Athanasius II Baldoyo (Syriac: ܐܬܢܐܣܝܘܣ ܕܬܪܝܢ ܒܠܕܝܐ, Arabic: اثناسيوس الثاني البلدي), also known as Athanasius of Balad and Athanasius of Nisibis, was the Patriarch of Antioch, and head of the Syriac Orthodox Church from 683 until his death in 686.[1]

Athanasius II Baldoyo
Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
ChurchSyriac Orthodox Church
Term ended686
PredecessorSeverus II bar Masqeh
SuccessorJulian III
Personal details
BornBalad, Rashidun Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate


Athanasius was born in the city of Balad in Upper Mesopotamia and studied sciences, Syriac and Greek, with his friend Jacob, under the tutelage of Severus Sebokht at the Monastery of Qinnasrin. He moved to the Monastery of Beth Malke, near Antioch, not the Monastery of Mar Malke in Tur Abdin as originally believed, and became a monk. Athanasius studied philosophy and translated several Greek theological and philosophical works into Syriac, such as Porphyry's Isagoge in January 645.[1]

Athanasius later became a priest and moved to Nisibis, where he continued to translate Greek texts into Syriac. In 666-667, he translated nine treatises of the Hexameron of Basil of Caesarea, as suggested by Matthew, Bishop of Aleppo, and Daniel, Bishop of Edessa. Matthew and Daniel later requested a translation of several letters of Severus of Antioch into Syriac which was complete in 669, under the pen-name of "Athanasius of Nisibis". Athanasius also translated Severus' Second Discourse against Nephalius, several homilies by Gregory of Nazianzus, and the Corpus Areopagiticum by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.[1]

Athanasius was consecrated patriarch at the end of 683 and issued a ten-page proclamation,[1] and four canons on Christian conduct with Muslims.[2] He condemned the consumption of sacrificial meat, participation in Muslim festivals, and relationships with Muslims.[3] In 684, he ordained his friend Jacob as bishop of Edessa. Athanasius also wrote a number of supplication prayers, several of which were to be used at the celebration of the Eucharist, and prayers for the dead. He died at the end of 686.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Barsoum (2003)
  2. ^ Hartmann & Pennington (2012), p. 249
  3. ^ Hoyland (1997), pp. 148-149


  • Barsoum, Ignatius Aphrem (2003). The Scattered Pearls: A History of Syriac Literature and Sciences, trans. Matti Moosa, 2nd rev. ed. Gorgias Press.
  • Hartmann, Wilfried; Pennington, Kenneth (2012). The History of Byzantine and Eastern Canon Law to 1500. Catholic University of America Press. ISBN 9780813216799.
  • Hoyland, Robert G. (1997). Seeing Islam as Others Saw It: A Survey and Evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian Writings on Early Islam. Darwin Press.
Preceded by
Severus II bar Masqeh
Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch
Succeeded by
Julian III