This two-volume work gives the Syriac texts of the lives of Rabban Hormizd and Rabban Bar-'Idta, together with an English translation. The biographies are important because their subjects founded two great monasteries which became centers for teaching and monasticism at a critical period of the history of the Church of the East, during the seventh and following centuries. The texts are taken from two manuscripts, which Budge commissioned to be copied during 1891 and 1892. The original manuscripts from which they were copied dated from the twelfth and thirteen centuries, but are now lost.
In the introduction of the second volume, Budge relates facts of the lives of Rabban Hormizd and Rabban Bar-'Idta as they can be ascertained from the texts. He also gives a valuable description of the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd as he witnessed it, including an account of the habits of the monks and their daily lives.
E. A. Wallis Budge (1857-1934) was Curator of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities at the British Museum from 1894 to 1924. He is known for publishing texts, with English translations from Coptic, Greek, Arabic, Syriac, Ethiopian, and Egyptian manuscripts. Budge was knighted in 1920. He died November 23, 1934 in London.