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E01202: The Syriac Acts of the Second Council of Ephesus (449) preserve a letter of the clerics of Edessa against the bishop Hiba of Edessa (435-457), in which the pre-eminence of their city is asserted, based among other things on the claim that the relics of *Thomas (the Apostle, S00199) are kept there.

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posted on 14.03.2016, 00:00 by sminov
Acts of the Second Council of Ephesus

ܡܢ ܠܥܠ ܡܢܗ ܕܫܘܪܝܐ ܡܢ ܛܝܒܘܬܐ ܕܐܠܗܐ܆ ܒܗܝܡܢܘܬܐ ܢܨܚܬ ܡܕܝܢܬܐ ܗܕܐ ܕܝܠܢ. ܩܕܡܐܝܬ ܡܢ܆ ܡܛܠ ܒܘܪܟܬܐ ܕܒܪܟܗ̇ ܗ̇ܘ ܕܒܪܐ ܠܫܡܝܐ ܘܠܐܪܥܐ. ܟܕ ܨܒܐ ܒܡܪܚܡܢܘܬܗ ܘܐܬܛܦܝܤ܇ ܕܚܠܦ ܦܘܪܩܢܢ ܘܚܝ̈ܝܢ ܕܝܠܢ ܒ̈ܢܝ ܐܢܫܐ ܕܢܬܒܪܢܫ. ܬܘܒ ܕܝܢ ܕܫܘܬ ܠܣܝܡܬܐ ܕܓܖ̈ܡܘܗܝ ܕܬܐܘܡܐ ܫܠܝܚܐ܇ ܗ̇ܘ ܕܩܕܡܝܐ ܐܘܕܝ ܠܦܪܘܩܢ ܕܐܝܬܘܗܝ ܡܪܝܐ ܐܠܗܐ܇

'From the very beginning, our city by the grace of God excelled in faith: First, because of the blessing with which He, who created heaven and earth, blessed it as He willed in His mercy and consented to become a human for the sake of our redemption and the life of us humans; secondly, because [the city] was esteemed worthy that [in it] were placed the bones of the apostle Thomas, he who first proclaimed our Saviour to be the Lord God.'

Ed. Flemming 1917, p. 22; trans. Doran 2006, p. 146, lightly modified.

History

Evidence ID

E01202

Saint Name

Thomas, the Apostle : S00199

Saint Name in Source

ܬܐܘܡܐ

Language

Syriac

Evidence not before

449

Evidence not after

535

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

449

Place of Evidence - Region

Mesopotamia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Edessa

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Edessa Edessa Edessa Ἔδεσσα Edessa

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - unspecified

Source

Convened in 449 by the emperor Theodosius II, the Second Council of Ephesus dealt mostly with Christological matters. Orchestrated and directed by the representatives of the Miaphysite party, it resulted in the condemnation and deposition of bishops from the Diophysite party such as as Hiba of Edessa, Domnus of Antioch and Theodoret of Cyrrhus. Written originally in Greek, the proceedings of this council are preserved only in Syriac translation. Syriac text: Flemming 1917; English translation: Perry 1881; Doran 2006, 133-188 (sections relating to Hiba); French translation: Martin 1874; German translation: Flemming 1917. For general information, see Millar 2009.

Discussion

One of the official documents included in the Acts is a letter against bishop Hiba of Edessa (435-457), submitted to the council by a group of clerics from the city. The letter asserts the pre-eminence of their city, based among other things on the claim that the relics of apostle Thomas are kept there. This evidence bears witness to the important role played by the relics of the apostle in the development of local civic identity in Edessa during the first half of the 5th century.

Bibliography

Main editions and translations: Flemming, J.P.G., Akten der Ephesinischen Synode vom Jahre 449: Syrisch (Abhandlungen der Königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Philologisch-Historische Klasse, N.F. 15.1; Berlin: Weidmann, 1917). Doran, R., Stewards of the Poor: The Man of God, Rabbula, and Hiba in Fifth-Century Edessa (Cistercian Studies Series 208; Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 2006). Martin, J.-P.P., Actes du Brigandage d’Éphèse: traduction faite sur le texte syriaque contenu dans le manuscrit 14530 du Musée britannique (Amien: Emile Glorieux, 1874). Perry, S.G.F., The Second Synod of Ephesus, together with Certain Extracts Relating to it, from Syriac Mss. Preserved in the British Museum (Dartford: Orient Press, 1881). Further reading: Millar, F., “The Syriac Acts of the Second Council of Ephesus (449),” in: R.M. Price and M. Whitby (eds.), Chalcedon in Context: Church Councils 400–700 (Translated Texts for Historians, Contexts 1; Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2009), 45-69.

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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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