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Sebastian Brock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sebastian Paul Brock FBA (born 1938, London) is a British scholar, university professor, and specialist in the field of academic studies of Classical Syriac language and Classical Syriac literature. His research also encompasses various aspects of cultural history of Syriac Christianity. He is generally acknowledged as one of the foremost academics in the field of Syriac studies, and one of the most prominent scholars in the wider field of Aramaic studies.[1][2]



Brock studied at Eton College, and completed his BA degree in Classics and Oriental Languages (Hebrew and Aramaic) at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. In 1966, he became Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford.



Brock was Assistant Lecturer, and then Lecturer, at the University of Birmingham (Department of Theology) from 1964 to 1967. He continued his academic career as Lecturer in Hebrew, and then Lecturer in Hebrew and Aramaic, at the University of Cambridge, from 1967 to 1974. He was Lecturer in Aramaic and Syriac, and then Reader in Syriac Studies, at the University of Oxford's Oriental Institute, from 1974 to 2003. Since 2003, he has been Emeritus Reader in Syriac Studies and Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford.[3][4]

Brock is one of the main reviewers of the Antioch Bible, a 21st-century English translation of the Peshitta.[5]

Affiliations and recognition


Brock is a Fellow of the British Academy. He is the recipient of a number of honorary doctorates, holding the PhD Honoris Causa at the École pratique des hautes études in Paris. Brock has been awarded the Medal of Saint Ephrem the Syrian by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, and the Leverhulme Medal of the British Academy (2009).[6] He was awarded the Edward Ullendorff Medal in 2024.[7]

Personal life


Brock is married to Helen Hughes-Brock, an archaeologist specialising in Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece. He is a patron of the Fellowship of Saint Alban and Saint Sergius. He joined the Syriac Orthodox Church by Chrismation in May 2024.[8]




  1. ^ Abouzayd 1993, p. 2: "The Syriac heritage owes much to Sebastian Brock and, as in the old adage "all roads lead to Rome", all aspects of Syriac studies lead one way or another to Sebastian Brock ... His voluminous work on Syriac, and related fields, is unique in our modern times."
  2. ^ Kiraz 2004, p. 5-8.
  3. ^ Fellows of the British Academy: Dr Sebastian Brock FBA
  4. ^ Wolfson College: Sebastian Brock
  5. ^ Torrance, Iain (2021). "A Sumptuous and Scholarly Edition of the Syriac New Testament". The Expository Times. 132 (9). SAGE Publications: 415–416. doi:10.1177/00145246211017543. ISSN 0014-5246. S2CID 235381388.
  6. ^ "Leverhulme Medal and Prize 2009". Prizes and Medals. British Academy. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  7. ^ Medal awarded
  8. ^ Syriac E-School (25 May 2024). Malphono Sebastian Brock receives the sacrament of the Holy Mayrun of the Syriac Orthodox Church. Retrieved 25 May 2024 – via YouTube.