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E01242: The church dedicated to the *Forty Martyrs of Sebaste (martyrs of the early 4th c., S00103) is built in the city of Amida (Mesopotamia) during the episcopate of John Sa‘ārā (483-502). Record in the Syriac Chronicle of the Year 819 (9th c.).

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posted on 05.04.2016, 00:00 by sminov
Chronicle of the Year 819

ܘܒܫܢܬ ܫܒܥܡܐܐ ܘܬܫܥܝܢ ܘܚܡܫ܆ ܐܬܬܣܪܚ ܡܪܝ ܝܘܚܢܢ ܣܥܪܐ ܡܢ ܕܝܪܐ ܕܩܪܬܡܝܢ. ܡܝܛܪܘܦܘܠܝܛܝܤ ܠܥܡܕ. ܘܒܢܐ ܒܗ̇ ܗܝܟܠܐ ܪܒܐ ܘܫܒܝܚܐ ܕܐܖ̈ܒܥܝܢ ܣܗ̈ܕܐ. ܘܓܫܪܐ ܪܒܐ ܕܠܒܪ ܡܢܗ̇ ܥܠ ܕܩܠܬ.

'In the year 795 [= 483/4 CE], John Sa‘ārā from the monastery of Qartamin was consecrated metropolitan bishop of Amida. And he built in it a great and splendid church of the Forty Martyrs, and a bridge over the river Tigris outside it.'

Ed. Chabot 1916-1937, v. 1, p. 7; trans. Sergey Minov.

History

Evidence ID

E01242

Saint Name

Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, ob. early 4th c. : S00103

Saint Name in Source

ܐܖ̈ܒܥܝܢ ܣܗ̈ܕܐ

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Syriac

Evidence not before

819

Evidence not after

846

Activity not before

483

Activity not after

502

Place of Evidence - Region

Mesopotamia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Qartamin

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

Qartamin Edessa Edessa Ἔδεσσα Edessa

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Source

The Chronicle of the Year 819 is a historiographical work that begins with the birth of Christ and reaches the year 819, covering events from both secular and ecclesiastical history. The Chronicle is an original Syriac composition, produced soon after the year 819 by a West-Syrian author. A large number of references to the abbey of Qartamin, located near the city of Mardin, in the Chronicle suggests that its author might have been a monk of this monastery. Syriac text: Chabot 1916-1937, v. 1, pp. 3-22; Latin translation: Chabot 1916-1937, v. 3, pp. 1-16. For general information, see Palmer 1990, 9-13.

Discussion

The Chronicle reports that during the episcopate of John Sa‘ārā (483-502), a monk from the monastery of Qartamin, the church dedicated to the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste was built in the city of Amida. It is the earliest reference that relates the building of this shrine to a particular person. We know, however, about the existence of this church in the early 6th century from other sources, such as the Syriac Chronicle of Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor (7.4), according to which it served as an asylum for survivors of the siege of the city by the Persian troops of Kavadh I in the year 503. It is unclear from where the medieval Syriac chronicler derives this information. In light of the fact that the bishop responsible for the building of the church came from the abbey of Qartamin, our author might have relied upon the local historiographic tradition of this West-Syrian monastery. However it may be, since this evidence does not contradict what we know about the church of the Forty Martyrs in Amida from other sources, there is no reason to doubt this evidence.

Bibliography

Main editions and translations: Chabot, J.B., Anonymi auctoris Chronicon ad annum Christi 1234 pertinens. 3 vols (CSCO 81, 82, 109, Syr. 36, 37, 56; Paris: Typographeo Reipublicae, 1916, 1920, 1937). Further reading: Palmer, A., Monk and Mason on the Tigris Frontier: The Early History of Tur ‘Abdin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

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