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Jacob Baradæus

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A Syrian Monophysite bishop, born in Tella, towards the end of the fifth or the beginning of the sixth century, died in 578. He was the son of Theophilus bar Manu, a priest of Tella, and hence his real name was Jacob bar Theophilus; the surname Burde'ana, corrupted into Baradæus, was derived from the coarse horse-cloth barda'than which he usually wore. After receiving a good education he became a monk in the monastery of Pesíltâ, and a disciple of Severus, the head of the Monophysites. In the first half of the sixth century, Monophysitism. weakened by internal dissensions and by the opposition of the Emperor Justinian, was on the verge of disappearing, especially when its leader Severus died, 538. Probably through the influence of the Empress Theodora, Baradæus was made Bishop of Edessa in 543, and henceforth devoted all his energies to the defence of Monophysitism. Through his untiring activity he breathed a new life into what seemed a mere expiring faction. At the cost of great hardship, he went around ordaining priests and deacons and strengthening his coreligionists. There exists a profession of faith addressed to him by the abbots of the province of Arabia, with 137 signatures (see Lamy, in "Actes du XIe Congrès des Orientalistes", §4, Paris, 1897) showing that he was the undisputed leader in Monophysite circles. It is because of his prominence that the Monophysites were, and still are, called after his name, Jacobites. Baradæus has left very little in writing: a liturgy, and a few letters.

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