17. A SYRIAN monk, disciple of the monk Maro or Maron (from whom, indirectly, the Maronites of Syria derive their name), and a contemporary of the ecclesiastical historian Theodoret, who has given a long account of him in his Philotheus.
He became so eminent for his sanctity, that the emperor Leo I. Thrax, when he wished to gather the opinions of the leading ecclesiastics as to the validity of the election of Timotheus Aclurus, patriarch of Alexandria, about A. D. 460, wrote to the various prelates of the Eastern church, and to Jacobus, Symeon Stylites, and Baradatus, all three eminent ascetics, for their judgment in the matter.
The answer of Jacobus is described by Photius as written with great simplicity of style, but full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom. Jacobus and Theodoret were united by the closest ties of friendship; and when Jacobus died, he was buried in the same tomb with his friend. Their year of Jacobus' death is not stated: he was still alive in 460, when he replied to Leo's letter; but as he is said not to have very long survived Theodoret, who died A. D. 457 or 458, he must have died soon after 460, if not in that year. (Theodoret, Philotheus s. Hist. Relg.,
100.21; Evagr. H. E.
2.9; Theodor. Lector, H. E.
1.11; Theoph. Chronog.
p. 96, ed. Paris, p. 173,ed. Bonn; Photius, Bibl. Cod.
228, 229; Cave, Hist. Litt.
vol. i. p. 406, ed. Oxford, 1740; Assemani, Bibl. Orient.
vol. i. p. 255.)