Zuqnin Monastery was an ancient Christian monastery located just to the north of Amida,near the modern-day city of Diyarbakır in eastern Turkey. John of Ephesus was ordained here by John of Tella in 529. It is at this monastery that the Zuqnin Chronicle was written by a West Syrian monk, probably Joshua the Stylite, in around 775, of which the monastery is most associated with. The library of the monastery was of considerable renown to scholars in the area, containing many valuable books, including the works of Eusebius, Socrates, John of Ephesus and the Chronicle of Zuqnin.
Thomas the Apostle, also called Didymus ("twin"), was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. Thomas is commonly known as "Doubting Thomas" because he doubted Jesus' resurrection when first told of it ; later, he confessed his faith, "My Lord and my God," on seeing Jesus' crucifixion wounds.
Syriac, also known as Syrian/Syriac Aramaic, Syro-Aramaic or Classical Syriac, is a dialect of Middle Aramaic of the Northwest Semitic languages of the Afroasiatic family that is written in the Syriac alphabet, a derivation of the Aramaic alphabet. Having first appeared in the early first century AD in Edessa, classical Syriac became a major literary language throughout the Middle East from the 4th to the 8th centuries, preserved in a large body of Syriac literature. Indeed, Syriac literature comprises roughly 90% of the extant Aramaic literature. Syriac was once spoken across much of the Near East as well as Anatolia and Eastern Arabia. Syriac originated in Mesopotamia and eventually spread west of Iraq in which it became the lingua franca of the region during the Mesopotamian Neo-Assyrian period.
Nestorius was Archbishop of Constantinople from 10 April 428 to August 431, when Emperor Theodosius II confirmed his condemnation by the Council of Ephesus on 22 June.
Theodosius III or Theodosios III was Byzantine Emperor from c. May 715 to 25 March 717. Before rising to power and seizing the throne of the Byzantine Empire, he was a tax collector in Adramyttium. In 715, the Byzantine Navy and the troops of the Opsician Theme revolted against Byzantine Emperor Anastasios II, acclaiming the reluctant Theodosius as Emperor Theodosius III. Theodosius led his troops to Chrysopolis and then Constantinople, seizing the city in November 715, although Anastasios would not surrender until several months later, accepting exile into the monastery in return for safety. Many themes refused to recognize the legitimacy of Theodosius, believing him to be a puppet of the Opsicians, especially the Anatolics and the Armeniacs under their respective strategoi (generals) Leo the Isaurian and Artabasdos.
The Syriac Orthodox Church, or Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, or informally the Jacobite Church, is a Oriental Orthodox church branched from the Church of Antioch. The Bishop of Antioch, known as the Patriarch, heads the church, claiming apostolic succession through Saint Peter in the c. 1st century, according to sacred tradition. The autocephalous patriarchate was established in Antioch by Severus the Great in the c. 6th century and was organized by Jacob Baradaeus in rejection of Dyophysitism.
Assyrians are an ethnic group indigenous to Mesopotamia, a region in the Middle East. Some self-identify as Syriacs, Arameans, and Chaldeans. Speakers of the Neo-Aramaic branch of Semitic languages as well as the primary languages in their countries of residence, modern Assyrians are Syriac Christians who claim descent from Assyria, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, dating back to 2500 BC in ancient Mesopotamia.
John of Ephesus was a leader of the early Syriac Orthodox Church in the sixth century and one of the earliest and the most important historians to write in Syriac.
Joshua the Stylite is the attributed author of a chronicle which narrates the history of the war between the Byzantine Empire and Persians between 502 and 506, and which is one of the earliest and best historical documents preserved in Syriac.
The School of Nisibis, for a time absorbed into the School of Edessa, was an educational establishment in Nisibis. It was an important spiritual centre of the early Church of the East, and like the Academy of Gondishapur, it is sometimes referred to as the world's first university. The school had three primary departments teaching: theology, philosophy and medicine. Its most famous teacher was Narsai, formerly head of the School of Edessa.
Syriac Christianity is the form of Eastern Christianity whose formative theological writings and traditional liturgy are expressed in the Syriac language, which, along with Latin and Greek, was one of "the three most important Christian languages in the early centuries" of the Common Era.
Saidnaya is a city located in the mountains, 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above sea level, 27 km (17 mi) north of the city of Damascus in Syria. It is the home of a Greek Orthodox monastery traditionally held to have been founded by Byzantine emperor Justinian I, and where a renowned icon of the Virgin Mary is revered by both Christians and Muslims to this day. The town is noted for the large number of Aramaic speakers, along with nearby Maaloula and few smaller towns nearby such as Maarat Saidnaya. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Saidnaya had a population of 25,194 in the 2004 census.
Christianity in Turkey has had a long history dating back to the 1st-century AD. In modern times the percentage of Christians in Turkey has declined from 20–25 percent in 1914 to 3–5.5 percent in 1927, to 0.3–0.4% today roughly translating to 200,000–320,000 devotees.
The 526 Antioch earthquake hit Syria (region) and Antioch in the Byzantine Empire in 526. It struck during late May, probably between 20–29 May, at mid-morning, killing approximately 250,000 people. The earthquake was followed by a fire that destroyed most of the buildings left standing by the earthquake. The maximum intensity in Antioch is estimated to be between VIII (Severe) and IX (Violent) on the Mercalli intensity scale.
The Zuqnin Chronicle is a chronicle written in Syriac concerning the events from Creation to c. 775 CE. The fourth, historiographically important, part of the chronicle provides a detailed account of life of non-Muslims in Upper Mesopotamia, Egypt, Palestine during and after the Muslim conquest of Syria. It was most probably produced in the Zuqnin Monastery near Amida on the upper Tigris. The work is preserved in a single handwritten manuscript, Cod. Vat. 162. This is now in the Vatican.
The First Plague Pandemic was the first Old World pandemic of plague, the contagious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Also called the Early Medieval Pandemic, it began with the Plague of Justinian in 541 and continued until 750 or 767; at least fifteen or eighteen major waves of plague following the Justinianic plague have been identified from historical records. The pandemic affected the Mediterranean Basin most severely and most frequently, but also infected the Near East and Northern Europe. The Roman emperor Justinian I's name is sometimes applied to the whole series of plague epidemics in late Antiquity, as well as to the Plague of Justinian which struck the East Roman Empire in the early 540s.
The siege of Kamacha by the Abbasid Caliphate took place in autumn 766, and involved the siege of the strategically important Byzantine fortress of Kamacha on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, as well as a large-scale raid across eastern Cappadocia by a part of the Abbasid invasion army. Both enterprises failed, with the siege dragging on into winter before being abandoned and the raiding force being surrounded and heavily defeated by the Byzantines. The campaign was one of the first large-scale Abbasid operations against Byzantium, and is one of the few campaigns of the Arab–Byzantine wars for which detailed information survives, although it is barely mentioned in Arabic or in Byzantine sources.
Julian II, known as Julian the Roman or Julian the Soldier, was the Patriarch of Antioch and head of the Syriac Orthodox Church from 688 until his death in 708.
Qenneshre was a large West Syriac monastery between the 6th and 13th centuries. It was a centre for the study of ancient Greek literature and the Greek Fathers, and through its Syriac translations it transmitted Greek works to the Islamic world. It was "the most important intellectual centre of the Syriac Orthodox ... from the 6th to the early 9th century", when it was sacked and went into decline.
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