The poet as preacher : St. Ephrem the Syrian's hymn De Virginitate XXXI as a coherent, aesthetic, and persuasive poetic discourse

03 Apr 2009

This article consists of a translation and poetic analysis of Ephrem the Syrian's teaching song On Virginity 31. The Syriac text and an English translation are provided and short notes are given on the structure of the hymn. Its rhetorical and persuasive qualities are subsequently investigated with the aim of substantiating the claim that the hymn's rhetorical features such as polarities, metaphors, analogies, parallels, antitheses, allusions to scripture, and direct appeals on the audience must have had a great impact and an enduring effect on Syriac Christianity.