Thomas of Marga, (Classical Syriac : ܬܐܘܡܐ ܒܪ ܝܥܩܘܒ, Taomá bár Yaˁqub) was an East Syriac bishop and author of an important monastic history in Syriac, who flourished in the 9th century CE. He was born early in the century in the region of Salakh to the north-east of Mosul. As a young man he became in 832 a monk of the monastery of Beth 'Abhe, which was situated at the confluence of the Great Zab with one of its tributaries, about 25 miles east of Mosul. A few years later he was acting as secretary to Abraham, who had been abbot of Beth 'Abhe, and was patriarch of the Church of the East from 837 to 850.
At some date during these 13 years Thomas was promoted by Abraham to be bishop of the diocese of Marga in the same district as Beth 'Abhe, and afterwards he was further advanced to be a metropolitan of Beth Garmai, a district farther to the southeast in the mountains which border the Tigris basin. It was during the period of his life at Beth 'Abhe and his bishopric that he composed The Book of Governors, which is in the main a history of his own monastery, but includes lives of Assyrian Christian holy men in other parts of Mesopotamia and the regions east of the Tigris. The work was probably planned in imitation of the famous Paradise of Palladius, the history of Egyptian monasticism which had become well known to Syriac-speaking Christians in the version of Anan-Isho (6th century).
The Book of Governors has been edited with an English translation and a copious introduction by E. W. Budge (2 vols., London, 1893; Google Books), who claims that "it occupies a unique position in Syriac literature, and it fully deserves the veneration with which it has been and is still regarded by all classes of Assyrians to whom it is known." It gives a detailed history of the great monastery cf Beth 'Abhe during its three centuries of existence down to the author's time. It is full of interesting narratives of saintly men told in a naive and candid spirit, and it throws much light on the history of Christianity in the Persian dominions. There is a later edition by P. Bedjan (Paris, 1901).
Tur Abdin is a hilly region situated in southeast Turkey, including the eastern half of the Mardin Province, and Şırnak Province west of the Tigris, on the border with Syria and famed since Late Antiquity for its Christian monasteries on the border of the Roman Empire and the Sasanian Empire. The area is a low plateau in the Anti-Taurus Mountains stretching from Mardin in the west to the Tigris in the east and delimited by the Mesopotamian plains to the south. The Tur Abdin is populated by more than 80 villages and nearly 70 monastery buildings and was mostly Syriac Orthodox until the early 20th century. The earliest surviving Christian buildings date from the 6th century.
Mar Awgin or Awgen, also known as Awgin of Clysma or Saint Eugenios, was an Egyptian monk who, according to traditional accounts, introduced Christian monasticism to Syriac Christianity. These accounts, however, are all of late origin and often contain anachronisms. The historicity of Awgin is not certain.
Tesqopa or Tel Skuf, also Tel Eskof or Tall Asqaf is a town in northern Iraq located approximately 19 miles north of Mosul. The town is populated by Assyrians and they are members of the Chaldean Catholic Church.
BakhdidaSyriac pronunciation: [bɑχdɛːdə], also known as Baghdeda, Qaraqosh, or Al-Hamdaniya, is an Assyrian city in northern Iraq within the Nineveh Governorate, located about 32 km (20 mi) southeast of the city of Mosul and 60 km west of Erbil amid agricultural lands, close to the ruins of the ancient Assyrian cities Nimrud and Nineveh. It is connected to the main city of Mosul by two main roads. The first runs through the towns of Bartella and Karamles which connects to the city of Erbil as well. The second, which was gravel until being paved in the 1990s, is direct to Mosul. All of its citizens fled to Kurdistan Region after the ISIS invasion on August 6, 2014. The town was under control of ISIS until October 19, 2016 when it was liberated as part of the Battle of Mosul after which residents have begun to return.
Timothy I was the Patriarch of the Church of the East from 780 to 823 and one of the most influential patriarchs in its history. Respected both as an author, a church leader and a diplomat, Timothy was also an excellent administrator. During his reign he reformed the metropolitan administration of the Church of the East, granting greater independence to the metropolitan bishops of the mission field but excluding them from participation in patriarchal elections. These reforms laid the foundations for the later success of Church of the East missions in Central Asia.
At the height of its power, in the 10th century AD, the dioceses of the Church of the East numbered well over a hundred and stretched from Egypt to China. These dioceses were organised into six interior provinces in Mesopotamia, in the Church's Iraqi heartland, and a dozen or more second-rank exterior provinces. Most of the exterior provinces were located in Iran, Central Asia, India and China, testifying to the Church's remarkable eastern expansion in the Middle Ages. A number of East Syriac dioceses were also established in the towns of the eastern Mediterranean, in Palestine, Syria, Cilicia and Egypt.
Dioceses of the Church of the East, 1318–1552 were metropolitan provinces and dioceses of the Church of the East, during the period from 1318 to 1552. They were far fewer in number than during the period of the Church's greatest expansion in the tenth century. Between 1318 and 1552, the geographical horizons of the Church of the East, which had once stretched from Egypt to China, narrowed drastically. By 1552, with the exception of a number of East Syriac communities in India, the eccesiastical jurisdiction of the Church of the East was confined to its original heartland in northern Mesopotamia.
Metropolitanate of Beth Garmai was an East Syriac metropolitan province of the Church of the East between the fifth and fourteenth centuries. The region of Beth Garmai is situated in northern Iraq, bounded by the Little Zab and Diyala Rivers and centered on the town of Karka d'Beth Slokh. Several bishops and metropolitans of Beth Garmaï are mentioned between the fourth and fourteenth centuries, residing first at Shahrgard, then at Karka d'Beth Slokh, later at Shahrzur and finally at Daquqa. The known suffragan dioceses of the metropolitan province of Beth Garmaï included Shahrgard, Lashom (ܠܫܘܡ), Khanijar, Mahoze d'Arewan, Radani, Hrbath Glal (ܚܪܒܬܓܠܠ), Tahal and Shahrzur. The suffragan dioceses of 'Darabad' and 'al-Qabba', mentioned respectively by Eliya of Damascus and Mari, are probably to be identified with one or more of these known dioceses. The diocese of Gawkaï, attested in the eighth and ninth centuries, may also have been a suffragan diocese of the province of Beth Garmaï. The last known metropolitan of Beth Garmaï is attested in the thirteenth century, and the last known bishop in 1318, though the historian ʿAmr continued to describe Beth Garmai as a metropolitan province as late as 1348. It is not clear when the province ceased to exist, but the campaigns of Timur Leng between 1390 and 1405 offer a reasonable context.
The Metropolitanate of Nisibis was an East Syriac metropolitan province of the Church of the East, between the fifth and seventeenth centuries. The ecclesiastical province of Nisibis had a number of suffragan dioceses at different periods in its history, including Arzun, Beth Rahimaï, Beth Qardu, Beth Zabdaï, Qube d’Arzun, Balad, Shigar (Sinjar), Armenia, Beth Tabyathe and the Kartawaye, Harran and Callinicus (Raqqa), Maiperqat, Reshʿaïna, Qarta and Adarma, Qaimar and Hesna d'Kifa. Aoustan d'Arzun and Beth Moksaye were also suffragan dioceses in the fifth century.
Metropolitanate of Adiabene was an East Syriac metropolitan province of the Church of the East between the 5th and 14th centuries, with more than fifteen known suffragan dioceses at different periods in its history. Although the name Hadyab normally connoted the region around Erbil and Mosul in present-day Iraq, the boundaries of the East Syriac metropolitan province went well beyond the Erbil and Mosul districts. Its known suffragan dioceses included Beth Bgash and Adarbaigan, well to the east of Adiabene proper.
Dioceses of the Syriac Orthodox Church: In the period of its greatest expansion, in the tenth century, the Syriac Orthodox Church had around 20 metropolitan dioceses and a little over a hundred suffragan dioceses. By the seventeenth century only 20 dioceses remained, reduced in the twentieth century to 10. The seat of Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch was at Mardin before the First World War, and thereafter in Deir Zaʿfaran, from 1932 in Homs, and finally from 1959 in Damascus.
Dioceses of the Church of the East after 1552 were dioceses of the Church of the East and its subsequent branches, both traditionalist and pro-Catholic.
Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of Amadiya was a historical eparchy (diocese) of the Chaldean Catholic Church, until it was united with the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of Zakho in 2013.
The Diocese of Tirhan was an East Syriac diocese of the Church of the East, within the central ecclesiastical Province of the Patriarch. The diocese is attested between the sixth and fourteenth centuries.
The Diocese of Marga was an East Syriac diocese of the Church of the East. The diocese was included in the metropolitan province of Adiabene, and is attested between the eighth and fourteenth centuries. Towards the end of the thirteenth century the name of the diocese was changed to 'Tella and Barbelli'.
The Diocese of Shigar and Beth ʿArabaye was an East Syriac diocese of the Church of the East in the metropolitan province of Nisibis, centred on the town of Sinjar. The diocese is attested between the sixth and fourteenth centuries.
The Diocese of Salakh was an East Syriac diocese of the Church of the East in the metropolitan province of Adiabene, attested in the eighth and ninth centuries.
Rādhān was a region in south central Mesopotamia (Iraq) in the early Middle Ages. It was an administrative district under the ʿAbbāsids and also a diocese of the Church of the East. It is also known to have had a Jewish population and was probably the country of origin of the Rādhānite merchants. The name, however, does not appear in any Hebrew texts.
Shubhalishoʿ was an East Syriac monk, missionary and martyr of the late 8th century.
Dadishoʿ (528/9–604) was a monk and author of the Church of the East. He was the second abbot of the great monastery of Mount Izla after its founder, Abraham of Kashkar. Giuseppe Assemani conflated him with Dadishoʿ Qaṭraya, who lived a century later.