Jack Tannous

Associate Professor of History and Hellenic Studies; Chair, Center for the Study of Late Antiquity
Office Phone
137 Dickinson Hall

I am interested in the cultural history of the eastern Mediterranean, especially the Middle East, in the Late Antique and early medieval period. My research focuses on the Syriac-speaking Christian communities of the Near East in this period, but I am interested in a number of other, related areas, including Eastern Christian Studies more broadly, Patristics/early Christian studies, Greco-Syriac and Greco-Arabic translation, Christian-Muslim interactions, sectarianism and identity, early Islamic history, the history of the Arabic Bible, and the Quran. I am also interested in manuscripts and the editing of Syriac and Arabic (especially Christian Arabic) texts.

I am working on a book about the history of Greco-Syriac translation and Syriac scholarship in the late antique and early medieval period. I have edited and translated the Syriac letters of George, Bishop of the Arab Tribes (d. 724) as well as the Karshuni life of Theodota of Amid (d. 698) and hope to eventually publish these.


Ph.D., Princeton University
M.Phil., Oxford
B.A., University of Texas, Austin

Selected Articles and Chapters

“Between Christology and Kalām? The Life and Letters of George, Bishop of the Arab Tribes,” pp. 671-716, in Malphono w-Rabo d-Malphone: Studies in Honor of Sebastian P. Brock, ed. G. Kiraz, (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2008). Reprinted as Jack Tannous, Between Christology and Kalam? The Life and Letters of George, Bishop of the Arab Tribes (Analecta Gorgiana 128) (Piscataway, NJ, Gorgias Press, 2009).

Review of Fred M. Donner, Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010) in Expositions 5.2 (2011), pp. 126-141.

‘L’hagiographie syro-occidentale à la période islamique,’ pp. 225-245 in A. Binggeli, ed., L’hagiographie syriaque (Paris, Geuthner: 2012).

‘You are what you read: Qenneshre and the Miaphysite Church in the Seventh Century,’ pp. 83-102 in P.J. Wood, ed. History and Identity in the Late Antique Near East (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).

'In Search of Monotheletism." Dumbarton Oaks Papers 68 (2014), pp. 29-67.

'The Life of Simeon of the Olives: A Christian Puzzle from Islamic Syria,' in J. Kreiner and H. Reimitz, eds., Motions of Late Antiquity: Essays on Religion, Politics, and Society in Honour of Peter Brown (Turnhout: Brepols, 2016), pp. 309-330.

'Greek kanons and the Syrian Orthodox liturgy,' in B. Bitton-Ashkelony and D. Krueger, eds., Prayer and Worship in Eastern Christianities, 5th to 11th centuries (New York: Routledge, 2016), pp. 151-180. 

'Romanness in the Syriac East,' in W. Pohl, C. Gantner, C. Grifoni, and M. Pollheimer-Mohaupt, eds., Transformations of Romanness: Early Medieval Regions and Identities (Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2018), pp. 457-480. 

‘A Greco-Arabic Palimpsest from the Sinai New Finds: Some Preliminary Observations,’ in D. Bertaina, S. Keating, M. Swanson, and A. Treiger, eds., Heirs of the Apostles: Studies on Arabic Christianity in Honor of Sidney H. Griffith (Leiden: Brill, 2018), pp. 426-445. 

'Syriac Epistolography,' in A. Riehle, ed., A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2020), pp. 68-91. 

'Arabic as a Christian Language and Arabic as the Language of Christians," in A.S. Ibrahim, ed., Medieval Encounters: Arabic-Speaking Christians and Islam (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2022), pp. 1-93. 

'Syriac Law under Islam,' in V. Berti and M. Debié, eds., Le droit en monde syriaque (Paris: Geuthner, 2023), pp. 223-247.


Year of Study
Area of Interest
Cultural History
Eastern Christianity
Intellectual History
Social History
Home Department & Other Affiliations
Late Antiquity
6th through 14th Centuries
Middle East and North Africa