Edessa and Beyond: The Reception of the <i>Doctrina Addai</i> in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries

Philip Wood

in ‘We have no king but Christ’

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199588497
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595424 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Byzantium

Edessa and Beyond: The Reception of the Doctrina Addai in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries

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This chapter provides close readings of three major pieces of Syriac writing. These are examined from the perspective ofthe relationship between Syriac‐speakers and the Roman state, especially with regard to their distinctive forms of Christianity, their religion and their ethnic self‐awareness. The key text here is the Doctrina Addai, a story ofapostolic foundation in Edessa that links the city both to Rome and Jerusalem, and to the Sasanian world to the east. In it, legends about the Christian heritage of first‐century Edessa are used to assert the city's cultural independence in the fifth. The second half of the chapter looks at how these ideas were projected eastwards, and the central position that Edessa and her history held in the historical awareness of other Syriac speakers and their self‐identification as a Suryoyo people.

Keywords: Edessa; Doctrina Addai; Abgar; Suryoyo; Syriac; cultural independence; Apostolic

Chapter.  18341 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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