John bar Aphtonia - ܝܘܚܢܢ ܒܪ ܐܦܬܘܢܝܐ (475 - 537 or 538) This page is an entry in Qadishe: A Guide to the Syriac Saints and A Guide to Syriac Authors


Monastic founder and author.1


  • ܝܘܚܢܢ ܒܪ ܐܦܬܘܢܝܐ4
  • John bar Aphtonia
  • ܝܘܚܢܢ ܒܪ ܐܦܬܘܢܝܐ6
  • ܝܘܚܰܢܢ ܒܪ ܐܰܦܬܘܢܝܰܐ4
  • يوحنا ابن افتونيا3
  • Jean bar Aphtonia6
  • John bar Aphthonia
  • John Bar Aphtonia
  • John bar Aphtonia
  • Yōḥanān bar ʾAptōnyā6
  • Yuḥanān bar Aptoniyā
  • Jean bar Aphtonia6
  • Jean bar Aphtonya6
  • John bar Aphtonia1
  • John Bar Aphtonia2

Sex: male7


  • Syr. Orth. 1


In hagiography: John bar Aphtonia is commemorated as a saint born in Edessa and named after his mother, Aphtonia, who consecrated him to God. He joined the monastery of St. Thomas in Seleucia Pieria near Antioch. According to tradition, he was later chased out of the area by Chalcedonians (in the 530s) and founded the monastery of Qenneshrin on the Euphrates, across from Europos. He wrote a Life of Severus of Antioch [] which survives in several versions.

Related Places in the Syriac Gazetteer

* This map displays 8 records. Only places with coordinates are displayed.

*Timeline generated with


  • Birth: 4757
  • Death: 5371 or 5387


  • The saint is venerated on Syr. iacob., tesr. post. 4.. 7

Works Cited

Any information without attribution has been created following the editorial guidelines.

  • 1 J. W. Childers, "John bar Aphtonia." in Sebastian P. Brock et al. (eds.), The Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage (Piscataway,NJ: Gorgias Press, 2011), pp: 229.Link to Bibliographic Record.Link to Bibliographic Record.Link to e-GEDSH entry
  • 2 Ignatius Afram Barsoum, The Scattered Pearls: A History of Syriac Literature and Sciences, trans. Matti Moosa, 2nd rev. ed. (Piscataway,NJ: Gorgias Press, 2003), entry: 48, pp: 289.Link to Bibliographic Record.
  • 3 Ignatius Afram Barsoum, al-Luʼluʼ al-manthūr fī tārīkh al-ʻulūm wa-al-ādāb al-Suryāniyyah, 4th ed. (Holland: Bar Hebraeus Verlag, 1987), pp: 250.Link to Bibliographic Record.
  • 4 Ignatius Afram Barsoum, Berule bdire d-ʿal yulpone suryoye hdire, trans. Philoxenos Yuḥanon Dolabani, 2nd ed. (Holland: Bar Hebraeus Verlag, 1991), pp: 275.Link to Bibliographic Record.
  • 5 Sergey Minov (ed.), A Comprehensive Bibliography on Syriac Christianity (The Center for the Study of Christianity, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2013), entry: John bar Aphtonia.Link to Bibliographic Record.
  • 6 Ugo Zanetti and Claude Detienne, Bibliotheca Hagiographica Syriaca, entry: 467, 469, 470, 471, 560, 561, 562, 952, 953, 566, 951.Link to Bibliographic Record.
  • 7 Jean Maurice Fiey, Saints Syriaques (Princeton, N.J.: The Darwin Press, Inc., 2004), entry: 237.Link to Bibliographic Record.
  • 8 François Nau, "Histoire de l'Illustre Jean, Supérieur du Saint Monastére d'Aphtonia, écrite par l'un de ses disciples." Revue de l'Orient chrétien vol. 7 (1902)., : 97-135.Link to Bibliographic Record.Link to Zotero Bibliographic RecordLink to Bibliographic record
  • 9 Paul Peeters and Société de Bollandistes, Bibliotheca hagiographica orientalis (1910)., : 497.Link to Bibliographic Record.Link to Bibliographic recordLink to Zotero Bibliographic RecordLink to Worldcat Bibliographic record
  • 10 Jan Willem Drijvers and J. W. Watt, "Portraits of spiritual authority : religious power in early Christianity, Byzantium, and the Christian Orient." (Brill, 1999)., : (Leiden, 1999), 155-69.Link to Bibliographic Record.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 11 Enciclopedia dei santi: le chiese orientali [= Bibliotheca sanctorum orientalium] (Roma: Città nuova, 1998)., : I, lll2.Link to Bibliographic Record.Link to Zotero Bibliographic RecordLink to Worldcat Bibliographic record
  • 12 Anton Baumstark, Geschichte der syrischen Literatur mit Ausschluß der christlich-palästinensischen Texte (Bonn: A. Marcus und E. Webers Verlag Dr. jur. Albert Ahn, 1922), pp: 181.Link to Bibliographic Record.Link to Bibliographic record
  • 13 J.-B. Chabot, Littérature syriaque, Bibliothèque catholique des sciences religieuses; Littératures chrétiennes de l'Orient (: Librairie Bloud & Gay, 1934), pp: 73.Link to Bibliographic Record.
Status: draft
  Is this record complete?


John bar Aphtonia  Died at (1) records.
Qenneshre (monastery) - ܕܝܪܐ ܕܩܢܫܪܝܢ Names: QenneshrinQenneshrin MonasteryMonastery of Qenneshre"A W Syr monastery that in its heyday 6th 9th cent stood out as a center of Greek study in the Syriac speaking..."URI:
John bar Aphtonia  Has relation to place (7) records.
Edessa (settlement) - ܐܘܪܗܝ Names: UrfaAdmeAntiochia KallirhoeUrhayA city of Mesopotamia , the capital of the ancient kingdom of Osrhoene , modern Urfa.URI:
Dayro d-Mor Tumo (monastery) - ܕܝܪܐ ܕܡܪܝ ܬܐܘܡܐ Names: Monastery of St. ThomasA monastery near the port of Seleucia Pieria .URI:
Diyār Rabīʿa (region) - ܓܙܪܬܐ ܥܠܝܬܐ Names: Upper JaziraDiyār RabiʿaDiyār RabīaDiyār Rabī‘aDiyār RabiaDiyār Rabi‘aURI:
Euphrates (river) - ܦܪܬThe western major river of Mesopotamia, flowing from eastern Turkey to the Persian Gulf.URI:
Europos (settlement) - ܓܪܐܒܠܣ Names: JarābulusA city on the Euphrates north of Mabbug and south of Birtha URI:
See all 7  

How to Cite This Entry

Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent et al., “John bar Aphtonia — ܝܘܚܢܢ ܒܪ ܐܦܬܘܢܝܐ ” in Qadishe: A Guide to the Syriac Saints last modified August 17, 2016,


Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent et al., “John bar Aphtonia — ܝܘܚܢܢ ܒܪ ܐܦܬܘܢܝܐ .” In Qadishe: A Guide to the Syriac Saints, edited by Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent, David A. Michelson and Nathan P. Gibson. Vol. 1 of The Syriac Biographical Dictionary, edited by David A. Michelson., 2016-. Entry published August 17, 2016.

About this Entry

Entry Title: John bar Aphtonia — ܝܘܚܢܢ ܒܪ ܐܦܬܘܢܝܐ

Additional Credit:

  • Data from Macuch, Abuna, De Urbina, Duval, Assemani (vols. 1-2), Chabot, Wright, and Brock collected, verified, reconciled, and entered by Kristian Heal
  • German data entry by Samer Khader
  • Editing, proofreading, data entry and revision by Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent
  • Editing, document design, data architecture, encoding, proofreading, data entry by David A. Michelson
  • Proofreading of GEDSH abstracts, addition of confessions and alternate names from GEDSH, matching with records, data entry, data transformation, data merging, conversion to XML by Nathan P. Gibson
  • GEDSH and Barsoum English name entry, matching with records by James E. Walters
  • Editing, Syriac name entry, disambiguation research, conversion to XML by Thomas A. Carlson
  • Editing, Syriac data conversion, data entry, and reconciling by Adam P. Kane
  • Editing and Syriac data proofreading by Aram Bar Schabo
  • Syriac name entry by Robert Aydin
  • Normalization of GEDSH dates and entry matching with records by Alex Vawter
  • Editorial oversight for GEDSH and Barsoum English text entry, and proofreading by Christopher Johnson
  • GEDSH and Barsoum English text entry and proofreading by the Syriac Research Group, University of Alabama
  • Entries adapted from the work of Jean Maurice Fiey
  • Entries adapted from the work of Ugo Zanetti
  • Entries adapted from the work of Claude Detienne

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