Baradai, James

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Monophysite bishop and founder of Jacobite Church; d. Romanos monastery of Kasion, Egypt, July 30, 578. James was Syrian by birth. He became a monk and priest at the Pesītā monastery in the mountains of Izla, and c. 527 was sent to the Byzantine court in Constantinople, where he remained until 543 under the favor of the Empress theodora. Consecrated titular bishop of Edessa by the exiled Patriarch Theodosius of Alexandria, he was sent, at the request of the Arab prince Harith Ibn Gabala, to the eastern frontier of the empire to convert the Arabs. He consecrated a large number of Syrian Monophysites as bishops and priests, thus founding a new hierarchy that was organized by the Monophysite Patriarch of Antioch, Sergius (d. c. 560). The church thus established is still known as the Syrian Jacobite Church. Baradai left no authentic writings other than a few letters translated from Greek into Syriac.

Bibliography: e. hammerschmidt, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 5:836. h. g. kleyn, Jacobus Baradaeus, de Stichter der syrische monophysitische Kerk (Leiden 1882) 16494. i. ortiz de urbina, Patrologia syriaca 15354. w. wright, A Short History of Syriac Literature (London 1894). e. stein, Histoire du Bas-Empire 2:62528, 684.

[i. ortiz de urbina]