Syriac Timeline
11th Century & Beyond

Syriac Timeline (1001 A.D. - 1700 A.D.)




1001 AD

Nathaniel, bishop of Shenna was elected East Syrian Catholicos under the name John V. He sat until AD 1012. Curiously, the Beth Gazza mentions this person as Iwannis III here in the sequence of patriarchs.

[24], p. 235

1008 AD

Eliya or Elijah Bar Shinaya became East Syrian Metropolitan of Nisibis in AD 1008. Elias wrote that within 40 years of `Abhd-Isho`'s episcopate, that is by AD 1008, Eastern Syrian monasticism had collapsed to a very small contingent of monks and monasteries, [38]. According to Wright, [24] Elias Bar Shinaya was born in AD 975. He became a monk near Mosul and was later appointed Bishop of Beth Nuhadhre in AD 1002 and then Metropolitan of Nisibis on AD 1008. He was a prolific author who wrote many works both in Arabic and in Syriac. His greatest work was a history called, 'Annals' or Chronicle', (according to Wright, the only copy is found in BL Add. 7197). These important histories have been published by Chabot and Brooks, CSCO 1909, 1910. Eliya also wrote four volumes on the decisions of ecclesiastical law, an apology for the truth of the faith, hymns, metrical homilies and a lexical work which survives in Mingana Syr 420 E.

[24], p. 235 – 238
[38], p. 140 – 141

Wednesday 19th November
1012 AD

Johannan VI Bar Nazol was promoted from Bishop of Herta to become East Syriac Catholicos. He sat until AD 1020. During his days there were mass conversions of Christians to Islam following many losses from Arab tribal warfare and Kurdish raiding parties.

[24], p. 236 f.
[38], p. 139

1020 AD

Isho`yabh IV Bar Ezekiel became East Syriac Catholicos. He sat until AD 1025.

[24], p. 236
[52], pp. 60, 63

1028 AD

Elias I or Eliya I of Karkha d'Gheddan in Beth Garmai became the East Syrian Patriarch. Eliya collated the East Syrian synodicon and the canons of the church, (see Mingana Syr MSS 586, 587). He was previously bishop of Tirha and during this time he composed grammatical treatises. He sat until AD 1049.

[24], pp. 233, 236

1043 AD

Died `Abdu’llah ibn at-Tayyib who had been the secretary of the East Syrian Patriarch, Eliya I. `Abdu’llah translated a Syriac copy of the Diatessaron into Arabic. Unfortunately the critical value of this translation was diminished because the majority of the Syriac readings in the copy he used had already been adapted to the Peshitta. The vulgarized Syriac Diatessaron had been created earlier by the distinguished Syrian lexicographer’ Isa ibn `Ali who flourished around AD 890.

[24], p. 238
Petersen “Diatessaron”, pp. 135 – 136

1049 AD

Died Catholicos Eliya I of Karkha d'Gheddan. According to the Beth Gazza [Borgia Syr. 60, p. 533 column 1], Eliya was succeeded by Yohannan and then by Sabr-Isho`. There then seems to be a significant gap in the Beth Gazza list, because the next patriarch mentioned in

[24], p. 233

1049 AD

`Abdisho` II Atoraya of Nisibis was elected Catholicos of the East. In the Borgia Beth Gazza, [Borgia Syr 60, p. 533 column 1] this `Abdisho` is the last patriarch in the main list. This historical detail indicates that the patriarchal list in the Beth Gazza service book was compiled at the latest during the patriarchate of `Abdisho` between 1049 and 1090 AD. However, it is perhaps more likely that the list of patriarchs was originally compiled during the patriarchate of Eliya I. The Borgia Gazza does list later patriarchs, but these are rather obvious later additions.

1089 AD

The governor of Tikrit attacked the Syrian Orthodox Christians in that city and burned and looted the Cathedral of Mar Ahudama, also known as the Green Church. The Syrian Orthodox Maphrian, Yuhanna II Saliba and many others, escaped to Mosul. After an attempt to return failed, Tikrit was abandoned by the Syrian Orthodox Christian community.

[60], p. 68

1089 AD

The monasteries of Tur `Abdin were destroyed and the monks were killed. This catastrophe was recorded in a dated inscription. Even so, there is manuscript evidence that not everything was destroyed, see under AD 1133 and 1184 below.

[38], p. 140

1090 AD

Died East Syrian Catholicos `Abdisho` II.

[46], volume 1, column 1158

1125 AD

Mar Johannan became Metropolitan of Marde. He wrote that in the year he became metropolitan there was not one monk in Marde nor any at all in Tur `Abdin and that no one even remembered how the monks had lived.

[38], p. 141

1133 AD

Lazarus bar Saba, a native of Beth Severina in Tur `Abdin recorded his name and address in the colophon of a manuscript, BL. Add. 14498. This manuscript contains anaphoras and prayers from the liturgy and demonstrates that perhaps not all of the Syriac books at Tur `Abdin were destroyed in the disaster 44 years earlier, (see above AD 1089).

Hatch 'Album' p. 178

1138 AD

`Abhd-Isho` bar Mukl of Mosul became Catholicos of the East. He sat until AD 1147.

[24], p. 255

1152 or 1153 AD

Yohannan bishop of the Monastery of Mar Hananya also known as Deir Za'faran, 'The Safron Monastery' held a synod there. Copies of the synodal acts survive in Damascus Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate MS 8/11 ff. 215a – 216b (dated May 5th AD 1204 published by Voobus, CSCO vol. 367 etc.) and MS Mardin Orth. 176 ff. 143a – 151b, a MS of the 15th century.

[62], pp. 24 f.

1156 AD

Mosul becomes the main centre of the Syrian Orthodox Church in Iraq and the Maphrain Ignatius Li'azir was called, 'The Maphrain of Tikrit, Nineveh, Mosul and all the East'.

[60], pp. 68 - 69

1166 AD

Michael the Great became Michael Patriarch of Antioch. He sat until AD 1199. Michael's most important work was a chronicle from the creation down to AD 1196. This chronicle survives in Armenian and in AD 1894 a Syriac copy was said to exist in the library of the Zafaran monastery near Mardin, Turkey, [24]. According to Bar Hebraeus, Michael also wrote an ecclesiastical history, (now lost). However, it is likely that the contents of Michael's ecclesiastical history were re-used by Barhebraeus in his own historical writings.

[24], p. 251 ff.
[48], volume 3, p. 1137

1166 AD

Dionysius bar Salibi of Melitene, was Syrian Orthodox metropolitan of Amid from 1166 until his death in 1171 AD. He wrote an important commentary on the four gospels in Syriac. Much but not all of his material comes from an earlier commentary written by Moshe bar Kepha in the 9th century AD. For Dionysius' gospel commentary, see the following MSS; BL Add. 7184, Vat. Syr. 155, 19-24, Vat. Syr. 156, 275 to 279, Paris Anc. fonds 33, 34 = Zotenberg catalogue numbers 67 – 68, Bodleian Lib. MS Or. 703, 2, St Matthew, Bodleian Hunt. 247. According to Zotenburg's catalogue p. 35, the MS, Paris 67 is a copy of the gospel commentaries which was completed and dated only 3 years after the decease of the author on Saturday 27th Tammuz AG 1485 which corresponds to Saturday 27th July AD 1174. MS Paris 68 is also a dated MS: Friday 13th Kanun II in AG 1768 = Friday 13th January AD 1457.

These commentaries have also been published by CSCO, Peeters, Louvain. Dionysius Bar Salibi also wrote commentaries upon the Acts, letters of Paul and the Revelation, (these can be found in Bodleian Lib. MS Or. 560 and Brit. Lib. MS Rich 7185) and upon the Old Testament, (see Paris Syriac MS 66). All the NT commentaries are based upon the Peshitta text, however Old Syriac gospel quotations and variants can still be found.

In Bar Salibi's gospel commentary we find the following words about the Diatessaron, (I translate his words into English from the Syriac found on folio 182a of MS Paris Syriac 67):”Tatianos the disciple of Justinos the philosopher and martyr selected from the four evangelists, and he mixed [them] and composed a gospel and he called it, 'Diatessaron' that is, 'The mixed' and Mari Ephrem wrote his commentary on this. It's start was; 'In the beginning he was, the Word'.” These words differ slightly from the description of the Diatessaron given by the earlier East Syrian Isho`dad bishop of Merv, which see above.

[24], p. 247
[34], p. XXIII
[38], p. 135

1171 AD

Died Dionysius bar Salibi, Syriac author, biblical commentator and bishop of Amid.

[32], para 51
[34], p. XXIII
[38], p. 135

1171 AD

The patriarchal seat of the Syrian Orthodox Church was moved and established in Mardin.

[60], p. 93

1174 AD

According to the colophon of Paris Syriac 67 at this time, Michael was Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, Mark was Patriarch of Egypt, John was Maphrain of the Orient and Athanasius was Metropolitan of Edessa.

Zotenburg, catalogue p. 35

1175 AD

Eliya III, Abu Halim ibn al-Hadithi of Maiperkat, metropolitan of Nisibis became Catholicos of the East. He sat until AD 1190, [57]. Abu Halim mostly wrote in Arabic, but he also gave his name to one of the service books in Syriac, the 'Abu Halim' which contains collects and prayers for the whole year. Example MSS are Rylands Syr 27 dated 17th February AG 2051 = AD 1740 and the Cambridge MSS; Add. 1978, [40], [56] and Add. 2038, [40].

[24], p. 255 f.
[40], pp. 121, 1155
[56], p. 151
[57], p. 347

1177 AD

Athanasius Abu Ghalib, bishop of Gihan wrote a work on chastity in AD 1177 which is preserved in Mingana Syr 118. He was ordained by Michael the Great in AD 1169. It is stated in this work that the West Syrian monks of this time were engaging in unchastity. This is probably the same cleric who is mentioned in Paris Syriac MS 67 as Metropolitan of Edessa when the MS was completed in July AD 1174.

[46], volume 1, column 281

1184 AD

A book of hymns was copied and dated in the village of Kaper Rac`a in Tur `Abdin. BL. Add. 14719

Wright 'Catalogue' p. 275

1190 AD

Yabh-Alaha II bar Kayoma of Mosul became Catholicos of the East, [24]. Reference [57] has the date as AD 1191.

[24], p. 255
[57], p. 353 note 4

1190 or 1191 AD

Mar Iwannis (John LXXIV) was elected Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and all Egypt. The date given is year 905 according to the era of the martyrs, (see above under AD 286). He died in year 932 of the same era, i.e. around AD 1217 or 1218.

[62], p. XII

1199 AD

Died Michael Patriarch of Antioch or Michael the Great, who had been Syrian Orthodox bishop of Amid and who moved his see from Amid to Mardin. Michael was a very important Syriac author. He created a NT in Syriac except the book of Revelation. He also wrote a valuable chronicle of events down to the year 1194 AD which preserves much earlier Syriac historical materials which are now lost. Michael the Great was succeeded by his nephew Isho` Setana, see under AD 1204 below.

[34], p. XLV
[48], volume 3, p. 1137
[60], p. 70
[62], p. XI (in the intro to the Syriac text)

c. 1200 AD

Flourished John bar Zubi, an East Syrian monk of Beth Kuka in Hedhaiyabh (=Adiabene) who tutored Shakko or Shikko, also known as Severus, bishop of Mar Matthew, (see below under AD 1241). John wrote a Syriac grammar, a number of copies of this work survive in the Mingana collection. John's teacher was Shem`on Shaklawaya, i.e. from Shaklabad who composed a work on church Chronology in response to a request from John, [46].

[24], p. 258
[46], volume 1, column 1030

1202 AD

At around this time in the Upper Monastery of Mar Gabriel near Mosul, the liturgy was restructured. Vööbus, [38] asserts that all the Old Syriac elements were removed from the lectionary in favour of the Peshitta as well as from all the other liturgical books. However, contrary to the second part of this assertion, the surviving MSS of the Hudhra (the East Syrian office book used by the choir arranged by `Anan Isho` of Hedhaiyabh in the mid seventh century AD) and the MSS of the Beth Gaza demonstrate beyond any doubt that the Old Syriac text was not in fact removed from every liturgical book, only from the gospel lectionary.

Vatican Syriac MS 42 contains a Taksa (i.e. a service book or Euchologion) for the Priest's use whilst celebrating the East Syrian mass. This East Syrian Taksa was revised in AD 1202. This date correlates with the date that the lectionary system of the East Syrian liturgy was revised using the Peshitta by the Upper Monastery of Mar Abraham and Mar Gabriel at Mosul. The revision of the gospel lectionary required a large manuscript copying effort to replace the older lectionaries. A number of dated examples of these replacement lectionaries can be found mentioned below.

Date according to the introduction provided for Vat. Syr. 42 as found in the facsimile edition of 33 MSS from the Vatican Library produced by the BYU.
[38], p. 142

5th May
1204 AD

According to the colophon of Damascus Patriarchate MS 8/11 reported in [62] at this time, Isho` Setana also called Mika'el like his great uncle Michael the Great, was Patriarch of Antioch, Mar Iwannis (John LXXIV) was Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and all Egypt and Mar Grigorios was Maphrian of Tagrit, Nineveh, Mosul and all the East, (for whom see more details below under AD 1214).

Assemani (BO II, p. 230 ff.) and also Baumstark (Geschichte Syr. Lit., p. 302) thought that Isho` became Patriarch in AD 1207, but this colophon shows that he is more likely to have become Patriarch of Antioch around the turn of the year AD 1200 soon after the death of Michael the Great. Isho` was from the Monastery of Barsauma and he reigned until his death in AD 1214.

[62], p. XI (in the intro to the Syriac text)

1206 or 1207 AD

An East Syrian gospel lectionary manuscript, BL. Egerton 681 was copied during the days of Yabh-alaha II Catholicos of Seleucia Ctesiphon. The lectionary was arranged after the usage of the lections in the convent of Beth `Abhe which was founded by Rabban Jacob, (see earlier under AD 630). A similarly dated gospel lectionary from Beth `Abhe can be found below, see under AD 1218.

Wright “Catalogue” p. 193[38], p. 142

Saturday August 4th 1212 AD

Sabr-Isho` bar Pawlos of Mosul was rector, (Syriac: Yasopa) of the Church of Meskenta in Mosul when the MS Mosul 13 was copied, (according to the date 609 AH given in the MS colophon). This Sabr-Isho` wrote an anthem on the [Divine] Economy which was recited at the fast called the Rogation of the Ninevites. This anthem is included in the 13th century appendix of the 11th century Mar Eshaya Hudhra.

[57], p. 353 note 4

1214 AD

Died Mika'el also known as Isho` Setana Patriarch of Antioch.

[62], p. XI (in the intro to the Syriac text)

1214 or 1215 AD

Isho` (or Ya`qob) bar Abraham bar 'Elija of Bet Qandasi near Melitene who was Mar Grigorios Maphrian of Tagrit died in AD 1214 [62] or AD 1215, [46]. He was a nephew of Michael I, also known as Michael the Great, [46], [62]. He wrote anaphora which are preserved in MS Berlin Sachau 196 folios16a ff., [62] and a treatise on Good Friday preserved in Mingana MS Syr. 112 folios 92a – 107b, [46]

[46], volume 1, column 273
[62], p. XII

Between March and September1218 AD

An East Syrian lectionary of the gospels was written in the convent of Beth `Abhe which was founded by Rabban Jacob, (see earlier under AD 630). The dates given in the MS are AG 1529 and AH 615. These two dates narrow down the date of the manuscript to between March and September AD 1218. A similarly dated gospel lectionary from Beth `Abhe can be found above, see under AD 1206.

CBL MS 704
Hatch 'Album', p. 222

1222 AD

Died Yabh-Alaha II bar Kayoma of Mosul Catholicos of the East, [57].

[57], p. 353 note 4

1222 AD

East Syrian Patriarch Yabh-Alaha III or Sabrisho` IV was elected. He sat until AD 1225.

[46], volume 1, column 998

1225 AD

Flourished Giwargis Warda from Erbil who wrote Syriac poems, (two are dated; AD 1225 and AD 1254, [46]) and hymns. According to Vööbus [38], some of these are based on the Old Syriac gospel and some on the Peshitta. The MSS studied by Vööbus were Cambridge Syr 1982 and Vatican Syr 184 with an edition by Hilgenfeld. Other MSS include Mingana Syr 197 C and Mingana Syr 505 dated around AD 1500.

[32], para 55
[38], p. 137
[46], volume 1, column 931

1225 AD

Died Sabrisho` IV Catholicos of the East.

See above under 1222 AD.

1241 AD

Died the West Syrian author and disciple of the John bar Zubi, Jacob bar Shakko, or more exactly, Ya`qob of Bartilla, Bar Shikko, also known as Severus, bishop of Mar Matthew. Some of his work called, The 'Treasures' written in AD 1231 can be found preserved in Mingana Syr 100. Note that Shikko was a West Syrian, despite being a disciple of John bar Zubi who was East Syrian.

[32], para 52
[46], column 246

1249 AD

Died the West Syrian Patriarch Michael II, formally known as Isho` Bar Shushan. His copy of the gospels was Old Syriac in character as can be seen from a gospel interpolation after Mt20v28 which can be found copied into Mingana Syr 497, a copy of the Harklean gospels. The same interpolation can be found in the Curetonian Old Syriac codex which dates from the 5th century AD.

[46], volume 1, column 917

1256 AD

Died East Syrian Patriarch Sabrisho` V Bar Meshihaya.

[46], volume 1, column 931

1258 AD

The Abbasid Islamic caliphate was ended by the invasion of the Mongol Khan Hulago who conquered and sacked Baghdad. The Khan spared the Christians in Baghdad because many Mongols were already Christians.

[60], pp. xxiv, 90

1260 AD

The Mongol Khan invaded Syria and took Nisibis, Edessa, Harran, Aleppo and Damascus.

[60], p. 91

1264 AD

Gregory Barhebraeus Abdu al-Faraj, (AD 1226 – 1286) became primate of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Gregory was the son of a physician who after studying medicine in Antioch and Tripoli turned to theological studies and the priesthood. See also below under AD 1286.

[60], p. 71

November 1265 AD

Denha I became East Syrian Catholicos.

[40], volume 1, p. 39

1270 AD

Died John of Mosul who was an East Syrian monk in the monastery of Mar Michael near Mosul. John wrote a work entitled 'Book of good manners' in AD 1245. Several MSS are known to the present author, BL Orient 2450 and Mingana Syr 488 A, 493 A. An edition of unknown exactness was published by Millos, E. J., Archbishop of Akra, 'Directorium spirituale', Rome 1868.

[24], p. 285

1271 AD

Died East Syrian Metropolitan `Abdisho` Bar Mashk who renovated the church of the Monastery of Mar Eugenius. This monastery was situated on Mount Izla.

[46], volume 1, column 373

February 1281 AD

Died Denha I East Syrian Catholicos. He was succeeded by Mar Yahb-Alaha III. He sat until AD 1317, [24].

[40], volume 1, p. 39
[24], p. 255
[60], p. 95

1286 AD

Died Gregory Barhebraeus Abdu al-Faraj, Syrian Orthodox Maphrian of the East and a prolific Syriac author, biblical commentator and scholar. On-line biographies of Gregory Barhebraeus including lists of his many scholarly works are available on the Internet, see link1 and link2. Gregory exclusively used the Peshitta text of the gospels in his many works. His most important historical work was his, 'Book of Directions', more commonly known as 'The Nomocanon'. This is a large collection of synodal canons from previous eras.

In Erbil at this time and writing hymns was Khamis bar Qardahe or Kardahé. Khamis' life can be pinned down to the vicinity of this date because he wrote a metrical eulogy in memory of Barhebraeus which is preserved in Mingana Syr 156, a 19th century MS copied from an exemplar dated AD 1293, i.e. a MS roughly contemporary with the author. A complete collection of Khamis' works can be found in Mingana Syr 149B and some hymns of his can also be found in Mingana Syr 130.

[32], para 52
[38], p. 135
Hatch 'Album', p. 196
[46], volume 1, column 360

1294 AD

Died Kublai Khan the Mongol emperor.

[60], p. 91

1295 AD

Ghazan, the Mongol Khan of Persia converted to Islam. He began a policy of persecuting Christians and for one hundred years many churches were burned and massacres of Christians took place, especially at Arbil in 1310 AD and in Amida in 1317 AD. Whole Christian communities were destroyed.

[60], p. 91

1317 AD

Died Mar Jahbalaha an East Syrian monk who lived in Peking, China, and who later became the Nestorian Patriarch of China, Mar Yahb-Alaha III (AD 1281 – 1317) based at the Patriarchal residence at Maragha. His biography contains gospel quotations from an Old Syriac text, including variants not found in the two surviving Old Syriac gospel manuscripts. The two variants given in [38] can be traced to Justin Martyr and other witnesses to the text of the Diatessaron. This suggests that the gospel text used by the biographer may have been a copy of the Diatessaron.

The colophon of a manuscript, Mingana Syr 156 written in AD 1293 states that it was written in his days.
The text of his vita has been published by Bedjan, Paris 1888, [24].

[24], p. 289
[38], p. 137
[46], volume 1, column 359

1318 AD

Timothy II became East Syrian catholicos in the month of Shebat AG 1629, [53]. He sat until AD 1353, [46] (although Wright gives the date of his death as AD 1328, [24] ). He had previously been metropolitan of Mosul and Irbil under the name Joseph. From these remarks it is possible that that Wright has confused two near contemporary people of different dates.

Prior to his elevation, Timothy wrote a work upon the liturgy called, 'About the ecclesiastical mysteries', [53].

[24], p. 290
[46], volume 1, column 47
[52], p. 62
[53], p. 205

1318 AD

Died `Abdisho` Metropolitan of Nisibis, son of Berikha who was a prolific East Syrian author and scholar. Although it is unclear whether he had access to this book in its original format, `Abdisho` said that Tatian's Diatessaron was, “An admirable gospel.” His comment is more likely to be describing the Arabic Diatessaron, (see above under 1043 AD).

[24], p. 285
[32], para 54
[38], p. 23
[42], p. 58

1353 AD

Died Timothy II, East Syrian Catholicos. Timothy wrote a book called, 'The causes of the sacraments. Thirteen canons written by Timothy II can be also be found in Mingana Syr 121 part F. Timothy was succeeded by Mar Denha II who was still Catholicos in AD 1380 according to a MS colophon of that date, [65].

[24], p. 290
[46], volume 1, column 47
[65], p. 105

14th cent?

Lived Yeshua` bar Selibha dhe-khairon from Hah in Tur `Abdin a Syrian Orthodox scholar who wrote memre in the twelve syllable metre. He quotes Barhebraeus who died in AD1286 and his memre are in a manuscript dated AD 1452. Therefore, he seems to have lived in about the 14th century AD.

CUL Add. 2019

1382 AD

Died East Syrian Catholicos, Mar Dinha II. According to a note in Mingana 561, during his period there were many 'wars and devastations'. For the reasons, see under AD 1295.

[46], volume 1, column 1044

1393 AD

Timur Leng conquered Baghdad and overran Mesopotamia. This Khan persecuted both Sunni Muslims and Christians and left mayhem everywhere until his death in AD 1405. This devastation left Iraq in a weakened state for centuries.

[60], pp. xxiv, 91, 92

1440 AD

Lived the priest and East Syriac author Isaac Shebadhnaya, also known as Asco. As well as being a priest, Asco was a smith. He came from the country of the Sindayé, a region north east of the modern town of Zakho, in a mountainous area of northern Iraq.

[46], volume 1, columns 77, 303, 347

7th August
1445 AD

The Council of Florence was attended by the East Syrian bishop Timotheus of Tarsus. An attempt was made which failed to create a Uniat Catholic East Syrian denomination called the Chaldean Church.

[60], p. 108

1453 AD

The Ottomans defeated the Byzantines and took Constantinople. Constantinople was renamed Istanbul and became the capital of the vast Ottoman empire.

[60], p. 99

1454 AD

Died the West Syrian Ignatius V Behnam bar Yohannan Hedhlaya

[46], volume 1, columns 194 and 718

1458 AD

At this date `Abdisho` metropolitan of Nisibis dedicated a manuscript in his own handwriting to the Church of Mar Pethion.

[65], p. 107

1481 AD
6989 Cr

Died Abu L'Ma-ani `Aziz bar Sabtha also known as Ignatius VII, the west Syrian patriarch of Tur `Abdin. He wrote a commentary on the mystical sayings of John Dalyatha, also known as John Saba, (see Mingana Syr 49 and under c. AD 700). Mingana says that this commentary quotes some otherwise lost sayings by John of Dalyatha. Ignatius also wrote another mystical piece on 'The ascent of the mind', (copies of which can be found in Mingana Syr 79 part B, and Syr 616).
A Melchite MS that is dated AD 1481 is also dated to the 6989th year of the creation, [46], volume 2, p. 184.

[46], volume 1, columns 140, 199, 227
[46], volume 2, p. 181

1480 or 1481 AD

In AG 1792 one Mas`ud was elected as Superior of the Syrian Orthodox Convent of Quriaqos in Tur `Abdin, taking the name Basil. At this time he had been a monk there for 10 years after becoming a monk at the age of 22 years.

[66], part 2, p. 71

1484 AD

Died the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Khalaf Ma'adanaya who resided in the Zafaran monastery.

[46], volume 1, columns 678 and 695.

20th February
1497 AD

Died the East Syrian patriarch Shimun IV Basidi. He was buried at the Patriarchal Residence which was then in the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd at Alkosh, northern Iraq. He was succeeded by Eliya, metropolitan of Mosul, who was a nephew of Shimun Basidi.

[55], sections 3, 8

1499 or 1500 AD

Mar Shem`on V the East Syrian Patriarch consecrated Mar Thoma as bishop of the Syrians in India during a visit of the Syrians from India to the patriarchal residence at Gazarta. Mar Shem`on died in AD 1501 or 1502 and he was buried at the Mar Augin Monastery near Nisibis.

[55], section 9

1502 AD

Eliya V succeeded Mar Shem`on to become patriarch of the Church of the East. As his predecessor had, he also resided in Gazarta, in the monastery of Mar Yukhannan the Egyptian.

[55], section 10.

After April 8th 1504 AD

Died the East Syrian patriarch Mar Eliya V [46], [55] who was succeeded by Mar Shem`on VI, [46], [55] who resided at a different place, the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd, [55].

On April 8th AD 1504, not long before he died, Mar Eliya consecrated more bishops and metropolitans for the Church of the East in India, [55].

[46], volume 1, column 1064
[55], section 10

1509 AD

Died Syrian Orthodox patriarch Ignatius Noh who was from the village of Bakofa.

[46], volume 1, column 1108

1534 AD

The Ottomans conquered Baghdad and Northern Iraq.

[60], pp. xxiv, 99

5th August
1538 AD

Died the East Syrian patriarch Mar Shem`on VI. His tombstone inscription in the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd giving the date 5th Ab AG 1849 has been edited by Budge, [63].

[55], section 11
[63], vol. 1. p. clxxi

1546 AD

The Ottomans complete their conquest of Iraq by taking Basra.

[60], pp. xxiv, 92, 99

1552 AD

Yohannan Sulaqa was elected by the bishops of Arbil, Urmiya and Salmas as East Syrian patriarch in opposition to the then hereditary heir to that title. Yohannan Sulaqa had been abbot of the monastery of Rabban Hormizd. He adopted the name John VIII. This man went to Rome and was recognized as patriarch by pope Julius III.

[60], p. 108

1553 AD

The East Syrian anti-patriarch Yohannan Sulaqa of the Abuna family acquired papal recognition. This patriarch was elected in opposition to the patriarch of the Church of the East.

[55], section 3

1555 AD

On his return the patriarch of the Church of the East, Shimon VIII Dinkha declared the election of Yohannan Sulaqa illegitimate and turned him over to the Ottoman authorities. Yohannan was murdered in 1555 AD and the Uniat community elected `Abdisho IV as Chaldean patriarch in his place. This man could not travel to Rome to receive his recognition until 1562 AD.

[60], p. 109

1555 AD

Ignatius `Abd-Allah was Syrian Orthodox patriarch and Basil Nimat-Allah from Mardin was Mephrain of the East. MS Mingana Syr 607 is dated AD 1555 and was written in the days of these leaders.

[46], volume 2, p. 170

1558 AD

Died the East Syrian patriarch Mar Shem`on VII. His tombstone inscription in the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd giving the date of the 4th Saturday in the Latter Tishrin has been edited by Budge, [63].

[63], vol. 1. p. clxxi

1560 to 1573 AD

Ignatius Nimat-Allah was Syrian Orthodox patriarch of Antioch and Basil `Abed Al-Ghani was Maphrian of the East.

MS Mingana Syr 474 is dated AD 1560 and was written in the days of these leaders, and in the Zafaran monastery.

The colophon of an exemplar used by the Mingana Syr 385 was dated AD 1568 and again gives the names of these leaders in full.

MS CUL 1999 dated AD 1573 was written in the convent of Mar Hananya and Mar Eugenius near Mardin, which is nowadays called the Zafaran Monastery. This MS contains the works of John Saba also called John of Dalyatha and some letters of Philoxenus, bishop of Mabbog.

Mingana Syr 474 colophon
Mingana Syr 385 colophon
CUL Add. 1999 colophon

23rd July
1576 AD

According to a MS colophon, Mar Eliya was patriarch of the East and Gabriel was bishop metropolitan of Gozarta.

[65], p. 129

1577 or
1578 AD

According to a MS colophon, in the year AG 1889, Mar Eliya was patriarch of the East and Yoseph was bishop metropolitan of Gozarta.

[66], part 1, p. 500

1577 to 1586 AD

Ignatius David Shah was West Syrian Patriarch and Gregory Pilate was Mephrain of the east. According to the colophons of MSS Mingana Syr 473 and Syr 612

[46], volume 1, column 850
[46], volume 2, p. 179

1579 AD

The East Syrian patriarch Shimun IX of the Abuna family inherited the patriachate. He sat until 1600. This line of patriarchs had the recognition of the Catholic pope.

[55], section 3

1588 AD

According to a MS colophon with this date, lived Mar Eliya the East Syrian patriarch and Henanisho` was the metropolitan [of Nisibis?].

[65], p. 101

Late January
1591 AD

Died Mar Eliya, patriarch of the East. He had ruled for 32 years. His tombstone inscription in the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd giving the date and the duration of his tenure has been edited by Budge, [63]. The date is recorded as the Wednesday of the Feast of the Apostles AG 1902.

[63], vol. 1. p. clxxii

1591 AD

Lived the priest and Eastern Syriac author, Israel of Alkosh. Some of his work can be found in Mingana Syr 129B, 130J and 149G

[46], volume 1, column 77

17th January
1597 AD

A MS colophon names Eliya as patriarch of the East and Yoseph as metropolitan, (presumably of Gozarta, see above under AD 1577). the MS is dated Saturday 27th Kanun Second, AG 1908.

[65], p. 128

1601 AD

Lived an East Syrian Patriarch called Eliya. His name is recorded in the colophon of a dated MS. This may have been the same person as Eliya VII patriarch of the East who sent messengers to Rome to attempt a reconciliation in 1606 AD. It came to nought.

[46], volume 1, column 998

26th May
1617 AD

Died Eliya patriarch of the East. His tombstone inscription in the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd giving this date has been edited by Budge, [63]. The recorded date is given as 26th Iyar AG 1928.

[63], vol. 1. p. clxxii

1645 AD

Lived Eliya the East Syrian patriarch and John, bishop of Mardin. This information comes from a MS colophon of this date.

[65], p. 99

c. 1650

Died Shim`on West Syrian Patriarch of Tur `Abdin. Shim`on wrote a Syro-Arabic lexicon.

[46], volume 1, column 913

30th May
1650 AD

According to a MS colophon of this date written in the Monastery of Eliya there was strife between Mar Eliya the East Syrian Patriarch and Shim`on the Catholicos. This evidence indicates that Shim`on and Eliya were rival patriarchs at this time, see also under AD 1654.

[65], p. 129

1654 AD

The first West Syrian patriarch converts to Roman Catholicism. This record is given in a contemporary note in Mingana MS 46

[46], volume 1, column 121.

1654 AD to
1665 AD

According to the colophons of two East Syrian MSS of these dates, there was a Mar Shimon patriarch of the East and a Mar Shimon bishop metropolitan of Amid. This was a schismatic hierarchy given that Eliya was the patriarch of the East at the same time, see above under AD 1650.

[65], pp. 115, 132

1656 AD

Andrew Akhejan was consecrated as Maronite Catholic bishop of Aleppo. (see also under 1662 AD.)

[60], p. 112

18th June
1660 AD

Died Eliya patriarch of the East. He had ruled for 43 years. His tombstone inscription in the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd giving this date and duration of tenure has been edited by Budge, [63]. The date given in the inscription is 18th Haziran, AG 1971.

[63], vol. 1. p. clxxii

1662 AD

Andrew Akhejan was elected patriarch and operated from Aleppo. For a time, he led both the Syrian Catholic and the Syrian Orthodox communities there. In 1677 he became the leader of the Uniat movement.

[60], p. 112

1672 AD

Relations were severed between the uniat Chaldeans and Rome in a dispute over the control of the Church of the East in Kerala, India. The Chaldean patriarch Shimon XIII Dinkha then formed of a new faction of the Church of the East called the 'Mountain Nestorians'. This new faction was based around the monastery of Kotchannes in the Hakkari mountains.

It really seems that there was widespread fragmentation within the Church of the East at about this time.

[60], p. 109

1677 AD

Peter Gorgis of Mosul became West Syrian Patriarch. He sat until AD 1708.

[46], volume 1, column 708

1681 AD

Lived West Syrian Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius `Abd Al-Masih and Mephrain Basil Yalda.

[46], volume 1, column 1062

1681 AD

Joseph I became the first Chaldean (Catholic Uniat) East Syrian Patriarch. Papal recognition occurred in AD 1681. He sat until AD 1695 when he abdicated. He died later on November 10th 1707, [55]. In Joseph's time, the Chaldean Patriarchate was established at Diarbekr, (known in earlier times as the city of Amida).

[51], p. 139
[55], sections 3, 34.

1689 AD

The Monastery of Zafaran (= of Safron) near Mardin was restored under the care of the Patriarch Ignatius George, (for details of his date, see above under AD 1677).

[46], volume 1, column 98

1693 AD

Lived another East Syrian Patriarch called Eliya, probably Elijah VIIth who sat until AD 1700.

[46], volume 1, columns 994, 1134

1695 or 1696 AD

Lived another East Syrian patriarch, Mar Shim`on who is mentioned in the dated MS colophon of Alqosh 107, [66].

[66], part 2, p. 64

1696 AD

Joseph II Sliba Bet Ma`ruf became Chaldean (Catholic Uniat) East Syrian Patriarch. He sat until AD 1712. Joseph died of the plague whilst he was visiting Rome on June 2nd, 1712, [55], ([52] has 1713 and [54] has 1714). His personal copies of the Hudhra (Vat. Syr. 83) and of the East Syrian Euchologion, (Vat. Syr. 42) are still preserved in the Vatican Library. Joseph wrote an 'Exposition of the Ecclesiastical Offices,' an 18th century copy of which survives in the Chaldean Patriarchate library, (Baghdad) MS 252. He was a prolific author who wrote in classical Syriac and in Arabic and he translated many Roman Catholic works into these languages, [55].

[52], p. 63
[54], p. lxiii
[55], section 35

17th May
1700 AD

Died Eliya patriarch of the East. He had ruled for 40 years. His tombstone inscription in the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd giving this date and duration of tenure has been edited by Budge, [63]. The date given in the inscription is 17th Iyar, AG 2011. According to Scher, he was succeeded by another patriarch of the same name, [66].

[63], vol. 1. p. clxxii
[66], part 2, p. 65