from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The four Gospels combined into a single narrative.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The interval of a fourth.
  • n. A continuous narrative arranged from the first four books of the New Testament.
  • n. An electuary compounded of four medicines.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The interval of a fourth.
  • n. A continuous narrative arranged from the first four books of the New Testament.
  • n. An electuary compounded of four medicines.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Greek and medieval music, the interval of a fourth.
  • n. [Gr. το\ δια\ τεσσ, σ1άρων (Tatian, in Eusebius).] A harmony of the four Gospels.
  • n. In old pharmacy, an electuary composed of four medicines: gentian, birth wort, bayberries, and myrrh.


Middle English, interval of a fourth, from Latin diatessarōn, made of four (ingredients), from Greek dia tessarōn, out of four : dia, according to; see dia- + tessarōn, genitive of tessares, four.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin, from Ancient Greek διά (dia, "through, across") + τεσσάρων (tessarōn) (genitive plural of τέσσαρες (tessares, "four")). (Wiktionary)


  • Contra popularizers and self-promoters like the the Jesus Seminar – always popular this time of year, go figure – the "early gospel" Thomas, for instance, relies upon the mid-second century harmonization, Tatian's diatessaron, of the four Gospels.

    Blind Faith?

  • For just as those trained in the canons of the lyre declare the sesquialter proportion produces the symphony diapente, the double proportion the diapason, the sesquiterte the diatessaron, the slowest of all, so the specialists in Bacchic harmonies have detected three accords between wine and water — Diapente,

    Essays and Miscellanies

  • Nicholas in so unexpected a manner was the grand topic of the evening; and the four musical gentlemen, hearing the story in turn from each of the others, were now engaged in a sort of diatessaron, in which the four accounts were made to harmonize with considerable difficulty: Mr. Schmauker insisting upon his view, that Nicholas had arrived wet and hungry, was found on the doorstep, and dragged in by Mr.. Starkey; while

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 87, January, 1865

  • In the Psalter he was content with copying out the first verse of each psalm; whilst when dealing with the Gospels he did not quote from each evangelist separately, but made use of a kind of confused diatessaron of all four combined.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2: Assizes-Browne

  • It was then tried with speaking: the result was the same: a powerful and perpetual hum, not resonant peculiarly to the diatessaron, the diapente, or the diapason, but making a new variety of continuous fundamental bass.

    Gryll Grange

  • By reading the gospels as a diatessaron, what the individual writers attempted to communicate is confused and lost.

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • This order also keeps the analogy of the symphonies, i.e. the proportion of the irascible to the rational (which is placed as hypate) making the diatessaron (or fourth), that of the irascible to the concupiscent (or nete) making the diapente (or fifth), and that of the rational to the concupiscent (as hypate to nete) making an octave or diapason.

    Essays and Miscellanies


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