostle Paul Attributed to Saint Ephrem the Syrian", The Harp 24 (2009), 311–27 (listing 27 manuscripts).

[20] For the use of this mimro, during the Fast of Nineveh, in the liturgical books of both the Church of the East and the Syrian Orthodox Church, see S.P. Brock, "Ephrem’s Verse Homily on Jonah and the Repentance of Nineveh: Notes on the Textual Tradition", in A. Schoors and P. van Deun (eds), Polyhistor: Miscellanea in honorem Caroli LAga (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 60; Leuven, 1994), 71–86 [reprinted, From Ephrem to Romanos: Interactions between Syriac and Greek in Late Antiquity (Variorum Reprints; Aldershot, 1999), chapter V], with tables on 85–6.

a class="anchor-link" href="#2.1.21text" id="2.1.21note" name="2.1.21note">[21] P. Zingerle, in his Chrestomathia Syriaca (Rome, 1871), pp,315–35, gives this poem, based on a Vatican Borg. Syr. manuscript (not mentioned by Beck).

a class="anchor-link" href="#2.1.22text" id="2.1.22note" name="2.1.22note">[22] For this text, see G.J. Reinink, "Pseudo-Ephraems “Rede über das Ende” und die syrische Eschatologische Literatur des siebenten Jahrhunderts", Aram 5 (1993), 437–463, reprinted, Syriac Christianity under Later Sasanian and Early Islamic Rule (Aldershot, 2005), chapter IV.

a class="anchor-link" href="#2.1.23text" id="2.1.23note" name="2.1.23note">[23] The incipit given in #55 is wrong (it belong to #61).

[24] For the early manuscript traditions, see below: Early Syriac Manuscript Tradition.

[25] According the S.H. Griffith, "Julian Saba, “Father of the Monks” of Syria", Journal of Early Christian Studies 2 (1994), 201, hymns 1–4 could well be genuine. No. 18 is cited in Sinai Syr. 10 as belonging to the "Volume of the Confessors and the Departed" (for Sinai Syr. 10, see the Introduction to the Index of Qole).

[26] The two dialogue poems, 4 (Mary and the Magi) and 5 (John the Baptist and Christ), are re-published, S.P. Brock, Sughyotho mgabyotho (Monastery of St Ephrem, Holland, 1982); and no.4 is re-published with English translation, Mary and Joseph, and Other Dialogue Poems on Mary (Piscataway, NJ, 2011); English translation alone, Marianum 169/170 (2006), 139–51.

[27] For the significance of the library of this Monastery for the survival of many early Syriac texts, see S.P. Brock, "Without Mushe of Nisibis, Where Would we Be? Some Reflections on the Transmission of Syriac Literature", Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 56 (2004), 15–24.

[28] For the presence of these in the medieval liturgical manuscripts and editions, see J. Gribomont, "La tradition liturgique des hymnes pascales de s. Éphrem", Parole de l’Orient 4 (1973), 191–246, and S. P. Brock, "The Transmission of Ephrem’s madrashe in the Syriac Liturgical Tradition", Studia Patristica 33 (1997), 490–505.

[29] For a discussion of the compositional problems surrounding this work, see C. Lange, The Portrayal of Christi in the Syriac Commentary on the Diatessaron (CSCO 616, 2005).

[30] An overview of Ephrem’s writings as known in the West is given in S.P. Brock, "The Changing Faces of St Ephrem as Read in the West", in J. Behr, A. Louth, and D. Conomos (eds), AbbaThe Tradition of Orthodoxy in the West, Festschrift for Bishop Kallistos (Ware) of Diokeleia (Crestwood, 2003), 65–80; see also E. Lash, "The Greek Writings Ascribed to Saint Ephrem", in the same volume, 81–98.

[31] The most important being two contributions by D. Hemmerdinger-Iliadou, "Ephrem grec et latin", Dictionnaire d Spiritualité 4 (1960), cols. 800–819, and "Éphrem: versios grecque, latine et slave (Addenda et corrigenda)", Epeteris Hetairaias Buzantinon Spoudon 42 (1975/6), 320–73. She edited two hitherto unpublished texts, "Saint Éphrem le Syrien: sermon sur Jonas", Le Muséon 80 (1967), 47–74 (translation of Sermones II.i), and "Sermon grec inédit de s.Éphrem sur le bon larron", AnalectaBollandiana 85 (1967), 429–39. For the Ephrem texts in Photius’ Bibliotheke), codex 196, see J. Schamp, "Éphrem de Nisibe et Photius: Pour une chasse aux textesà travers la Bibliothèque", Le Muséon 98 (1985), 293–314; and for the contents of an eighth-century Greek manuscript, see S. Lucà, in P. Canart and S. Lucà (eds), Codici greci dell’Italia meridioale (Rome, 2000), 40–41.

[32] Hosiou Ephraim tou Surou Erga (Thessaloniki, 1988–98). The seventh volume includes the Repentance of Nineveh and the verse poem on Abraham and Isaac, edited by S. Mercati (1915),