Announcing Publication of The Syriac Gazetteer! The Syriac Reference Portal is pleased to announce the first online edition of The Syriac Gazetteer edited by Thomas A. Carlson and David A. Michelson. Although this publication already contains approximately 2500 places, it is only an initial edition and in no way exhaustive. The editors invite all interested scholars to become contributors to increase the geographic and chronological coverage of the The Syriac Gazetteer. Please examine it here and join us!

What is The Syriac Reference Portal is a collaborative research project publishling online reference works concerning the culture, history, and literature of Syriac communities from antiquity to the present. The online publications of serve a broad scholarly audience including students of Middle Eastern studies, classics, medieval history, religious studies, biblical studies, and linguistics. In addition, exists to provide Syriac heritage communities and the interested general public with access to scholarly information about Syriac cultures and their histories.

What is Syriac?

Syriac is a language which once flourished on the Mesopotamian plateau. A dialect of Aramaic, Syriac was widely used during much of the first millenium of the common era. Syriac speaking communities could be found in what today would be Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, India, Central Asia, China, and Mongolia. Sources in Syriac hold immense value for increasing our historical understanding of the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Asia. In particular, Syriac sources document key moments in the development and interaction of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and other religions of Late Antiquity. Learn more…

Online Resources

The publications of combine emerging methods in the field of digital humanities with the rigour of traditional genres in history and philology. Several digital reference works are currently in preparation:

  • The Syriac Gazetteer: a dictionary of historical geography concerning places related to Syriac studies.
  • Clavis Syriaca: A two volume reference guide to Syriac authors and their works for use in cataloguing Syriac manuscripts. An initial fasicule has already been published as part of The Virtual International Authority File.
  • The Syriac Prosopography: A text-based prosopography similar to the The Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England (PASE).
  • Gateway to the Syriac Saints: A two volume reference guide to Syriac saints and their vitae.
  • Digital Catalogue of Syriac Manuscripts in the British Library: A digital catalogue of Syriac manuscripts using the TEI XML standards for manuscript cataloguing.
  • A Union Catalogue of Syriac Manuscripts: A digital catalogue of Syriac manuscripts following the model of the Fihrist union catalogue.

All publications of are made available online in a free and open format using the Creative Commons licenses. Draft data for in-process publications is available in a public Github repository.

In later development, we will open these resources up for collaborative augmentation and annotation by scholars around the globe. Learn more…

Funding for was provided by:

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or any of the other sponsors.