3. Bishop of BATNE or BATNAE (Βάτνη
), a town now called Saruj, in the district of Sarug or Saruj, in Osrhoene, about 30 miles E. of Birtha, on the Euphrates. Jacobus is variously designated from his bishopric BATNAEUS and SARUGENSIS. He is also called SAPIENS or the WISE. He was born about A. D. 452, at Curtamum, near the Euphrates. His parents had long been childless, and his birth was regarded as an answer to prayer. When he grew up he became eminent for learning and eloquence, and when in his 68th year A. D. 519, was chosen bishop of Batnae.
He died in less than three years after his elevation to the bishopric, A. D. 522, aged 70.
He has been charged by Renaudot with holding the Monophysite doctrine, but Assemani defends him from the charge, and vindicates his orthodoxy. His works, of which many are extant, were written in Syriac: they comprehended a Liturgy,
of which a Latin version is given by Renaudot; a Baptismal Service; Homilies,
some in prose and some metrical; on the saints of the Old and New Testament, and the incarnation, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and Letters. A Letter,
which he wrote during an invasion of the eastern frontier by the Persian king, Cavades, or Cabadis, in the beginning of the 6th century, encouraged the inhabitants to resist the invaders.
The memory of Jacobus is reverenced both in the Maronite and Jacobite churches.
He is not to be confounded with the Jacobus, a Syrian saint, mentioned by Procopius (de Bello Persico,
1.7) who lived about half a century before the bishop of Batnae. (Assemani, Bibl. Orient.
vol. i. p. 274, 283, &c.; Renaudot, Liturgiae Orientales,
vol. ii. p. 356, &c.; Cave, Hist. Litt.
vol. i. p. 525; Acta Sanctor. Aug.
vol. ii. p. 161.)