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'universal church' in Syriac hagiographical literature

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  • reyhan durmaz
    Dear group members, I have recently encountered, in the Life of Mor Aho of Rish ayno, the usage of   ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܩܰܐܬܽܘܠܺܝܩܺܝ (instead of the
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 1, 2012
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      Dear group members,

      I have recently encountered, in the Life of Mor Aho of Rish'ayno, the usage of  ''ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܩܰܐܬܽܘܠܺܝܩܺܝ (instead of the commonly-used expression: ܥܕܬܐ ܪܒܬܐ) as a way of referring to Hagia Sophia. The Life belongs to the Awgen Cycle, and the last author of the Life makes clear that he is a non-Chalcedonian author. (Unfortunately i have not been able to consult the short book by Arthur Voobus on Mor Aho).

      I was wondering if you could recall any Syriac source that refers to Hagia Sophia as the 'universal church' (if this is the appropriate translation). So far I could only see the expression 'the Great Church' in the West-Syrian sources. 

      Thank you very much, in advance, for any contribution, which will mean a lot to me.

      Happy New Year,
      very best,
      reyhan durmaz

    • nmarinid
      Dear Reyhan, Happy New Year to you too. Universal might simply be a translation of ecumenical, as in Ecumenical Patriarchate. In a non-Chalcedonian author
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 2, 2012
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        Dear Reyhan,

        Happy New Year to you too. "Universal" might simply be a translation of "ecumenical," as in Ecumenical Patriarchate. In a non-Chalcedonian author the term would probably be used due to its imperial connections rather than any regard for implied theological claims. The original force of the Greek title was more in the political sense anyway, implying association with the ecumenical emperor rather than some kind of quasi-papal universal jurisdiction (although this was not fully understood by Pope Gregory the Great when he protested against its assumption by Patriarch John IV the Faster).

        cheers,
        Nick Marinides
      • Thomas A. Carlson
        Dear Reyhan, An alternate possibility, suggested by definition (c) of ܩܰܬܘܽܠܻܝܩܺܐ in the dictionary of J. Payne-Smith, is that `i(d)ta qatholike
        Message 3 of 9 , Jan 2, 2012
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          Dear Reyhan,

          An alternate possibility, suggested by definition (c) of ܩܰܬܘܽܠܻܝܩܺܐ in the dictionary of J. Payne-Smith, is that "`i(d)ta qatholike" in this context could mean simply "cathedral church," which would be an uncontested role of the Hagia Sophia regardless of the author's confessional stance.  I think the Greek "ekklesia katholike" can bear this meaning as well, although I do not have a proper dictionary to hand in order to verify that.  Unfortunately, Payne-Smith did not give citations, so I cannot point to a text which clearly uses the word in this way.

          Happy New Year and happy translating!
          Thomas.


          From: hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com [hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of nmarinid [mariner1184@...]
          Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 11:55 AM
          To: hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [hugoye-list] Re: 'universal church' in Syriac hagiographical literature

           

          Dear Reyhan,

          Happy New Year to you too. "Universal" might simply be a translation of "ecumenical," as in Ecumenical Patriarchate. In a non-Chalcedonian author the term would probably be used due to its imperial connections rather than any regard for implied theological claims. The original force of the Greek title was more in the political sense anyway, implying association with the ecumenical emperor rather than some kind of quasi-papal universal jurisdiction (although this was not fully understood by Pope Gregory the Great when he protested against its assumption by Patriarch John IV the Faster).

          cheers,
          Nick Marinides

        • Ross Wagner
          Dear Reyhan, Following up on Thomas s message, I checked Lampe s Patristic Greek Lexicon under καθολικός. Definition 6 reads, of principal church of
          Message 4 of 9 , Jan 2, 2012
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            Dear Reyhan,

            Following up on Thomas's message, I checked Lampe's Patristic Greek Lexicon under καθολικός. Definition 6 reads, "of principal church of diocese, province, etc." Among the texts cited is de receptione haereticorum (supplement), a 6th-7th century text spuriously attributed to Timotheus Constantinopolitanus Presbyter (Migne 86.72c).

            Best wishes,

            Ross


            On Jan 2, 2012, at 12:33 PM, Thomas A. Carlson wrote:



            Dear Reyhan,

            An alternate possibility, suggested by definition (c) of ܩܰܬܘܽܠܻܝܩܺܐ in the dictionary of J. Payne-Smith, is that "`i(d)ta qatholike" in this context could mean simply "cathedral church," which would be an uncontested role of the Hagia Sophia regardless of the author's confessional stance.  I think the Greek "ekklesia katholike" can bear this meaning as well, although I do not have a proper dictionary to hand in order to verify that.  Unfortunately, Payne-Smith did not give citations, so I cannot point to a text which clearly uses the word in this way.

            Happy New Year and happy translating!
            Thomas.


            From: hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com [hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of nmarinid [mariner1184@...]
            Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 11:55 AM
            To: hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [hugoye-list] Re: 'universal church' in Syriac hagiographical literature

             

            Dear Reyhan,

            Happy New Year to you too. "Universal" might simply be a translation of "ecumenical," as in Ecumenical Patriarchate. In a non-Chalcedonian author the term would probably be used due to its imperial connections rather than any regard for implied theological claims. The original force of the Greek title was more in the political sense anyway, implying association with the ecumenical emperor rather than some kind of quasi-papal universal jurisdiction (although this was not fully understood by Pope Gregory the Great when he protested against its assumption by Patriarch John IV the Faster).

            cheers,
            Nick Marinides




          • Istvan Perczel
            Dear Reyhan, Thomas’s suggestion seems to be indeed the right one. I have checked ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܩܰܐܬܽܘܠܺܝܩܺܝ in the Thesaurus Syriacus. The
            Message 5 of 9 , Jan 2, 2012
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              Dear Reyhan,
              Thomas’s suggestion seems to be indeed the right one. I have checked ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܩܰܐܬܽܘܠܺܝܩܺܝ in the Thesaurus Syriacus. The expression is used some times in the literature and means always cathedral church, the church of the see of a primate. Such occurrences are, according to the Thesaurus, ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܩܰܐܬܽܘܠܺܝܩܺܝ ܕܰܡܕܺܝܢ̱ܬܳܐ , “the cathedral (that is, archiepiscopal) church of the city” in Bar ‘Ebroyo’s Chronicon, Eecl 351, II. 145-147; an interesting quote is ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܩܰܐܬܽܘܠܺܝܩܺܝ ܐܰܘܟܺܝܬ ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܪܰܒܬܳ ܘܫܒܺܝܚܬܳܐ from p. 230 of Payne-Smith’s Catalogue of the Syriac manuscripts in the Bodleian Library. This equation between “cathedral church” and “great church” could even suggest that in Mor Aho’s Life ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܩܰܐܬܽܘܠܺܝܩܺܝ might also mean “the great church” and be an expression corresponding to ἡ μεγάλη ἐκκλησία. It is to be considered that, while the Life of Mor Aho in its present form could not be written earlier than the 11th century, yet its events are happening in the second half of the fifth century.  The Hagia Sophia, originally built by Constantius II in 360, was called the “great church” because of its dimensions and also served as the imperial cathedral church. So the church mentioned in Mor Aho’s Life must be the Hagia Sophia and the expression can be translated either as “the cathedral church”, or “the great church”.
               
              Best,
               
              Istvan
               
               
               
               
              in
               
              Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 9:46 PM
              Subject: Re: [hugoye-list] 'universal church' in Syriac hagiographical literature
               
               

              Dear Reyhan,

               
              Following up on Thomas's message, I checked Lampe's Patristic Greek Lexicon under καθολικός. Definition 6 reads, "of principal church of diocese, province, etc." Among the texts cited is de receptione haereticorum (supplement), a 6th-7th century text spuriously attributed to Timotheus Constantinopolitanus Presbyter (Migne 86.72c).
               
              Best wishes,
               
              Ross
               
               
              On Jan 2, 2012, at 12:33 PM, Thomas A. Carlson wrote:



              Dear Reyhan,

              An alternate possibility, suggested by definition (c) of ܩܰܬܘܽܠܻܝܩܺܐ in the dictionary of J. Payne-Smith, is that "`i(d)ta qatholike" in this context could mean simply "cathedral church," which would be an uncontested role of the Hagia Sophia regardless of the author's confessional stance.  I think the Greek "ekklesia katholike" can bear this meaning as well, although I do not have a proper dictionary to hand in order to verify that.  Unfortunately, Payne-Smith did not give citations, so I cannot point to a text which clearly uses the word in this way.

              Happy New Year and happy translating!
              Thomas.


              From: hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com [hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of nmarinid [mariner1184@...]
              Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 11:55 AM
              To: hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [hugoye-list] Re: 'universal church' in Syriac hagiographical literature

               

              Dear Reyhan,

              Happy New Year to you too. "Universal" might simply be a translation of "ecumenical," as in Ecumenical Patriarchate. In a non-Chalcedonian author the term would probably be used due to its imperial connections rather than any regard for implied theological claims. The original force of the Greek title was more in the political sense anyway, implying association with the ecumenical emperor rather than some kind of quasi-papal universal jurisdiction (although this was not fully understood by Pope Gregory the Great when he protested against its assumption by Patriarch John IV the Faster).

              cheers,
              Nick Marinides



               
            • reyhan durmaz
              Dear Istvan, Ross, Thomas and Nick, Thank you for your very helpful responses. Surprisingly Aho even allegedly was given a cell by his cathedral church and
              Message 6 of 9 , Jan 2, 2012
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                Dear Istvan, Ross, Thomas and Nick,

                Thank you for your very helpful responses. Surprisingly Aho even allegedly was given a cell by his 'cathedral church' and he spent a few years there. Also, i should correct my big mistake of placing him in the Awgen Cycle, for he apparently was not (Thank you once more, Adam).

                best wishes,
                reyhan

                --- On Mon, 1/2/12, Istvan Perczel <perczeli@...> wrote:

                From: Istvan Perczel <perczeli@...>
                Subject: Re: [hugoye-list] 'universal church' in Syriac hagiographical literature
                To: hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Monday, January 2, 2012, 3:49 PM

                 

                Dear Reyhan,
                Thomas’s suggestion seems to be indeed the right one. I have checked ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܩܰܐܬܽܘܠܺܝܩܺܝ in the Thesaurus Syriacus. The expression is used some times in the literature and means always cathedral church, the church of the see of a primate. Such occurrences are, according to the Thesaurus, ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܩܰܐܬܽܘܠܺܝܩܺܝ ܕܰܡܕܺܝܢ̱ܬܳܐ , “the cathedral (that is, archiepiscopal) church of the city” in Bar ‘Ebroyo’s Chronicon, Eecl 351, II. 145-147; an interesting quote is ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܩܰܐܬܽܘܠܺܝܩܺܝ ܐܰܘܟܺܝܬ ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܪܰܒܬܳ ܘܫܒܺܝܚܬܳܐ from p. 230 of Payne-Smith’s Catalogue of the Syriac manuscripts in the Bodleian Library. This equation between “cathedral church” and “great church” could even suggest that in Mor Aho’s Life ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܩܰܐܬܽܘܠܺܝܩܺܝ might also mean “the great church” and be an expression corresponding to ἡ μεγάλη ἐκκλησία. It is to be considered that, while the Life of Mor Aho in its present form could not be written earlier than the 11th century, yet its events are happening in the second half of the fifth century.  The Hagia Sophia, originally built by Constantius II in 360, was called the “great church” because of its dimensions and also served as the imperial cathedral church. So the church mentioned in Mor Aho’s Life must be the Hagia Sophia and the expression can be translated either as “the cathedral church”, or “the great church”.
                 
                Best,
                 
                Istvan
                 
                 
                 
                 
                in
                 
                Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 9:46 PM
                Subject: Re: [hugoye-list] 'universal church' in Syriac hagiographical literature
                 
                 

                Dear Reyhan,

                 
                Following up on Thomas's message, I checked Lampe's Patristic Greek Lexicon under καθολικός. Definition 6 reads, "of principal church of diocese, province, etc." Among the texts cited is de receptione haereticorum (supplement), a 6th-7th century text spuriously attributed to Timotheus Constantinopolitanus Presbyter (Migne 86.72c).
                 
                Best wishes,
                 
                Ross
                 
                 
                On Jan 2, 2012, at 12:33 PM, Thomas A. Carlson wrote:



                Dear Reyhan,

                An alternate possibility, suggested by definition (c) of ܩܰܬܘܽܠܻܝܩܺܐ in the dictionary of J. Payne-Smith, is that "`i(d)ta qatholike" in this context could mean simply "cathedral church," which would be an uncontested role of the Hagia Sophia regardless of the author's confessional stance.  I think the Greek "ekklesia katholike" can bear this meaning as well, although I do not have a proper dictionary to hand in order to verify that.  Unfortunately, Payne-Smith did not give citations, so I cannot point to a text which clearly uses the word in this way.

                Happy New Year and happy translating!
                Thomas.


                From: hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com [hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of nmarinid [mariner1184@...]
                Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 11:55 AM
                To: hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [hugoye-list] Re: 'universal church' in Syriac hagiographical literature

                 

                Dear Reyhan,

                Happy New Year to you too. "Universal" might simply be a translation of "ecumenical," as in Ecumenical Patriarchate. In a non-Chalcedonian author the term would probably be used due to its imperial connections rather than any regard for implied theological claims. The original force of the Greek title was more in the political sense anyway, implying association with the ecumenical emperor rather than some kind of quasi-papal universal jurisdiction (although this was not fully understood by Pope Gregory the Great when he protested against its assumption by Patriarch John IV the Faster).

                cheers,
                Nick Marinides



                 
              • nmarinid
                Dear Reyhan, It would not actually be all that surprising that Mor Aho was given a cell by the cathedral church of Constantinople. Istvan wrote: It is to be
                Message 7 of 9 , Jan 3, 2012
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                  Dear Reyhan,
                  It would not actually be all that surprising that Mor Aho was given a cell by the "cathedral church" of Constantinople. Istvan wrote: "It is to be considered that, while the Life of Mor Aho in its present form could not be written earlier than the 11th century, yet its events are happening in the second half of the fifth century." From the Council of Chalcedon in 451 up until the late sixth century, relations between the officially Chalcedonian imperial authorities and the dissident non-Chalcedonians were in continual flux, sometimes hot and sometimes cold. This was especially the case in Constantinople and most especially during the reign of Justinian and Theodora, when many Non-Chalcedonian monks migrated to Constantinople and were patronized by the empress. There is a lot about this in John of Ephesus. For some recent scholarship, see Peter Hatlie's _The Monks and Monasteries of Constantinople, ca. 350-850_ (2007) and a recent Princeton dissertation by Kutlu Akalin, _CO-EXISTENCE AND PERSECUTION: SIXTH-CENTURY CONSTANTINOPLE ACCORDING TO JOHN OF EPHESUS_ (2011).

                  The early 11th century was also a period of relative rapprochement between the Byzantine authorities and the Non-Chalcedonians (Syrian and Armenian) who lived in the Empire's newly-reconquered eastern territories. Thus, although it is unlikely that a non-Chalcedonian monk would be given a cell at Hagia Sophia at that period, it would have been a natural time to recall the imperial patronage of fifth and sixth centuries, especially when writing the life of a saint who had lived then. For more on this period, see Gilbert Dagron's article "Minorités ethniques et religieuses dans l'Orient byzantin à la fin du Xe et au XIe siècles : l'immigration syrienne," TM 6 (1976): 177-216, reprinted in Dagron's Variorum volume entitled _La Romanité chrétienne en Orient_ (1984).

                  cheers,
                  Nick


                  --- In hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com, reyhan durmaz <d_reyhan@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Dear Istvan, Ross, Thomas and Nick,
                  > Thank you for your very helpful responses. Surprisingly Aho even allegedly was given a cell by his 'cathedral church' and he spent a few years there. Also, i should correct my big mistake of placing him in the Awgen Cycle, for he apparently was not (Thank you once more, Adam).
                  > best wishes,reyhan
                  >
                • reyhan durmaz
                  Dear Nick, belated but many thanks for your comments. It s been much pleasure to work on this Life.best,reyhan ... From: nmarinid
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jan 4, 2012
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                    Dear Nick, belated but many thanks for your comments. It's been much pleasure to work on this Life.
                    best,
                    reyhan

                    --- On Tue, 1/3/12, nmarinid <mariner1184@...> wrote:

                    From: nmarinid <mariner1184@...>
                    Subject: [hugoye-list] Re: 'universal church' in Syriac hagiographical literature
                    To: hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 12:47 PM

                     

                    Dear Reyhan,
                    It would not actually be all that surprising that Mor Aho was given a cell by the "cathedral church" of Constantinople. Istvan wrote: "It is to be considered that, while the Life of Mor Aho in its present form could not be written earlier than the 11th century, yet its events are happening in the second half of the fifth century." From the Council of Chalcedon in 451 up until the late sixth century, relations between the officially Chalcedonian imperial authorities and the dissident non-Chalcedonians were in continual flux, sometimes hot and sometimes cold. This was especially the case in Constantinople and most especially during the reign of Justinian and Theodora, when many Non-Chalcedonian monks migrated to Constantinople and were patronized by the empress. There is a lot about this in John of Ephesus. For some recent scholarship, see Peter Hatlie's _The Monks and Monasteries of Constantinople, ca. 350-850_ (2007) and a recent Princeton dissertation by Kutlu Akalin, _CO-EXISTENCE AND PERSECUTION: SIXTH-CENTURY CONSTANTINOPLE ACCORDING TO JOHN OF EPHESUS_ (2011).

                    The early 11th century was also a period of relative rapprochement between the Byzantine authorities and the Non-Chalcedonians (Syrian and Armenian) who lived in the Empire's newly-reconquered eastern territories. Thus, although it is unlikely that a non-Chalcedonian monk would be given a cell at Hagia Sophia at that period, it would have been a natural time to recall the imperial patronage of fifth and sixth centuries, especially when writing the life of a saint who had lived then. For more on this period, see Gilbert Dagron's article "Minorités ethniques et religieuses dans l'Orient byzantin à la fin du Xe et au XIe siècles : l'immigration syrienne," TM 6 (1976): 177-216, reprinted in Dagron's Variorum volume entitled _La Romanité chrétienne en Orient_ (1984).

                    cheers,
                    Nick

                    --- In hugoye-list@yahoogroups.com, reyhan durmaz <d_reyhan@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Dear Istvan, Ross, Thomas and Nick,
                    > Thank you for your very helpful responses. Surprisingly Aho even allegedly was given a cell by his 'cathedral church' and he spent a few years there. Also, i should correct my big mistake of placing him in the Awgen Cycle, for he apparently was not (Thank you once more, Adam).
                    > best wishes,reyhan
                    >

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