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E01312: During his episcopate, Nestorios (bishop of Constantinople, ob. 450), brought back the bones of *John Chrysostom (bishop of Constantinople, ob. 407, S00779), who died in exile, in the city of Comana Pontica (northern Asia Minor). Record in the Syriac Ecclesiastical History of Barḥadbešabbā ‘Arbāyā (6th/7th c.).

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posted on 26.04.2016, 00:00 by sminov
Barḥadbešabbā ‘Arbāyā, Ecclesiastical History 18

ܠܓܖ̈ܡܘܗܝ ܕܝܢ ܕܝܘܐܢܝܤ܆ ܛܘܒܢܐ ܢܣܛܘܪܝܤ ܒܪ ܦܠܚܘܬܗ ܘܖ̈ܚܡܗ ܐܦܢܝ ܐܢܘܢ܆ ܒܬܪ ܬܠܬܝܢ. ܘܚܡܫ ܫܢ̈ܝܢ ܕܐܫܬܕܝ ܠܐܟܣܘܪܝܐ. ܒܦܝܣܐ ܕܩܪܒ ܠܡܠܟܐ܇ ܘܐܘܕܥܗ ܪܒܘܬ ܝܕܥܬܗ ܕܝܘܐܢܝܤ. ܐܚܖ̈ܢܐ ܕܝܢ ܐܡܪܝܢ ܕܦܪܘܩܠܘܤ ܐܦܢܝ ܐܢܘܢ. ܘܗܕܐ ܕܓܠܬܐ ܗܝ.

'The blessed Nestorios, the fellow-worker and friend of John, brought his bones back, thirty-five years after he was sent into exile, having persuaded the emperor; and he made the greatness of John’s knowledge known to him (i.e. the emperor). Others say that it was Proklos, who brought them back, but this is a lie.'

Ed. Nau 1932, p. 332; trans. Sergey Minov.

History

Evidence ID

E01312

Saint Name

John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, ob. 407 : S00779

Saint Name in Source

ܝܘܐܢܝܤ

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Syriac

Evidence not before

569

Evidence not after

600

Activity not before

428

Activity not after

431

Place of Evidence - Region

Mesopotamia

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

Edessa Edessa Ἔδεσσα Edessa

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body Transfer, translation and deposition of relics

Source

Barḥadbešabbā ‘Arbāyā, an East-Syrian writer and member of the School of Nisibis in Northern Mesopotamia, was active during the late 6th and early 7th century. Among other works, he produced two important historical compositions, the Ecclesiastical History and the Cause of the Foundation of the Schools. Composed not very long after the year 569, the History covers events mostly of the 4th and 5th century from an East-Syrian perspective. While for the bulk of his work Barḥadbešabbā extensively used Greek sources, in the concluding two chapters he deals with the history of the Schools of Edessa and of Nisibis up to the year 569, relying on the local tradition of the latter academic institution (on its history, see Vööbus 1965; Becker 2006; Becker 2008). Syriac text, together with French translation: Nau 1913; Nau 1932. For general information on Barḥadbešabbā, see Becker and Childers 2011; Becker 2008, 11-16, 40-46.

Discussion

At the conclusion of chapter 18, which deals with John Chrysostom (c. 349-407), Barḥadbešabbā reports that thirty-five years after John's deposition and exile in the year 403, his remains were brought from the city of Comana Pontica (Asia Minor) back into Constantinople during the bishopric of Nestorios (428-431), who persuaded the emperor Theodosius II to allow this (on Nestorios' life, see Bevan 2010; Kosinski 2007). There is, however, a chronological discrepancy in this record, which dates the transfer of John's relics by the year 438, when Nestorios was already living in exile in Egypt and the see of Constantinople was held by Proclus (434-446/7). Barḥadbešabbā's report might be a part of the East-Syrian apologetical efforts, aimed at enhancing the positive image of Nestorios by challenging, among other things, the claim that the relics of John were transferred by Proclus (see E04017).

Bibliography

Editions: Nau, F., La seconde partie de l’Histoire de Barhadbešabba ‘Arbaïa et controverse de Théodore de Mopsueste avec les Macédoniens (Patrologia Orientalis 9.5 [45]; Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1913). Nau, F., La première partie de l’Histoire de Barhadbešabba ‘Arbaïa (Patrologia Orientalis 23.2; Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1932). Scher, A., Mar Barhadbšabba ‘Arbaya, évêque de Halwan (VIe siècle). Cause de la fondation des écoles (Patrologia Orientalis 4.4 [18]; Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1908). Further reading: Becker, A.H., Fear of God and the Beginning of Wisdom: The School of Nisibis and the Development of Scholastic Culture in Late Antique Mesopotamia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006). Becker, A.H., Sources for the Study of the School of Nisibis (Translated Texts for Historians 50; Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2008). Becker, A.H., and Childers, J.W., “Barḥadbshabba ‘Arbaya,” in: S.P. Brock, A.M. Butts, G.A. Kiraz and L. van Rompay (eds.), Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage (Piscataway, New Jersey: Gorgias Press, 2011), 57-58. Bevan, G.A., “Nestorius of Constantinople,” in: K. Parry (ed.), Wiley Blackwell Companion to Patristics (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015), 197-210. Kosinski, R., “The Life of Nestorius as Seen in Greek and Oriental Sources,” Electrum 13 (2007), 155-170. Vööbus, A., History of the School of Nisibis (CSCO 266, Subs. 26; Louvain: Secrétariat du CorpusSCO, 1965).

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