Andy Hilkens


Newton International Fellow; Research Fellow of Wolfson College

Faculty / College Address:

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies / Wolfson College


Research Interests:

  • Interaction between Syriac and Armenian Christianity
  • apologetics and polemics
  • bilingualism
  • ancient and medieval historiography
  • hagiography
  • homiletics
  • Jacob of Serugh

My main project examines interfaith dialogue and polemics between Syriac Orthodox and Apostolic Armenian Christians in the Levant in the eleventh and twelfth centuries through the lens of the Syriac Orthodox bishop John bar Andreas (d. 1155/6). John bar Andreas is the best-known example of a bilingual Syriac-Armenian person in this period and as such his writings are important witnesses to interaction between Syriac and Armenian Christians and the factor of bilingualism in this process. I investigate Syro-Armenian polemics in this period in the entangled context of Greek-Syriac, Greek-Armenian, Latin-Armenian and Latin-Greek relations, and as part of a diachronic process that began in Antiquity and continues until today.

Current Projects:

  • Publication and study of the Treatise against the Armenian teachers of John bar Andreas (d. 1156)
  • An edition, translation and study of John bar Andreas’ Syriac translation of the Letter of George of Loṙi to John bar Shushan
  • A book project on three Syriac prose lives of Jacob of Serugh
  • A book project on Syro-Armenian studies
  • Editing a volume on the reception of Ephrem of Nisibis outside of Syriac Christianity

Recent Publications (selected):


  • The Anonymous Syriac Chronicle of 1234 and its sources (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 272; Bibliothèque de Byzantion 18; Leuven: Peeters).

Articles, book chapters, review essays, etc.:

  • “An Armenian Life of Jacob of Serugh: introduction, edition and translation,” Analecta Bollandiana 140, 320-339.
  • “’Of Rabban Hunayn”: some remarks on the reception of the Table of Literate Nations in the Church of the East and its uniate continuations,” The Syriac Annals of the Romanian Academy 2 (2021-2022), 120-180.
  • “The manuscripts of the Armenian homilies of Jacob of Serugh: preliminary observations and checklist,” Manuscripta: A Journal for Manuscript Research 64 (2020), 1-71.
  • “The Armenian translation of Jacob of Serugh’s Memra on the Five Talents,” Le Muséon 133:3-4 (2020), 345-95.
  • “An Armenian invocational prayer of a lost memra of Jacob of Serugh On Good Friday and the Destruction of Sheol,” Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies 23:2 (2020), 263-277.
  • “Language, literacy and historical apologetics: Hippolytus of Rome’s lists of literate peoples in the Syriac tradition,” Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 72:1-2 (2020), 1-32.
  • ‘A wise Indian astronomer called Gandoubarios’: Malalas and the legend of Yoniṭon,” in M. Conterno and M. Mazzola (eds.), Intercultural Exchange in Late Antique Historiography (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 288; Bibliothèque de Byzantion 23; Leuven: Peeters), 2020, 119-42.
  • ““The planks of the Ark”: Isho‘dad of Merv, Malalas and the Syriac chronicle tradition,” Byzantinische Zeitschrift 112:3 (2019), 861-76.
  • “The Armenian reception of the homilies of Jacob of Serugh: new findings,” in M. Toca and D. Batovici (eds.) Caught in Translation: Studies on Versions of Late-Antique Christian Literature (Texts and Studies in Eastern Christianity 17; Leiden: Brill, 2019), 64-84.
  • “A New Fragment of the Narratives of Conon,” Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 56:4 (2016), 611-22.
  •  “Before the Eastern source: Theophanes and the Late Syriac Orthodox Chronicles, 4th-6th centuries,” in F. Montinaro and M. Jankowiak (eds.), Studies in Theophanes (Travaux et mémoires 19; Paris: Association des amis du centre d’histoire et civilisation de Byzance, 2015), 1-14.
  • “Sons of Magog or Thorgomians? The description of the Turks (Book XIV) in Michael’s Chronicle and its Armenian adaptations,” in M. Doerfler, E. Fiano and K. Smith (eds.), Syriac Encounters. Papers from the Sixth North American Syriac Symposium, Duke University, 26-29 June 2011 (Eastern Christian Studies 20; Leuven: Peeters, 2015), 367-79.
  • “Andronicus et son influence sur la présentation de l’histoire postdiluvienne et pré-Abrahamique de la Chronique anonyme jusqu’à l’année 1234,” in P. Blaudeau and P. Van Nuffelen (eds.), Historiographie tardo-antique et transmission des savoirs (Millennium Studies 55; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015), 55-81.
  •  “Syriac Iliupersides: the fall of Troy in Syriac historiography,” Le Muséon 126:3-4 (2013), 285-317.

Further Info:

Co-editor and co-founder of the Brepols book series Eastern Christian Cultures in Contact

Co-host of the TeTra Text and Transmission Joint Research Seminar


andy hilkens