Sometime Keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, British Museum Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences Lisbon; and Corresponding Member of the Philosophical Society of America

With 16 plates and 6 illustrations in the text




First published in 1928

[All rights reserved]

Made in Great Britain

Printed by Harrison & Sons, Ltd., St. Martin's Lane, London, W.C. 2

Assyrian International News Agency

Books Online

special thanks to for scanning portions of this book.










THE present. volume contains a complete translation of the Syriac History of the two Nestorian Chinese monks, Bar Sawma of Khan Balik (Pekin) and Markos (Mark) of Kawshang. This remarkable document is of great interest and importance, for it contains a mass of information about the Il-Khans of Persia and their dealings with the Mongol Christians which is found nowhere else. It describes very fully the events which brought about the downfall of the Nestorian Church in China, Central Asia and 'Irak al-Ajami, and as the statements in it are those of a contemporary eye-witness of the events which he describes, they are of very special value. It may be noted,' too, that it supplies us with an example of serendipity, which is far more remarkable than any mentioned in the old Persian story of the three princes of Sarendib (Ceylon).1 Saul the Benjamite set out to find his father's asses; he failed to find the asses but he found a kingdom. The two Chinese monks set out to go to Jerusalem to pray at the Tomb of Our Lord in Jerusalem, where they hoped to obtain the remission of their sins and to obtain peace in their souls. They never reached Jerusalem, but the younger monk, Mark, found himself made first a Metropolitan Bishop and later Patriarch and Catholicus of the Nestorian Church, the dominions of which extend from China in the East to Palestine in the West, and from Siberia in the North to Ceylon in the South. The elder monk found himself appointed first Visitor-General of the Nestorian Church throughout Asia, and later Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of 'Argh6n Khan to the King of Byzantium, the Pope of Rome, the King of France, and Edward I, King of England. The History of these monks well illustrates the workings of Divine Providence in the destinies of the men who are selected to be its instruments.

The Syriac text of our History is, on the whole, good, and the translation of it given herein has been made as literal as possible: there are, however, a few passages in which the text is either defective or garbled, and these have been carefully pointed out. The translator of the original Persian text into Syriac assumed that his readers would be well acquainted with the general history of the period, and therefore did not trouble to supplement his work with the details which the occidental reader needs to understand the narrative. I have therefore collected a number of the most essential facts, both historical and archaeological, and grouped them in the series of paragraphs which form the Introduction, instead of printing them at the foot of the page in the usual way. This arrangement will enable the reader to peruse the translation uninterruptedly. It seemed to me to be unnecessary to annotate the passages which deal with the relics of the saints, and their resting places, for the credulity of many Christian peoples in the XIIIth century is too well known to need mention. It is surprising to find our author solemnly recording that he was shown the stone on which Peter the Apostle was sitting when the Cock crew!

My thanks are due to the Trustees of the British Museum for permission to reproduce a page of Brit. Mus. MS. Orient. No. 3636; to Dr. Lionel Barnett for permission to examine the Uighur MSS. under his charge; to Sir John Murray, K.C.V.O., for permission to reproduce the two plates illustrating the Mongol Paizah, which are given in Yule's immortal edition of the Book of Ser Marco Polo; to Mr. G. H. Dring, Managing Director of Bernard Quaritch, Ltd., for permission to reproduce six plates from Mr. F. R. Martin's invaluable Miniature Painting and Painters of Persia, 2 vols., London, 1892; and to Mr. A. D. Waley, B.A., of the British Museum, for permission to reproduce the portrait of Kublai Khan from his work on Persian Art.

The portrait of Chingiz Khan I owe to Mr. E. T. C. Werner's article in the Journal of, Journal of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 56, 1925; the three illustrations of the Nestorian Stele at Hsi-an-fu to Havret's great monograph on the subject; and the view of the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd at Al-K to Mr. C. J. Rich's Narrative of a Residence is Koordistan, vol. 2, London, 1836, p. 99.

This work has been read in proof by Dr. C. H. Irwin, General Editor of the Religious Tract Society, and I am indebted to him for several friendly suggestions, which I have gladly adopted.


48, Bloomsbury Street,

Bedford Square, London, W.C.I.

July 17, 1928.


ACCORDING to the Ecclesiastical Chronicle of Bar Hebraeus (ed. Abbeloos and Lamy, tome iii, Col. 451) two monks, of Uighur origin, were sent from China "by the command of the great Mongol king Kublai Khan and ordered to go and worship in Jerusalem." 2 It is not clear whether the word I translate by "command" (pukdana) is to be understood here as a mere permit to travel westwards from Pekin, or as an Imperial Edict ordering the monks to go to Jerusalem. But it is well known that the Mongol Khans wished to gain possession of Jerusalem, and there can be no doubt that the two monks were sent to the West as propagandists, and to obtain the help of the Christian kings of Eastern Europe. The ease with which they travelled shows that they were emissaries of Kublai Khan, and that they were armed with proofs of his authority.

Bar Hebraeus goes on to say that the Uighur monks arrived in Kurdistan, but were unable to proceed further west because fighting was going on and all the roads were blocked. They turned aside at Maraghah, where Mar Denha, who owed his appointment as Patriarch to Dokuz Khatun, the wife of Hulagu Khan, was staying, and made themselves known to him as members of the Nestorian Church. After some conversation with them the Patriarch, for reasons of his own, consecrated one of the monks, whom he called Yahbh-AllAha, Metropolitan of China. When Mar Denha. died (1281) Yahbh-Allaha was elected Patriarch of the East, and Bar Hebraeus, though admitting that the new Patriarch was not a learned man, testifies to the goodness of his disposition, the soundness of his belief, and his friendship for the Jacobites. But he tells us nothing about Yahbh-Allaha's fellow-monk, or what became of him, and as Bar Hebraeus died in 1286, his Chronicle does not contain any account of the Patriarchate of Yahbh-Allaha, which lasted until 1317. On these and many other interesting points '','dealing with the history of that period scholars remained without information until 1887.

In March, 1887, Mr. Salomon, a Lazarist Chaldean of kurdistan, saw in the hands of a young Turkish Nestorian in Tekhama, a Syriac manuscript which he borrowed from him and read, and then had a copy of it made at Urmiyah. The contents of the manuscript turned out to be a narrative of the histories and travels of the two Uighur monks who are mentioned by Bar Hebraeus. Mr. Salomon sent his copy to Father Bedjan, who found that it contained many mistakes, and he noted the omission of words in several places, and many passages in which the readings were doubtful. Having corrected the spellings of proper names throughout, and added correct vowels and notes in Syriac on the heresy of one of the monks, he printed an edition of the text, and the eminent Syriac scholar Rubens Duval read the proof-sheets. This edition appeared at Paris in 1888. In the same year (November 29), the British Museum purchased from the Rev. J. H. Shedd, of the American Mission, Urmiyah, a well-written Syriac manuscript of seventy folios containing a good text of this narrative which Bedjan had published a few months earlier in the year. This MS. is Oriental 3636, and a facsimile of a page of it forms the frontispiece (Plate I) of this book.

Soon after this Bedjan had access to other copies of the Syriac narrative in London and elsewhere, and in 1895 he published a revised edition of this work entitled Histoire de May Jab Alaha, Patriarch, et de Raban Sauma, at Paris and Leipzig. According to Baumstark (Geschichte der Syr. Lit., p. 326) most of the MSS. used by Bedjan were copied from the MS. in the possession of Rabban Yonan, the Nestorian Patriarch of Tekhama, which came from the village of Minganish in Kurdistan: The account of the joint travels of Rabban Sawma and Yahbh-Allaha was written by the former in Persian, but the author of the abridgment in Syriac and the Life of Mar Yahbh-Allaha in Syriac is unknown. He was an eye-witness of many of the events in the Patriarch's life which he describes, and he probably wrote in the first half of the XIVth century. A short biography of Yahbh-Allaha was published in Arabic, with a Latin translation, by Gismondi, Amri et Slibae de Patriarchis Nestorianorum commentaria, 2 vols., Rome, 1896.

The first scholar to call attention to the great importance of the History of Rabban Sawma and _ Markos was Professor H. H. Hall, in the Proceedings of the American Oriental Society, vols. exxvi-cxxix (1885-88) and the journal of the same Society, xiii (1889). Portions of the History were translated into Fallaehi by the American missionaries at Urmiyah and published by them monthly in their periodical in 1885, 1886, 1887. Articles on it appeared in 1889 by Duval (in the Jour. Asiat., tome xiii, p. 313 ff.), Lamy (in the Bulletin of the Belgian Academy; tome xvii, p. 223), Van Hoonacker (in the Museon, tome viii) and Noldeke (Literarisches Centralblatt, col. 842-44); Hilgenfeld discussed the text in his Bemerkungen (Jena, 1894); see also Baumstark in Oriens Christianus, tome i, P. 385.

The first translation of Bedjan's text was made by the Abbe Chabot and was published in the Revue de l'Orient Latin, tome i, p. 567 ff., p. 61o ff.; ii, pp. 73-142 and 223-43. This translation was published in book form with the title Histoire de May Jabalaha III, Paris, 1895, and seeing that Bedjan's revised edition of the Syriac text did not appear until the end of 1895, must have been made from the first edition of the Syriac text published in 1888. M. Chabot added in the form of notes a valuable commentary containing lengthy extracts from the standard Histories of the Mongols by Howorth and Mouradja D'Ohsson, and from the Pauthier's edition of the Ser Marco Polo's Travels published in Paris in 1865. In two Appendixes M. Chabot gave, in Latin, translations of the letters which passed between the kings of the Mongols and the Pope and the kings of Byzantium, France and England, and a Latin version of an important letter which Mar Yahbh-Allaha III sent to Pope Benedict XI in 13o8. The short notes throughout M. Chabot's note are full of carefully selected ecclesiastical information, and add greatly to the value of the translation of the Syriac text which we owe to this indefatigable scholar.

Professor H. H. Hall possessed a copy of the Syriac text of the History of Bar-Sawma and Markos (Mar Yahbh-Allaha) in 1885, and published translations of portions of it in America, as we have seen, but his articles were not obtainable generally. The translations which the American Missionaries published in Zahrire dhe Bahra in 1885-87 were useless to anyone who could not read Fallaehi, the modern Syriac dialect of Kurdistan. It was Chabot who first made the contents of the history of Kublai Khan's monkish envoys available to the general public throughout Europe. But his work has been out of print for many years, when during the winter of 1924-25 I made the translation printed in the present volume. The arrangements which I made to publish it in 1925 broke down, and it was not until the summer of 1927 that I handed my manuscript over to the Rev. C. H. Irwin, D.D., Chief Editor of the Religious Tract Society. My whole translation was in type by the beginning of March, 1928. From the Literary Supplement published by The Times on April 12 last, I -first learned that Professor J. A. Montgomery, of the University of Pennsylvania, had published the History of Yaballaha III, New York, 1927, and when I obtained a copy of the work I found that he had given an English rendering of nearly the first half of the history of the two Chinese Nestorian monks. The present volume contains a translation of the whole History, and is the first complete translation published in English.

But it must not be forgotten that the publication of any complete translation of this History has I only been made possible by the labours of Father Bedjan on the Syriac text. When, many years ago, he was copying manuscripts in the British Museum for his Acta Sanctorum he showed me the manuscript of the History which had been put into his hands, and his own copy of it which he was preparing for publication. His patience was truly Oriental, and the skill which he displayed in supplying the words which had been omitted, and correcting the orthography, and explaining the unusual meanings given to certain words would have done credit to Payne Smith, or William Wright, or Noldeke. And in connection with such textual work the name of Professor H. H. Hall should be remembered.

Now the History of the two Uighur monks which Bedjan has published is one of the most important Syriac works known to us, for it contains a mass of historical information which is found nowhere else. It throws great light on the history of the Dynasty of the Il-Khans of Persia and their dealings with the Christians who were their subjects in the XIIIth century, and supplies us with a description of the events that brought about the downfall of the Nestorian Church in Persia, and Central Asia, and Mesopotamia. The narrative of the travels of the two monks. is of unusual interest, and parts of it remind us of the fabulous stories of adventurers and their successes which are found in many Oriental books. In it we see two humble Christian monks setting out on a perilous journey of some thousands of miles, across waterless deserts and difficult mountains, apparently with the sole idea of visiting Jerusalem that they might pray at the Holy Places there and obtain pardon for their sins and absolution. Fate decreed that they should never reach Jerusalem and forced them to halt at Maraghah, several hundreds of miles from the Holy City. But it ordered events in such a way that the younger monk, Mark, became first a Metropolitan bishop and then Patriarch of the East, and the spiritual head of all the Nestorians in China, Central Asia, India, Persia, Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Syria, and the elder became Visitor-General of the Nestorian congregations in the East, and the ambassador of Arghon, the Mongol king, to the Pope and to the kings of Byzantium, France, and England. Linguistically the narrative is of considerable importance, for it affords new material for the student of Semitic philology, especially in the matter of Syriac syntax..

The events of the last few years in Kurdistan have brought the Nestorians and their Church prominently before the minds of Western peoples, who have heard and read with sorrow of their sufferings at the hands of their inveterate enemies the Kurds and the Turks since the end of the Great War. In Urmiyah and the country round about the atrocities perpetrated on the Nestorians by Hulagu Khan at Baghdad in 1258, and, by Timur-i-Leng in 1390, were repeated, though on a smaller scale, and all the great work which European and American Missionaries were doing among the Nestorians was brought to a standstill, and the mission houses and printing presses destroyed. It is hard to understand the insensate hate which the Turks and Kurds have displayed towards the Nestorians, for time after time Turkish Pashas and other officials have warmly praised to me their good qualities and sterling abilities.

During the parts of two winters (1887-88,1890-91) which I spent in Mosul I made the acquaintance of many of the Nestorians and visited their villages of Tall Kips (Stone Hill), Balnaye, Tall Uskuf (Bishop's Hill) and Al-Kosh. At the invitation of Kuss Yukhannis, the Prior, I spent a night in the famous monastery of Rabban Hormizd (see Plate II), and on the following day examined the monastery and the churches; on the pillar of one of these could still be seen the names of C. J. Rich and his wife, and the name of Justin Perkins, the founder of the American Mission at Urmiyah. The Prior pointed to a little stream at the bottom of the valley which had been the means of destroying over 1,000 MSS., Arabic, Syriac, Karshuni (i.e. Arabic written in Syriac letters), and Greek, which the monastery once possessed. During an attack of the Hamawand tribes in 1850 these had been removed and hidden in a small building down in the valley. In February the snows melted, the stream swelled and rushed down with much violence that it swept away the little building, and the water destroyed the MSS.

I found the Nestorians most hospitable and kindly, frugal and hard-working and very intelligent. The men are strongly and solidly built and wake splendid farmers, and for power of work and ' endurance they have no equals in Mesopotamia; p, the women are the prettiest in the country. Men and women alike make good emigrants, especially those who come from the large village of Tall Kipa. Writing in 1925 Mr. H. C. Luke, in his interesting book Mosul and its Minorities, says that the future of the Assyrians (i.e. Nestorian Christians) is not assured, but it is to be hoped earnestly that the Great Powers will find some portion of the Nestorian's ancient country in which they may be settled once and for all and allowed to follow their ancient religion and serve God in peace and security.

But to return to the anonymous history by the two Uighur monks. As said above M. Chabot's French translation has been out of print for many years, and his book is scarce and hard to obtain. It is, moreover, not well known in England, for the only account of any part of it in English is the short summary of a few pages of Chabot's French translation given by Mr. Luke (Mosul and its Minorities, London, 1925) in his chapter on Prester John. Professor P. Y. Saeki has made known, in English, the triumph of the Nestorian Church in China in the VIIth and VIIIth centuries, and when he published his book it was suggested that I should make the story of its downfall in the XIIIth and XIVth centuries available in English to the general reader. I have therefore made the translation printed in the following pages from the revised Syriac text given by Bedjan in the second edition of his work. The style of the Syriac is, as was to be expected in a version made from the Persian, somewhat abrupt, and it has often been necessary to add words (in brackets), to make the writer's meaning clear. In this Introduction are given. briefly the most important facts about Nestorius and his so-called heresy, and the history of the rise and progress of Nestorianism in Western and Central Asia and China; references to the works of recognized authorities have been added where necessary. Such information is usually given in footnotes, but as frequent reference to footnotes distracts the attention of the reader and interrupts his continuous perusal of the narrative it has been decided to relegate all explanatory matter to the Introduction.


According to ancient and wide-spread traditions Christianity was first preached to the Medes and Parthians and Indians by THOMAS, or, as he is sometimes called, "JUDAS THOMAS or the Twin "(' ), one of the Twelve Apostles. Though exact historical evidence in support of these traditions is wanting, there seems to be no good reason for doubting that the Apostle actually made his way into the countries to the east of Assyria and Babylonia, and died or was martyred in one of them. The literary facts are summarized by Lipsius, Apostelgeschichte, Bd. i, p. 224 ff. The Nestorians and Jacobites believe that Thomas evangelized Parthia, Media, Persia, and India, and that he went on a special mission to Malabar and converted the people there. The Brahmans, jealous of his success, put him to death about A.D. 52 at a place called KELAMINI, where he was buried; his remains were translated to Edessa by Bishop EULOGIUS (387-96). The most recent and fullest edition of his life and acts is by BEDJAN, Acta Martyrum, vol. iii, Paris, 1892, pp. 1-175; and see Bar Hebraeus, Chron. Eccles., sect. ii, Paris, 1877, cols. 3-12.

The first writer and traveller who attempted to find the historical base of the tradition that St. Thomas preached in India was the great Venetian, Ser Marco Polo, who accepted the tradition unhesitatingly: A contemporary of his, John of Monte Corvino, buried his friend, Friar Nicholas, in the Church of St. Thomas at Maabar, i.e. Malabar, in the year 1292-93. The oldest form of the tradition says that the Saint was martyred and buried upon a "mount," and to this day the "Great Mount "of St. Thomas and the "Little Mount "in Madras are well known. The true site of the martyrdom was the Little Mount, and a church dedicated, to the saint existed there in very early times. The Portuguese built, or restored, a church on the Great Mount, and in 1547 a stone slab, with a cross sculptured upon it and an inscription in Pehlevi running round the edge of it, was discovered whilst repairs were being carried oat. A rough sketch of the stone is here given. The exact meaning of this inscription is, not clear, and the translations of it made by Pehlevi scholars differ; Martin Haug read it "Whoever believes in the Messiah, and in God above, and also in the Holy Ghost, is in the grace of Him who bore the pain of the Cross." The Syriac and other Oriental versions of the martyrdom of Thomas state that the Indian king whom he converted was called "Gondaphorus," and as coins and inscriptions of this king have been found, there can be no longer any doubt that Thomas did preach in India. The various forms which the tradition has taken are discussed by Yule in his translation Ser Marco Polo, vol, ii, second edit., p. 338 f.

The work of Thomas in India is said to have been continued by ADDAI, one of the seventy-two disciples of our Lord. He visited Edessa in the reign of ABGAR, whom he converted, and having built churches for this king, he and two disciples called MARI and AGGAI set out and preached the Gospel in the East. On his return to Edessa, he was put to death by the king, a son of ABGAR, whom he succeeded. He was buried in a church in Edessa which he had built for ABGAR. The Syriac text of the "Doctrine of Addai" in its most complete form; and an English translation, is given by Phillips, The Doctrine of Addai the Apostle, London, 1876. AGGAI, the disciple of Addai, preached the Gospel in ARMENIA, ADHORBIJAN, ASSYRIA, MEDIA, and in the country at the head of the Persian Gulf and in the neighbourhood of AL-BASRAH, which later became the seat of a Nestorian bishop. He returned to Edessa and, the king ordered him to return to his old trade as a weaver, and when he refused to do so had him killed. A short life of Aggai, in Syriac, has been printed as a footnote by Bedjan in his Acta Martyrum, vol. i, p. 51.

Nestorian writers say little about Aggai, but they revere MARY, or MAR MARI, as he is generally called, greatly. According to Bar Hebraeus (sect. ii, col. 16 f.) he left Edessa after AGGAI was killed, and went and preached in ASSYRIA and SEN'AR (not Sennaar in Nubia), where it is said there were three hundred and sixty churches! He then went to the city Of SELEUCIA and established himself as the head of the spiritual community which he called into. being in Ctesiphon (A1-Madain of the Arabs). The people were MAGIANS, but MARI converted and baptized many of them, and built a church and healed many sick folk by the Sign of the Cross. He spent fifteen years in Ctesiphon, and then went and preached in the neighbouring districts for eighteen years. He died in his monastery in BADRANA, which was called Daira dhe Kfini (Dorcene), and was near SELEUCIA. His life and acts have been published by Abbeloos, Analecta Bollandiana, tome iv, pp. 50-131; Bedjan, Acta Martyrum, vol. i, p. 45 ff.; and see Raabe, Geschichte des Dominus Magi, Leipzig, 1893.

The successors of MARI carried on the good work which he and Addai had begun in Mesopotamia and the countries further to the east, and in many towns in Syria prominent Christians practised asceticism. But the Nestorians owe monasticism in the fullest sense of the word to Egypt, and the founder of monasticism in the country east of the Jordan was MAR AWGIN. A life of this famous ascetic, in Syriac, has been published by Bedjan (Acta Martyrum, Paris, 1892, tome iii, pp. 376-480), and from it and the summary in English given in my edition of Thomas of Marga's Book of Governors, London, 1893, vol. i, p. cxxv ff., the following facts are taken: Awgin belonged to an Egyptian family who came from Clysma (Kolzum), an island near the modern town of Suez; he was born in the second half of the IIIrd century, and he died when a very old man, about 370 (?). He was a pearl-fisher, and when he had followed his trade for twenty-five years he went to the 'monastery of Pachomius in Upper Egypt and baked bread for the community. The brethren discovered that he possessed spiritual gifts and could work miracles, and when he left the monastery of Pachomius and departed to Lower Egypt seventy of the brethren accompanied him. With these he set out for Nisibis, and they crossed the river Maskas and camped by the side of it for a few days. Thence he and his party went to Mount IZLA, which lay to the south of the city, and lived in a cave there for thirty years. The brotherhood increased rapidly in number, and the 350 monks who lived with AWGIN devoted themselves to good works. Awgin worked many miracles, and healed many sick folk in Nisibis and gained great influence there. About this time Jacob, Bishop of Nisibis, is said to have discovered a plank of the Ark of Noah on Mount Kardo, and from it Awgin had a cross made which he placed in his cell.

When Julian the Apostate arrived with his hosts at Nisibis on his way to Ctesiphon, Jovianus, one of his captains, visited Awgin and begged him to pray that God would break speedily, the head of the wicked man, i.e. Julian. When Sapor II took Nisibis he sent for Awgin, and treated him with great honour, and the holy man performed a miracle in his presence. The Magians began to dispute with him, and he proposed that a fire should be lighted, and that one of them should go and stand up in it. Sapor ordered the fire to be lighted, and commanded one of the fire-worshippers to go and stand up in it, but none of the Magians would approach the fire. Seeing this, one of Awgin's monks went and stood up in the fire for a long time, and he was not hurt and his garments were not scorched. Then Sapor accepted the God of Awgin as the true God, and asked him to heal one of his sons who was possessed of a devil; Awgin expelled the devil, who confessed that he was the god of the Magians, and exposed the wickedness of his followers. Sapor's joy was great, and when he asked Awgin how he should reward him the holy man replied, "O Lord King, we ask neither gold nor silver from the realm of thy empire, but we beg that thou wilt command, and that there shall be given unto us little places by the roads and ways, that we may build upon them convents and monasteries in which we may relieve the wants of strangers. And give us the power to go to Beth Laphat, and to the country of the Huzaye, and to build monasteries and convents where we please."

Sapor gave Awgin permission to do these things, and a formal authorization in writing, stamped with the king's seal, was handed to him a little later. He lost no time in making use of Sapor's Edict, and soon after he received it seventy-two of his monks assembled at the foot of Mount Izla, and having been blessed by Awgin, each of them set out, holding his cross in his hand, to found a monastery in the place whither Divine Grace should lead him. The names of these monks are given by Bedjan (op: cit., tome iii, p. 473) and are transcribed by Budge (Book of Governors,- vol. 1, p. cxxx). With the monks went forth Mart Thecla and Stratonice, sisters of Awgin. Awgin died on the list day of the month Nisan in the year of the Greeks (?) 674, and was buried in a "double cave, under the altar which he had built under the throne of the Divine Mysteries," and 3,000 monks attended his funeral. There seems to be a mistake in the date, for A.GR. 674=A.D. 363, whilst his History suggests that he lived for some years after 363. From the monastery of Awgin on Mount Izla went forth Rabban Jacob of Lash6m who, according to Thomas of Marga, was the founder of the famous monastery of Beth Abhe, probably towards the close of the IVth century.

Now the doctrines which the Nestorians held and preached were not invented by Nestorius, but were derived by him from the teaching and writings of THEODORE OF MOPSUESTIA ( ), a town on the Pyramus, between Tarsus and Issus, now known as Messis. Theodore was the son of well-to-do parents, and was born at Antioch about 350; he received a liberal education and was converted to Christianity by his close friend and fellow-townsman JOHN, who was later known as CHRYSOSTOM. He devoted himself with great zeal to the study of the Scriptures, and read all day and prayed all night, and led a life of stern asceticism. When still a very young man he fell in love with a beautiful maiden called Hermione, and to the regret and horror of the Church of Antioch proposed to marry her. Chiefly as the result of Chrysostom's appeals he abandoned this idea, and devoted the rest of his sternly ascetic life to the study of divinity, and the writing of commentaries or expositions of the Books of the Old and New Testaments. In Nestorian writings he is usually called "Mepashshakana", i.e., the "Expositor"(Budge, Book of the Bee, P. 140). Early in his literary career Theodore adopted the method of the rational school of scriptural interpretation which had been put forward by CARTERIUS and Diodorus, Bishop of Tarsus, and it was to these distinguished men that he owed his unusual views about the Person and Natures of Christ. Theodore died in 428 aged 78 years; he was Bishop of Mopsuestia from 394 until his death.

According 'Abhd-Isho he composed forty-one volumes of commentary on the Scriptures, the greater number of which were translated into Syriac by Ma'na, a Persian of Beth Ardashir, who lived in Edessa in the first half of the Vth century. His translations added greatly to the fame and reputation of Theodore, and wherever they were known they served to spread abroad the views which were adopted and preached by Nestorius, and believed by many to be his own. The real founder of Nestorianism was Theodore and not Nestorius. The fullest account of the writings of Theodore, and a list of manuscript authorities and printed editions are given by Dr. Anton Baumstark, Geschichte der Syrischen Literatur, Bonn, 1922, pp. 102-104. After his expulsion from Edessa Ma'na went to Persia, where he was appointed Metropolitan, and prepared the way for the acceptance of the Nestorian heresy in Persia and the neighbouring countries (Duval, Syr. Lit., p. 348).


NESTORIUS was a native of Germanicia in Syria, but the year of his birth is unknown. He was probably educated at Antioch where he imbibed the doctrines of Theodore of Mopsuestia and Diodorus, Bishop of Tarsus. He entered the monastery of St. Euprepius at Antioch, and soon became famous for his learning and the austerity of his life. He had a fine voice and his discourses were eloquent, and his reputation as a preacher spread far and wide and found its way to the Court at Constantinople. Already at this period he had many enemies who declared that he was vain, haughty, and arrogant, but Nestorius cared little about what his enemies said. When SISINNIAS, Patriarch of Constantinople, died at the end of the year 427 Theodosius II appointed Nestorius his successor, and he was consecrated in the spring of the following year (April 10). Nestorius had come to the conclusion that the views of APOLLINARIS, Bishop of Laodicea about 370; were invading the Church of Constantinople, and he determined to put an end to his heresy if possible. Apollinaris attributed to Christ a body and a soul, and to these he added the divine Logos. As a result all the divine attributes were transferred to the human nature, and all the human attributes to the divine, and the two merged in one nature in Christ. Thus he could argue that the Logos was Crucified. He made Christ a being who was neither all God nor all man. He declared the orthodox view of the union of full divinity with a full humanity in one person to be nonsense; in short he denied the completeness of Christ's humanity, and the existence of a rational human soul in Him. See Neander, Doctrine History, vol. i, p. 334 f.; Harnack, History of Dogma, viols. iii and iv; Lietzmann, Apollinaris von Laodicea and seine Schule, Tilbingen, 1905.

Soon after his elevation to the Patriarchal throne Nestorius is said to have addressed Theodosius II in one of his sermons thus: "Give me, my prince, the earth purged of heretics, and I will give you heaven as a recompense. Assist me in destroying heretics, and I will assist you in vanquishing the Persians." Without delay he attacked the Arians, the Novatians, the Quartodecimans, the Macedonians and other sects, and tumults and riots occurred in many places. Whilst this was going on, a presbyter called ANASTASIUS, whom Nestorius had brought from Antioch to assist him, began to promulgate his theories on the Nature of Christ, and so provoked much controversy. He was a firm adherent to the views of Theodore of Mopsuestia, and a bitter opponent of the Arians and of all those who were addicted to the cult of the Virgin Mary, and who persisted in calling her or the “Mother of God.ö Anastasius made this heresy the subject of one of his controversial sermons, in which he said "Let no man call Mary Theotokos: for Mary was but a woman, and it is impossible that God should be born of a woman." This sermon created great excitement in Constantinople, and the surprise and disgust of the clergy and laity were great when, instead of rebuking Anastasius, Nestorius himself preached a set of sermons in which he defended him, and amplified his statements, using the arguments and sometimes the actual words of his teachers Theodore of Mopsuestia and Diodorus, Bishop of Tarsus. The text of these sermons will be found in the works of MARIUS MERCATOR, an African layman who flourished in the first half of the Vth century; see Migne, Petrologia Latina, vol. xlviii; see also Galland, Bibliotheca Patrum, vol. viii, 1772.

When the report of the sermons reached Egypt, Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, saw that he had a golden opportunity for attacking his enemy Nestorius, and he entered into an acrimonious controversy with him about the Nature, or Natures of Christ. He sent letters and extracts from the writings of Nestorius to Pope Celestine, and ordered his clergy to attack the doctrines of Nestorius, and he "squeezed "the Alexandrians to obtain sufficient money to bribe the officials of the Court at Constantinople to take his side. In 43o Nestorius addressed two letters to the Pope in which he set forth his views, but Cyril succeeded in making the Pope side with him, and Nestorius was told by the Pope in plain language that the doctrines described in his letters were rank blasphemy. Little by little Cyril, unscrupulous in word and deed, won the Emperor and the Empress Eudoxia, and Pulcheria, and many bishops and monks over to his side, and in 430 the Pope in Rome excommunicated Nestorius, and Cyril did the same at Alexandria. In November of the same year the Emperor gave orders that a General Council be held at Ephesus at Whitsuntide 431. The Council was held in due course, with the result that owing to the machinations of Cyril, Nestorius was never heard, and he was condemned to expulsion from all his ecclesiastical offices by the votes of 1g$ bishops. This is not the place to describe the intrigues of Cyril, and the hesitation of the Emperor to accept the decision of the Council of Ephesus; it is sufficient to say that in the end Nestorius was deposed (October, 431) and was ordered to return to the monastery of St. Euprepius at Antioch. Cyril continued to intrigue against Nestorius, and, with the help of John of Antioch, succeeded in getting him banished to Egypt (435). Every bishop who supported him was deposed, and all the writings of Nestorius were ordered to be burnt. It is said that Nestorius was chased from one part of Egypt to another, and that to get rid of him out of the country the civil and ecclesiastical powers combined sent-him to the Oasis of Khargah in the Western Desert. During one of his journeys he was captured by the Blemmyes, who took him with them to the Thebaid and then' set him free. His freedom helped him little, for when he arrived at Panopolis (Akhmim) the great Coptic archimandrite SHENUTI and his monks persecuted him in every possible way, for they were, of course, Jacobites, and anathematized Nestorius and all his works. Nestorius was alive in 439, and he probably lived a few years more; some think that he died as late as 454. Where he died is not known, and no record of his burial-place seems to have been kept.

The enemies of Nestorius carried out the congenial task of burning his writings so thoroughly that very few of them remain. æAbhd IshoÆ, Bishop of Nisibis, the Syrian bibliographer who died in 1318, mentions certain Letters and Homilies, the Tragedy, , and Letters to Cosmas, the Bazaar of Heraclides, , and a Liturgy, which is still extant in the Nestorian Church. The most important of all these for us is the Bazaar, which is really the Apologia of Nestorius, and throws great light on the man himself and his beliefs. The pseudonym of the book preserved it from destruction, and to it we owe the existence of the Syriac version of it which was discovered by Dr. N. Goussen. The text has been published by Bedjan, Le Livre d'Heraclide de Damas, Paris, 1910; a French translation of it by F. Nau appeared in Paris in the same year, and an English translation by Mr. G. R. Driver at Oxford in 1925. For other works dealing with Nestorius, see Baumstark, Syr. Lit., p. 117. There is reason to think that Nestorius himself never held or preached the doctrines of the later Nestorians, and that he was sacrificed to save the faces of Cyril of Alexandria and John of Antioch. In the light of the information derived from the Bazaar of Heraclides the heresy of Nestorius assumes a different form, and both Mr. Bethune Baker (Nestorius and his Teaching, Cambridge, 1908) and Mr. F. Loofs (Nestorius and his Place in Christian Doctrine, Cambridge, 1914), show from it that Nestorius has been misjudged.

The banishment of Nestorius was ordered by the Emperor at the instance of Cyril and John, Patriarch of Antioch. The latter had formerly been a strong supporter of Nestorius, but Cyril having modified, or said that he had done so, his views about the Nature of Christ, John produced a formulary which satisfied the orthodoxy of Cyril and made him abandon Nestorius once and for all. Whereas Nestorius asserted the existence of two Christs, the formulary confessed only one, which was both divine and human. The two Natures which were spoken of in the formulary were indeed separate in mental conception, i.e. considered apart from Christ, but that after their union in Christ, the nature of the Son was but one, as belonging to one, but to One as made man and incarnate. To Nestorius, two natures meant two natures existing separately, in one who was God and in one who was man. John of Antioch, while admitting that Godhead and Manhood in Christ might be regarded as intrinsically different, yet unequivocally acknowledged His Person to be one.

But in spite of the alliance between Cyril and John of Antioch, the doctrines of Theodore of Mopsuestia, which form the base of Nestorianism, continued to spread in all directions and especially in the countries to the east of Edessa. The man who did most to produce this effect was IHIBHA, or HIBHA (Graecized IBAS), who became Bishop of Edessa in 435. As he had been one of the translators of Theodore's works he was charged with Nestorianism, and though acquitted by the Synods of Tyre and Berut he was condemned by the or Robber Council of Ephesus in 449 and deposed. He was restored to his See by the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and sat till 457. The letter which he wrote to MARL the Persian, Bishop of Beth Ardashir, was all powerful in increasing the spread of Nestorianism in Persia (Wright, Syr. Lit., p. 48; Duval, La Littirature Syriaque, p. 344). On the death of Ihibha all those who had taught or studied in the Persian school of Edessa were promptly expelled, and driven to seek asylum in the countries to the east. But a certain amount of work was done in the school for another twenty years or so, for its final destruction did not take place until the Emperor Zeno ordered. it to be closed. The names of several of the distinguished men who were expelled from the school in 457 are preserved in a letter of the Monophysite bishop, SIMEON of BATH ARSHAM (5zo-15), a village near Ctesiphon, who was commonly known as the "Persian Disputant." This letter, written in 510, is, as Duval says, the oldest document we have on the propagation of Nestorianism in Persia; for its text see Assemani, Bibl. Orient., tome i, p. 436.

Among those who were expelled from Edessa was BAR SAWMA, who was a teacher in the Persian school, and was, on account of his abrupt and masterful ways nicknamed "SAHE BETH KENAIYA," i.e. "the Swimmer among the reeds," meaning "the wild boar." BAR SAWMA went from Edessa to Nisibis, where he founded a Nestorian school, and was Bishop of Nisibis. He drew up the "Statutes of Nisibis"(now lost), but they probably resembled those of his successor published in 496 (see Guidi, Gli Statuti della scuola di Nisibi, Rome, 1890). With the consent of the Patriarch BABHAI he decreed that priests might marry. The director of Bar Sawma's school was NARSAI (NARSES) a native of Ma'alltha, whom the Jacobites called the "Leper," and his fellow-Nestorians the "Harp of the Spirit." He died about 507.

By the end of the Vth century Nestorianism had established itself in Persia and Mesopotamia and the countries around, and as the Nestorians were freed from all ties with the Byzantine Church, and Rome had excommunicated them, they were welcomed by the Persians most cordially. The asceticism of Egyptian origin, which Awgin had introduced into Mesopotamia, had been modified and absorbed, and in the VIth century the archimandrites of the great Nestorian monasteries like Beth Abhe and Rabban Hormizd worked hand in hand with the head of the Nestorian Church, who since 498 had established himself at Seleucia-Ctesiphon, and called himself the "Patriarch of the East."


In the first half of the VIIth century the Muslims began their far-reaching conquests, and the Nestorians, of whom Muhammad knew very little, welcomed the success of his arms. The Patriarch Ish6'-yahbh II, who sat from 628-44, seeing that the downfall of the Persian Empire was imminent came to terms with Muhammad, or Abu Bakr, through the intervention of Sayyid, Governor of Najran, and Isho', the bishop of that town. For the terms of the agreement, which was ratified by 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, see Bar Hebraeus, Chron. Eccles., ii, col. 117, and Assemani, Bibl. Orient., ii, p. 418; III, i, p. 108, col. is The Patriarch stipulated that the Christians should be protected from the attacks of their foes; that the Arabs should not make them go to war with them; that they should not compel them to change their manners and laws; that they should help them to repair their old churches; that the tax on the poor should not exceed four zuze; that the tax on merchants and wealthy men should be ten zuze per man; that a Christian woman servant should not be compelled to change her faith, nor to neglect fasting and prayer, etc. The Arabs, like the Persians, admired the Nestorians for the simplicity of their Faith, their common sense and practical mindedness, their energy and power of work and, above all, their learning. The Nestorians studied at Edessa, not only theology, but medicine as taught by the Greeks, and logic, philosophy, elocution and grammar, and their intellectual activity was very great. Unlike the Jacobites or Monophysites, and Melchites, the Nestorians obstinately adhered to the old Peshitta, or "Simple" version of the Scriptures, the Syriac Vulgate, which seems to have been a product of the Christians of Edessa in the IInd century (Wright, Syr. Lit., p. 3). The attempt to force a revised version on the community made by the Catholicus Mar-abha I (536--52), who was a convert from Zoroastrianism, seems to have been an utter failure.

The Nestorians of the VIth century were keen men of business, and under the impulse of their religion, and their love for mercantile transactions of all kinds, they made their way into all the countries to the east of Mesopotamia, and from Southern Babylonia they sailed to the islands in the Persian Gulf, and then to India. COSMAS INDICOPLEUSTES, who wrote in the first half of the VIth century, found Nestorian churches in Ceylon and India, and he says that the Nestorian bishops were guided in their work by the "Patriarchs of the East" who sat at Seleucia-Ctesiphon.

In the VIIth century the Nestorian traders and missionaries made their way into Central Asia and preached the Gospel in Turkestan, Tartary, and remote China. The first Nestorian missionary entered China early in the VIIth century, but it is probable that Christianity had entered that country at a much earlier period. ARNOBIUS (Adversus Gentes, Leyden,1651, lib. ii, p. 50) who wrote about A.D. 300 reckoned the people of the Seres as Christians (enumerari enim possunt, atque in usum computationis venire, ea quae in India gesta sunt, apud Seras, Persas et Medos). (See also Le Quien, Oriens Christianus, tome ii, Col. 1269; Assemani, Bibl. Orient., III, ii, p. 403; Du Halde, Description de la Chine; and Gibbons, Christian Church in China, Dublin, 1862, Introduction.)

Under the Patriarchate of Henan Isho' II, who succeeded Mar Jacob A.GR. io85 (=A.D. 774= A.H. 157) the famous Stele, inscribed in Chinese and Syriac, was made at Siganfu (Hsi-an-fu), in the province of Shensiin China (Plate III). Henan Isho' died in 780, and the Syriac text on the Stele says that it was set up in "the days of the Father of Fathers, Mar Henan Isho', the Catholicus and Patriarch," and the date given on it is "one thousand and ninety-two of the Greeks, i.e. A.D. 781."The Stele was actually unveiled on February 4, A.D. 781. Some of the early European writers on the monument stated, quite wrongly, that Henan Isho' died in 778, but it is now generally admitted by competent authorities that the Patriarch died in 78o. It is true that he was dead when the unveiling took place in 781, but the news of his death did not reach China in time to be mentioned in the inscription which was cut upon the Stele in the previous year. The inscription describes the fortunes of the Nestorian Church in China, from the advent of its first mission in 636 to the year 781, and shows that the influence which the Nestorians had on the religion and civilization of China for about two centuries was very great. (See APPENDIX, p. 33.) It is interesting to note that the names of seventy Nestorian missionaries are given on the Stele of Hsi-an-fu, a fact which suggests that there were many churches in China at the end of the VIIIth century.

From the evidence collected by Professor P. Y. Saeki (The Nestorian Monument in China, London, 1916) we learn that when the Chinese began to persecute the monks and nuns, about A.D. 845-46, there were over 2,000 foreign missionaries--Ta-ch'in (Nestorians) and Muhufa (Muslims) in the country. What became of the Nestorians after their persecution by the Emperor Wu-tsung in 845 is not known with certainty, but Professor Saeki thinks that some remained in China, and that the greater number of the rest retreated to the west and joined the Assyrian Church in Turkestan. A number of them most probably turned Muhammadans, for great friendship existed between the Nestorians and Muslims. The Patriarch removed his throne from Seleucia-Ctesiphon to Baghdad about 751. On all the great trade routes across Asia to China the Nestorians were greatly helped by the Muslims. The first Muhammadan mission reached China in 628 or 632, and so opened the way for the first Nestorian Mission, under the monk A-to-pen, which arrived therein 636. In 742 there were more than 5,000 Muslims in China (Saeki, Introduction, p. 51).


The story of the conversion of the people of Turkestan by the Nestorians early in the XIth century is thus told by Bar Hebraeus (Chron. Eccles., ii, col. 280): "At that time 'Abhd-Isho', Metropolitan of Merv, one of the cities of Khorasan, sent and informed the Catholicus (Mar John II) saying, ' When the king of the people who are called Khyreth, that is to say the inner Tirkayd, who live in the north-east, was hunting in one of the high mountains in his country, he fell into a region of deep snow, and he lost the path and wandered about distractedly. And when he had lost all hope of saving his life, one of the saints appeared to him in a revelation and said unto him, If thou wilt believe in Christ I will be thy guide so that thou shalt not die here "; and when the king had promised him that he would be a sheep in the fold of Christ, the saint guided him and brought him out into the open ground. When the king returned to his camp, he summoned to him certain Christian merchants who had business there, and he enquired of them concerning the Faith, and they said unto him, "A man cannot be perfect except through baptism." And he took from them a Gospel, and behold he bows down before it every day. And now he hath sent and asked me to go to him, or send to him a priest to baptize him. And he asked me questions about fasting, saying, "With the exception of flesh and milk we have no food at all; how then can we fast? "And he also said, that the number of those who believed with him amounted to two thousand.

"Then the Catholicus sent to the Metropolitan and told him that he must send two persons, elders and deacons, and with them the equipment of an altar, and that they must go and baptize those who have believed, and must teach them Christian customs, and that during the Lord's Fast (i.e. Lent) they must abstain from flesh food. But they were to permit them to drink milk only, provided that foods which were suitable for seasons of fasting were not, as they said, found in their country."


The Nestorians reached the zenith of their power in the XIIIth century under the Patriarch MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA III, who ruled the Church from Baghdad and sat from 1281-1317. This Patriarch was of Uighur origin, and had great influence- with all the Mongol and Tartar princes. During his Patriarchate the Great Khan appointed the Nestorian Mar Sergius Governor of Chinghianfu for three years, and during his period of office he built two Nestorian churches in the city, in the year 1278; see Marco Polo, ed. Yule, vol. ii, p. 162. Under Timfir (1369-1405) the Nestorians were practically exterminated in all the countries over which he ruled.

For seven hundred and fifty years at least, i.e. from 500 to 1250, the Nestorians continued their missionary and mercantile enterprise, and they undoubtedly influenced greatly the various peoples into whose countries they penetrated. Under the rule Of YAHBH-ALLAHA III there were Nestorian Metropolitans, each assisted by suffragan bishops, in Syria, Armenia, Persia, Huzistan, Seistan, Tabaristan, Turkestan, China, India, and the country about Al-Basrah. It would be wrong to assume that it was their religious opinions only that caused the Nestorians to be welcomed everywhere, for, however interesting their doctrines were to their clergy, it is impossible to think that the Chinese, Mongols, Tartars, Turks, Persians, Armenians and the peoples of the Euphrates Valley and Arabia, as nations, would understand the details of doctrine which made the teaching of Nestorius anathema to the Jacobites and Monophysites. For such matters they would care nothing, but they all would appreciate the superior mental faculties of the Nestorian missionaries and traders, and their great physical energy, and above all their knowledge of medicine, and their practical treatment of the diseases of the body, and the healings they effected.


Mention has already been made of the doctrines of Apollinaris and Cyril of Alexandria with reference to the Nature, or Natures, of Christ; and we may now summarize briefly the views of the Nestorians generally on the Persons and Natures of Christ. It is very difficult to find out exactly what Nestorius thought and said about them, because we have only the statements of his enemies to judge by. But it is quite clear that he, following Diodorus of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia, attributed to Christ two Natures; the one Divine and the other human, but he held them to be so entirely distinct that to all intents and purposes he made Christ a double person. Origen and other Fathers had called Mary "Theotokos," or "Mother of God," and Mary was, at the end of the IVth century, commonly called "Theotokos." Nestorius: preached that Mary was not the Mother of God, but of Christ, or the Lord, and that the creature did not, and could not, bear the Creator. Christ died, but God could not die. And God could not have a mother. He who was formed in the womb of Mary, was not himself God, but a human being whom God placed there, and with whom He covered Himself. Nestorius separated the Natures, but united the worship.

From first to last Nestorius insisted on the absolute completeness of the HUMANITY Of Christ. But, as already said, it is difficult, if not impossible, to draw up any comprehensive statement of the belief of Nestorius, and it is equally difficult to state exactly what his followers believed, or what the Nestorians of the present day believe, for no recognized formula of their creed exists. The nearest approach to a confession of faith is the treatise on the truth of Christianity by Mar 'Abhd 1sho', Metropolitan of Nisibis and Armenia, A.D. 1298, entitled the Book of the Pearl (Kethabha dhe Marghanitha). This work is held in high esteem, but it is not considered by many Nestorians to be a true or complete exposition of the doctrines held by their community. Many manuscripts of this composition are extant (see Baumstark, Syr. Lit., p. 324) and an English rendering of it was published by Badger in his Nestorians and their Rituals, vol. ii, Appendix B, p. 380 ff. But the Church Rituals contain much information about the Nestorian creed, and as these are regarded everywhere as the highest authority, from which there is no appeal, a few of them may be quoted here; for fuller details see Badger's work, vol. ii, p. 30 ff.

OF THE TRINITY--God the Father, and God the Son, the Word, and God the Holy Ghost, one substance, one God, in three co-equal persons, of Whose being there is no beginning, and of Whose Divinity there is no creation; He is living and everlasting. (From the Hudhra.)

OF THE WORD--One is the Christ, adored by all in two Natures, Who, as touching His Godhead, is begotten of the Father, without beginning, and before all ages; and, as touching His Manhood, was born of Mary, in the fulfilment of time, a body of union. His Godhead is not from the substance of His mother, neither His Manhood from the substance of His Father; but the Natures and Persons subsist in the one Parsopa of this one Filiation. And as there are in the Godhead three Persons, One Self-existent, so the Filiation of the Son is of two Natures and one Parsopa. Thus doth the Holy Church teach us to Confess of the Son, Who is the Messiah. Therefore, O Lord, we worship Thy Divinity and Thy Humanity, without dividing them. (From the Hudhra.)

O Virgin, the Holy Spirit found Him in thee, and the Word dwelt in Him by union, without conversion or confusion, the Natures continuing to subsist unchanged, and the Persons also, by their essential attributes,-the Divinity and Humanity subsisting in one Parsopa of Filiation. (From the Gazza.)

Nestorius confessed two Natures and two Persons in Christ. (From the Gazza.)

Badger understood the words "Parsopa of Filiation" to mean "that Person of the Blessed Trinity, Who through the Infinite Essence is the Son, in His special office of Son, and for which our theology supplies no equivalent term. The nearest approach to it with us is when we ascribe, often in a very lax way, different offices to the Three Persons of the Trinity in the universal Providence." (Ibid., p. 64.)

As to the Holy Spirit certain Nestorians at one time taught that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father only, and in their creed seem to have followed the Greek Church in omitting the words "and the Son." But Bedjan has called attention to the second Canon which was promulgated by the Council of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, A.D. 410. It was drawn up by Mar Isaac, and Mar Marutha, and the Persian bishops and reads, "And we confess the Living and Holy Spirit, the Living Paraclete, which is from the Father and the Son." See Bedjan's note on p. 62 of his edition of the Syriac text of the History of Mar Yahbh-Allaha and Rabban Sawma, Paris and Leipzig, 1895.

What the Nestorian Faith was in the XIIIth century is made clear by Rabban Sawma's confession before the Cardinals in Rome which is translated on p. 96 f., but whether it represented the belief of the Persian Church only or of all Nestorians cannot be said. According to this the Father is the Begetter, the Son is the Begotten, and Holy Spirit proceedeth," and the Son has two Natures (KEYANYN) and two Persons (KENOMYN, or KENUMYN), one PARSOPA (). On the tomb of Mar Shem'6n in the church of Rabban Hormizd, the Patriarch, who died A.GR. 1849= A.D. 1538, says, “From the time when I became Catholicus and Patriarch of the East, I acknowledged God, the First Light. And I confessed and believed in His Son Jesus Christ, perfect God and perfect Man, two Natures and two Persons--one Parsopa. And I loved His Spirit. And I adored His Sign (i.e. the Cross). I partook of His Body and Blood, and I died with my hope on Him." For the text, see Budge, Book of Governors, vol. i, p. clxxii.


The monks Sawma and Markos (Mark) set out from China with the intention of visiting Jerusalem and the holy places, especially the Tomb of our Lord, so that they might obtain forgiveness of their sins and full and complete absolution. They travelled together as far as Baghdad, but there Providence interfered with their plans, Mark became Patriarch of the East, and was obliged to abandon his journey to Jerusalem, and Rabban Sawma was appointed to a very high office in the Nestorian Church, namely, that of Visitor-General, and was subsequently sent on a mission, partly ecclesiastical and partly political, to Byzantium, Italy, and France. We may now briefly summarize: z. The account of the joint travels of the two monks; 2. Rabban Sawma's account of his journey to Europe; 3. The History of the Patriarchate of Mark, who was called Yahbh-Allaha (III).


Sawma, later called Rabban Sawma, was the son of a well-to-do Nestorian called Shiban by his wife Keyamta, who held the office of Visitor in the community, and lived in the great city of Khan Balig or Khan Bahk, (i.e. City of the Khan) in China,. Khan Balik is no other than the great city of Pekin or Peking, and is called Cambaluc by Marco Polo, who, describes its history and plan of it as it was in 12go when he visited it. (See The Book of Sey Marco Polo the Venetian, vol. i, London, 1875, p. 364 f.) Shiban and Keyamta remained childless for a long time, but at length a son was born to them and they called him "Sawma," i.e. the Fast, for he was probably born during Lent. The child was carefully educated_ and studied ecclesiastical literature at an early age, and when he arrived at the age of puberty, his parents betrothed him to a maiden, and his father caused him to be made kankaya, i.e. ostiarius or keeper of the great church of Pekin. At the age of twenty he, to the great grief of his parents, refused to marry the maiden to whom he was betrothed, and renounced the world and all in it. In response to their prayers and entreaties Sawma dwelt with his parents for three years, but finding their manner of life intolerable, he distributed all his goods among the poor and adopted the garb of the monk; he received the tonsure from Mar George, Metropolitan of Pekin. At length he left Pekin, and after journeying for one day he found a cave in the mountain side and a spring of water, and he settled down there and lived a life of stern asceticism. His fame spread abroad and men came from all parts to hear his discourses.

In the first half of the XIIIth century there lived in the city of Kawshang in Kh6rasan a Nestorian called Bayniel, who filled the office of archdeacon in that city. He had four sons, and the youngest of them; who was born in 1245 and was called Mark, decided to become a monk, and went to the place where Sawma was, a distance- of fifteen days' journey, to ask him to help him to become one. Sawma tried to persuade him 'to return to his parents, but Mark refused to do so, and three years later he was endued with the garb of the monk and received the tonsure at the hands of Mar Nestorius, the Metropolitan.

The date of the birth of Sawma is not known, but as Mark went to him for spiritual help and guidance it is clear that he must have been several years older than Mark. Sawma died in 1294, and was an old man, so he was probably born between 1220 and 1230. Sawma and Mark, who according to Bar Hebraeus (Chyon. Eccles., ii, col. 451) were fellow-countrymen, for he calls them Yagiraye, i.e. Uighurs, lived together with great content for some time, but at length they became restless and discussed the possibility of going to Jerusalem to receive pardon for their sins and absolution. The more eager to go was Mark, and he vanquished all Sawma's scruples and fears, and this done they gave away such possessions as they had, and set out for Pekin to join one of the caravans that traded between China and the West. When the Christian- community of Pekin heard that the two monks were going to Jerusalem, they entreated them to abandon their plan and to settle down among them, but seeing that their words had no effect upon them they gave them their blessing and bade them 9 loving farewell. We may assume that the Metropolitan gave them letters to the heads of the various Nestorian communities through whose towns and villages they would pass. Though it is not so stated, it is clear that Kublai Khan provided them with a "permit "to travel unmolested through his kingdoms.

Sawma and Mark set out on their way and arrived without difficulty at Kawshang, where the kinsfolk and family of the latter lived. Here they had an impressive welcome, and when the Tartar princes K6nb6gha and If6gha heard of their arrival they sent messengers to bring them to their camp. These princes were sons-in-law of Kublai Khan, the fifth Mongol king of China, who ascended the throne in 1260, and died in 1294, aged 79 years. Like his predecessor Mangu, who reigned from July 1, 1251 to 1260, he treated Christians, and Muslims, and Buddhists with kindness, and was especially anxious to attract Christians, i.e. the Nestorians, to his country, where he found their medical learning and great business capacity of much benefit to his subjects. For good accounts of his acts see the pages of Sey Marco Polo, ed. Yule, London, 1874; and Howorth, History of the Mongols, London, 1828. Like the Christians of Kawshang the princes endeavoured to persuade the two monks to stay in their native country. When they found that prayers and entreaties were alike useless, the princes and the kinsfolk of the two monks gave them horses and rugs, and clothing and money, and the people brought them large supplies of provisions for the way. The monks having had no experience of desert travel in Central Asia refused these at first, thinking that such a large amount of baggage was unnecessary, but at length they accepted the gifts, and bade farewell to the princes and their kinsfolk, and departed.

In due course Sawma, and Mark arrived at Shachau, an outpost of China Proper, on the eastern edge of the worst part of the Sandy Desert. Here was situated the province of Tanguut, or Tangg6d, which the Chinese call Hia, and the Mongols Tangut or Tanguth. This province is represented by the modern province of Kansuh; the name Tangut is now applied to Tibet (Marco Polo, vol. i, p. 209). There were Nestorians in Tangut in Marco Polo's day, and three large churches. When the Christians in Tangut heard of the arrival of the monks they went out to meet them and rejoiced at their coming; but they made no attempt to keep the strangers with them, and having loaded them with gifts they set them on their way. Then after travelling for two months over well-nigh waterless deserts Sawma and Mark arrived at a place which the Syriac writer calls L6t6n, but which, as Chabot and others have seen, must be a misspelling of Kh6tan, the capital of a province of the same name and the seat of a b shop. The people were all Buddhists (?) and extremely well-to-do, for the city was the centre of the cotton industry. For a description of the city and its exports,-carpets, rugs, cotton and linen stuffs, black and white jade, etc., see Marco Polo, vol. i, p. 196 ff. On the excavations made at this place see Aurel Stein, Ancient Khotan, Oxford, 1907. But the arrival of the monks at Kh6tan took place at an inopportune moment for them, for they found that the country had been laid waste by a king called Ok6, who was at war with Kublai Khan, and that provisions were scarce. Worst of all for them was the blocking of the caravan routes and the insecurity of the roads, and the result of this was that they had to remain where they were for six whole months.

At the end of this period they again set out on their way, and under the favour of Providence they escaped the attentions of highway robbers and cut-throats, and arrived safely in the city of Kashkar, or Kashkar, the Cascar of Marco Polo (vol. i, p. 189), who reproduces a view of the city from Shaw's Taytary. The town was an important centre of trade, and formed the terminus of many caravan routes from the east and west; the country round about was very fertile, and the merchant and farmer classes were well-to-do. The town was famous for its jade, for the variety of the stone found there was obtainable nowhere else. At Kashgar the two monks ought to have found friends and fellow-Christians, for the city was, like Samarkand, the seat of a Nestorian Metropolitan, and Marco Polo says there were many Nestorians in the country, and, that they had churches of their own. But when Sawma and Mark went into the city they found that it had been looted by the enemy, presumably the troops of Kublai Khan, and that the inhabitants had fled, and they marched on to the place where King Kaido was encamped by the river Talas. Kaido was a grandson of Ogatai, the Kakhan, who died in December, 1241, and he waged war against Kublai Khan for many years, and made himself king of Turkestan. His frontier on the east touched the old kingdom of Kashgar; he died in 1301.

As the two monks in continuing their journey westwards would have to pass through his territory; they left the main road and spent several days in reaching his camp in order to obtain from him a written permit and authority to travel through his country. Whether they obtained the permit or not is not stated, but it would seem that they did not, for they arrived at their next halting-place, Khorasan, only with the greatest difficulty, and in the last state of mental and physical exhaustion. The text goes on to say that they had lost on the road nearly everything they had, and considering the state of the country they were fortunate to have won through with their lives. As long as they travelled in the dominions of Kublai Khan, they had only the difficulties of the way to contend with, but as soon as they passed the frontier near Kashgar, they entered Kaido's territory, and he was powerless to make the roads safe for caravans.

As Sawma and Mark were practically penniless they went to the monastery of Mar Sehyon, which was situated near Tus, the capital of Khorasan and Mashad, which lies a few miles to the south of Tus. In the Xth century of our era 1'us was the second city of the Nishapur quarter of Khorasan, and the seat of a bishop. It consisted of the twin towns of At-Tabaran and Nukan, the latter being the larger half of Tus. A century later the Mongols laid waste Tus, and Tabaran increased in size and flourished. Nukan was a very wealthy city, and it had a large export trade in serpentine stone vases, gold, silver, copper, iron, turquoise, malachite and the "santalum" stone. Mashad, i.e. the "Place of Martyrdom," or Shrine of the Imam is now the capital of the Persian province of Khorasan (see the Arab geographers Yakat iv, 414; Ibn Khurdadbih, p. 24; Ibn Rustah, p. 171).

The two monks were kindly received in the monastery of Sehyon, about which nothing is known, and when they had received the blessing of the bishop they set out on their road through AdhorbijAn intending to proceed to Baghdad. The province of Adhorbijan (the Persian Azarbijan and the Greek Atropatene) became of great importance under the Mongols who made Maraghah its capital; at the present day its capital is Tabriz: For a general description of the province see Mukaddasi, P. 373; and Le Strange, Eastern Caliphate, p. sag ff. The object of the two monks in going to Baghdad was to place themselves under the protection of the Catholicus, Mar Denha, but when they arrived at Maraghah they found that he was in the city and transacting business there. Maxagah, or Maraghah, i.e. Kariyat al-Maraghah, or "Village of the Pasturer," the Afrazah Rudh of the Persians, was situated on the river Safi, and was about 70 miles from Tabriz. The city was pleasant to live in and the country round about it was fertile and abounded in orchards. Near it stood the great observatory, built by the astronomer Nasir ad-Din of Tus, where, by order of Hulagu Khan, the celebrated Il-Khani tablets had been calculated and published (Plate IV). (Le Strange, Eastern Caliphate, p. 164.)

Sawma and Mark rejoiced to find that the Patriarch was in the city and they went and made themselves known to him; he received them kindly, and a few days later they asked his permission to go to Baghdad, whence they proposed to proceed to Beth-Garmai in the north, and Nisibis in the west. The Catholicus approved their plans and gave them a letter of introduction, which would ensure them a kindly reception among every Nestorian community they visited. Armed with this they went to Baghdad, and visited the churches and monasteries at and near Seleucia-Ctesiphon. They returned to Baghdad and then went to Beth-Garmai in the North, and visited the tomb of Mar Ezekiel, the prophet, who, according to an ancient tradition was buried in Mesopotamia, in the grave of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah (Book of the Bee, ed. Budge, p. 72). The see of Beth-Garmai was very large (see Hoffmann, Ausziige aus Syr. Akten Pers. Martyrer, Leipzig, 1880), and they had not time to visit all the holy sites in it. They then went on to Arbil, or Irbil, the ancient Arbela, which lay in the plain between the Greater and Lesser Zabh rivers. The town was a great trading centre, and a large export trade in cotton was done there; many of its merchants were Nestorians, and its churches were, together with those of Mosul, under the direction of a Nestorian Metropolitan.

From Arbil they went to Mosul (Nineveh) on the Tigris, where there were large congregations of Nestorians and many churches. There the two monks were entertained at the monasteries, and were probably supplied with funds for their journey. From Mosul they travelled westwards to Sinjar by the old caravan road which passes Tall Afar. Sinjar was a walled town, and when Sawma and Mark visited it there was a fine mosque there and many bath-houses with mosaic floors. The houses were, and still are, built in step-fashion up the slope of the hill, and the country round about was very fertile. Tradition says that the Ark rested on the top of the mountain above the town, and Christians and Muslims considered the town one of the holy places. It will be remembered that it was Gabriel, a native of Sinjar, who was the physician of Shirin, the wife of Khusrau, and saved her life. (Budge, Book of Governors, vol. ii, p. 80.)

From Sinjar the two monks followed the old caravan road to Nisibis, a very old town which is mentioned in the cuneiform inscriptions. It lies about i2o miles north-east of Mosul and is two days' journey from Jazirat ibn-'Umar on the Tigris. It is surrounded by the river Hirmas. According to Yakut (iv, p. 787) it contained 40,000 gardens! Still following the old caravan road the two monks went to the great rock fortress of Mardin, with its castle which was called "AlBaz," i.e."the Falcon." The houses were, and still are, built in step-fashion up the mountain side, and the town was famous for its markets, its khans or inns, and its colleges. The Sawr river from Tur 'Abhdin flows through the town. Close by are: 1, The monastery of Za'faran, and the monasteries of Mar Awgin (see p. 17 f.) and Mar Yuhanna (see Shabushti's Book of Monasteries, quoted by Hoffmann, Ausziige, p. 167). Our two monks visited the tomb of Mar Awgin, who because he sent forth two and seventy disciples is called the "second Christ."

From Mardin the two monks paid visits to the monasteries in the district of Beth-Zabhdai, i.e. the country on the right or west bank of the Tigris near fazirat ibn-'Umar. Here lived many monks in many monasteries, and the strangers were well received and blessed by the bishops, and as they "spread tables of food "for the poor and needy they must have contrived to save money enough for the purpose. The Gazarta mentioned in the text is probably the town of Jazirat, i.e. "the Island," better known as Jazirat ibn-'Umar, which was founded by Al-Hasan ibn-'Umar, of the Taghlib tribe. Yakut says that the Tigris flowed half round the city in a semicircle, while a ditch filled with water on the land side made it into an island. It was an important trading centre, whither all the products of Armenia were brought for sale; the houses were of stone, and the town was surrounded by a wall (Le Strange, Eastern Caliphate, p. 93). It is about 105 miles down stream of Diyar Bakr, or Amid. Opposite Jazirat ibn-'Umar was Beth-Zabhdai, the Bazabda of the Arab geographers, and the Bezabda of classical writers. It will be noted that all the towns visited by Sawma and Mark were trading centres, where well-to-do merchants congregated for business purposes; and we may assume that many of the merchants would be Nestorians, and that our travellers would receive help from them.

Their visit to Gazarta ended, the two monks turned their faces eastwards, and directed their steps to the monastery of Mar Michael at Tar'il, which was probably situated at no great distance from Mosul and on the road to Arbil. Here they decided to settle down for a time at least, and having "bought a cell," they lived with the monks in amity. It may be noted in passing that the word "cell "is applied to any building in which monks, or bishops, or even a patriarch lived; many of the "cells "of the higher orders of the clergy were comfortable and spacious houses, and the cell "of the Patriarch at Baghdad was a palace.

Whilst Sawma and Mark were living at Tar'il, Mar Denha, the Patriarch (ordained 1266), who had made himself acquainted with their manner of life, summoned them to Baghdad. When they arrived he pointed out to them that their life at Tar'il was a selfish one, and that they had better come and live with him where their abilities and piety would help the whole community, and perhaps strengthen the hands of the Mongol Government; and they agreed to live in Baghdad, under his protection. But the Patriarch needed them not so much for the welfare of the whole community as for his own benefit. Soon after their arrival in Baghdad he asked them to go to the Court of Abhgha, or Abhaga, King of Kings, the son of Hulagu Khan, to obtain from him an Edict confirming him in his appointment as Patriarch of the East. Sawma and Mark were well acquainted with the manners and customs of the Mongols, and could speak and write Chinese and Persian. And as they were under the protection of Kublai Khan (see Bar Hebraeus, Chyon. Eccles., sect. ii, col. 451) the Patriarch believed that he would gain more by sending them to Abhgha than if he went himself. The monks agreed to go to Abhgha, but told the Patriarch that he must send with them a man to bring back to him the Edict if they obtained it, for they intended to continue their journey to Jerusalem. The Patriarch agreed to do so and gave them his blessing and they set out on their way. The mission of Sawma and Mark was crowned with success, for when the Amirs had reported their arrival to King Abhgha, and placed the Patriarch's petition before him, he ordered the Edict (Pukdane) to be drawn up and given to them. These they handed over to the messenger who had come with them, and sent it back to Baghdad, and they set out on their journey to Jerusalem.

As all the country of Northern Syria was in a very disturbed state our monks knew that it was impossible to travel by the ordinary routes to the West, and they made up their minds to march to the North, and to try to reach Jerusalem by sea. They therefore went to Ani, the famous capital of 'Christian Armenia, which was taken and sacked by Alp Arslan, the Saljuk in io64. This event broke up the older Armenian kingdom of the Bagratids, and caused Rupen to found the kingdom of Little Armenia. Though built in the mountains Ani contained several fine churches, but it is probable that many of them were in ruins when our monks came to the town. The town was captured from the Turks in 1123-24, by the great general, John Orbelian, on behalf of David the Restorer, King of Georgia (Marco Polo, vol. ii, p. 544 From Ani, Sawma and Mark made their way westwards through the country of the Georgians, with whom the Nestorians were friendly, probably with the intention of embarking at one of the ports in the Gulf of Iskanderun, but they were warned that robberies and murders were frequent on "Darb As-Suhani" or King's Highway, and they returned to Baghdad.

When they arrived the Patriarch Denha told them that it was unnecessary for them to go to Jerusalem, and that he had otter and better work for them to do, namely, to go back to China and help to rule the Nestorian Church there. To enable them to do this he had determined to ordain Mark Bishop, and Sawma Visitor-General. The two monks said they were unworthy of such honours and responsibilities, that they only wished to live and die in a monastery, but Mar Denha insisted, and at length they bowed to his will. Now Mar Denha wished to give Mark another name, and having written several names on pieces of paper and laid them on the altar, by means of a kind of divination (or lottery?) one of the papers was selected, and on it was written "Yahbh-Allaha," i.e."God gave (him)." Mar Denha thereupon gave Mark this name, and ordained him "Metropolitan of Kathay and Wang," i.e. two districts of Northern China, in 1280. Sawma, or Rabban Sawma, or Rabban Bar Sawma was named "Visitor-General," and allowed to keep his own name. Mark was 35 years of age at the time, and Sawma was probably 10 or 15 years older. The Patriarch gave them letters of introduction, and written authorizations, and Mar Yahbh-Allaha and Rabban Sawma set out on their journey to China. But they were unable to go very far for they found that the kings on both sides of the Oxus were at war, and that in consequence the caravan roads were cut they therefore went back to the monastery of Mar Michael at Tar'il near Mosul, and lived there in their old quarters for about two years. Whilst they were there Yahbh-Allaha had two remarkable dreams in which, according to Sawma's interpretations, it was indicated that he was marked out by God for promotion to the highest position in the Nestorian Church (see pp. 45).

Meanwhile Mar Denha, who had been ailing for a long time, became seriously ill, and Yahbh-Allaha was moved to go to Baghdad to obtain from him the insignia of his office, namely, the special cloak and the pastoral staff, but before he arrived there the Patriarch was dead. The day after Mar Denha was buried the bishops and nobles and all the notables assembled to elect his successor. After much discussion all agreed that Yahbh-Allaha must be elected head of the Nestorian Church, not because of his learning or piety, but because he knew the manners and customs and language of the Mongol kings who were at that time governors of the world; thereupon he was nominated Patriarch of the East, in spite of his protest that he did not know the Syriac language. Rabban Sawma, the practical, told him that he must accept the position, and hinted that the sooner the consent of the King of Kings to his election was obtained the better. In due course they set out with a large company of bishops and monks and went to the king's summer residence at Siyah Kuh, or the Black Mountain, in Adhorbijan, which rose up above the little town of Kalantar, which was picturesquely situated among the woods.

The story of the election of Yahbh-Allah, is given by Bar Hebraeus thus:-"In the year 1592 of the Greeks (A.D. 1280) the Catholicus Mar Denha set out to go down to Baghdad, and on the way he fell ill. After he reached the city he lingered for a few days, and then suddenly, on the night of the Monday which ushered in the Great Fast, he departed. this life on the 24th day of the month Shebhat (February) of that same year. Whilst he was alive two Uighur monks came from China by the command of Kublai Khan to go and worship in Jerusalem. When they came to these countries they were unable to find a road or an opportunity to travel thither, and they sojourned with Mar Denha. And in order that his enemy Bar-Kaligh might not go to China, he ordained one of these two Uighurs (i.e. Turkish) monks Metropolitan of China, and his name was Yahbh-Allaha. Now whilst these two monks were preparing to return to their own country Mar Denha died. Then the Amir Amshut, who was a kinsman of the two monks, spake to the King of Kings on behalf of Yahbh-Allaha, saying that the Christians wished him to be their Catholicus, and that all the Nestorians of Baghdad wished it also, because, owing to his kinsmanship with the Mongols, both by race and language, they would be helped by him. And therefore a royal Edict that he should be appointed Catholicus was promulgated. And twenty-four bishops assembled, and went down to Seleucia-Ctesiphon, and there they consecrated him Catholicus.

"Now although Yahbh-Allaha was somewhat deficient in the knowledge of the doctrines and writings of the Syrians, he was a man of good disposition, and the fear of God was found in him; and he showed great love towards us, and to the children of our people, i.e. the Jacobites" (Chron. Eccles., sect. ii, col. 452). The Bar Kaligh who is mentioned above was Simon, Bishop of Tus in Khorasan; he insulted Mar Denha, who had appointed him in 1279, and was summoned by him to Ashnu, or Ushnuh, a Kurdish town famous for its trade in horses, cattle,- and sheep. Mar Denha had him shut up in the monastery of Mar Behnam in the city of Lakha, but he escaped, and having been captured by some mountaineers they brought him to the Patriarch, who shut him up, and the bishops and monks who were with him, in a building near his cell. A few days later all there were found dead, and many stories, discreditable to the Patriarch, as to how this happened were current. The incident was never forgotten, as the subsequent happenings showed.

The king received Mar Yahbh-Allaha with honour, and gave him his throne and the cloak which lay on his shoulders and a parasol; on the use and signification of the parasol see Marco Polo, vol. i, p. 345. The king also gave him a gold PAIZA, i.e. a tablet of gold about 6 inches long and 2 inches wide, perforated at one end for suspension, and inscribed with a formula containing the name of God and the king, which conferred upon the holder of it great authority and privileges. A lithograph-facsimile of the "Gold Tablet of Command," or Paiza is given in Marco Polo, ed. Yule, vol. i, facing p. 342. The great seal of the Catholicus Mar Denha was placed in his hands, and a sum of money to defray the cost of the consecration ceremonies in Baghdad. In the winter of that year (1281), soon after his consecration in the Church of K6kA in November, King Abhgha visited Mar Yahbh-Allaha in Baghdad and gave him authority to levy a tax on the people of 30,000 dinars for the upkeep of the monasteries and churches, but after the death of Abhgha in 1282 the Patriarch was unable to enforce the payment of it. A summary of the history of the Patriarchate of Yahbh-Allaha III is given later (p. 22 f.).


The Paizah (or Paiza, or Paizah) was a gold tablet, about a palm in breadth and half a cubit in length, and it seems that it was originally given by the Mongol kings to members of the royal house who were deputed to act for the king. It gave the bearer authority to call upon the people of a village or town to supply him with everything he needed, without payment, and they were expected to pay him royal honours. Later, the Paizah was given to favourites of the king and to men whom the king wished to honour. With the Paizah was given a written warrant, or patent, which was called "Yarligh or Yarlikh," which the holder of the Paizah could produce as proof that he had not stolen it, and that he was not an impostor. The word Paizah is derived from the Chinese pai-tseu; Yarligh is said to be a native Mongol word, and is the name given to-day by the Turks in speaking of a rescript or edict of the Sultan. The Yarligh al-tamgha is the warrant with a red seal or stamp, and a specimen of such a Yarligh is reproduced in Marco Polo (ed. Yule, vol. ii, p. 472). It gives the first three lines of a Mongol letter written in the Uighur character by Arghon Khan to Philip the Fair of France in 1289. For the seal see p. 32. There were several kinds of Paizah and Yarligh, and in some cases they were identical in character with the Sultan of Turkey's Buyuruldi, which is nothing more than a permit to travel, and to demand relays of horses or mules on payment.

The Paizah represented on Plate V is made of silver, and is about 12.25 inches long and 3.75 inches broad; it was found in the Minussinsk circle of the Government of Yenisei in 1846, and is now preserved in the Museum of the Academy of St. Petersburg. The moulded ring at one end is of iron, and was used for suspending it. The inscription is in the Mongol language and in the Baspa character, and is said to mean "By the strength of the eternal heaven! May the name of the Kakhan (i.e. King of Kings) be holy! He who doth not pay him reverence shall be slain and must die." On the back of the Paizah is the number 42. On Plate XIII we have a Paizah with the inscription in the Uighur character. (See Schmidt, Uber eine Mongol. Quadratinschyift, in the Transactions of the Academy of St. Petersburg, 1847.) The weight of the silver Paizah varies between 12 and 2 pounds. Apparently no Paizah in gold has yet been discovered.


During the short reign of Ahmad, the second son of Hulagu Khan (1282-84), Sawma seems to have lived with or near Yahbh-Allaha III, and to have done what he could to help his friend during that period of anxiety and trouble. When Arg6n or Argh6n succeeded to the throne the Nestorians rejoiced greatly, for he loved the Christians, and was a close friend of the Patriarch. Some of Argh6n's predecessors had wished to invade Syria and Palestine and capture Jerusalem, but they had never, for various reasons, been able to do so. Argh6n had the same wish, but he realized that he would never be able to capture Jerusalem unless he could obtain the help of the Western kings, and he therefore asked the Patriarch to find him a suitable ambassador to carry letters to the kings of Byzantium, Italy, France, and England. Yahbh-AllAha knew well that there was only one man who was fit to undertake this difficult task, namely, Rabban Sawma, and without more ado he ordered him to prepare for the journey to the West. Sawma rejoiced at the opportunity of going to the country of the Romans, and told the Patriarch that he longed to go. Thereupon Argh6n wrote dispatches to the kings of the Greeks and Romans, and prepared gifts for each of them, and as marks of royal favour and honour he gave Sawma a Paiza (see above p. 19) and also a Yarlikh, 2,000 mathkale of gold and 30 good riding horses. Sawma also obtained a letter of authority from the Patriarch, who sent by his hands letters and gifts for the Pope. Having chosen a number of priests and deacons to accompany him Sawma set out for Beth-Rh6maye, i.e. Byzantium. The text does not tell us by what route he travelled, but as he embarked in a ship at some port on the Sea of Meka, i.e. the Great Sea, or Black Sea, we may assume that he followed the old caravan road from Baghdad northwards, and passing through Mawsil (Mosul), Jazirat ibn-'Umar, and Diyar Bakr, arrived at Samsun, on the Black Sea. Here he and his party embarked in a ship which carried 3oo passengers, and in a few days he reached Constantinople. He sent messengers on to announce his arrival to the king, and he was honourably entreated and suitably housed by the Basileus, i.e. Andronicus II (1282-1328) (see Krumbacher, Byzant. Litteyatuy, p. 1054). Whether Andronicus II promised to help Argh6n or not is not stated, but as soon as Sawma had eaten and drunk he asked the king to depute some one to show him the churches, and shrines, and tombs of the saints, and the sainted relics. Having seen the principal churches and relics he returned to the king and asked his permission to continue his journey to the country of the Franks. The king gave him gifts of gold and silver and dismissed him in peace.

Sawma left Constantinople, and on his road to the quay visited (?) a monastery on the sea-shore which contained the head of John Chrysostom, and other precious relics, and then he embarked on a ship and sailed into the Mediterranean. During his voyage westwards, he saw either Mount Vesuvius, or Mount Etna, or, perhaps, as Bedjan suggests, Stromboli, which was then in eruption, and, after two months of weariness and exhaustion, he and his party landed at Naples. Here he waited upon the king who, according to Chabot (Hist. du Patyiarche, p. 60, note 3), was Charles Martel, the son of Charles IL, and explained to him the object of his mission, and the king treated him honourably. Whilst there he witnessed from the roof of a house a naval fight between the ships of Charles II and those of the king of Aragon, James II. About the time of Sawma's visit there was war between the two kings because Charles II had seized the town of Agosta in Sicily. In the naval action which followed, Charles II was defeated and a large number of his ships were sunk; for details of the engagement see the extracts from the historians quoted by Chabot (p. 61, note 5). The identification of "Y rid Ark6n "with the "king of Aragon "is due to Bedjan. The result of Sawma's audience of the king is not stated.

From Naples Sawma set out by land for Rome, and on the road he heard that the Pope, Honorius IV (1285-87), was dead. After a few days he and his party arrived in Rome, and he at once sent a message to the Cardinals who were administering the papal throne, to tell them that he had brought letters to the Pope from Argh6n, King of Kings. The Cardinals received him courteously and begged him to defer the discussion of his mission for a season; they provided him with suitable quarters and installed him therein. Three days later they sent for him and discussed his mission, and Sawma, explained to them the close relationship which existed between the Nestorian Church and the kings of the Mongols, and told them of King Argh6n's desire to rescue Jerusalem from the infidels. Then the Cardinals questioned him closely as to his Creed, and drew from him the very interesting confession of the Nestorian Faith, which is given on pp. 53.

After much talk Sawma told the Cardinals that he did not come to. Rome to discuss questions of faith, but to be blessed by the Pope and to transact Argh6n's business with him, and then he asked the Cardinals to allow him to see the holy places in Rome. They at once summoned an official and certain monks and directed them to show him everything. He was greatly interested in St. Peter's, but he seems to have misunderstood what he was told about the crowning of Emperors by the Pope, and the way in which the crown was placed on their heads (see p. 54). When he had seen all the sights he returned to the Cardinals and asked their permission to go and see the other kings for whom he had dispatches, and as he was leaving them they told him that they could not give him an answer to King Argh6n's letter until a new Pope was elected.

From Rome, Sawma and his party went into Tuscany, where they were well received, and thence to Genoa, where the people were living under a democratic regime. He visited the cathedral church of Saint Lawrence (founded in 985), and saw and greatly admired the famous vessel which is now known as the "Sacro Catino." This object was captured by the Genoese at Caesarea in 1101, and brought to Genoa, but was carried off to Paris by Napoleon I in 18og. One tradition says that it was given to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba, and another says that our Lord and His disciples ate the Paschal lamb from it, and that Joseph of Arimathea caught in it some of the drops of Christ's Blood on the day of His Crucifixion. It is a beautiful green colour, and it was believed by everyone to have been made out of a single emerald. But it was broken in Paris, either by accident or design, in 1815, and it was then found to be made of green opaque glass. From Genoa Sawma went to Onbar, a town or city which has not been identified; Bedjan in a footnote suggests Lombardy or Ambron.

Leaving Italy, Sawma entered France, and after a journey which seems to have lasted a month, arrived in Paris, and sent a messenger to announce his arrival to the king, Philippe IV le Bel. The king received him with great honour, and when he had read King Arghon's letter, and accepted his presents, he told Sawma that he was prepared to send a force to help the Mongols to wrest Jerusalem from the hands of the infidels. Sawma remained in Paris for a month and during this time he was shown the educational institutions of Paris, with their 30,000 pupils, who were maintained by the king. One day he was taken into the church of St. Denis, containing the mausoleum of the Kings of France, and on another day into the famous Sainte Chapelle. In the latter the king led him up to a gilded chamber, and brought out a beryl or crystal coffer and showed him the Crown of Thorns which, he said, his ancestors had brought from Constantinople. The king promised to send one of his nobles to carry his answer to Arghon, and Sawma, having received from him gifts and valuable apparel, set out for Gascony (?) to see the king of England, Edward I. After riding for twenty days Sawma arrived at the chief city (which Chabot thinks was Bordeaux), and had an audience of the king there at which he presented Arghon's letter and gifts. Having stated that his views were the same as those of Arghon, the king commanded Sawma to celebrate the Eucharist, and he and his nobles partook of the Mysteries. After further talk the king gave Sawma many gifts and money to defray his travelling expenses. Having delivered his dispatches to the various kings Sawma returned to Italy and passed the winter in Genoa.


Towards the end of the winter a Cardinal Legate arrived in Genoa from Germany on his way to Rome, and he and Sawma met and held converse together. This great ecclesiastic who is styled a periodeutes or "Visitor "in the Syriac text can only have been, as Chabot has shown (p. 83), John of Tusculum, whom Pope Honorius IV had sent to Germany at the close of 1285 to arrange for the coronation of the Emperor Rudolf of Habsburg. In the course of his talk with the Visitor," Sawma complained to him that he had spent a whole year in waiting for a new Pope to be appointed, and told him that he did not know what to do, and what answer he could carry back to his master's letter to the Pope. The Visitor, saying that he would go and see the Cardinals and urge them to act promptly, went on his way to Rome. When he reached that city he found that a new Pope had been appointed, and he told him of his conversation with Sawma. Thereupon the Pope, Nicholas IV (1288-g2), sent a messenger bidding Sawma and his companions to come to Rome, and deputed a Metropolitan bishop and many clergy to go and meet him. The Pope received him with great honour and Sawma presented to him Arghon's letter and gifts, and the letter and gifts of Mar Yahbh-Allaha III, and the Pope invited him to stay and keep the Easter Festival with him in Rome. A few days later Sawma celebrated the Eucharist according to the Nestorian rite, and the congregation agreed that though the language was different the order was the same; during the Festival the Pope celebrated High Mass, and Sawma partook of the Offering at his hands.

The description of the Easter Festival in Rome is of great interest for the student of Oriental Liturgies, but a discussion of it would be out of place here. When the Festival was ended and Sawma wished to leave Rome, the Pope tried to persuade him to remain there and live under his protection. In reply to his words Sawma said that the interests of the Christians in the East dernanded his return, and then asked the Pope to give him some sacred relics to take back with him. The Pope gave him portions of the apparel of sour Lord and His Mother, and some small pieces of the relics of some of the saints. To Mar Yahbh-Allaha he sent a gold crown inlaid with precious stones, some vestments of red and gold brocade, stockings and sandals, a ring from his finger, and a Bull authorizing him to rule the Eastern Church. To Sawma he gave, a Bull confirming his appointment as Visitor-General, and his blessing, and he ordered his officers to provide him with 1,500 mathkale of red gold for the expenses of his journey home.

Of Rabban Sawma's route on his return journey we know nothing, because the translator of his narrative from Persian into Syriac found himself obliged to abridge the original considerably. All we know is that he returned safely to King Arghon, who rejoiced to hear of the success of his mission to the kings in Europe. As a reward the king promised to build a church in his capital and to make Sawma priest thereof. Arghon kept his promise, and following the example of the Mongol king Kuyuk Khan (1248-57) he set up a church so close to the royal tent that the ropes of the curtains of the church crossed those of his own tent. When the king's tent was moved, the church was moved also. The direction of everything connected with the church was committed to Sawma, who was ordered to arrange that service should be performed in it all day long. In 1289 Arghon had his son Kharbande baptized by the Patriarch in Maraghah, and in i2gi he died and was succeeded by Kaikhato.

A year or two later Sawma, feeling that he was no longer able to bear the hard manner of life of the Mongols and the fatigues of travelling, obtained permission from Kaikhato to build a church in Maraghah. Taking with him from the Royal Camp the vessels and vestments which he had used in the church there, he went to Maraghah and built a church in the names of Mar Mari and Mar George. By some means or other he obtained relics of forty martyrs to place in it. On the building, furnishing, and endowment of this church he spent 105,000 zuze, or nearly £4,400 (one zuza=10d.). The church was finished in 1293, and he went down to Baghdad to assist the Patriarch. He attended the banquet at Shaharzur in Kurdistan, which King Baidu gave in honour of the Patriarch, but was taken ill and collapsed with an attack of fever. With the help of his co-religionists he journeyed from Arbil to Baghdad where he died in January, 1294. He was buried in the church of Der ar-Rhomaye, near Baghdad.


We have seen that Mar Yahbh-Allaha III was consecrated Patriarch of the East with the consent of King Abhgha, who authorized him to levy a tax for the upkeep of the churches and monasteries. Abhgha was succeeded in 1282 by Ahmad, who was also called Takudar, and whose baptismal name was Nicholas. This king was a stupid and ignorant man, and as he was attached to the religion of the descendants of Hagar, i.e. the Muhammadans,, he persecuted the Christians. Two high officials, Shams ad-Din and 'Abd ar-Rahman, and the Amir Shamot, and two bishops, Isho'-Sabhran of Tangoth, and Simon of Arna, entered into a conspiracy to depose Mar Yahbh-Allaha and destroy Rabban Sawma. They made Ahmad believe that they were conspiring against him in favour of Arghon, the son of Abhgha, and writing accusations against him to Kublai Khan in China. The Patriarch and the Visitor-General were brought before him in the Hall of judgment, and he took from the former the Paiza which Abhgha had given to him, and cast him into prison where he remained for about forty days. But for the mediation of the Queen Mother Kutui Khatun, who was probably a Christian, and certain of the Amirs he would have slain the Patriarch. In the end, however, he restored the Pukdana and Paiza to him and sent him away content.

Mar Yahbh-Allaha then went to Urmi, or Urmiyah, which lay close to the western shore of the lake of the same name. This town was of considerable size and was fortified and had a castle, it was a busy trading centre and famous for its cloths and fabrics. Tradition says that it was the birthplace of Zardusht, or Zoroaster. The Patriarch continued his journey to Maraghah, and arrived there with the bishops who had calumniated him. Soon after this Ahmad and his army went to Khorasan to seize Arghon who, together with the other princes, he intended to slay; and he determined to make himself Khalifah of Baghdad and to kill the Patriarch. Ahmad was at first victorious, but subsequently his officers and men forsook him, and he was captured and slain by the order of Arghon in 1284.

As soon as Arghon ascended the throne he began to consider the possibility of conquering Syria and Palestine, and getting possession of the Holy Sepulchre, but he knew that it was impossible to do this without the help of the kings in Europe. He therefore summoned Mar Yahbh-Allaha and told him to select an ambassador who was able and willing to go to Byzantium and other countries and carry out his mission successfully. The envoy chosen was Rabban Sawma, and how he performed, his task has already been shown.

During the reign of King Arghon (1284-91) Mar Yahbh-Allaha obtained great power and influence, and his relations with the king were so friendly that his royal master came to Maraghah and paid him a visit. But this happy state of affairs was of short duration, for Arghon died March 10, 1291 and was sorely lamented by the Christians. He was succeeded by Imaghin Tonghin, who was called Kaikhato or the "Wonderful," the son of Abhgha and Tukdan Khatun, and began to reign in July or August, 1291, and died in 1295. He favoured the Christians greatly and his generosity to everyone was proverbial; money had no value in his sight, and before his death his treasury was empty. When he was in Ala Dagh he attended divine service in the church which Dokuz Khatun, the great Christian Queen and wife of Hulagu had built there, and at the conclusion of the Mysteries he gave the Patriarch 20,000 dinars,, and nine vestments made of gold brocade. Mar Yahbh-Allaha was his constant adviser and he directed the king's actions to the advancement of the glory and honour of the Church. Under the king's direct patronage Rabban Sawma, built the great church at Maraghah. Kaikhato visited Mar Yahbh-Allaha twice in his Cell at Maraghah, and remained there as his guest for short periods. On one of these occasions he bestowed on the Patriarch the greatest honour which he could give to a subject, namely, the Paiza of gold of the "Sunkor "class. The word "Sunkor "means gerfalcon (shonkay), and Sunkor Paiza was a gold tablet on which figures of gerfalcons were engraved in addition to the ordinary inscription (Plate XIII). Marco Polo says a tablet with gerfalcons on it was only given to the very greatest of the Khan's barons, and it confers on them his own full power and authority. So that if one of these chiefs wishes to send a messenger anywhere, he can seize the horses of any man, be he even a king, and any other chattels at his pleasure (ed. Yule, vol. i, p. 342). With the Paiza the king gave the Patriarch 7,000 dinars.

In April, 1294, three months after the death of Rabban Sawma, Mar Yahbh-Allaha went to visit the king in his camp at Ma Dagh, and received from him many valuable gifts, viz., a cloak, a couple of fine riding mules, a parasol to be held over his head on state occasions, and 6o,ooo z2ze, or about X2,500. With this money the Patriarch set to work to build the monastery of Mar John the Baptist about a couple of miles from Maraghah, where he had already built a fine church in honour of Mar Mari.

When all the world seemed to be at peace suddenly the country was convulsed by civil war which broke out as the result of a drunken quarrel between Kaikhatb and his cousin Baidu. The nobles took sides and fighting began, and the Arabs took the opportunity to attack villages, loot the towns, and murder the people as they pleased. In the end Kaikhat6 was murdered and his cousin Baidu succeeded him and reigned for about four months, and then he was murdered. The Arabs began to rise all over the country, and to take vengeance on the Christians for all the evils which they had been made to suffer through Dokuz Khatun, Hulagu's Christian Queen. She hated the Arabs and their religion, and had caused large numbers of mosques to be razed to the ground, and the Arabs now thought that the time had come for them to destroy the churches and kill the Christians. Their attack was led by a fanatic called Nawruz, who. sent messengers throughout the country calling upon the Arabs to rise, and they did so. A party of them entered the Patriarch's Cell in Maraghah and plundered it, and then they seized Mar Yahbh-Allaha and the bishops who were with him; they hung the Patriarch up head downwards, and gagged him, and called upon him to become a Muslim, and the bishops they stripped naked and tied up with ropes. Then they beat the holy man with sticks, and demanded gold from him. One of his friends went out into the town and succeeded in borrowing 15,000 zuze, which was handed over to the Arabs by installments. Then having ransacked the Cell they took the 5,000 dinars, which they found, and the chalices and the patens, as well as the 15,000 zuze which the disciple had borrowed, and departed to destroy the church of Mar Shalita.

But at this moment the Christians received help from an unexpected quarter, for Khetam, or Hathom, the Takawor or king of Armenia, appeared with his troops, and partly by bribes and partly by force succeeded in saving the church which Rabban Sawma had built. The Patriarch managed to escape from his Cell and fled to the church, but on the following day, when he heard the fanatical Nawruz asking for him that he might kill him, he fled from the church and left King Hathom to deal with him. Hath6m gave gifts to Nawruz, i.e. bribed him for allowing Mar Yahbh-Allaha to escape, and then left Maraghah. The Syriac text calls the Armenian king Takpur, but Takpur represents the Armenian word Takavor, which means "king" or "prince."

A few days later Hathom set out for Tabhriz, the capital of the great province of Adhorbijan, and he took the Patriarch with him disguised as a servant. When they arrived there they found that Kazan, the son of Argh6n, who succeeded Baidu in 1295, had pitched his camp there. Whilst Hath6m was waiting for an opportunity to speak to Kazan on behalf of the Patriarch, Yahbh-Allaha kept himself hidden, but at length Hath6m told him to go to the king, and he went accompanied by the few men who had stayed with him. When he entered the presence Kazan asked him, "Whence comest thou?" and "What is thy name? "The Patriarch answered briefly and having blessed him, left the king in bitter grief and sorrow. The Court moved on to Mugan, or Mughan, or Mughkan, or Mugan, the capital of the district of the same name, which stretches from the base of Mount Sablan to the east coast of the Caspian Sea. According to Mukaddasi the city lay on two rivers, with gardens all round, and it was almost as large as Tabhriz. It probably stood on the site of Bajarvan, where the prophet Elijah is said to have discovered the Fountain of Life. For descriptions see the Arab geographers quoted by Le Strange, op. cit., pp. 175, 176.

When the Patriarch heard that Nawruz was in Tabhriz, he decided to leave the town, and on foot he managed to return to his Cell in Maraghah. He had nothing to hope for from Kazan, and took refuge in his Cell for a few days,. but the spies of Nawruz found out where he was, and again he sought safety in flight. That winter he sent a messenger to the king to describe his sad plight, but the man returned in haste as if fleeing for his life. In 1295 Nawruz brought a written authority to the Patriarch, ordering him to disgorge the 10,000 dinars which he had received from Kaikhato, and to escape a severe beating the Patriarch borrowed 2,000 dinars in the town and gave it to the Amir's men. The disciples managed to squeeze the Patriarch through an opening in the wall of the upper room in which he was confined, and having let him down by a rope he escaped. Whilst he was in hiding a renegade Christian came to demand 36,ooo dinars from him, and as he could not find the Patriarch he seized the men in the Cell, and beat them and tortured them, and hung them up head downwards on the walls during the days of bitter frost and snow. Their friends only saved their lives by paying the robbers 16,000 dinars (£8,000).

At the Easter Festival Mar Yahbh-Allaha sent a messenger to King Kazan at Mugan, and the Amirs took him into the presence and he delivered the Patriarch's message to him and his blessing. Whether the Patriarch had sent a large sum of money to the king, and his messenger had bribed the Amirs, is not stated, but it is very probable. In any case the king gave a Pukdana to him, and restored to him all his rights and privileges. He further ordered that all moneys extorted from the Patriarch should be returned to him and sent to him a gift of 5,000 dinars. When the king's Edict reached the Patriarch, he had the doors of his Cell opened, and his followers gathered about him again. A month or two later he set out for Ujan, where the king was, and on his arrival there Kazan received him with great honour, and seemed to regard him with affection.

In 1297 the Arabs again plundered the Patriarch's Cell in Maraghah, and carried off the great seal which Mangu Khan (see p. 32) had given to the Patriarch in his day (1251-6o), and the gold crown given by the Pope to Mar Yahbh-Allaha, and the silver throne given to him by Argh6n. On the following Sunday a serious riot broke out. The Arabs drove away the Amirs, and stoned the Christians and pulled down the walls of the Cell, and broke into the treasury of the church of St. George and carried off everything there was in it. Queen Bfirgesin Argi hid the Patriarch and the bishops with him in her house for five days, and then they fled to Shakat6 and afterwards to Siyah Kuh. When the king went to Hamadan early in 1297 the Patriarch went to him there, and Kazan issued an Edict and order that the people of Maraghah should be beaten until they restored to the Patriarch's Cell everything they had taken from it. As a result a- very small portion of the stolen property was returned to the Cell.

Soon after the riots in Maraghah serious trouble broke out in Arbil, and the Christians in the town were persecuted cruelly. A strong castle or fortress stood on the top of the hill on which the town was built, and the deep ditch which ran round it was partly enclosed by the town wall. Arbil was a busy trading centre, and there were many Nestorian traders in its bazaars. Mongol soldiers formed the garrison of the town, and the general population was made up of Muslims and Christians and Kayajy6 or "mountaineers," who were also Christians, and were soldiers of the king. One day one of the last-named shot and killed a well-known Arab of the town, and fighting broke out between the Arabs and Christians, and in a short time the whole town was in an uproar. There were agents of Nawruz in the town and they did all they could to embitter the strife with the view of killing the Christians. During Lent of the year, 1297, the soldiers captured the brother of Nawruz and his wife and children, and Kazan the king had them slain. This act gave new life to the rebellion, and the Arabs attacked the Fortress with battering rams and ballistae. They captured Mar Abraham, Metropolitan of Arbil, and many priests and believers, and some of them they killed, and some they sold as slaves. The Mongols and their Kurdish allies captured the Fortress, and looting became the order of the day; men who were bitter enemies made friends temporarily in order to rob the Christians. The king realized that Nawruz was the instigator and leader of the rebellion, and he sent out his soldiers to capture him. They discovered that he had fled to a fortress in Khorasan, and when the governor delivered Nawruz into their hands they cut off his head and sent it to Kazan.

But the fighting between the Syrians and Arabs went on with ever increasing bitterness, and King Kazan was greatly disturbed by the reports of it which reached him. At length he sent to the Patriarch Rashid ad-Din, the famous physician and historian who was put to death by the Mongol Il-Khan in 1318, and an Amir called Tarmadad, who proposed to Yahbh-Allaha that the Christians should evacuate Arbil and live upon territory which he would give them. The Patriarch could not agree to this suggestion, and when the king heard of his grief and sorrow, he gave orders that the Christians were to be fed at his expense and to stay in their homes in Arbil. A little later a peace was patched up between the Syrians and Arabs in Arbil, and to effect this cost the Patriarch 10,000 dinars, besides a certain sum of money drawn from the revenues of the Cell. In spite of this the Arabs continued their attacks on the Christians, and Nasir ad-Din persuaded King Kazan to decree that all Christians should pay the poll-tax.

In the winter of 1297 the Patriarch went to Mugan, and then on to Tabhriz and dwelt in the royal camp all the summer. The king showed him favour and gave him a new throne and a parasol, and the following winter he stayed in Arbil. A little later the king ordered him to return to Maraghah, and in 1299 he collected money for the building of his monastery. In 1300 Kazan paid a three days' visit to the Patriarch, and honoured him greatly. In 300-01 the Patriarch finished building his monastery, and consecrated the church in September, 1301. The cost of building the monastery was 420,000 zuze, or between £40,000 and £50,000. In 1302 the king bestowed a Paiza upon the Patriarch, and gave him many rich vestments. In 1303 the Patriarch went to Baghdad, which he had not visited for nine' years, and then he went to visit King Kazan, who was in camp at Hillah, and concluded with him arrangements that were very favourable to the Christians. He returned to Maraghah, where the king went to visit him, and gave the royal cloak which he was wearing to the Patriarch as a mark of his affection. The king passed the night in the monastery, and saw a vision in which three angels came to him and healed him of some disease which he had in his feet. On the following morning he gave the Patriarch a gold cross containing a piece of the wood of the True Cross, which had been sent to him by the Pope. Later in the year Kazan sent to him one of his own riding horses, and a robe of honour, and vessels of crystal and inlaid glazed porcelain (?) vases. In May, 1304, the king died and his body was brought to Tabriz and buried in the tomb which he had built there. He was succeeded by Uljaito, a son of Arghon, who ascended the throne in the following July.

Mar Yahbh-Allaha rejoiced greatly when Uljaito became king, for he had baptized him, and the young prince ran in and out of the Cell whenever he pleased, and he and the Patriarch were great friends. But whilst the boy was growing up he was indoctrinated with the tenets of Islam, and when he became king his feeling towards the Christians was one of hatred. When he met the Patriarch he treated him with courtesy and the honour which was his due, but the affection which he had at one time felt for him had departed. The Muslims had a good friend in him, and they tried to persuade him to turn the church in Tabhriz into a mosque, and to confiscate the endowments, and to seize the monastery in Maraghah,

In 1304--05 the Patriarch received the Pukdana, or Imperial authorization, to be the Patriarch of the East, and he went to Arbil and built a Cell there. In 1306 the poll-tax was imposed on the Christians, and though the Patriarch appealed to the king for its remission no change was made., In 1305 Uljaito completed the building of the city of Sultaniyah which was begun by his father Arghon; it lay about half way between Abhar and Zanjan, and was the capital city of the Il-Khan dynasty. In 1308, during a hunting expedition he visited the monastery at Maraghah, and the monks went out to meet him. He discussed the Christian religion with the director, and then went to the Cell of the Patriarch, and sat upon his throne, and discoursed freely and affably with them. He gave them five pieces of beautiful stuff, and promised to remit the poll-tax and every other burden laid on the monastery. The Patriarch was absent from the monastery when the king came there, but he followed him and overtook him at the river Gakto and succeeded in getting from him a special decree ordering that the Christians were not to be taxed. On his return to Tabhriz, Uljaito sent to the Patriarch a riding mule and a robe of honour, and he showed him many favours, and assigned to him the whole of the poll-tax collected in Arbil.

About this time the king condemned a certain Zayn ad-Din Balo to prison in Arbil for stealing the moneys entrusted to him to feed the soldiers, and he sent an Arab called Nasir there to keep guard over him. This man was of an evil disposition and joined the Arabs who wished to turn out the Christians from the Fortress, and assisted them secretly in storing arms and the munitions of war, and in planning attacks on the Christians. And now began the conspiracy which resulted in the massacre of Christians at Arbil. This Nasir and his brother Hajji Dalkandi and the Amir Suti succeeded in obtaining an Edict ordering the Christians to evacute the Fortress, and giving the Arabs power to take it by assault if they would not. The Patriarch was persuaded to come down, and he was taken to the monastery of Tar'il. The conspirators wished him to order the Christians to come down, but when he tried to get them to do so they refused, and would only go as far as the church. As soon as they were in the, church some of the Arabs fell upon them with swords, and as they rushed from the church others shot them with arrows; but the Christians managed to reach the gates where they fought with the Arabs the greater part of a day and a night. From that time on Christians were killed at sight in the streets of Arbil, some were stabbed, and some beaten to death, young women were stripped naked and chased through the streets, women with child were ripped open, and the children were killed and thrown in a heap at the city gate. The churches and houses of the Christians and the Cell of the. Patriarch were razed to the ground.

The remainder of the Syriac narrative contains a detailed account of the intrigues which were carried on by the Mongols and Kurds and Arabs against the Patriarch and the Christians of Arbil generally. They lied to the Patriarch and they lied to the king, who quietly but steadily supported the Muslims. Every now and then the king was shamed into showing a little kindness to the Patriarch and the Christians, but his officers knew that in his heart of hearts he hated them and they acted accordingly. The end and aim of all their effects was to eject the Christians from Arbil and to kill them. The Arabs captured Arbil in 13io and they slew every man whom they could not sell as slaves; the women, virgins and matrons they gave to any man who wanted them.

Meanwhile the Patriarch was a fugitive, without money, or servants, or baggage, and but for the gifts that were given to him secretly he would have starved. He went once more to the Royal Camp and saw king Oljaito and blessed him; he gave the drinking-cup into the king's hands, and the king placed the cup in the Patriarch's hand, but neither spoke a word. Then the Patriarch knew that there was no help to be got from the king and he retired from the presence broken-hearted. He transacted such business as was possible and then he returned to his monastery in Maraghah, fully determined never to approach the Mongol camp again. And he said, "The service of the Mongols is wearisome, i.e. loathsome to me." In the summer of the following year (1311) he went to Tabhriz to see his friend Irnadjin and was honourably entreated by him and his wife Kekh-shek, the daughter of King Ahmad. They gave him 10,000 dinars and two riding horses, and the Amir endowed the church of Mar Shalita, in which his parents and wives were buried, with the revenues of a village. In the following year 1312) the Amirs brought the Patriarch's case before the Council, and the king settled upon him an annuity of 5,000 dinars, and the revenues of certain villages near Baghdad. The Patriarch lived in his monastery for five years, and died in November, 1317; he was buried in his own monastery. During his Patriarchate he had ordained seventy-five bishops.


The Il-Khans with whom Mir Yahbh-Allaha came in contact were:--

1. ABGA, ABGHA, or ABAGHA, the eldest son of Hulagu Khan, who reigned from 1265-81. He married Mary, a natural daughter of the Emperor Michael Paleologus who had been sent to marry Hulagu, who died before her arrival.

He corresponded with the Pope and with Edward I, King of England, and a letter from the latter to him is printed by Sykes, History of Persia, vol. ii, p. 100. During his reign Marco Polo made his. journey through Persia to China.

2. AHMAD TAKUDAR OGHLU, a brother of Abhgha, reigned from 1281-84. He was baptized when a child and given the name of Nicholas, but as soon as he succeeded to the throne he declared himself to be a Muslim. Arghon, son of Abhgha, rebelled, and was at first defeated, but the army declared for him and Ahmad fled; he was soon captured, and he was put to death in Mongol fashion by having his back broken.

3. ARGHON, the son of Abhgha, reigned from 1284-91. He sent a mission to the Pope in 1285; another in 1287-88, a third in 1289-90, and a fourth in 1290-91. The texts of the Pope's letters to him, and translations of his letters to the Pope are given by Chabot in Appendix I of his work. Arghon proposed a joint attack on the Muslims in the Holy Land, but though every king and the Pope were willing to attack, no attack was made

4. KAIKHATO was the son of Abhgha and reigned from 1291-95. He was reckless and extravagant and indulged in excesses of every kind; the army abandoned him and he was strangled.

5. BAIDU, the cousin of Kaikhato, reigned for a few months during the summer of 1295. His army deserted him and went over to Kazan who ordered him to be murdered.

6. KAZAN, the son of Arghon reigned from the end of n2g5 to I3o4. One of his first acts was to declare himself a Muslim, and to repudiate the suzerainty of the Kakhans, because they were pagans. He supported the Muslims in all their excesses, and permitted his people to destroy churches and synagogues everywhere. He invaded Syria in I299 and defeated the Egyptians at Horns, but on his second invasion of that country in I3o3 he was defeated. He corresponded with European kings and the Pope who, strangely enough, believed that he was a Christian at heart. King Edward I of England sent Geoffrey de Langley on a mission to him, and he brought back a leopard in a cage. Kazan effected many great reforms in his country, and tried to rule with wisdom and justice. He was a great builder, and he built at Tabhriz a splendid mosque, a mausoleum, colleges, and a library, and a hospital and an observatory. He gathered together a number of learned men to staff these institutions, and they received good salaries, and the royal endowments were sufficient to provide for the upkeep of the buildings and the maintenance of a considerable body of students. He was the greatest of the fl-Khans.

7. MUHAMMAD KHUDABANDA, commonly known as ULJAITO, i.e. "the Fortunate " or "Lucky One," was the brother of Kazan and reigned from 1304-16. Though he was brought up as a Christian he embraced the tenets of Islam, but the sovereigns of Europe believed that his sympathies were entirely Christian.

8. ABU SA'ID, the son of Khudabanda reigned from 1316-35. He came to the throne when a boy of twelve, and though Mar Yahbh-Allaha did not die until the following year, it is very doubtful if the Patriarch had any communication with this king: Many of the nobles rebelled during the reign of Abu Said, who was a feeble ruler, and when he died a period of anarchy set in. One of the greatest nobles of the time was Husen Jalair, who had married a daughter of Arghon, and he and other Amirs set up one Khan after another, e.g. Muhammad (1336-38), Tugha Timur (1338-51), Jahan Timur (I339-41)~ Sati Beg (1339), Suleman (1339-43), Nushirwan (1344), etc. Jalair and his successors reigned from 1336-I411.


Christianity received no support from the feeble Il-Khans of the XIVth century, and though details are wanting, it is quite certain that the Nestorians were cruelly persecuted; the goods of their merchants were confiscated, their churches were destroyed, and those who refused to accept Islam and could not escape were slain. It is probable that large numbers became Muslims, and excused themselves for so doing by saying that it was better to accept a religion which proclaimed God and His Unity, than to revert to paganism and idolatry. Before the end of the XIVth century Nestorianism had practically ceased to be in Persia, Central Asia, and China but Patriarchs of the East were still consecrated at Seleucia-Ctesiphon, and there were many Nestorians in Baghdad and in the districts near Baghdad.

In 1392-93 Tamerlane (Timur-i-Leng, or the Lame Tim-hr) captured Baghdad, and nameless atrocities were perpetrated in the city by his soldiers; the Christians who managed to escape fled for their lives to the mountains of Kurdistan and the districts near Mosul. The power of the Nestorian Church had departed. About 1551, on the death of Simon VII, Patriarch of the East, a dispute broke out at Baghdad as to his successor, and some of the Nestorians appealed to Pope Julius III, and asked him to consecrate a Patriarch for them. There were two candidates for the throne, Simon bar-Mama and Sulaka; the latter went to Rome, had an audience of the Pope and was consecrated Patriarch by him in:1553. The Nestorians who were under the jurisdiction of Sulaka, or John Sulaka, were known as "Chaldeans," as are their descendants at the present day. Thus the Nestorians divided themselves into two sections, each having its own Patriarch, and quarrels between the two Patriarchs were not of rare occurrence.

Some of the Nestorian Patriarchs and bishops wished to join themselves to the Roman Church, and Elias II, Bishop, or "Patriarch" of Mosul sent two embassies, in 1607 and 1610, to solicit the friendship of Pope Paul IV; but nothing carne of it. Elias III, also Bishop of Mosul, in 1657 made proposals for union with the Church of Rome, and in his letter to Rome said he was ready to join the Church if the Pope would let the Nestorians have a place of worship of their own in the city, and would make no attempt to alter the doctrine or discipline of that sect. Naturally his proposals were rejected. The mountain Nestorians to the present day maintain that their Mar Shim'un is entitled to be regarded as the Patriarch of the Nestorians, as being a descendant of the Mar Shim'un, who was Patriarch in 1450. A list of the Nestorian and Chaldean Patriarchs will be found in Bar Hebraeus, Chron. Eccles., ed. Abbeloos and Lamy, tome iii, col. 566 ff.; and see Badger, Nestorians and their Rituals, vol. i, p. 145. The heads of the Nestorian communities at Diyar Bakr, Mosul and Wan are always called Yusuf, Elias, and Shim'un respectively. The last named resides at Kudshanis, near Julamerk. A good description of the village and the country round about will be found in Earl Percy's Highlands of Asiatic Turkey, London, 1901, p. 168 ff.


The greater number of the Nestorians live in the country of Kurdistan, and until recent years many were to be found in the country west of Urmiyah, and between Wan and Mosul. The first settlement of the Nestorians in Kurdistan seems to have taken place after their persecution by Kasan and Timur-i-Leng; Badger thought that there were no Christians in Kurdistan before the middle of the XIVth century. At that period the Kurds were quickly helped by the flight of the Nestorians into their country, for the newcomers were men of superior intellectual capacity, and brought with them the experience of traders, and the skill of craftsmen. In other words the Kurds and the Nestorians were useful to each. As time went on the Nestorians gained a great deal of power, and the Patriarch was the spiritual head of all the Nestorians in Persia and Kurdistan.

As a result of the passing of Kurdistan under the rule of the Turks in the first half of the XIXth century, and the intrigues of the native chief of the Kurds with them, serious trouble broke out about 184o and the Nestorians were the sufferers. In 1843 the house of the American Missionaries in Ashitha was seized by Zinir Beg and turned into a fortress garrisoned by 4oo Kurds. The Christians attacked the fortress and slew twenty of its garrison, but soon after Badr Khan Beg sent Zoo horsemen, who massacred men, women, and children and filled their bags with the ears which they cut off from the dying and the dead, and despatched them as a trophy to their master! Every church in the districts of Tiyari and Dez was destroyed, all the chiefs were massacred besides 3,000 of the laity, 30 priests, and 60 deacons,, and the mother, brother, and nephew of Mar Shim'un. The Porte issued orders to stop these proceedings, but Badr Khan Beg and Nur Allah refused to obey them, and they levied taxes when and how they pleased. The massacres in the province of Tehoma followed in 1846. Five hundred Nestorians were killed in cold blood, the churches were razed to the ground and the service books burnt, and all the villages were destroyed. The representatives of the Great Powers protested to the Porte, and to such good purpose that Turkish troops were sent against the Kurdish chiefs and they curtailed their power for mischief.

During the Great War, and in the troublous times which followed, the Nestorians again suffered, and their churches, houses, and homes were destroyed, the men were murdered, the women were violated, and the children were shamefully ill-used and, slain. The buildings of the European and American Missions at Urmiyah were destroyed; the printing presses smashed, and manuscripts and printed books alike were piled up in heaps and burnt. The general objects of the various missions to the Nestorians-Roman Catholic, American Presbyterian, the Archbishop of Canterbury's, and the Russian Mission are described, and their work well summarized by Mr. Athelstan Riley in the latter part of the article NESTORIANS, in the Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. xix, p. 409. The literary work which has been done by the great missions to the Nestorians is of priceless value. The Americans printed at Urmiyah the fine quarto edition of the Peshitta version of the Old and New Testaments in Syriac, and the modern version in the Fallaehi dialect in parallel columns. The Dominicans at Mosul have printed a fine folio edition of the Syriac Old and New Testaments, and the Archbishop of Canterbury's Mission printed the TAKSA, or service book. A list of all the books printed by the American Missionaries at Urmiyah and by the Dominicans at Mosul would fill several pages.


Some writers on Nestorianism assert that the Nestorian Church was reconciled to Rome in the year 1304, and others deny it, but as a matter of fact there is good reason to believe that in that year Mar Yahbh-Allaha III did write a letter at Masaghah to Pope Benedict XI in which he stated his creed in detail. As far as I know the text of the letter, which may have been written either in Syriac 'or Mongolian, has never been published, but a Latin version, of it is extant, and has been printed by Mosheim (Hist. Tart. Eccles., Appendix No. 43), and by Chabot (Histoire du Patriarche, p. 251 ff.): In his letter the Patriarch belauds the Pope and all his great and good works, and writes to him partly as an august spiritual potentate, and partly as a friend. With the opening paragraphs we need not deal, but the following extracts in which the Catholicus describes his belief are of importance. He, provided that we can be sure that the Latin translations are correct, and that they were made from a genuine letter of his, says:

I. Credimus in unum Deum aeternum, summe sapieutem, vivum, ornnium bonorum largitorem, omnipotentem; unam substantiam et tres per-sonas: Patrem, Filium et Spiritum sanctum unam deitatem: Patrem generantem, Filium generatum, Spiritum sanctum procedentem; unum dominum, unum adoratum, creatorem rerum visibilium et invisibilium, infigurabilem, incorporeum, et inimaginabilem super omnem intellectum, immensum et incomprehensibilem propter humani intellectus debilitatem. Quapropter ad aliquam fidelium manu ductionem dicimus et confitemur ipsum Patrem generantem sive loquentem, Filium autem genitum sive Verbum, Spiritumn autem sanctum tam Verbi quam loquentis esse Spiritum sive vitam; et propter hoc scriptum est in principio Genesis: Dixit Deus faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram [Gen. i. 26]. Sicut etiam videmus in sole ipsum corpus solare, et radium side lucem ab ipso exeuntem, et calorem ab utroque manantem: quae tria unum solem dicimus et non tres, sic et tres personas unum Deum.

II. Confitemur etiam quod in fine saeculorum una persona de tribus divinis, illa scilicet quam assimilavimus radio solari vel Verbo Dei, induit perfectam humanitatem de virgine Maria, propter salutem hominum et ut ostenderet nobis lucem veritatis, et fuit unita divinitas humanitati et humanitas divinitati inseparabiliter et sine fine. Et ista est fides nostra in Dominum nostrum, Jesus Christum, Deum nostrum, qui completus est Deus et completus homo in una persona, totus apud Patrem et totus in Matre. Et ab illa hora qua, per Gabrielem archangelum, ex parte Dei virgini Mariae annunciatio facta de filio nascituro, et dictum est ei: Ave gyatia plena, Dominus tecum, etc. [Luke i. 28] ex tunc. divinitas non dimisit humanitatem, nec in cruce nec in sepulchro: ita tamen quod divinitas pati non potuit, nec mori, nec aliquam poenalitatem sustinere.

III. Et confitemur nihilominus, quod domina nostra, virgo sancta Maria, genuit et peperit Deum et Dominum - nostrum, Jesum Christum, qui est homo perfectus et unitus Deo perfecto, sicut attestatur sanctum Evangelium, quando dixit angelus ad pastores: Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum, quia natus est vobis hodie salvator mundi, qui est Christus Dominus Deus, in civitate David [Luke ii. 10, 11]. Et nos etiam acceptamus et recipimus fidem et dicta omnium illorum quae ordinata fuerunt in Niceno concilio per sanctos Patres cccxviii, quorum orationibus nos Deus custodiat. Illorum ordinationem et dicta nos recipimus sicut dicta quatuor Evangelistarum, et sicut ordinationes Apostolorum, et sicut epistolas Pauli; elongamur et separamur ab omnibus qui dictis sanctis Patribus contradicunt.

From paragraph I, it is clear that the Patriarch believed that the Holy Spirit did proceed from the Son, whereas Rabban Sawma believed the contrary.

From paragraph II, we see that the Patriarch only acknowledges one Person, and not two as does Rabban Sawma; he also acknowledges the divine motherhood of the Virgin Mary, and subscribes to the Canons of the Council of Nicea. His recognition of the supremacy of the Pope is expressed thus:

Profitemur insuper;sanctum romanum summum pontificem et patrem universalem omnium fidelium Christi, et confitemur quod ipse est successor beati Petri, universalis vicarii Jesu Christi, super omnes filios Ecclesiae, ab Oriente usque in Occidentem cujus amor et dilectio in nostris cordibus est firmata, et nos sub ejus obedientia sumus, et requirimus ac imploramus suam benedictionem, et sumus parati ad omne ejus praeceptum; etc. Inclinamus cum salutatione et oratione sanctis et electis dominis nostris cardinalibus, et omnibus ahis praelatis, et regibus, et sacerdotibus, et religiosis, et baronibus, et fidelibus omnibus, qui obedientes sunt fidei Romanae Ecclesiae.

Scriptum feria secunda, in crastino Pentecostes xviii die mensis mail MDCXV ab Alexandro rege, in civitate Maraga, regno Persarum.

The year 1615 of the Era of Seleucus began on October 1, 1303, and the Patriarch arrived in Maraghah on the eve of Pentecost, i.e. on May 16, 1304.

Supposing the Patriarch's letter to be genuine, there is no doubt that he was anxious to join the Roman Church, but we have no right to assume that his views represented those of the Nestorian Church in India, Mesopotamia, Armenia, and Syria.



Of the early history of the Mongols no records seem to have been preserved. Authorities differ about the meaning of the name "Mongol," but the Chinese historians say that it means "brave." The Mongols are said to have existed when the kings of the Tang Dynasty were reigning, i.e. about 1766 B.C. They are described as a branch of the Hsi Wei, and they lived at the foot of the Burkhan Mountains, between the Onon and Kerulan rivers, being vassals of the Khitans and, later, of the Chinese Tartars. The Mongol writers speak of a semi-mythical ancestor called "Budantsar," and say that a descendant of his called "Kabul "succeeded in throwing off the yoke of the Chins, and in founding the "Great Mongol Nation." His grandson Yessugai added largely to the Mongol territories, and it was his son Temujine, by his wife Ogelou, who was the famous Jenghis, or Jenghiz, or Chingiz Khan.

When Yessugai died, several of the tribes revolted, but the brave widow Ogelou managed to keep those that were loyal together, and Temujine, at the age of 27, became Kakhan of the Arlids. Between A.D. 1187 and 1193 he increased his power and added largely to his dominions. He defeated the Merkits on Lake Baikal in 1203, and the Nimais in 1204, and in 1206 he was master of all Mongolia; and with the consent of all the Khans, he assumed the title of "Chingiz Khan;" i.e. "Greatest Khan." In 1208 he defeated Kushluh, chief of the Naimans, and Tukhtul, chief of the Merkits, and invaded China, and the three great divisions of his army were successful everywhere; he himself advanced as far as Wei Hai Wei, in the modern province of Shantung. The Chinese Emperor Hsfian Tsung sued for peace, and agreed to pay tribute, but Chingiz Khan continued to harry the country until at length he captured the capital Yen King. During the absence of Chingiz in China, Kushluh invaded the territory of the Uighurs, but the Muslims deserted Kushluh, who was a Christian, and his domains passed into the possession of Chingiz Khan. About this time Chingiz Khan made a treaty with Muhammad, Shah of Persia, which secured the' right of way for the Mongols to the countries on the West. But a party of Mongol merchants were murdered treacherously by one of the Shah's governors and their goods confiscated, and the envoy sent by Chingiz Khan to demand reparation was tortured to death. Thereupon Chingiz and his four sons Jutchi, Jagatai, Ogdai and Tule or Tului, set out from Kara Karam, marched through Almalid, crossed the Jaxartes, stormed Otrar and razed it to the ground, and slew, it is said, 160,000 of the 400,000 men who were sent to bar their progress. Bokhara and Samarkand were destroyed, and the Mongol generals invaded Georgia in 1222 and drove the Kipchacks out of their homes, and defeated the Russian armies on the Kaleza. Thus, in 20 years, Chingiz was lord of all the country from the China Sea to the banks of the Dnieper (Plate VI).

Chingiz died (1227) near the Liu-P'an Mountain, in the present Kansu province, and his body was taken to Mongolia and buried in the Valley of Ke Keeng. The vast Mongol Empire was then divided thus The country from Kanyahk, and Kharezm to Bulgar and Saksim was given to the family of Jutchi, the eldest son of Chingiz; the country from the border of the territory of the Uighurs to Bokhara, to Jagatai or Jargatai; and Ogotai (or Ogatai or Ogdai) received the country of the Naimans; and Tu1e became lord of the home country.

Ogdai succeeded Chingiz as Kakhan, and in 1234 he captured Pien, the capital of the Chins, and annexed North China; the Chinese Emperor Ai Tsung hanged himself. In 1236 Ogdai sent expeditions against Corea and the Sungs, and Eastern Europe. The Mongols invaded Russia and destroyed Rianzan, Moscow and Kieff, and then marched into Hungary and Poland. In 1241 Prince Batu took Esztergom by assault. Soon after this, news reached the Mongol princes that Ogdai (Plate VII) had drunk himself to death (December 11, 1241), and they evacuated Europe, and returned to Kara Karam.

Ogdai was succeeded by Kuyuk, or Kuyuek, who reigned some say three, and some say seven, years. His physicians and chief officials were Christians, and a church-tent stood close to the royal pavilion. Kuyuk was succeeded by Mengku, or Mangu, the eldest soil of Tule, and nephew of Ogdai, on July 1, 1251, and he promptly put to death his cousin's widow and the royal princes. Soon after his accession dissensions broke out in Persia, and Mangu sent his brother Hulagu to restore order. Hulagu marched through Samarkand and Kesh, crossed the Oxus, and by way of Balkh invaded Kohistan. The king, Rokn ad-Din Gfirshah II, was killed (1256), and 800,000 of his subjects were massacred. Hulagu then marched on to Baghdad, which he captured and pillaged in an atrocious fashion (February, 1258). Whilst at Baghdad Hulagu ordered his astronomer Nasir ad-Din to build an observatory at Maraghah. Hulagu next attacked Aleppo, which he captured and sacked, and went on to Damascus (1260), the governor of which had sense enough to surrender. Whilst preparing to capture Jerusalem, news of Mangu's death reached him, and having appointed Kitubuka commander of his army, he returned to Mongolia. When the Kuriltai, i.e. the assembly of Chiefs to elect a successor to Mangu, took place, Hulagu was empowered to rule over all the lands which he had conquered, but he declared himself to be an independent king. Thereupon he assumed the title of "Il-Khan," and so became the founder of the line of Il-Khan kings, who ruled over Persia until 1335

Whilst Hulagu was conquering in the West, his brothers Mangu and Kublai were gaining victory after victory in Southern China, and finally Kublai, the second son of Tule, who was famous even then for his good sense, and humanity and moderation, named himself "Kakhan," i.e. Khan-in-Chief. During his reign of thirty-five years (he died in 1294) he made the Mongol Empire the greatest in the world. He subjugated the whole of that part of China which lies to the south of the Yangtze river. He transferred his capital from Kara Karam to Kambulic, now known as Pekin, the "Ta Tu" or "Great Capital," and he made Kaiping his "Shang Tu" or "Second Capital." This tended to make him more of a Chinese Emperor than a Mongol Khan, and his Empire reached from the Yellow Sea in the East to the Black Sea on the West, and from Northern Mongolia in the North to Tonquin in the South He adopted the customs of the Chinese, and patronized their literature, and supported all native institutions. The Yuan Dynasty, founded by Kublai soon began to decline, and it came to an end in 1368. Though Kublai had become a convert to Lamaism, or the Faith of Tibet, he did all he could to make Christianity prosper in China. He gave permission to Jean de Montecorvin to build a church at Kambulic in 1292, but he seems to have pinned his faith to Lamaism, after his conquests in Tibet, as a powerful influence for good in his kingdom. The fact that Ser Marco Polo, the Venetian, was vice-president of Kublai's War Council says much for the Kakhan's broad minded-ness and toleration.


KUYUK, or Kuyuck, the third Kakhan (1248), had leanings towards Christianity, for he had a church-tent set up close to his royal pavilion. MANGU, the fourth Kakhan (1251), treated the Christians as he treated the Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and followers of Lamaism, that is to say, he favoured no one religion. He received with kindness the Mission sent to the Mongols by Louis IX, in 1252, under the leadership of William of Rubruck, and gave its members a soft answer, but about the same time the Mongols utterly refused to submit to the demands which the over-zealous John de Plano Carpini and Ascelinus and others made upon them. (See ROCKHILL, W. The Journey of William of Rubruck, London, 1900; and BEAZLEY, C. R. The Texts and Versions of John de Plano Carpini and William de Rubruquis, London, 1903.) Hulagiu Khan, brother of Kublai, the last of the Kakhans, and founder of the Il-Khan Dynasty, or Western Khans, was a Christian, and his mother was a Christian.3 He was a fanatical adversary of the Muslims. Having slain Rokn ad-Din Gurshah II, and laid waste Kohistan he marched on Baghdad, and besieged it. He battered down its walls, and entered it in triumph in January, 1258, and straightway massacred many thousands of the inhabitants; the Christians, however, were spared, and shut up in one of the quarters of the city, whilst he laid waste all the other quarters (Bar Hebraeus, ed. Bedjan, p: 505) (Plates VIII, IX). As a Christian, he rejoiced at the abolition of the 'Abbasid Khalifate. He intended to march into Palestine and to wrest Jerusalem from the Saljuks, who had gained possession of it in 1071, but after leaving Damascus he suffered a serious defeat at 'Ain Jalut at the hands of Al-Muzaffar Kutuz, and so Jerusalem escaped his wrath. The efforts of Hulagu to help the Christians were ably seconded by his wife, who was also a Christian, and was called "Dakuz (or Tokuz) Khatun" (Bar Hebraeus, ed. Bedjan, p. 491, 1. 15). She is described as "the believing Queen, and a true Christian," who" raised up the horn of the Christians in all the earth."This lady had been his father's wife, but Hiulagu took her to wife "according to the custom of the Mongols." She died during "the days of summer," in the year her husband died, "and there was great mourning among the Christians throughout the world at the departure of these two great lights, who made the Christian Faith to triumph" (Bar Hebraeus, ibid., p. 521). Hulagu had for a long time wished to marry Mary, a daughter of Michael VIII Palaeologos (1261-83), and the princess was dispatched to Mongolia in due course. According to some authorities Hulagu died soon after her arrival, and according to others she did not arrive until after his death, when she became the wife of Abhaka, Hulagu's son and successor. She is probably to be identified with the "great Queen Kuthai Khatun," who went in person to Maraghah, and led out the Christians, who carried crosses hanging on spears, to perform the ceremony of the "Blessing of the Waters "on the day of the Epiphany (Bar Hebraeus, ibid., p. 539, at the foot). Arghon, the son of Abhaka, had at least two Christian wives, and some of his children were baptized. Kaikhato, his brother, treated the followers of all religions with respect, but he was a Christian at heart, and in his days Christianity flourished. After a short reign of four years (1291-95) he was murdered, and his brother Baidu occupied the throne for four or five months; before the end of 1295 he too was murdered, and was succeeded by Kazan, a son of Arghon. This Khan was a good Christian, and a true friend of the Christians, as will be seen from the narrative on p. 50 f.; he died in 1304 and was succeeded by his son Oljaito, who was, when a child, a pupil of the Nestorian Patriarch, Yahbh-Allaha III. But when quite young he absorbed the doctrines of Islam, and the Arabs learned to know him as a friend and ally. During his reign the Nestorian Church was destroyed in China, Central Asia, 'Irak al-Ajami and Mesopotamia. The dynasties of the Kakhans and the II-Khans lasted for about 160 years, i.e. from about 1200-1360.


The Mongolian characters are derived from those of the Uighfirs, which were in turn derived from the letters of the Syriac alphabet which was brought into Mongolia by the Nestorians. They have been influenced by Indian and Tibetan scribes, and the Mongolian script was brought into its present form by learned Lamas in the XIIIth century. The Tibetan Lama called Phags-pa is said to have introduced the alphabet called Galik. The Mongolian characters are written perpendicularly from the top of the page to the bottom (like the Chinese), and the lines follow from left to right (Li Ung Bing, Outlines of Chinese History, Shanghai, 1914, p. 208).


The religion of Muhammad the Prophet began to decay in Persia, Syria and Palestine, and Eastern Europe as soon as the Mongols began their campaigns in the West. The Mongols destroyed every person and thing that opposed their progress, and they turned the regions over which they passed into wastes; the Muslims suffered greatly as being in Mongol eyes the enemies of God and man. The Christian princes and kings of Eastern Europe, and the Popes of Rome, endeavoured to make treaties and alliances with the Mongols, and sent many Missions to them, but none of these potentates realized that the Mongols only wished to gain possession of Jerusalem because they wanted to destroy the Arabs who were in Syria and in Palestine, and to massacre their Saljuk supporters. When the Mongol Kakhans and Khans saw that there was no military assistance to be gained from Europe, their Christian_ zeal began to abate, and the Western Mongols began to fraternize with Syrian and Egyptian Muslims, and Islam began to make progress among them. At length Takudhar (died 1284), the son of Hulagu by his wife Kuthai Khatun, embraced the Faith of the Children of Hagar (Hagarenes), even whilst he was showing the greatest kindness to the Christians, for he reduced their taxes, and made splendid gifts to the churches and monasteries. He was also known as "Ahmad," but whether he adopted this Arab name to indicate his conversion to Islam, or whether it was given him by his family and people is not certain. (For his reign, see Bar Hebraeus, ibid., p. 546.) The astute generals of the Arab armies in Western Asia made no great effort to destroy Christianity among the Mongols during the lifetime of Kublai Khan, for it was he who had given the Patriarch Yahbh-Allaha III, when a young man, permission to go to Jerusalem, and had furnished him and his companion with a "Yarlikh," or "Pulkdana," i.e. a written document which showed all whom it might concern that they had his authority to travel. But when Kublai Khan died in 1294, the Muslims began to rebel against the Mongols, and very soon the Arabs everywhere rose against the Christians. The last of the Il-Khans were lazy and feeble men, and were '-powerless to stay the inroads of the Arabs from the South and West. Churches and monasteries were looted and burnt, and if they escaped this fate they were turned into mosques; the Christians were attacked by Mongols and Arabs alike, and their possessions were carried off, and their houses q~ burnt. The young men were sold as slaves, the 'young women were drafted into harims, and the aged, both male and female, died of disease and starvation in the streets. The. Arabs hated the Mongols both as men and as Christians, and their memories of the atrocities committed at Baghdad by Hulagu, nerved them to fight to the death, sparing none.



This venerable monument is so important for the history of Nestorianism in China., that it is necessary to supplement the brief statements made about it above (see p. 12) with the following details. Much has been written about the Stele, and one of the most interesting accounts of it is given by H. Havret, in his La stele chritienne de Si-ngan fou, Paris, 1895. He supplies a facsimile of the whole of the Chinese and Syriac texts, with a translation, and a series of chapters full of the most useful information. The reproduction of the Stele given above (Plate III) and the drawing of the Cross upon it (Plate X) have been made from his work. In 1916 Professor P. Y. Saeki, of Tokyo, under the title The Nestorian Monument in China, published a full history of the Stele, and reproduced the texts in type, and added English translations and many luminous notes thereon. The Stele originally stood in the temple of Ch'ung-sh6ng-ssu, which was situated outside the western gate of the city of Hsi-an-fu in long. 109° 30' and 34° I7' North Lat. In June, 1907, Dr. Fritz von Holm visited the city with the view of attempting to purchase it by any kind of means from the local authorities. When the Governor of the Province of Shenshi heard of this, he ordered the Stele to be removed from the place where it had stood since it was discovered in A.D. 1625(?) to the Pei-lin, or "Forest of Tablets," where a considerable number of stone monuments are housed. Dr. Fritz von Holm failed to purchase it, but he succeeded in obtaining a very faithful and beautiful replica of it, which he transported to America and deposited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on the 14th June, 1908. The material of the Stele is black, sub-granular, oolithic limestone from the quarries of Fu-p'inghsien. The Monument is a little more than g feet in height, 3 feet 6 inches in width, and 12 inches in thickness, and it weighs about two tons. The sculptured decorations on the rounded portion represent an immense Pearl placed between the two mythical creatures called "Kumbhira," which are of Buddhist origin. Under the Pearl is a triangle of double lines, with concave sides, and under the apex there are cut in outline: 1. A cross, resting on a cloud, 2. A lotus flower. 3. Two floral sprays or branches of a flowering shrub (see Plate X). The Cross represents Christianity, the Cloud Muhammadanism, and the Lotus Buddhism; the symbolism of the floral sprays is unknown to me. The cross seems to be a floriated variety of the Maltese cross, and probably represents some cross which the Nestorian monks had seen in the West, perhaps in sculptured reliefs in Byzantine buildings. It has been compared with the cross on the altar slab from the tomb of St. Thomas (see above, p. 8), but the resemblance is not very close.

More useful for comparison are the reproductions from rubbings of two crosses published by the Rev. A. C. Moule in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for April, 1928, pp. 448-53. No. 1 was found in the ruins of the Shih-tzti-ssu, or Monastery of the Cross near Pekin which, Mr. Moule thinks, may mark the site of the cave in the mountain in which Bar Sawma lived for seven years. These crosses stood at the corners of the terrace in front of the Temple Hall; on the cross (No. 2), which stood at the south-east corner, is a Syriac inscription which, according to the Peshitta, reads "Look ye Onto Him, and hope in Him" [and your faces shall not be put to shame] (Ps. xxxiv. 5). The Hebrew text has "They looked to Him, and were lightened, and their faces were not put to shame." In the case of two other crosses published by Mr. Moule (op. cit., p. 451) the shape is different: the arms axe quite plain and their ends are pointed. No. F was found in 1638 in the Shui-lu Monastery, in the city of Ch'fian-chow, and No. 2 on the shore of the East Lake, a mile outside the east gate of Ch'uanchou. In No. 1 the cross springs from a lotus flower, and in No. 2 from a cloud. For descriptions of other Chinese crosses the reader is referred to the works quoted by Mr. Moule in his interesting article (p. 453).

Under the triangle containing the cross (Plate Xl), the cloud, and the lotus, are engraved, the nine clearly cut, large Chinese characters, arranged vertically in three lines which form the "Titular Heading" of the Stone. They are thus translated by Professor P. Y. Saeki: "The Monument Commemorating the Propagation of the Ta-chin Luminous Religion in the Middle Kingdom." The inscription below it, a portion of which is reproduced, consists of one thousand nine hundred Chinese characters, fifty Syriac words, and seventy-two names of Nestorians in the old Estrangela Syriac characters.

The historical portion of the Chinese text is very important. It states that one A to-pen (see Professor Saeki's notes), of the kingdom of Ta-chin (Judea, Syria) came to China in A.D. 635~and arrived in Ch'ang-an, and the Emperor sent his minister, Fang Hsiuan-ling, with a guard of honour to bring him to the palace. He brought with him the Sutras (i.e. the Scriptures) which were translated in the Imperial Library, and His Majesty, having studied the "Way," became convinced of its truth and gave special orders for its propagation. In 638 he issued a Rescript declaring that "This Teaching is helpful to all creatures, and beneficial to all men. So let it have free course throughout the Empire." A Ta-ch'in monastery was built in the capital and 21 priests were appointed to it. The Emperor Kao-Tsung (650-53) caused monasteries to be built in every prefecture, and made A-to-pen the Great Patron and Spiritual Lord of the Empire. The Emperor HsuanTsung (712-55) ordered the royal princes to set up altars in the monasteries. The Emperor Su-Tsung (756-62) rebuilt the monasteries of the Luminous Religion in Ling-wu and four other countries, and the Emperor Tai-Tsung (763-79) walked in the Way of the Silent-operation. And his successor likewise observed the Luminous Religion.

The colophon says that the Stele was set up in the second year of the Chinn-chung period, i.e. A.D. 781, in the time of the Nestorian priest Ning-Shu, and when Henan-fshe' II was Catholicus and Patriarch. The latter sat from A.GR. 1085 = A.D. 774(= A.H. 157) to 780. He died the year before it was set up, but the news of his death had not reached China when the text was being engraved. A paragraph in Syriac says that it was set up by Yazdbuzid, a priest of Kumdan, son -of Milio, a priest from Balka, a city of Tahuristan in the year of the Greeks 1092 = A.D. 781. Then follow in Chinese and Syriac characters, the names of seventy-two officials of the Nestorian Church and monks. After a long review of the various theories about the provenance of the Stele, Professor Saeki decides that it was found at some place between Hsi-an-fu and Chou-chih, in A.D. 1625. The name of its -finder is unknown, and Mr. Moule thinks that it was set up first at Chou-chih and removed to Hsi-an-fu at a later period.




(1)4 By the Power of our Lord Jesus Christ I begin to write the History of the Father of Fathers, and Governor (Mara) and Head of Pastors, MAR YAHBH ALLAHA Catholicus and Patriarch of the East, and of RABBAN SAWMA, the Visitor-General of the Eastern (i.e. Nestorian) Turks. O our Lord, help me, and in Thy mercy bring me to the end [of the work]. Amen.


God, the Lord of the Universe, the Merciful and Gracious, in the superabundance of His grace hath brought all this (i.e. the visible universe) into being. And that the race of mankind might be perfected in the knowledge of the truth, and in good works (2), for the leading of the doers of good, and directing in the right way those who could step upwards, He sent His only-begotten Son down [to earth], and He put on human flesh and hid His glory, and from behind His human covering He made to shine forth the rays of His light. He hath annulled the laws which were brutal, defective, and coarse, and hath spread abroad [in their place] commandments that are spiritual, perfect, and refined. He hath done away the sacrifices of animals by offering as a sacrifice His Body and His Blood, and He hath made the whole world rich by the wisdom of His knowledge. He hath spread out the net of His life-giving Gospel, by means of His holy disciples in every country and quarter of the and He hath cast the good seed of His preaching in all the earth. And the four quarters of the universe were illumined by their disciples after them, and they were also lighted up by the Orthodox Faith, and by the glory of the Royal Trinity, and were made to be glorious by good (or beautiful) actions and works that were perfect.

For the Word can neither be rejected nor made to be of no effect, for the Framer of the Law hath established it and sealed it, saying, "Behold, I Myself am with you all the days, to the end of the world,"(Matt. xxviii. 20). Now to the beginning (var., promise), cleaveth the reward. Little by little, work (i.e. realization) followeth the word until at length it maketh those who were without the Law sons of God. For the Indians (Henduwaye), and the Chinese (Sinaye), and other Oriental nations from various countries, became restrained and submitted to the bridle of the fear of God, and their emotions and their understandings were anointed by the Spirit. For a good disposition availeth nothing if the mind and the actions do not agree with the virtues, and the gift [of the Spirit] is not withheld when good actions and healthy intentions are coupled with a blame-worthy disposition. In what cloth it profit the Jews, who are of the seed of Abraham, seeing that they have become aliens to the household of God? And in what way do the Gentiles suffer [through not being of the seed of Abraham] seeing that they have received [the Spirit] and have become members of the household of God? To-day the Turks (Turkaye) have bowed their necks under the yoke of the lordship of God, and they believe and hold firmly the word of the Lord with their whole heart. Every man who will not forsake father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, and take up his Cross and come after Me (3) is not worthy to be my disciple (Luke xiv. 26, 27).

Now the hearing of this perfect commandment straightway made the men to marvel, the two warriors about whom the narrative is ready to speak, and they cast away their longings, rejected parents and children, and in short, renounced all the dominion (i.e. influence) of their bringing up. And, like swift eagles, they renewed the youth of their minds in works of toil and laborious lives until they attained their true Hope, and from those labours which they had planted, they received for their perfect sustenance the delicious fruits for which they longed.

Now therefore we will speak about the race of each of them separately, and about [their] country, and the different way in which each was brought up, and how they dwelt together, and the mode of life of each. And in the midst of their history we will write down some account of the things which happened in their time,. to themselves, and by means of them, and on account of them, and we will describe thing by thing as it took place.



There was a certain man who was a believer, and he was a nobleman and a fearer of God. He was rich in the things of this world, and he was well endowed with the qualities of nature; he belonged to a famous family and a well-known tribe. His name was SHIBAN the Sa'ora (i.e. the Inspector or Visitor--Periodeutes). He dwelt in the city which is called KHAN BALIGH or KHAN BALIK (i.e. Pekin), that is to say (4) the royal city in the country of the East. He married according to the law a woman whose name was KEYAMTA. And when they had lived together for a long time, and they had no heir, they prayed to God continually and besought Him with frequent supplications not to deprive them of a son who would continue [their] race. And He who giveth comfort in His gracious mercy received their petition, and He showed them compassion. For it is His wont to receive the entreaty of those who are broken of heart, and-to hearken unto the groaning of those who make supplications and petitions [to Him]. "Everyone who asketh receiveth; and he who seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it is opened to him "(Matt. vii. 8), He said, confidently concerning the certain hope. And behold, this is performed for both orders (i.e. sexes), namely, men and women, when petitions are presented with a right intention. For behold, Hanna, the wife of Halkana was not prohibited, seeing that she made entreaty with a right object (I Sam. i. 10 ff.), and the wife of Menokh (Manoah) was not rejected, and she received the angel readily in her chamber (Judges xiii. 2 f.).

Now God made the spirit of conception to breathe upon the woman Keyamta, and she brought forth a (5) son, and they called his name "SAWMA"[i.e. the son who was obtained by fasting; his full name was "BAR SAWMA,"i.e.; the "son of the fast."]. And they rejoiced [with] a great joy, neighbours of his family and his relations rejoiced at his birth.

And when they had brought him (after a praiseworthy system of education) to the period when he was capable of receiving instruction, they handed him over to a worthy teacher, and before him (i.e. under his direction) they trained him diligently in ecclesiastical learning; and they betrothed him to a maiden and rejoiced in him. He was held to be worthy to receive the grade of priest, and he was numbered among the ranks (?) of the clergy, and he became Keeper in the church of above-mentioned city. He led a life of strict chastity and humility, and he devoted himself with great diligence to the acquisition of spiritual excellences, and he struggled to make himself fit for the things of the world which is to come. And when he was twenty years of age the divine fire was kindled in his heart, and it burned up the brambles (or thorny growth) of sin, and cleansed his chaste soul from impurity and contamination of every kind. For he preferred more than any other thing whatsoever the love of his Lord, and, grasping the plough, he was unwilling to look behind him (Luke ix. 62). He cast away forthwith the shadow of the world, and renounced straightway the desirable things thereof. (6) He esteemed dainty meats as things which had no existence, and he rejected wholly the drinks which make a man drunk.

Now when his parents perceived this, great pain overtook them, and acute sorrow cleaved to them, because their only son was separating himself from them. They rose up and with broken hearts made supplication to him, and brought before him promises of things of this world, saying, "Why, O our precious son, is separation from us beloved by thee? How is it that our affliction is desired by thee? Why is our mourning sweet in thy sight? Consider now. To whom will our wealth revert? Think, who is our heir? Ponder well who will be the master of the [produce of] our toil? How can it possibly be pleasing to thee for our seed and name to be blotted out? Why doth the thought of thy heart suggest that strangers should be our heirs?"And having persuaded him with tears in this manner, and having stirred up grief in him by their lamentation and talk similar [to that given above], he hearkened to them outwardly, and dwelt with them as far as his body was concerned, but very unwillingly. And during the three years in which he ministered to his parents according to the body, he never (7) ceased from his toil, and he contended continually in his laborious career.

And when [his parents] saw that their exhortations were of no avail, and that, in comparison with the love of Christ, their words were accounted as nothing, they left him to perform his desire. Then he divided all his possessions, that is to say, his apparel and his clothing generally (or furniture), among the poor, and took the garb of the monk; and he received the tonsure from the holy and pious father, Mar Giwargis (George) the Metropolitan. And he began to toil in the vineyard of his Lord with the hope of the kingdom which is to come, and the confidence the possession of heavenly happiness, and that he would receive the whole dinar as his wages. (Matt. xx. 1-16). He set apart a cell for himself and he shut himself up therein seven years; and after that [period] he decided to remove himself from the children of men, and to practice himself in the ascetic life in the mountain, in a place which was wholly isolated, so that he might rest there [undisturbed] in his life as a recluse. Then he set out and went a journey of one day from their [i.e. his parents'] city, and he elected to dwell there. And he found (8) a certain place where there was a cave, and there was by the side of it in that mountain a spring of water. And he dwelt there peacefully and thanked his Lord, which held him to be so worthy that at length the report of him went forth in that region, and men used to gather together about him to hear his words, and honour was set apart for him (i.e. ascribed to him) by every man.



In the foreknowledge of God everything is known. And the thoughts of the children of men, whether they belong to the right hand (i.e. be good), or whether they belong to the left hand (i.e. be bad), all of them, even before they are formed in the breast, are revealed unto Him. He therefore, in accordance with their character, elects and makes righteous [if they be good], and because of them [if they be bad] He chastiseth and punisheth. Now unto Moses it was said, "Behold, I have given thee [as] God to Pharaoh."(Exod. vii. I). And his election maketh known concerning the good disposition [of Moses] (9) and the hardness of the heart of Pharaoh. For even before Pharaoh existed, it was known [to God] that he would be hard: [of heart], and he was rejected. For unto Jeremiah God said, "Before I had formed thee in the belly I knew thee, 'and before thou didst go forth from the womb I sanctified thee and gave thee to be a prophet to the nations"(Jer. i. 5). And Paul said, "God hath not cast aside His people who from the very beginning were known to Him"(Rom. xi. I, 2), because assuredly, of [their] good will and pure thoughts. Now, certain characteristics of election make themselves visible in the person of him that is elected, and certain radiances shine forth from him which makes known that he is worthy of grace. The man who hath an enlightened mind perceiveth these, but the man who hath not an understanding mind knoweth them not. Since the person about whom we are going to speak was elected because of his superior discipline (or, exalted life), it is necessary for us to describe the manner of his election, and show how of a certainty it contributed to the perfect will.

There was, in the city of KAWSHANG, of the country of the East, a certain righteous and believing man (10), pure and spotless, who served God continually in His church, and observed His laws strictly and carefully. [The city of Kawshang, i.e. Kung-Tschang lay between Pekin and Tangut, and was about fifteen days' journey from the former city. Chabot would identify it with Ho-tchung-fu in the province of Shan-si.] His name was BAYNIEL; he was an archdeacon and he had four sons. The youngest of them [who was born in the year of our Lord 1245] was called MARKOS (Mark), and he was trained in ecclesiastical learning more than all his brethren. . . . . . . . .[The text is defective here, or some words have been omitted.] and they admonished (or exhorted) him concerning these and much like matters, and it seemed to them that they might be talking rather to a statue than to a rational man. But even after suffering affliction in many ways he did not turn back from his course, and his mind did not resist from its quest. On the contrary he made straight his aim, and after fifteen days of great labour he arrived at the place where RABBAN SAWMA was. And he gave the salutation of peace to RABBAN SAWMA, who rejoiced in him and received him gladly.

And after MARK had rested and was refreshed RABBAN SAWMA asked him, saying, "My son, whence comest thou? And how did it happen to thee that thou hast come to this mountain? (11) In what city do thy kinsfolk dwell? Who is thy father, and whose son art thou?"

And MARK answered him, saying, "I am the son of Bayniel the archdeacon of the city of Kawshang, and I am called 'Mark.' "

And RABBAN SAWMA said unto him, "What is thy reason for coming to me with such labour and fatigue?"And MARK said unto him, "I wish to become a monk (or anchorite). Because I heard the report of thee I dropped everything and have sought thee; deprive me not of my desire."And RABBAN SAWMA said unto him, "O our brother, this path is difficult. Even the old [and experienced] monks endure the hardness thereof with the greatest difficulty; shall I permit youths and children to Journey on it?"And having besought him for many reasons to return to his parents, and MARK having refused to do so, RABBAN SAWMA admitted him [to his cell] and taught him; and he clothed him in a woollen garment, and made him to labour in the ascetic life. After three years MARK received the tonsure, that is to say the garb of the monk, from the pious Metropolitan MAR NESTORIS (Nestorius) on the first day of the week, or the Sunday [when the prayer beginning] "Rukha Paraklita"is said. And he continued to perform many ascetic labours and kept the fasts which lasted all day until the evening. And [the monks] in that mountain used to toil in (12) the cultivation of purity and holiness, and they were comforted by God unto Whom they had committed their souls.



One day they meditated, saying, "It would be exceedingly helpful to us if we were to leave this region and set out for the West, for we could then [visit] the tombs of the holy martyrs and Catholic Fathers and be blessed [by them]. And if Christ, the Lord of the Universe, prolonged our lives, and sustained us by His grace, we could go to Jerusalem, so that we might receive complete pardon for our offences, and absolution for our sins of foolishness. Now although RABBAN SAWMA opposed RABBAN MARK, and [tried to] frighten him with the toil of the journey, and the fatigue of travelling, and the terror of the ways, and the tribulations that would beset him in a (13) foreign country, RABBAN MARK burned to set out on the road. His mind seemed to reveal to him that there were treasures laid up for him in the West, and he pressed RABBAN SAWMA with his words, and importuned him to depart. And the two of them having agreed together that neither of them should be separated from his companion, even if one of them might have to submit to what was evil for his sake, they rose up and distributed their furniture, and the objects which they used in everyday life, among the poor, and they went to that city (i.e. Pekin) so that they might take companions for the journey [i.e. join a caravan] and provide themselves with food for the way.

Now when the Christians who were living there became acquainted with them, and knew their intention, they gathered together about them so that they might make them abandon their plan. And they said [unto them}, "Peradventure ye do not know how very far off that region is to which ye would go? Or, perhaps ye have not the least idea in your minds, or have forgotten, how difficult it will be for you to travel over the roads, and that ye will never reach there? Nay, sit ye down here, and strive to perform the works whereunto ye have been called. For it is said, 'The kingdom of heaven is within you'"(Luke xvii. 21). And RABBAN SAWMA and RABBAN MARK replied, "It is a long time since we (14) put on the garb of the monastic life, and we have renounced the world; we consider ourselves to be dead men in respect of it. Toil doth not terrify us, neither doth fear disturb us. There is, however, one thing which we ask of you: for the love of Christ pray for us. And ye shall cast away the word which would produce doubt (or hesitation), and shall make supplication to God that our desire may be fulfilled."[And the Christians of that city] said, "Depart in peace."And they kissed each other, and parted with bitter tears and distressful words, saying, "Depart in peace. And may our Lord, Whom ye seek, be with you, and may He allot to you that which is pleasing to Him, and will be of help to you! Amen."

And RABBAN SAWMA and RABBAN MARK came to the city of KAWSHANG. And when the people of the city and the parents of RABBAN MARK heard that these two monks had come there, they went out to meet them with joy, and they welcomed them with gladness and delight, and they escorted them into the church with great honour. And they enquired of them how they had come to make the journey thither. Now they thought that the two monks were going to tarry with them, and that RABBAN MARK had done so in order that he might be near the people of his family (I5). And when they knew of a certainty that they were going to Jerusalem, and that they had made their plan to travel to the West, they suffered greatly and were sorely afflicted.

And the report of the arrival of the two monks reached the lords of that city, KONBOGHA (i.e. Sun-worshipper) and IFOGHA (or IBOGHA) (i.e. Moon-worshipper), the sons-in-law of the King of Kings, KUBLAI KHAN (Plate XII), and as soon as they heard the report they sent messengers and had the two monks brought to the Camp. And they received them with gladness, and the fire of love for them burned in their breasts. And when the Lords knew that they were "going to flee from us,"they began to say unto them, "Why are ye leaving this country of ours and going to the West? For we have taken very great trouble to draw hither monks and fathers from the West. How can we allow you to go away?"RABBAN SAWMA said unto them, "We (16) have cast away the world. And as long as we live in the society of men there will be no peace to us. Therefore it is right that we should flee because of the love of Christ, Who gave Himself unto death for our redemption. Whatsoever is in the world we have cast behind us. Although your love moveth us not to depart, and your gracious goodness would hold us fast, and your alms are bestowed upon us lavishly; and although it is grateful to us to sojourn with you, we remember the Lord's word which saith, 'What shall it profit a man if he possess the whole world and lose his soul? And what shall a man give as a substitute for his soul?' (Matt. xvi. 26). We earnestly desire the separation, but wherever we shall be we shall always remember, according to our feebleness, both by night and by day, your kingdom in [our] prayers."

And when the Lords of the city saw that their words had no effect upon them, and that they would not yield to their persuasion, they selected for them gifts, namely, beasts on which to ride, and gold, and silver, and wearing apparel [and rugs]. Then the two monks said, "We have no need of any [of these things]. For what can we do with these possessions? (17) And how can we possibly carry such a weight [as] this?"And the kings mentioned above replied, "Ye have no knowledge of the length of this journey, and the expenses which it demands. We, however, do know, and we advise you not to set out empty [handed]; if ye do ye will be unable to arrive at the place which ye have decided to be your destination. Accept then these gifts from us as a loan (or trust), and if some occasion of necessity should befall you, spend what ye need from them; if, on the other hand, the necessity does not arise, and ye arrive safe and sound, distribute them among the monasteries and habitations of the monks which are there, and the Fathers (i.e. Bishops), so that we may enjoy association with our Western Fathers. For it is said, 'Let your superfluity be [a supply] for those who are in want' "(2 Cor. viii. 13). Then the two monks, seeing that the kings were giving with a sincere heart, accepted what they gave to them. And they bade farewell to them sorrowfully, and they shed tears wherewith joy was mingled.

And they came from thence to the city of TANGOTH [i.e. TANGKUT, or TANGAT, or THANGCHU, a country in Central Asia; its capital was HIATCHEU, or NING-HIA-FU]. When the people of that city heard (18) that RABBAN SAWMA and RABBAN MARK had come there in order to go to Jerusalem, they went forth eagerly to meet them, that is to say, old men and women, young men and youths, and boys and young children, for the people of TANGOTH were ardent believers, and their minds were pure. And they loaded the two monks with gifts of every kind, and they received their blessings, and a crowd escorted them on their way, and shed tears, saying, "The Lord Who hath elected you to the honour of His service shall Himself be with you. Amen."

And from there they went to the country of LOTON [? KHOTAN, or HO-THIAN, or YUTHIAN, a city between TANGOTH and KASHGAR], a toilsome and fatiguing journey of two months; the region was a bare and barren desert and it was without inhabitants, because its waters were bitter, and no crops are sown there. And on the whole journey there were only eight days when, with the greatest difficulty, was sweet water found which the travellers could carry with them.6 And in the days when they arrived at LOTON it happened that a war was raging between the King of Kings (19) KUBLAI KHAN and King OKO ['O-'ho, Commander-in-chief of the army of Mien?]. And OKO had fled from him and had entered [this] country, and destroyed thousands of men therein. The caravan roads and ways had been cut, and grain (?) was scarce and could not be found; and many died of hunger and perished through want.

And after six months the two monks went forth from that place and came to the country of KASHKAR [or KASHGAR, a city on the frontiers of CHINA and TURKESTAN]. And they saw that the city was empty of its inhabitants, because it had been already plundered by the enemy. And because the aim of the monks was right, and they pleased God with all their hearts, He delivered them from every affliction, and no suffering attacked them, and He saved them from obstructions by highway robbers and thieves.

And they came to the place where King KAIDO [a nephew of KUBLAI KHAN] was encamped by the Teleos (i.e. TALAS). And they went into his presence, and prayed that his life would be preserved, and they blessed his kingdom, and they asked him for a written order so that no man in his country might do them harm. And with the greatest difficulty (20) and in a state of exhaustion whereto fear was added, they arrived at KHORASAN, [a province of north-eastern Persia, which lay between Persian 'Irak and Afghanistan]. Having lost the greater part of what they had on the road, they went to the monastery of Saint MAR SEHYON, which was in the neighbourhood of the city of TUS [the capital of KHORASAN], and they were blessed by the bishop who lived therein and by the monks. And they thought (i.e. felt) that they had been born into the world anew, and they gave thanks unto God in Whom they had trusted; they had placed their hope in Him, and had been delivered, for He is the sustainer and helper of every one who maketh entreaty unto Him.

And having enjoyed the conversation of those brethren they set out to go to ADHORBIJAN [a frontier province of Persia, on the north-west], so that they might travel from there to BAGHDAD, to MAR DENHA, the Catholicus [he succeeded MAKIKA A.GR. I577=A.D. 1266, according to Bar Hebraeus, Chron. Eccles., sect. ii, p. 439]. Now; it happened that Mar Catholicus had come to MARAGHAH [a town of ADHORBIJAN the capital of HULAGU KHAN], and they met him there. And at the sight of him their joy grew great, and their gladness was increased, and their minds were made to be at peace, and their anxious thoughts were set at rest. And they fell down on the ground before him, and they wept as they did homage to him (21) and they behaved as if they saw our Lord JESUS CHRIST in the person of MAR DENHA, the Catholicus. May his memory be for blessing! And they said unto him, "The mercies of God [shown to us] are many, and His grace is poured out abundantly upon us since we have seen the glorious and spiritual face of our General Father."And when he asked them, "Whence [come] ye?"they replied, "From the countries of the East, from KHAN BALIK, the city of the King of Kings [KUBLAI] KHAN. We have come to be blessed by you, and by the Fathers (i.e. Bishops), and the monks, and the holy men of this quarter of the world. And if a road [openeth] to us, and God hath mercy upon us, we shall go to JERUSALEM.

And when the Catholicus saw their tears, and that they were moved with gladness at their meeting with him, his mercy showed itself unto them, and he comforted them and said unto them, Assuredly, O my sons, the Angel of Providence shall protect you on this difficult journey, and he shall be a guide unto you until the completion of your quest. Let not your toil make you sad, for it is said in the Prophet (22) 'Those who sow in tears, shall reap in joy' (Ps. cxxvi. 5). That for which ye hope ye shall attain, and in return for the sufferings and tribulations which ye will have to bear, ye shall receive a perfect recompense and wages twofold in this world, and never-failing good things and never-ending delights in the world which is to come."And they did homage to him, and gave thanks to him.

And having enjoyed intercourse with him for a few days they brought forward [the following] request: "If we have found mercy (i.e. favour) in the eyes of Mar our Father, let him permit us to go to BAGHDAD, in order that we may receive a blessing from the holy sepulchres (or relics?) of MAR MARI [the disciple of Saint ADDAI, Bar Hebraeus, Chron. Eccles., sect. ii, p. 15], the Apostle, the teacher of the East, and those of the Fathers that are there. And from there we would go to the monasteries that are in the countries of BETH GARMAI and in NISIBIS that we may be blessed there also, and demand assistance."

And when the Catholicus saw the beauty of their object, and the innocence of their minds, and the honesty of their thoughts, he said unto them, "Go ye, my sons, and may Christ, the Lord of the Universe, grant unto you your petition (23) from His rich and overflowing treasury, and may He grant you a full measure of His grace, and may His compassion accompany you whithersoever ye go. And he wrote for them a pethikha (i.e. a letter of introduction) to these countries so that they might be honourably entreated whithersoever they went; and he sent with them a man to show them the way, and to act as guide along the roads.

And they arrived in Baghdad, and thence they went to the Great Church of KOKE [at Ctesiphon wherein every Catholicus was consecrated]. And they went to the monastery of MAR MARI, the Apostle, and received a blessing from the sepulchers (or relics?) of that country. And from there they turned back and came to the country of BETH GARMAI, and they received blessings from the shrine (or tomb) of MAR EZEKIEL [the prophet, near Dakok], which was full of helps and healings. And from there they went to ARBIL, and thence to MAWSIL (i.e. Mosul on the Tigris). And they went SHIGAR (SINJAR), and NISIBIS, and MERDA (MARDIN); and were blessed by the shrine [containing] the bones of MAR AWGIN, the second CHRIST. And thence they went to GAZARTA of BETH ZABHDAI, and they were blessed by all the shrines and monasteries, and the religious houses, and monks, and the Fathers (i.e. Bishops) in their dioceses. And they paid the vows which they had laid upon themselves, and they spread (24) tables of food [wherefrom all might eat], and they gave alms and oblations wherever they went. And they turned back and came to the holy monastery of MAR MICHAEL of TAR'IL. And they bought a cell, and both of them were received by the monks who were there. And the thought which made them toil through the journey had rest, although they had not arrived at the end of [their] expectation.

Now when MAR DENHA or DENKHA, the Catholicus, heard of their manner of life, he sent and asked them to go to him; and they went forthwith and gave him the customary salutation. And he said unto them, "We have heard that ye have been received into a monastery. This however, doth not please us. For whilst the two of you sojourn in the monastery ye will be able to make perfect your own peace (or rest), and that is all that ye will do, but if ye abide with us ye will bring benefit and peace (or rest) to the whole community. Therefore stay ye with us, and support the Door of the Kingdom [compare Sublime Porte] in whatever manner cometh to your hands."And they said unto him, "Whatsoever thou commandest (25), O our Father, we will do." And the Catholicus said unto them, "Ye shall go to King ABGHA [or ABAGHA KHAN, or ABAKA KHAN, the son and successor of HULAGU KHAN, and great grandson of Chingiz Khan, who ascended the throne of Persia as the second Mongol Khan in 1265], and obtain for us PUKDANE (i.e. written orders, or letters patent confirming his appointment as Catholicus)."And the two monks said unto him, "Thus shall it be, but let Mar our Father send with us a man who shall take the Pukdana [from the king] and give it to him (i.e. the Catholicus), and we will go on from there to JERUSALEM."And the Catholicus granted them this [request], and gave them blessings on their journey.

And when the two monks went to the Blessed Camp, the Amirs brought them in before the King, and he asked them about the object of their coming, and what their native country was; and they made a reply to him which revealed unto him their object. And ABHGHA KHAN commanded the nobles of his kingdom to fulfil their petition, and to give them the written orders (Pukdane)which they had asked for. And the two monks sent the written order which Mar Catholicus had demanded to him by the hands of his messenger, and they and their companions set out for JERUSALEM.

And when they arrived at the city of Animto [i.e. ANI, the ancient capital of Christian ARMENIA, situated on an affluent of the river Araxes], and saw (26) the monasteries and the churches therein, they marvelled at the great extent of the buildings and at their magnificence. And thence they went towards BETH GURGAYE (i.e. the country of Georgia), so that they might travel by a clear (or safe?) road, but when they arrived there they heard from the inhabitants of the country that the road was cut because of the murders and robberies which had taken place along it.



And the two monks turned back and came to Mar Catholicus, who rejoiced [at the sight of] them, and said unto them, "This is not the time for a journey to JERUSALEM. The roads are a disturbed state, and the ways are cut. Now behold, ye have received blessings from all the Houses of God, and the shrines (or relics?) which are in them (27), and it is my opinion that when a man visits them with a pure heart, the service thus paid to them is in no way less than that of a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. I am now going to counsel you with a council which is appropriate, and it is meet that ye should hearken unto it. I have decided to appoint MARK Metropolitan, and to bestow upon him the apostolic gift. As for thee RABBAN SAWMA, I am going to make thee Visitor-General, and I am going to send the two of you, each back to his own country."And those monks said unto him, "The word of Mar our Father is from the command of Christ, and he who does not carry it out committeth transgression of the command; nevertheless we will reveal our thought, and show forth what is hidden in our heart.

"We have not come from that country (i.e. China) in order to turn back and go again thither, and we do not intend to endure a repetition of the hardship which we have already suffered. For the man who is tripped up twice by the [same] stone (28) is a fool. And moreover, we declare that we are unworthy of this gift, and for defective creatures [like ourselves], a responsibility of this kind is too difficult. What we are seeking after is this: to dwell in a monastery and to serve Christ until we die."Then Catholicus said unto them, "This gift is suitable for you, and the responsibility befits your modesty."And when the two monks saw that their excuse was unavailing, they said, "The will of our Father be done."And the Catholicus said, "Hitherto no man hath called RABBAN MARK 'MAR MARK,' but I wish to call him by this name. And, moreover, I have thought out a plan [for doing so]. We will write down [on slips of paper a number of] names, and lay them upon the altar. And whichever name shall go forth [from among them] with some clearly recognizable indication, that we will call MARK." 7 And he did this, and the name of YAHBH-ALLAHA came forth, and the Catholicus said, "This is from the blessed Lord, blessed be He!"And they were each worthy [of honour]. And RABBAN MARK received the rank of Metropolitan of the See of KATI [i.e. Kathay, or Northern China], and ONG [i.e. WANG, or HUANG], from MAR DENHA, the Catholicus, when he was thirty-five years of age [in the year 1280] (29). And RABBAN SAWMA also received a blessing from him, and was named "Visitor-General."And they both took letters of introduction; each man's letter being drawn up according to the requirements of his service.

And after a few days a report came to the effect that the road by which they had travelled there was wholly cut off, and that it was impossible for any man to use it, for the hearts of the kings of the two frontiers were changed [i.e. were hostile to each other and they were fighting], namely, the king on the one side of the [river] GIHON (i.e. the Oxus), and the king of the other side. And therefore the luminaries (i.e. RABBAN SAWMA and MARK the Metropolitan) returned to the monastery of MAR MICHAEL of TAR'IL, and they sat down in their cell for two years, more or less.

And one night when MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA was sleeping he saw a dream, and it seemed to him that he went into a great church, and that there were in the church images of the saints, and that in the midst of them there was the CROSS (30). And he stretched out his right arm in order to receive a blessing from it, and as he stretched forward his arm, the Cross receded from him, and it ascended until it came to the top (roof?) of the temple, where he grasped it and kissed it, and then he went out of the church. And he saw lofty trees that were laden with different kinds of hard fruits, and various soft fruits, and he began to pluck and to eat them, and he gave [some of them] to the crowd of people who were gathered together, and fed them therewith. And when he woke up he showed the dream to RABBAN SAWMA, saying, "I have seen a dream and it troubleth me."And RABBAN SAWMA said unto him, "Relate thy dream to me."And when he had related it to him RABBAN SAWMA interpreted it, saying, "That thy arm extended itself after thou hadst stretched it out to be blessed by the CROSS and by the images of the saints, showeth that thou wilt attain to the great stature [i.e. the highest rank] of the Fathers (or Bishops). And that thou didst eat of the fruit of the trees, and didst give of them to the people to eat, showeth that thou wilt thyself enjoy the heavenly gift which resteth upon thee, and that thou wilt also make many people enjoy that same gift."

And again, on another night, MAR YAHBH ALLAHA saw another (31) vision. It seemed him as if he were sitting upon a high throne and that many people were gathered together round about him, and he was teaching [them] And as he was speaking his tongue became long and longer until the greater part of it went forth from his mouth; and then it became divided into three portions, and there appeared on the tip of each portion something which was like unto fire. And the people who were there marvelled and glorified God. And when he awoke he again related his dream to RABBAN SAWMA, who said unto him, "This is no dream, for it is a revelation and it resembleth a revelation; and it differeth in no way from [the revelation of] the Spirit which in the form of tongues of fire rested upon the Apostles (Acts ii. 3). And assuredly the Holy Spirit resteth upon thee, and the patriarchal throne shall be given into thy hands, so that thou mayest complete His service, and minister to its operation" (32).



Now whilst these things were taking place, MAR DENHA, the Catholicus, was still alive, but he had been suffering from sickness for a long time in BAGHDAD. And many of the monks and Fathers (i.e. Bishops) had been seeing visions which resembled those [described above]. And after a few days there arose in MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA the thought that he would go to the Catholicus in BAGHDAD so that he might receive from him a blessing, and the birona (i.e. pontifical cloak Bippiov) and pastoral staff that they might go with him to his country. And when he arrived in the neighbourhood of BAGHDAD, a certain man who was an acquaintance of his met him, and said unto him, "The Catholicus is dead, but peradventure if thou wilt urge on thy caravan thy wilt arrive before he is buried."Then, with great anguish and a sorrowful heart, Mar Yahbh-Allaha set out and pressed on quickly until he came to the door of the church; and when he had gone inside he saw some groups of people weeping (33) and some groups praying. And he went up to the bier, and cast aside his turban, and rent his garments, and wept so bitterly and with such anguish that at length he fell down upon the ground like a dead man. After a time the people lifted him up, and put his turban on him, and spake words of consolation to him. And when the prayers for the dead were ended [the Catholicus] was buried [on February 24, 1281]--may his memory be for blessing! And the Fathers returned to the Cell [which was actually a palace] of the Catholicus.

And on the following day the Fathers gathered together to elect a person suitable to sit on the [patriarchal] Throne. There were present the following: first and foremost there was MARAN-'AMMEH, Metropolitan of ELAM. Another was [the Metropolitan of] TANGOTH [in China]; another was [the Metropolitan of] TIRAHAN near Samarra in 'Irak; and another was [the Metropolitan of] TURE [i.e. TUR 'ABHDIN]. And with these were the nobles, and governors, and scribes, and lawyers, and physicians of BAGHDAD. And one said, "this man shall be Patriarch,"and another said, "that man shall be Patriarch,"until at length they all agreed that MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA should be the head and governor of the Throne of SELEUCIA and CTESIPHON (34). The reason for his election was this: The kings who held the steering poles of the government of the whole world were MUGLAYE (Mongols), and there was no man except MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA who was acquainted with their manners and customs, and their policy of government, and their language. And when [the nobles of Baghdad] said these things to him he made excuses and demurred to their statements, saying, "I am deficient in education and in ecclesiastical doctrine, and the member of my tongue halteth. How can I possibly become your Patriarch? And moreover, I am wholly ignorant of your language, Syriac, which it is absolutely necessary for the Patriarch to know."And having pressed upon him their quest, he agreed to their opinion and accepted [the office]. And all the aged men, and priests, and nobles, and scribes, and also the physicians, gave their support to him.

And MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA rose up and came to the holy monastery of MAR MICHAEL of TAR'IL, where Rabban Sawma was. Now the monks had already heard of the death of the holy Father, Mar Denha, and when MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA arrived, they received him with gladness, and comforted him; and they [told] him that they approved of his being elected Catholicus. It was a divine movement, and an act (35) which proceeded from God, and which all creation was compelled to carry out. And when he talked to RABBAN SAWMA, the Rabban said unto him, "This is a divine matter, from which thou canst not possibly ask for release; therefore let us go forthwith to King ABHGHA (or ABAGA), and if he consents thereto we shall receive the conclusion."

And they rose up and set out for ADHORBIJAN together with the aged and venerable men, and Fathers (i.e. Bishops), and monks who accompanied them, for at that time the kings used to pass the summer in that place. And they arrived at the place where the king was at BLACK MOUNTAIN, which is known in Persian as SIA KUH, and the Amirs introduced them, and put forward their request. And the monks said unto the king, "May the king live for ever! The Catholicus is dead, and all the Christians wish and have agreed together that this Metropolitan who hath come from the countries of the East to go to Jerusalem should stand in his place. What doth the king command?"And Abhgha replied, "This purity (or sincerity) of thoughts and conscience (36) is worthy of admiration. And God is with those who seek Him and do His will. This man and his companion have come from the East to go to JERUSALEM; this hath happened to them through the wish of God. We also will minister to the Divine Will and the entreaty of the Christians; he shall stand for them as their head and shall sit upon the Throne."

And he took Mar Yahbh-Allaha by the hand and said unto him, " Be strong and rule, and may God be with thee and support thee."And he covered his head with a cloak, for a cloak was lying on his shoulders, and he gave him his own chair of state (sandali) which was a small throne. And he gave him also a parasol (shather), which is called in Mongolian sukor, and this is raised up above the heads of kings and queens, and their children, and it is sufficient to keep away from them the strength of the sun and rain; but on most occasions parasols are spread over them to do them honour. And the king gave him also a PAIZA of gold, which is the sign (or symbol) of these kings, and the customary Pukdane, that is to say, written commands, which authorized him to have dominion over every one (37), and the great seal which had formerly belonged to the Catholicus, his predecessor. And he allotted to him the large sum of money which was necessary to pay the expenses of the laying on of hands.

Then Rabban Sawma and MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA rose up and came to Baghdad. And they went to the Great Church of KOKE, and MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA received the Xeipotovia, that is to say, the laying on of hands, to hold the steering poles of the government of the Oriental Church. And he sat on the throne of SELEUCIA and CTESIPHON through the offices of the holy Father, MARAN 'AMMEH, Metropolitan of ELAM, the disposer and keeper of the Apostolic Throne, and through the Fathers who were present there, and who were:-


MAR MOSES, Metropolitan of ARBIL.


MAR GABRIEL, Metropolitan of MOSUL and NINEVAH.

MAR ELIJAH, Metropolitan of DAKUK and BETH GARMAI.


MAR JACOB, Metropolitan of SAMARKAND.

MAR JOHN (38) Metropolitan of ADHORBIJAN.

And the other Bishops, twenty-four in number, among whom were: -




[These three names are added from Bedjan's note on p. 38 of this text.]

This laying on of hands took place in the month of the second Teshri, on the first Sunday of the "Consecration of the Church,"in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-three of the Greeks [i.e. in November, I28I], in the seven and thirtieth year of his age.

Now it happened that in the winter of that year King ABHGHA came down to BAGHDAD, and MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA, the Catholicus, went to him on the Sabbath which came before the Lord's Fast (i.e. Lent). And he explained to him the affairs of the Christians [i.e. their actual condition], and found mercy (i.e. sympathy) in his sight. And the king bestowed upon him large gifts, and gave him a written authority (pukdana) to levy a tax each year on behalf of the churches, and monasteries, and monks, and priests, and deacons, thirty thousand dinars (nearly £15,000) or one hundred and eighty thousand white zuze. [The silver zuza=about 20d. of our money?]. And the Catholicus sent out [men] to exact a gift from the various countries equivalent to this amount. (39) Now when King Abhgha departed this temporary life the gift was withheld.



About the events which immediately followed we will not prolong our discourse. [In short] after ABHGHA there rose up as king, his brother, AHMAD [who is also known as NEKUDAR, or TAKUDAR, who was baptized and was called NIKALEOS, or NICHOLAS], the son of HULAGU. He lacked education and knowledge, and he persecuted the Christians greatly because of his association with the HAGARAYE [i.e. the descendants of HAGAR, the Muhammadans], towards whose religion he leaned, and because of two of the envious old men (i.e. bishops}, who found the opportunity to fulfil their desire. They went into the king's presence through the help of certain erring men, one of whom was called (40) SHAMS AD-DIN, the lord of the DIWAN [the son of BEHAI AD-DIN MUHAMMAD] that is to say, chief of the scribes of the dumasion ( = the State or Treasury), and the other was the Shakh 'ABD AR-RAHMAN. And they calumniated MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA the Catholicus, and RABBAN SAWMA, and made accusations against them [to the king], saying, "The hearts of these men are with ARGHON, the son of ABHGHA, and they have written treasonable things against thee, O King, to the King of Kings KUBLAI KHAN. And the Amir if SHAMOT is a participator in the treason."The latter had been a monk and an ascetic, and was then the Eparch of the city of MOSUL and its district.

Now these two men used Ahmad as a tool in fulfilling their desire through the two old men who have already been mentioned, that is to say Isho'-Sabhran, Metropolitan of TANGOTH, and SIMON, Bishop of ARNI [or Arna, in the diocese of 'Akra]. These two bishops had plotted together and agreed that the one of them should become the Catholicus, and the other Metropolitan and Visitor-General. And this plan having, through the counsel of the Adversary, entered (41) their minds they contrived this scheme of theirs as we have described.

Now the king who lacked understanding, inasmuch as he had cast God aside, did not ponder in his mind, saying, "These men can have no benefit in this matter, why should they bring themselves to make false accusations?" but he believed the words of the crafty ones. And by his command MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA, the Catholicus, and RABBAN SAWMA and the Amir SHAMOT were brought up into the Great House. After the written authorisations (Pukdane) which he had given to them, he took away the house of Mar Catholicus, and the Paiza [some words omitted?]. And when Mar Yahbh-Allaha and Rabban Sawma had gone into the Hall of Judgment, they did not know what was required of them, and they remained there stupefied, saying, "What have we done?"And the messenger who had brought them into the Hall of Judgment said unto them, "Your holy men, and the scribes, and the men of your Communion have made accusations against you before the king."

And the great Amirs, that is to say the judges said unto the Catholicus, "What evil thing hast thou seen in the king that thou shouldst lie concerning him, and shouldst send calumnies about him to the King of Kings, KUBLAI KHAN saying, 'This man hath abandoned the way of his (42) fathers and hath become a Muhammadan. And the Catholicus replied, "I do not understand."And the judges said unto him, "Thy scribes have declared these things against thee."And the judges brought the scribes, and when each one of them had been questioned by himself, every one of them stated that which he knew. And Mar Catholicus said, "O Amirs, why do ye weary yourselves? Fetch back that messenger, with whom are the letters, and examine them. If this accusation which hath been made against me is [proved] true, I will die ungrudgingly an in my own blood. But if it be [proved] to a false, it rests with you to judge and to take vengeance [on my behalf]."

And the Amirs accepted this proposal, and they made it known to the king, and the king sent after the messenger, and took back from him all the letters in the neighbourhood of Khorasan. And when the letters had been opened and read, there was found in them nothing which any way resembled the accusations. But the judges said nothing about this to [the accusers of the Catholicus], and therefore we know that they had taken the letters as a pretext.

And the Catholicus remained in prison for forty days, more (43) or less, in great anxiety, and bitter suffering and anguish all day long, until God in His mercy visited him, and he as saved from death. Now King Ahmad as exceedingly wroth with him, and as the thirsty man longeth for cool waters, even so did the king thirst to shed his blood. And would have done so had it not been for the Angel of Providence who governs this holy throne, and who wrought upon the mother of the king [KUTUI KHATUN], and upon the Amirs, and prevented him from carrying into effect the thought which he had devised. And further, through the word of those whom we have mentioned, the Catholicus found mercy in the sight of the king, and he gave him [back] the Letter of Authority (Pukdana) and the Paiza, and he made his heart happy and sent him back.

Then Mar Yahbh-Allaha said farewell to the king and went to the city of URMI. And he saw a vision (or dream) in the church of MART MARYAM, and he knew that he would never see the king again. And after some days he arrived in the city of MARAGHAH, he and the bishops who had made accusations against him. And King AHMAD and his troops went to KHORASAN in order to seize King ARGHON, the son of King ABHGHA. And he had made a pact with the two persons who have been mentioned above, and with the chiefs of the Arabs (44), that when he had seized that prince (ARGHON) he should slay the rest of the royal children, and that he should become Khalifah in Baghdad, and put an end to the life of the Catholicus also. But his thought returned empty, and his plan had no result, for the Lord setteth aside the thoughts of the children of men, and establisheth His design. He dismisseth kings and maketh kings to pass away, but His kingdom standeth for ever. And the armies of AHMAD were scattered--now, the greater number of the troops took the side of ARGHON and Ahmad was captured and killed [in the year 1284].

One night, before he had heard of what had happened to AHMAD the king, MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA had a dream. And it seemed to him that a young man of handsome appearance came to him carrying a dish, which was covered over with a napkin, in his hands, and he said unto the Catholicus, "Stand up, and eat what is laid on the dish."And when he drew back the cloth he found a boiled head [of a man] in the dish, and he ate the whole head leaving nothing except he bones of the jaw. And the young man said unto him, "Dost thou know (45) what thou hast eaten?"And the Catholicus said unto him, "No."And the young man said unto him, "This was the head of King AHMAD"; and the Catholicus awoke straightway and was frightened. And a few days later the report of the murder of the king, which hath already been mentioned, arrived, and the news that King ARGHON was reigning. And the joy of the Catholicus was great, not because of the death of Ahmad, but because ARGHON had become king.

And there and then the Catholicus, and the old men and the monks went to offer their congratulations to King ARGHON, and to pay the homage which the Christians were in duty bound to pay to their kings according to the apostolic commandment, "Let every soul be in subjection to the supreme powers who are in authority, for there is no authority existing which is not from God"(Rom. xiii. I). And having seen King ARGHON and congratulated him, the Catholicus prayed for the permanence of his kingdom. And Arghon paid him very great honour, and magnified his grade when he heard what had happened to him through the king, his predecessor. And when he knew how the two holy bishops, who we have mentioned above, had served the Catholicus he commanded them to be destroyed. Then MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA (46), the Catholicus, said unto him, "O King, live for ever! We Christians have laws, and everyone who doth not fulfil them is called a transgressor of the law. Our law doth not demand the slaying of a man, but only the condemnation of [his] guilt; and behold, there are many kinds of punishment which those who discipline offenders can apply to him. By our law the sentence of death cannot be passed on these reverend men, but only the sentence of complete dismiss from that grade with the ministration which they have been entrusted."And this [advice] was pleasing in the eyes of the king, and he sent away the Catholicus in great honour, and he returned to his cell in great gladness. And when the venerable Fathers had gathered together to the Catholicus to salute him and to comfort him, a discussion (or enquiry) took place concerning the action of the old men who have already been mentioned. And after much debating, and after those old men had confessed their offence, they came to a decision and excommunicated both the bishops, and they were expelled from every ecclesiastical office [which they held].



Now MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA, the Catholicus, increased in power, and his honour before the King and Queens grew greater daily. He pulled down the church of MAR SHALITA which was in MARAGHAH, and he rebuilt it at very great expense. And instead of using [the old] beams [and making a single roof] he made [the new church] with two naves (haikili);and by the side of it he built a cell in which to live. For his affection for the house of King ARGHON was very warm, because ARGHON loved the Christians with his whole heart. And ARGHON intended to go into the countries of Palestine and Syria and to subjugate them and take possession of them, but he said to himself, "If the Western Kings, who are Christians, will not help me I shall not be able to fulfil my desire." Thereupon he asked the Catholicus to give him a wise man (48), "one who is suitable and is capable of undertaking an embassy, that we may send him to those kings."And when the Catholicus saw that there was no man who knew the language except Rabban Sawma, and knowing that he was fully capable of this, he commanded him to go [on the embassy].


Then RABBAN SAWMA said, "I desire this embassy greatly, and I long to go."Then straightway King ARGHON wrote for him "Authorities"(pukdane) to the king of the Greeks, and the king of the PEROGAYE (Franks?) that is to say Romans, and Yarlike [i.e. the "Ordinances"of the Mongolian kings], and letters, and gave him gifts for each of the kings [addressed by him]. And to RABBAN SAWMA he gave two thousand mathkale ( £1,000?) of gold, and thirty good riding animals, and a Paiza (see above, pp. 19, 20). And RABBAN SAWMA came to the cell of the Catholicus to obtain letter from MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA, and to say farewell to him. The Catholicus gave his permission to depart (49), but when the time for his departure arrived, it did not please the Catholicus to permit him to go. For he said [unto Rabban Sawma], "How can this possibly take place? Thou hast been the governor of my cell, and thou knowest that through thy departure my affairs will fall into a state of utter confusion."And having said such words as these they said farewell to each other, weeping as they did so. And the Catholicus sent with him letters, and gifts which were suitable for presentation to Mar Papa (the Pope), and gifts [i.e. offerings] according to his ability.


And RABBAN SAWMA set out on his journey, and there went with him a number of excellent men from among the priests and deacons of the Cell of the Catholicus. And he arrived at BETH RHOMAYE [i.e. the territory of the Romans] on the borders of the Sea of Meka [the Black Sea?], he saw the church that was there, and [then] went down [i.e. embarked] in a ship and his companions were with him. Now there were more than three hundred souls in the ship, and each day he consoled them with [his] discourse on the Faith. Now the greater number of those who dwelt in the ship were Romans (i.e. Byzantine Greeks), and because of the savour of his speech they paid him honour in no small degree.

And after [some] days he arrived at the great city of CONSTANTINOPLE (50), and before they went into it he sent two young men to the Royal gate (Sublime Porte) to make known there that an ambassador of King Arghon had come. Then the king commanded certain people to go forth to meet them, and to bring them in with pomp and honour. And when RABBAN SAWMA went into the city, the king allotted to him a house, that is to say, a mansion in which to dwell. And after RABBAN SAWMA had rested himself, he went to visit the king Æ [Andronicus II] and after he had saluted him, the king asked him, "How art thou after the workings of the sea and the fatigue of the road?"And RABBAN SAWMA replied, "With the sight of the Christian king fatigue hath vanished and exhaustion hath departed, for I was exceedingly anxious to see your kingdom, the which may our Lord establish!"

And after they had enjoyed food and drink RABBAN SAWMA asked the king to be allowed to see the churches and the shrines [or tombs] of the Fathers [i.e. Patriarchs], and the relics of the saints that were therein. And the king handed RABBAN SAWMA over to the nobles of his kingdom and (51) they showed him everything that was there.

First of all he went unto the great church of , [i.e. the Church of Divine Wisdom], which has three hundred and sixty doors [i.e. pillars] all made of marble. As for the dome of the altar it is impossible for a man to describe it [adequately] to one who hath not seen it, and to say how high and how spacious it is. There is in this church a picture of the holy MARY which LUKE, the Evangelist, painted. He saw there also the hand of MAR JOHN the Baptist, and portions [of the bodies of] LAZARUS, and MARY MAGDALENE, and that stone which was laid on the grave of our Lord, when Joseph the brought Him down from the Cross. Now MARY wept on that stone, and the place hereon her tears fell is wet even at the present time; and however often this moisture is wiped away the place becometh wet again. And he saw also the stone bowl in which our Lord changed the water into wine (52) at KATNE (Cana) of Galilee; and the funerary coffer of one of the holy women which is exposed to public view every year, and every sick person who is laid under it is made whole; and the coffer of MAR JOHN OF THE MOUTH OF GOLD (Chrysostom). And he saw also the stone on which SIMON PETER was sitting when the cock crew; and the tomb of King CONSTANTINE, the Conqueror, which was made of red stone (porphyry?); and also the tomb of JUSTINIAN, which was [built of] green stone; and also the BETH KAWMA (resting place) of the Three Hundred and Eighteen [orthodox] Bishops who were all laid in one great church; and their bodies have not suffered corruption because they had confirmed the [True] Faith. And he saw also many shrines of the holy Fathers, and many amulets of a magical character (talismata) and image[s] in bodily form made of bronze and stone (Eikons?).

And when RABBAN SAWMA went [back] to King Æ he said, “May the king live for ever! I give thanks unto our Lord that I have been held worthy to see these things. And now, if the king will permit me, I will go and fulfil the command (53) of King ARGHON, for the command to me was to enter the territory of the Progaye [i.e. Franks]." Then the king entreated him with great kindness, and gave him gifts of gold and silver.


And he departed from Constantinople and went down to the sea. And he saw on the sea-shore a monastery of the Romans, and there were laid up in its treasure-house two funerary coffers of silver; in the one was the head of MAR JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, and in the other that of MAR PAPA who baptized CONSTANTINE. And he went down to the sea [i.e. embarked on a ship] and came to the middle thereof, where he saw a mountain from which smoke ascended all the day long and in the night time fire showed itself on it. And no man is able to approach the neighbourhood of it because of the stench of sulphur [proceeding therefrom]. Some people say that there is a great serpent there. This sea is called the "Sea of Italy."Now it is a terrible sea, and very many thousands of (54) people have perished therein. And after two months of toil, and weariness, and exhaustion, RABBAN SAWMA arrived at the sea-shore, and he landed at the name of which was NAPOLI (Naples); the name of its king was IRID SHARDALO [ =IL RE SHARL DU or, the King Charles II?]. And he went to the king and showed him the reason why they had come; and the king welcomed him and paid him honour. Now it happened that there was war between him and another king, whose name was IRID ARKON [=the King of Aragon, JAMES II?]. And the troops of the one had come in many ships, and the troops of the other were ready, and they began to fight each other, and the King of ARAGON (?) conquered King CHARLES II, and slew twelve thousand his men, and sunk their ships in the sea. [According to Chabot this naval engagement took place in the Bay of Sorrento on St. John's Day, June 24, 1287, and the great eruption of Mount Etna on June I8]. Meanwhile RABBAN SAWMA and his companions sat upon the roof the mansion in which they lived, and they admired the way in which the Franks waged war for they attacked none of the people except those who were actually combatants (55).

And from that place they travelled inland on horses, and they passed through towns and villages and marvelled because they found no land which was destitute of buildings. On the road they heard that MAR PAPA [Honorius IV who died in 1287] was dead.

After some days they arrived in Great Rome (56). And RABBAN SAWMA went into the church of PETER and PAUL, for the Cell [Vatican?] of the throne of Mar Papa was situated therein. Now after the death of Mar Papa, twelve men who were called "Kaltunare" [not chartularii, but Cardinals] administered the [papal] throne. And whilst they were taking counsel together in order to appoint a new Pope, Rabban Sawma sent a message to them saying, "We who are ambassadors of King ARGHON and of the Catholicus of the East [have arrived]" ; and fhe Cardinals ordered them to come in. And the Franks who accompanied RABBAN SAwmA [and his companions] informed them that when they were going into the Cell [Vatican ?] of Mar Papa [they would find] there an altar at which they must bow [or kneel down ?], land then they must go in and salute the Cardinals. And thus they did, and [their act] was pleasing to those Cardinals. And when RABBAN SAWMA went into their presence no man stood up before him, for by reason of the honourable nature of the Throne, the twelve Cardinals were not in the habit of doing this. And they made RABBAN SAWMA sit down with them, and one of them asked him, " How art thou after all the fatigue of the road ? And he made answer to him, " Through your prayers I am well and rested." And the Cardinal said unto him, "For what purpose hast thou, come hither?" And RABBAN SAWMA said unto him, "The Mongols and the Catholicus of the East have sent me to Mar Papa concerning the matter of Jerusalem; and they have sent letters with me." And the Cardinals said unto him, "For the present rest thyself, and we will discuss the matter together later"; and they assigned to him a mansion and caused him to be taken down thereto

Three days later the Cardinals sent and summoned RABBAN SAWMA to their presence. And when he went to them they began to ask him questions, saying, "What is thy quarter of the world, and why has thou come?"And he replied in the selfsame words he had already spoden to them (57). And they said unto him, "Where doth the Catholixus live? And which of the Apostles taught the Gospel in thy quarter of the world? "And he answered them, saying, "MAR THOMAS, and MAR ADDAI, and MAR MARI taught the Gospel in our quarter of the world, and we hold at the present time the canons [or statutes] which they delivered unto us."The Cardinals said unto him, "Where is the Throne of the Catholicus?"He said to them, "In BAGHDAD."They answered, What position hast thou there?"And he replied, "am a deacon in the Cell of the Catholicus, and the director of the disciples, and the Visitor-General."The Cardinals said, " It is a marvellous thing that thou who art a Christian, and a deacon of the Throne of the Patriarch of the East has come upon an embassy from the king of the Mongols."And RABBAN SAWMA said unto them, "Know ye, O our Fathers, that many of our Fathers have gone into the countries of the Mongols, and Turks, and Chinese and have taught them the Gospel, and at the present time there are many Mongols who are Christians. For many of the sons of the Mongol kings and queens (58) have been baptized and confess Christ. And they have established churches in their military camps, and they pay honour to the Christians, and there are among them many who are believers. Now the king [of the Mongols], who is joined in the bond of friendship with the Catholicus, hath the desire to take PALESTINE, and the countries of SYRIA, and he demandeth from you help in order to take JERUSALEM. He hath chosen me and hath sent me to you because, being a Christian, my word will be believed by you. "And the Cardinals said unto him, "What is thy confession of faith? To what 'way' art thou attached? Is it that which Mar Papa holdeth to-day or some other one?"RABBAN SAWMA replied, "No man hath come to us Orientals from the Pope. The holy Apostle whose names I have mentioned taught us the Gospel, and to what they delivered unto us we have clung to the present day." The Cardinals said unto him, "How dost thou believe? Recite thy belief, article by article."RABBAN SAWMA replied to them, saying:--


"I believe in One God, hidden, everlasting, without beginning and without (59) end, Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit: Three Persons, coequal and indivisible; among Whom there is none who is first, or last, or young, or old: in Nature they are One, in Persons they are three: the Father is the Begetter, the Son is the Begotten, the Spirit proceedeth.

"In the last time one of the Persons of the Royal Trinity, namely the Son, put on the perfect man, Jesus Christ, from MARY the holy virgin; and was united to Him Personally (parsopaith), and in him saved (or redeemed) the world. In His Divinity He is eternally of the Father; in His humanity He was born [a Being] in time of MARY; the union is inseparable and indivisible for ever; the union is without mingling, and without mixture, and without compaction. The Son of this union is perfect God (60) and perfect man, two Natures (keyanin),and two Persons (kenomin)--one parsopa ()

The Cardinals said unto him, “Doth the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father or from the Son, or is it separate?ö RABBAN SAWMA replied, “Are the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit associated in the things which appertain to the Nature (keyana) or separate?" The Cardinals answered, "They are associated in the things which concern the Nature (keyana) but are separate in respect of individual qualities." RABBAN SAWMA said, "What are their individual qualities?" The Cardinals replied, "Of the Father, the act of begetting: of the Son the being begotten: of the Spirit the going forth (proceeding). RABBAN SAWMA said, "Which of Them is the cause of that Other?" And the Cardinals replied, "The Father is the cause of the Son, and the Son is the cause of the Spirit." RABBAN SAWMA said, "If they are coequal in Nature (keyana), and in operation, and in power, and in authority (or dominion), and the Three Persons (kenome) are One, how is it possible for one of Them to be the cause of the Other? For of necessity (61) the Spirit also must be the cause of some other thing; but the discussion is extraneous to the Confession of faith of wise men. We cannot find a demonstration resembling this statement of yours.

"For behold, the soul is the cause both of the reasoning power and the act of living, but the reasoning power is not the cause of the act of living. The sphere of the sun is the cause of light and heat, and heat is not the cause of light. Thus we think that which is correct, namely, that the Father is the cause of the Son and the Spirit, and that both the Son and the Spirit are causations of His. Adam begot Seth, and made Eve to proceed [from him], and they are three; because in respect there is absolutely no difference between begetting and making to go forth (or proceed)."

Then the Cardinals said unto him, "We confess that the Spirit proceedeth from the Father and the Son, but not as we said, for we were only putting thy modesty [or, religious belief?] to the test. "And RABBAN SAWMA said, "It is not right that to something which is one, two, three, or four causes should be [assigned]; on the contrary I do not think that this resembleth our Confession of Faith. "Now though the Cardinals restrained (62) his speech by means of very many demonstrations, they held him in high esteem because of his power of argument.

Then RABBAN SAWMA said unto them, "I have come from remote countries neither to discuss, nor to instruct [men] in matter of the Faith, but I came that I might receive a blessing from MAR PAPA, and from the shrines of the saints and to make known the words of King [ARGHON] and the Catholicus. If it be pleasing in your eyes, let us set aside discussion, and do ye give attention and direct someone to show us the churches here and the shrines of the saints; [if ye will do this] ye will confer a very great favour on your servant and disciple."

Then the Cardinals summoned the Amir of the city and certain monks and commanded them to show him the churches and the holy places that were there; and they went forth straightway and saw the places which we will now mention. First of all they went into the church of PETER and PAUL. Beneath the Throne is a naos, and in this is laid (63) the body of SAINT PETER, and above the throne is an altar. The altar which is in the middle of that are, temple has four doorways, and in each of these two folding doors worked with designs in fro; MAR PAPA celebrates the Mass at this altar, and no person besides himself may stand on the bench of that altar. Afterwards they saw the Throne of MAR PETER whereon they make MAR PAPA to sit when they appoint him. And the also saw the strip of fine [or thin] linen on which our Lord impressed His image and sent to King ABHGAR of URHAI (Edessa). Now the extent of that temple and its splendour cannot be described; it stands on one hundred and eight pillars. In it is another altar at which the King of their Kings receives the laying on of hands [i.e. is consecrated and crowned], and is proclaimed "Ampror (Emperor) King of Kings,"by the Pope. And they say that after the prayer Mar Papa takes up the Crown with his feet and clothes the Emperor with it (64), that is to say, places it upon his own head [to show], as they say, that priesthood reigneth over sovereignty[or kingship].

And when they had seen all the churches and monasteries that were in Great Rome, they went outside the city to the church of MAR PAUL the Apostle, where under the altar is his tomb. And there, too, is the chain wherewith Paul was bound when he was dragged to that place. And in that altar there are also a reliquary of gold herein is the head of MAR STEPHEN the Martyr, and the hand of MAR KHANANYA (ANANIAS) who baptized PAUL. And the staff of PAUL the Apostle is also there. And from that place they went to the spot where PAUL the Apostle, was crowned [with martyrdom]. They say that when his head was cut off it leaped up thrice into the air, and at each time cried out CHRIST! CHRIST! And that from each of the three places on which his head fell there came forth waters which were useful for healing purposes, and for giving help to all those who were afflicted. And in that place there is a great shrine (65) wherein are the bones of martyrs and famous Fathers, and they were blessed by them.

And they went also to the Church of my Lady MARYAM, and of MAR JOHN the Baptist, and saw therein the seamless tunic of our Lord. And there is also in that church the tablet [or slab] on which our Lord consecrated the Offering and gave it to His disciples. And each year Mar Papa consecrates on that tablet the Paschal Mysteries. There are in that church four pillars of copper [or brass], each of which is six cubits in thickness; these, they say, the kings brought from Jerusalem. They saw also there the vessel in which CONSTANTINE, the victorious king, was baptized; it is made of black stone [basalt?] polished. Now that church is very large and broad, and there are in the nave (haikla) one hundred and forty white marble pillars. They saw also the place where SIMON KIPA [i.e. Simon the Rock] disputed with SIMON [Magus], and where the latter fell down and his bones were broken.

From that place they went into the church of MART MARYAM, and [the priests] brought out for them reliquaries made of beryl (crystal?), wherein was (66) the apparel of MART MARYAM, and a piece of wood on which our Lord had lain when a child. They saw also the head of MATTHEH the Apostle, in a reliquary of silver. And they saw the foot of PHILIP, the Apostle, and the arm of JAMES, the son of ZABHDA! (ZEBEDEE}, in the Church of the Apostles, which was there. And after these [sights] they saw buildings which it is impossible to describe in words, and as the histories of those buildings would make any description of them very long I abandon [the attempt].

After this RABBAN SAWMA and his companions returned to the Cardinals, and thanked them for having held him to be worthy to see these shrines and to receive blessings from them. And RABBAN SAWMA asked from them permission to go to the king who dwelleth in Rome; and they permitted him to go, and said, "We cannot give thee an answer until the [new] Pope is elected."

And they went from that place to the country of TUSZKAN (TUSCANY), and were honourably entreated, and thence they (67) went to GINOH (GENOA). Now the latter country has no king, but the people thereof set up to rule over it some great man with whom they are pleased.

And when the people of GENOA heard that an ambassador of King ARGHON had arrived, their Chief went forth with a great crowd of people, and they brought him into the city.

And there was there a great church with the name of SAINT SINALORNIA (SAN LORENZO), in which was the holy body of MAR JOHN the Baptist, in a coffer of pure silver. And RABBAN SAWMA and his companions saw also a six-sided paten, made of emerald, and the people there told them that it was off this paten from which our Lord ate the Passover with His disciples, and that it was brought there when Jerusalem was captured. And from that place they went to the country of ONBAR, [according to Bedjan, Lombardy] and they saw that the people there did not fast during the first Sabbath of Lent. And when they asked them, "Wherefore do ye do thus, and separate yourselves from all [other] Christians"(68), they replied, "This is our custom. When we were first taught the Gospel our fathers in the Faith were weakly and were unable to fast. Those who taught them the Gospel commanded them to fast forty days only."


Afterwards they went to the country of PARIZ (Paris), to king FRANSIS [i.e. Philippe IV le Bel]. And the king sent out a large company of men to meet them, and they brought them into the city with great honour and ceremony. Now the territories of the French king were in extent more than a month's journey. And the king of France assigned to Rabban Sawma a place wherein to dwell, and three days later sent one of his Amirs to him and summoned him to his presence. And when he had come the king stood up before him and paid him honour, and said unto him, "Why hast thou come? And who sent thee?"And RABBAN SAWMA said unto him, "King ARGHON and the Catholicus of the East have sent me concerning the matter of JERUSALEM."And he showed him all the matters (69) which he knew, and he gave him the letters which he had with him, and the gifts, that is to say, presents which he had brought. And the king of FRANCE answered him, saying, "If it be indeed so that the MONGOLS, though they are not Christians, are going to fight against the Arabs for the capture of JERUSALEM, it is meet especially for us that we should fight [with them], and if our Lord willeth, go forth in full strength."

And RABBAN SAWMA said unto him, "Now that we have seen the glory of thy kingdom, and have looked upon the splendour of your strength with the eye of flesh, we ask you to command the men of the city to show us the churches and the shrines, and the relics of the saints, and everything else which is found with you, and is not to be seen in any other country, so that when we return we may make known in the [various] countries what we have seen with you."Then the king commanded his Amirs, saying, "Go forth and show them all the wonderful things which we have here, and afterwards I myself will show [them] what I have."And the Amirs went out with them.

(70) And RABBAN SAWMA and his companions remained for a month of days in this great city of Paris, and they saw everything that was in it. There were in it thirty thousand scholars [i.e. pupils] who were engaged in the study of ecclesiastical books of instruction, that is to say of commentaries and exegesis of all the Holy Scriptures, and also of profane learning; and they studied wisdom, that is to say philosophy and [the art of] speaking (rhetoric?), and [the art of] healing, geometry, arithmetic, and the science of the planets and the stars; and they engaged constantly in writing [theses], and all these pupils received money for subsistence from the king. And they also saw one Great Church wherein were the funerary coffers of dead kings, and statues of them in gold and in silver were upon their tombs. And five hundred monks were engaged in performing commemoration services in the burial-place [i.e. mausoleum] of the kings, and they all ate and drank at the expense of the king. And they fasted and prayed continually in the burial-place of those kings. And the crowns of those kings, and their armour (71), and their apparel were laid upon their tombs. In short RABBAN SAWMA and his companions saw everything which was splendid and renowned.

And after this the king sent and summoned them, and they went to him in the church, and they saw him standing by the side of the altar, and they saluted him. And he asked RABBAN SAWMA saying, "Have you seen what we have? And doth there not remain anything else for you to see?"Then RABBAN SAWMA thanked him [and said "There is not"]. Forthwith he went up with the king into an upper chamber of gold, which the king opened, and he brought forth from it a coffer of beryl wherein was laid the Crown of Thorns which the Jews placed upon the head of our Lord when they crucified Him. Now the Crown was visible in the coffer, which, thanks to the transparency of the beryl, remained unopened. And there was also in the coffer a piece of the wood of the Cross. And the king said to RABBAN SAWMA and his companions, "When our fathers took Constantinople, and sacked Jerusalem, they brought these blessed objects from it."And we blessed the king and besought him to give us the order to return. (72) And he said unto us, "I will send with you one of the great Amirs whom I have here with me to give an answer to King Arghon"; and the king gave RABBAN SAWMA gifts and apparel of great price.


And they went forth from that place, that is to say, from PARIS, to go to the king of England, to Kasonia (GASCONY?). And having arrived in twenty days at their city [BORDEAUX?], the inhabitants of the city went forth to meet them, and they asked them, "Who are ye?"And RABBAN SAWMA and his companions replied, "We are ambassadors, and we have come from beyond the eastern seas, and we are envoys of the King, and of the Patriarch, and the Kings of the Mongols."And the people made haste and went to the king and informed him [of their arrival], and the king welcomed them gladly, and the people introduced them into his presence. And those who were with RABBAN SAWMA straightway gave to the king the PUKDANA [i.e. letter of authorisation] of King Arghon, and the gifts which he had sent to him, and the Letter of Mar Catholicus (73). And [King Edward] rejoiced greatly, and he was especially glad when Rabban Sawma talked about the matter of Jerusalem. And he said, "We the kings of these cities bear upon our bodies the sign of the Cross, and we have no subject of thought except this matter. And my mind is relieved on the subject about which I have been thinking, when I hear that King Arghon thinketh as I think."And the king commanded Rabban Sawma to celebrate the Eucharist, and he performed the Glorious Mysteries; and the king and his officers of state stood up, and the king partook of the Sacrament, and made a great feast that day.

Then RABBAN SAWMA said unto the king, "We beseech thee, O king, to give [thy servants] in order to show us whatever churches and shrines there are in this country, so that when we go back to the Children of the East we may give them descriptions of them."And the king replied, "Thus shall ye say to King Arghon and unto all the Orientals: We have seen a thing than which there is nothing more wonderful, that is to say, that in the countries of the Franks there are not two Confessions of Faith, but only one Confession of Faith, namely, that which confesseth Jesus Christ; and all the Christians confess it."And King Edward gave us many gifts and money for the expenses of the road (74).


And from that place we came to the city of Genoa, in order to pass the winter there. And when we arrived there we saw a garden which resembled Paradise; its winter was not [too] cold, and its summer is not [too] hot. Green foliage is found therein all the year round, and trees, the leaves of which do not fall, and which are not stripped of their fruit. There is in the city a kind of vine which yields grapes seven times a year, but the people do not press out wine from them.

At the end of the winter there came from the country of ALMADAN (ALLEMAGNE?) a man of high degree, who was the.., i.e. "Visitor"of MAR PAPA, and who was on his way to Rome.8 And when he heard that RABBAN SAWMA was there, he went to visit him and salute him. And when he entered [his house] they gave each other "Peace!"and they kissed each other in the love of Christ. And the Visitor said unto RABBAN SAWMA (75), "I have come to see thee. For I have heard concerning thee, that thou art a good and wise man, and also that thou hast the desire to go to Rome."And RABBAN SAWMA said unto him, "What shall I say unto thee, O beloved and noble man? I have come on an embassy from King ARGHON, and the Catholicus of the East to MAR PAPA on the subject of Jerusalem. Behold I have been a year of days [since I came], and a Pope hath not sat. When I go back what shall I say and what answer can I make to the MONGOLS? Those, whose hearts are harder than flint, wish to take the Holy City, and those to whom it belongeth never allow the matter to occupy their minds, and moreover, they do not consider this thing to be of any importance whatsoever! We shall go and say we know not."Then the Visitor said unto him, "Thy words are true. I myself will go and show in their integrity the Cardinals all the words which thou hast spoken, and will urge them to appoint a Pope."

And that Visitor departed from him and went to Rome, and he explained the matter to the king, that is to say MAR PAPA (76), and that same day the Pope sent a messenger to RABBAN SAWMA and his companions [bidding] them to go to him. And as soon as ever the messenger had arrived, they set out for Rome with the greatest readiness and they arrived there in fifteen days. And they asked, "Who is this Pope whom they have appointed?"And [the people] said, "It is the bishop who held converse with you when ye came here the first time, and his name is NIKALIOS [i.e. NICHOLAS IV, who was elected Pope in February, 1288]."And RABBAN SAWMA and his companions rejoiced greatly.

And when they arrived MAR PAPA sent out a Metropolitan bishop and a large company of men to meet them. And starightway RABBAN SAWMA went into the presence of MAR PAPA, who was seated on his throne. And he drew nigh to the Pope, bowing down to the ground as he did so, and he kissed his feet and his hands, and he withdrew walking backwards, with his hands clasped [on his breast]. And he said to MAR PAPA, "May thy throne stand for ever, O our Father! And may it be blessed above all kings and nations! And may it make peace to reign in thy days (77) throughout the Church to the uttermost ends of the earth! Now that I have seen thy face mine eyes are illuminated, and I shall not go away brokenhearted to the countries [of the East]. I give thanks to the goodness of God who hath held me to be worthy to see thy face."Then RABBAN SAWMA presented unto him the gift of King Arghon and his Letters, and the gift of MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA the Catholicus, that is to say a blessing [i.e. gift] and his Letter. And MAR PAPA rejoiced and was glad, and he paid more honour to RABBAN SAWMA than was customary, and he said unto him, "It will be good if thou wilt keep the festival with us, for thou wilt see our use."Now that day [marked] the half of our Lord's Fast [i.e. Mid-Lent]. And RABBAN SAWMA made answer, "Your command is high and exalted."And MAR PAPA assigned to him a mansion in which to dwell, and he appointed servants to give him everything he might require.

Some days later RABBAN SAWMA said to MAR PAPA, "I wish to celebrate the Eucharist so that ye might see our use"; and the Pope commanded him to do as he had asked. And on that day a very large number of people were gathered together in order to see how the ambassador of the Mongols celebrated the Eucharist (78). And when they had seen they had rejoiced and said, "The language is different, but the use is the same."Now the day on which he celebrated was the Sunday [on which the prayer beginning] "ainaw asya"[i.e. Who is the physician"] is recited. And having performed the mysteries, he went to MAR PAPA and saluted him. And the Pope said unto RABBAN SAWMA, "May God receive thy offering, and bless thee, and pardon thy transgressions and sins."Then RABBAN SAWMA said, "Besides the pardon of my transgressions and sins which I have received from thee, O our Father, I beseech thy Fatherhood, O our holy Father, to let me receive the Offering from thy hands, so that the remission [of my sins] may be complete."And the Pope said, "So let it be!"

And on the following First Day of the Week, which was the Festival of Hosannas [i.e. Palm Sunday], from the break of day onwards, countless thousands and tens of thousands of people gathered together before the papal throne, and brought branches of olives, which the Pope blessed and gave to the Cardinals, and then to the Metropolitans and then to the Bishops, and then to the Amirs, and then to the nobles, and then he cast them among all the people. And he rose up from the throne (79), and they brought him into the church with great ceremony. And he went into the apse of the altar and changed his apparel, and he put on a red vestment with threads of gold [running through it], and ornamented with precious stones, and jacinths, and pearls down to the soles of his feet, that is to say, sandals. And he went to the altar, and then went forth to the pulpit, and addressed the people and admonished them. And he consecrated the Mysteries and gave the Eucharist Mystery to RABBAN SAWMA first of all--he having confessed his sins--and the Pope pardoned his transgressions and his sins and those of his fathers. And RABBAN SAWMA rejoiced greatly in receiving the Eucharistic Mystery from the hand of MAR PAPA. And he received it with tears and sobs, giving thanks to God and meditating upon the mercies which had been poured out upon him.

Afterwards, on the day of the Holy Passover (Thursday) MAR PAPA went to the church of MAR JOHN the Baptist, when a large number of people had gathered together. He went up into a great furnished and decorated chamber which was there--and before this chamber there was a large open space--and the Cardinals, and the Metropolitans, and the Bishops went with him; and they began (80) to recite a prayer. And when the prayer was ended, MAR PAPA addressed and admonished the congregation, according to custom; and by reason of the great multitude of people that was there not one word could be heard except "Amen."And when "Amen"was uttered, the ground shook through the outcries of the people. Then MAR PAPA came down from that place and [stood] before the altar, and he consecrated the oil of Muron, that is to say, the oil of anointing. And afterwards he consecrated the Mysteries which bestow pardon, and gave the Eucharistis Mystery to the people. And he went forth from that place and entered the great temple (nave?), and gave to each of his reverend Fathers two gold tarpe [i.e. "leaves" (sheets?)] and thirty silver parpare [i.e. silver coins], and then went out. And MAR PAPA gathered together the people of his Cell [i.e. his palace household], and he washed their feet, and he wiped [them] with a napkin which he had wrapped around his loins, to the end. And when he had finished all the services of the Passover, at mid-day he made a great table [i.e. feast], and the servants placed before every man his portion of food. Now those who reclined [i.e. sat at meat] were two thousand, more or less. And when they removed the bread from the table only three hours of the day were left (81).

And on the following day, which was the Passion of our Redeemer, MAR PAPA put on a black cloak, and all the reverend Fathers did likewise. And they went forth barefooted and walked to the church of my Lord, the Adorable Cross; and MAR PAPA did homage to it, and kissed it, and gave it to each one of the reverend Fathers. And when crowds of people saw it they uncovered their heads, and they knelt down on their knees and did homage before it (i.e. adored it]. Then MAR PAPA addressed and admonished the people, and at the same time he mde the sign of the Cross over the four quarters of the world. And when the service of prayer was concluded, he brought some of the Paschal Offering, and set wine with it, and MAR PAPA partook by himself of that Offering (now it is not customary for Christians to offer up the Offering on the day of the Passion of our Redeemer), and went back to his Cell [i.e. palace].

And on the day of the Sabbath of Light MAR PAPA went to the church, and they read the Books of the Prophets, and the prophecies concerning the Messiah. And he placed in position the Wazna, i.e. baptismal font, and arranged branches of myrtle round about it, and MAR PAPA consecrated the baptism-water and baptized three children, and signed them with the sign of the Cross. Then he went to the apse and changed his apparel of the Passion (82), and he put on his ceremonial vestments, to state the price of which is beyond the power of words, and he celebrated the Holy Mysteries.

And on the day of the Sunday of the Resurrection MAR PAPA went to the holy church of my LADY MARY. And he and the Cardinals, and the Metropolitans, and the Bishops, and the members of the congregation saluted each other, and they kissed each other on the mouth, and he celebrated the Mysteries, and they receive Eucharistic Mystery, and then he returned to his Cell [i.e. palace]. And he made a great feast, and [there was] infinite gladness. And on the following Sunday Mar Papa performed the laying on of hands, and he consecrated three bishops And RABBAN SAWMA and his companions saw the use followed, and they celebrated the blessed festivals with them.

And when these things had taken place RABBAN SAWMA asked MAR PAPA for [his] command to return. And MAR PAPA said unto him, "We wish thee to remain with us, and to abide with us, and we will guard thee like the pupil of our eye."But RABBAN SAWMA replied, "O our Father, I came on an embassy for your service (?). If my coming had been the result of my personal wish, l would willingly (83) bring to an end the days of this my useless life in your service at the outer door of your palace. [But I must return], and believe that when I go back and show the show who are there the benefits which thou hast conferred upon my poor person, that the Christians will gain great content thereby. Now I beseech our Holiness to bestow upon me some of the relics [of the saints] which ye have with you."

And MAR PAPA said, "If we had been in the habit of giving away these relics to the people [who come] in myriads, even though the relics were as large as the mountains, they would have come to an end long ago. But since thou hast come from a far country, we will give thee a few."And he gave to RABBAN SAWMA a small piece of the apparel of our Lord Christ, and a piece of the cape () that is to say, kerchief of my LADY MARY, and some small fragments of the bodies of the saints that were there. And he sent to MARR YAHBH-ALLAHA a crown for his head which was of fine gold and was inlaid with precious stones; and sacred vestments made of red cloth through which ran threads of gold; and socks and sandals on which real pearls were sewn; (84) and the ring from his finger; and a "Pethikha"or Bull which authorized him to exercise Patriarchal dominion over all the Children of the East. And he gave to RABBAN SAWMA a "Pethikha"which authorized him to act as Visitor-General over all Christians. And Mar Papa blessed him and he caused to be assigned to him for expenses on the road one thousand, five hundred mathkale of red gold. And to King Arghon he sent certain gifts. And he embraced RABBAN SAWMA and kissed him and dismissed him. And RABBAN SAWMA thanked our Lord who had held him to be worthy of such blessings as these.


And RABBAN SAWMA returned. He crossed the seas which he crossed when he came, and he arrived (85) in peace at the place where King ARGHON was, sound in body, and with soul safely kept. And he gave to him the Letter of Blessings, and the gifts which he had brought from MAR PAPA and from all the kings of the Franks. And he showed him how they had welcomed him with love, and how they had hearkened gladly to the Pukdane (or Royal Dispatches) which he had carried [to them], and he related the wonderful things which he had seen, and the power of [their] kingdom[s]. And King rejoiced, and was glad, and thanked him, and said unto him; "We have made thee to suffer great fatigue, for thou art an old man. In future we shall not permit thee to leave us; nay, we will set up a church. at the Gate of our Kingdom (i.e. palace), and thou shaft minister therein and recite prayers."And RABBAN SAWMA said, "If my lord the king would command MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA, the Catholicus, to come and receive the gifts which have been sent to him by MAR PAPA, and the sacred vestments which he destined for him, he could set up the church which the king is going to set up at the Door of his Kingdom, and consecrate it."And these things took place in this way. Now because it was not our intention to relate and set out in order all the unimportant things which RABBAN SAWMA did (86) and saw, we have abridged very much of what he himself wrote in his narrative in Persian. And even the things which are mentioned here have been abridged or amplified, according to necessity.



In the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight [read one thousand six hundred of the Greeks [=A.D. 1288], King Arghon gave the command to transport MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA to the Camp, even as RABBAN SAWMA had asked. And for the honour of the Catholicus, and also to support (or sustain) the hearts of all the Christians who confessed Christ, and to increase the love for Him among them, he set up a church so close to the Door of the Throne, that the ropes of the curtains of (87) the church intermingled with those of his house. [N.B.-The church was a tent]. And he made a great feast [which lasted] three days, and King Arghon himself brought food to the Catholicus, and handed the cup of drink to him and to all the members of his company. And the king took care that reverend men, and holy Fathers (i.e. bishops) and priests, and deacons, and monks, should keep vigil in the church and recite the offices and that the beater of the board [which summed men to prayer] should never be idle in that church And thus the glory (or praise) of the Christians, both Orientals and Occidentals, increased until at length with one mouth they cried out, "Blessed is the Lord Who hath made us rich! The Lord hath visited His people, and hath made for it redemption!"And when the Camp moved, the priests moved the church and all that belonged to it. And Rabban Sawma became the director of that church, and its chief, and steward, and he distributed food and the things necessary for the priests, and deacons, and visitors, and caretakers of the church. And King ARGH6N commanded by reason of his great affection for RABBAN SAWMA, that the recital of the Eucharistic Office for his benefit, and of prayers said on his behalf, should never cease (88).

And in the following year, which is the year of the Greeks, one thousand five hundred and ninety-nine [read one thousand six hundred and one=1289]; in the month of 'Ilul (September), King Arghon went to the Cell (i.e. palace) in the city of MARAGHA to see Mar Catholicus. He had had his son [Kharbande] born in 1281, baptized in the month of Abh (August), and he commanded him to receive the Mysteries which gave pardon. And thus the Preaching of Life increased, and the Gospel (or glad tidings) of the kingdom of heaven spread throughout the world, until at length people ere gathered together from all parts to the Patriarchal mansion to obtain help therefrom. And it was not only the Christians of the Faith who thronged there to be assisted by Mar Catholicus in the fulfillment of the requests. [Text defective: translation doubtful].

Now when the state of affairs which we have mentioned had remained thus for a short time, God the Lord of the Universe, the Lord of death and of going forth, removed King ARGHON to the seat of joys and to the Abrahamic bosom. And at his departure grief fettered the whole Church which is under the heavens, because the things which were done before his time (89) and were done badly were rightly straightened in his time. And who was there who did not suffer by the change of sovereignty? For how could it be otherwise? Behold it is a matter of difficulty for every man, and hard to describe especially when a man knoweth the nobles of the King and all the members of the royal household, to say nothing of the king of the time himself.



Now the Church passed some days with matters in this state, when suddenly, a younger brother of the dead king, who was called IRNAGHIN T0NGHIN, burst forth, and was crowned king [under the name of] KAIKHATO; he took the sceptre of the kingdom and sat upon the throne of his brother. He [began to] rule (90) in the year of the Greeks, one thousand six hundred and two [=1291] in the month of Abh (August) of that year All creation was at peace, rebellion died and hid itself, the light of righteousness rose and made itself visible, for Kaikhato, the blessed king, did not turn aside from the way of his fathers. He established in his position every one of those who followed [divers] cults, he paid honour to the leaders of all religions, whether Christians, or Arabs, or Jews, or Pagans. He considered the face of no man [i.e. he was strictly impartial] and he neither turned aside nor swerved from justice, gold being accounted as dross in his sight. His alms were boundless, and there was no end to his gifts in charity. For every one who asked from him received, even as it is written (Luke xi. 10), and he who sought, found; and experience showed that this was literally true.

Now he came to reign in the month of the year which has been mentioned above. On the day of the festival of the commemoration of Saint Maryam (the Virgin My Lady Mary)--may her prayer be upon (i.e. protect) the world!-- which [is celebrated] in the middle of the month of Abh, he went into the church which TAWUS (DOKUZ) KHATON [the first wife of HULAGO] had set up (91) in the blessed Camp. Now they were at that time in the mountain called ALATAK (ALA DAGH). When our Father the Catholicus celebrated the Mysteries, the king was glad and rejoiced greatly; and he gave gifts to the Catholicus, twenty thousand dinars ( £10,000) and nine gorgeous dibage, i.e. vestments made of silk with gold threads interwoven. On that day the sons of the kings and the daughters of the queens, and the Amirs, and the nobles, and the troops were gathered together there. And the glory of the Holy Catholic Church became as great, nay greater, than it was before. And the hearts of the Christians gained courage and waxed strong, when they knew the mind of the victorious king and heard his words, for his good qualities and his gracious acts could be felt with hands. And from day to day the glory increased, and the splendour of their Church grew apace, and this took place through the great care and foresight, and the wise rule of Mar Catholicus, [in which] he used his under standing for the glorification of the children of the kingdom (i.e. the Royal Family) (92).

Now because RABBAN SAWMA had already become an old man, the hard life of the Mongols, and the prolonged sojourning in desert places, became intolerable to him. And he caused the victorious King KAIKHATO to promulgate an order for him to build a church in the city of MARAGHAH, and to place therein the vessels and the vestments for the service of the church, which the dead King Arghon had set up in the Camp. And his request was granted by the king. And as soon as he received this permission he at once set out for city of MARAGHAH, taking with him the vessels and vestments for the service of MAR Catholicus. And he laid. the foundations and built a fine church in the names of MAR MARI and MAR GEORGE, the glorious martyr. And there were placed in it the relics of forty martyrs, of MAR STEPHEN [the protomartyr], and MAR JAMES, who was cut into pieces [by the order of WARHARAN V, king of Persia A.D. 421], and MAR DEMETRIUS, the martyr. He furnished it with costly vessels and vestments for the service of every kind, and he founded a series of endowments from which the things which would be required for it could be always provided and maintained. And this [he did] with the help of the illustrious MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA (93), the Catholicus. And in the summer of the following year the victorious King KAIKHATO came twice to the Cell which was in MARAGHAH, and he sojourned with Mar Catholicus for three days, and rejoiced with an exceeding great joy. And he gave great gifts and presents to Mar Catholicus, viz., a Paiza of gold, that is to say, the tablet which is called "Sunkor"(see above p. 19), and seven thousand diners (£3,500).



RABBAN SAWMA toiled by night and by day in the church which he had built, and he arranged everything in it in a perfect manner. And the expenses incurred in building the church, and in providing the endowment, that is to say, Wakf, which was assigned to it, amounted to (94) one hundred and five thousand zuze (about £8,250?)) more or less. And he performed the service and recited the Offices regularly, and he was exceedingly zealous in performing the Eucharistic Service, which he had established in that church, continually. And he had great repose in the Cell which he had built by the side of the church, of which until now he himself is the ornament, and prayers and celebrations of the Eucharist are constant therein. May our Lord give him as the reward of his labour the happiness of the heavenly kingdom, and a portion with the saints in the exalted regions of highest heaven. And having finished the church which we have described above, RABBAN SAWMA came down in the service of Mar Catholicus to Baghdad, in the year of the Greeks, one hundred six hundred and five, in the month of the first Teshri (October) of that year [A.D. 1293].

And King BAIDAR (read BAIDO), the son of the brother of King ABHGHA, made a great feast in a place called SIRZUR (SHAHARZUR, in KURDISTAN) in (95) honour of the Catholic and he gathered together all the officials of his Court to the banquet. And RABBAN SAWMA rose up with his temperament disordered and he fell down, being seized with fever. On the following day he bade farewell to King BIDAR (BAIDU), and he arrived in the city of ARBIL to settle urgent affairs, and [enjoy] the kindness (?) of the church folk. And the sickness of RABBAN SAwMA increased, and he was seized with severe pains, but he prolonged his life until the Catholicus arrived in the city of BAGHDAD. And his disease waxed heavy, healing took to flight, his life was despaired of, and he departed from this world of nothingness and tribulation to the world of holiness and to the City of the Saints, Jerusalem which is in the heavens, on the night of the first Sunday after Epiphany when the prayer beginning "Le'edtakh lukdam" (i.e. "to Thy Church") is said, on the tenth day of the month Kanon' Khrai (January) of that same year (A.D. 1294). And his holy body was buried in the Darath Rhomaye, on the north side of the altar, outside the inner court, on the south side (96) of the house of prayer. May his portion be with the Patriarchal Fathers among whom he was laid! And may our Lord give him rest and set him on His right hand on the great Day of Retribution wherein, with the reward of justice and the Scales of Truth, He will reward every man according to his labour!

Now MAR AHBH-ALLAHA, the Catholicus, suffered very great affliction at the death of RABBAN SAWMA, and his weeping reached the heavens; he mourned with the people in their grief so that none might say that he constrained himself to mourn apart from them. And the nobles and chiefs, that is to say governors, and all the Fathers of the city of Baghdad came to offer him consolation, and he received consolation only with the greatest difficulty on the third day, when he returned to his Throne. And it was meet that he should suffer, and the law of nature commanded it, for the deceased was a man of courage, for he was the strong arm and support of the Gate of the Patriarchal Cell (i.e. palace), not only of the Catholicus himself but of every Christian who came to him.

And the Catholicus passed that winter in Baghdad (97). On the day of the great festival he set out, and met the victorious King KAIKHATO at ALA TAK, where the royal Camp was. And the king honoured him with many gifts, that is to say he gave him a cloak of great price, and two splendid riding mules, and he assigned to him a "Sukur," that is to say, a parasol, and he gave him sixty thousand zuze [£2,500 or 5,000 dinars]. He refused nothing which MAR Catholicus asked for whenever he open his mouth. Then MAR Catholicus returned from the Camp of the victorious king, and he laid foundations of the holy monastery of Saint Mar John the Baptist, on the north side of the city of MARAGHAH, at a distance of about [two] thirds of a parasang, more or less [about two miles] from the city, in the year mentioned (A.D. 1294), at the end of the month of Khaziran (June). He built up the wall nearly to the top and the nave up as far as the spring of the roof.

Then suddenly storms broke, and the waves of confusion rose high in the kingdom; the Amirs acted treacherously towards (98) the king and the tempests of suffering waxed strong on the world, and turmoil fell on creation. And men were slain without sufficient cause, and very many villages were looted by the soldiery with violence. And in the winter of the year one thousand six hundred and six, according to [the Era of] YAWAN [1295], the road from ADHORBIJAN to BAGHDAD and to DIARBAKR were cut, and the fighters did not cease from the quarrels which they had set afoot, and at length they destroyed King KAIKHATO by violent death, and delivered the kingdom to King BAIDO. This unhappy [prince] only accepted the kingdom through fear for his life. He remained on the throne from the 24th day of the month of NISAN (April) until the 25th day of the month of Ilul (September) of the same year, more or less. He governed and reigned in a state of perturbation, and prolonged his days in perpetual fear. Now without making over long [our] narrative, and making [our] History, which has a definite object, become somewhat different, it is impossible to describe completely the plots, and the trickeries, and the crafty devices, and the treacherous works which the enemies [of the kingdom] set on foot during the five months of the struggle which went on between BAIDO and the victorious King KAZAN, the son of the deceased King Arghon (99). To speak briefly the murderers of the blessed King Khaikato, plotted the murder of his successor BAIDU. Then division fell (i.e. took place), and the world was in turmoil. The peoples of the Arabs roused themselves to take vengeance on the Church and its children for the destruction which the father of these kings had inflicted upon them. Then suddenly, on the Sunday [of the prayer] "la-mese puma,"(i.e. "the mouth is unable") of that year (A.D. 1295), on the 25th day of the month of Ilul (September), a rumour was heard of the flight of King BAIDU and of his destruction, and with it came the proofs, that in very truth the abandonment of [the Church by] God had taken place (100).



And a certain man, one of the Amirs, who was called NAWRIZ, and who feared not God bestirred himself, and sent letters by the hands of envoys, and he made to fly to the four quarters of the dominions of this kingdom, an order to this effect:--"The churches shall be uprooted and the altars overturned, and the celebrations of the Eucharist shall cease, and the hymns of praise, and the sounds of calls to prayer shall be abolished; and the heads (or chiefs) of the Christians, and the heads of the congregations [i.e. synagogues] of the Jews, and the great men among them shall be killed."

And that same night [the Arabs] seized Mar Catholicus in his Cell (i.e. palace) in MARAGHAH, and outside the building no man knew anything about the seizure of him until the day broke. And from the morning of that day, which was the second day of the week (Monday) they went into his Cell and plundered. everything that was in it, both that which was old and that which was new, and they did not leave even a nail in the walls.

And the night of the third day of the week (Tuesday) following, which was the 27th day of Ilul (September), the (101) Catholicus was buffeted the whole night long by those who had seized him. And in respect of the venerable men who were with him, the Arabs tied some of them up naked with ropes; others cast aside their apparel and took to flight, and others cast themselves down from high places [and perished]. And they suspended the Catholicus by a rope head downwards, and they took a cloth used for cleaning, that is to say, a duster, and they put ashes in it, and tied it over his mouth, and one prodded him in the breast with skewer (bukshina) saying, "Abandon this Faith of thine that thou perish not; become a Hagaraya (Muhammadan) and thou shalt be saved."And the Catholicus, weeping, answered them never a word. And they smote him with a stick on the thighs and seat (i.e. posterior). And they also took him up on to the roof of the Cell, saying, "Give us gold and we will let thee go; point out to us they treasures, show us the things which thou had hidden away, and reveal to us thy hiding things and we will let thee go."

And Mar Catholicus because he was clothed with a body feeble and sensitive to pain, was afraid of death. And he began to cry out on the roof, "Where are the disciples? How is it that those whom I have brought up have betaken themselves to flight? Of what use are possessions (or riches) to us? (102). Come ye and buy me back from those who would sell me wrongfully, redeem your master. "Now the people, men, and women, and youths, and children, in the darkness of midnight were crying out with bitter tears, but no man was able to approach the Catholicus because of [his] fear. Nevertheless they received help from [their] weeping, and took refuge in [their] prayer, saying, "Yea, ye mountains fall upon us! O ye hills cover us"(Luke xxiix.30). And thus was fulfilled the prophecy of the prophet of the Syrians [Aphrem Syrus], who said "Because we have despised the way, and have regarded it with great contempt, [God] hath made us a reproach to those who are outside; that we may drink from them mockery. The filthy ones have ruined our churches, because we have not prayed in them in a right manner; they have defiled the altar which is before Him [because] we have not ministered thereto with pure service. [Bedjan's note in Syriac reads, "Mar Aphrem. Reading I. Section II. Fourth day of Rogation Week in the first half of the Reading."]

Finally, not to make our narrative too long, some of the disciples of the Patriarch's palace went and incurred a debt of fifteen thousand zuze (either £2,500 or £7,500) and gave the money little by little [to the Arabs], with the hope of (103) redeeming the Catholicus. And when those who had seized the Catholicus had received the sum of five thousand dinars, and the chalices, and the eucharistic patens, and everything that was in the palace, and that debt [i.e. the money which the disciple had undertaken to pay], they went forth from the palace at mid-day of the third day of the week.

And then a great tumult took place, and the peoples of the Arabs came with a great rush to destroy the great church of Mar Shalita, the holy martyr, and they destroyed it. And they took everything that was in it, the veils (or hangings), and the vessels and other objects used in the service. And the uproar made by their outcries, and the storm of their shoutings shook almost the earth itself and the inhabitants thereof. Peradventure the reader of this history, since he was not caught in the middle of that storm, may think that the writer is telling a fabulous story; but to speak the real truth, he who stateth what is here written calleth God to witness, that it is impossible for even one of the events which took place to be adequately described and written!

Then King KHETAM (or HATHOM), TAKPUR (TAKAWOR) of the ARIMNAYE (ARMENIANS), came down (104} into that church which RABBAN SAWMA had built, and by means of the greatness of his gifts (i.e. bribes), and by his soldiers, saved it from destruction. And the Catholicus having made his escape from the hands of those who had seized him, fled to it and hid himself therein that night. In the morning of the following day, which was the fourth day of the week (Wednesday), a certain Amir, who was one of the envoys of the Nawruz mentioned above came and brought certain letters [ordering] the murder of the Catholicus. And he seized many of the men, among whom were some belonging to the TAKPUR, i.e. king, [and said unto them "Show me the Catholicus, for I have certain business with him." When Mar Catholicus heard this his heart quaked and he fled from the church and left TAKPUR; and King TAKPUR appeased the Amir with certain gifts which he gave to him, and he departed from MARAGHAH.

After a few days, King TAKPUR himself (105) went to TABHRIZ, and Mar Catholicus changed all his apparel, and went forth by himself in the guise of one of the servants, and he accompanied TAKPUR as far as the city of Tabhriz, where King KAZAN had arrived. And the Catholicus kept himself hidden for seven days, until TAKPUR had been able to go unto the presence of King KAZAN, and make his story known to him, then TAKPUR asked him to go and see the king. Now, since the men who were in the regular service in the palace of the Catholicus were scattered, there remained with the Catholicus a certain number of poor young men who cleaved to him, and these went into the presence of King KAZAN with him. And the king did not know him. And when he had saluted him he asked him two questions: "Whence comest thou?"and "What is thy name?"and that was all. And the Catholicus answered him in a word, i.e. briefly, and blessed him, and then went forth, trembling having entered his bones. But this was not due to [his fear of] death, but to his seeing to what a pass the children of baptism (i.e. the Christians) had come! And because of the angel who consoled him, and his wakeful mind (106) admonished him, saying, "No temptation hath come to you except that which is of the children of men"(I Cor. x.13), he still kept up his courage with weeping and groaning, saying, "Who gave my head water, and my eyes fountains of tears, that I should weep by day and by night over the breaking of the daughter of my people? "(Jer. ix.1). Thus did these things happen.

Now it was cold in those days, and the Camp was removed to the winter station of MUGHAN; and NAWRUZ, the accursed one, was at TABHRIZ. And the Catholicus, without money for expenses, and without a beast to ride, and without any baggage-animal, returned to MARAGHAH. He remained a few days in [his] Cell, and then other men came seeking for him, but he escaped from their hands by flight, but, though with considerable risk, he went back there day after day. Now it was well known that all glory which is of this world bringeth upon itself in the end the humiliation which is from God, and that glory attaches in the end only to the abject humiliation which [is endured] for God's sake. That winter the Catholicus sent to the Camp [of the king] one of [his] disciples so that (107) he might effect a change in the orders, and make known [to the king] how matters were. And he returned as one fleeing [for his life], for there was no one who would espouse the cause of the Christians, or who would show compassion on those who were broken[hearted]. This disciple only escaped with the greatest difficulty from the hands of a man who was an unbeliever, and who had abandoned his Faith and had become a Hagaraya (i.e. Muhammadan).

After the Feast of the Nativity of the year of the Greeks, one thousand six hundred and seven (A.D. 1295), on the Sunday [when the prayer beginning] "Mare kul kadh badhemutha"(i.e. "the Lord of all in the Image") [is said], messengers of Nawruz, the accursed one, again came down against the Catholicus. They bore in their hands orders which said, "Give us, O Catholicus, the ten thousand dinars which thou didst receive in the time of King KAIKHATO. Behold the 'Tamgha,' that is to say the document which is sealed with the seal of the Amir, and contains the order for giving them back."Now the [treasury of the] palace of the Catholicus was empty, for it had been plundered long ago. When the servants of the palace heard this they straightway dispersed and sought refuge in flight, and the Catholicus remained in the hands of the Mongols who had become Muhammadans and those who had brought them (108). And fear fell upon the sons of the Church (How [sad] wouldst thou say. How [sad]!), and even the reverend old men who were in the palace fled, Mar Catholicus remained alone in the hands of those accursed and impudent men. That night he promised to give them a village, but they would accept nothing but gold. And when straightway, they threatened to beat him, he began to borrow [money] and to give it [to them], and throughout that day, which was the first of the week (Sunday), until towards the evening they took [from him] two thousand dinars.

Then certain of [his] disciples took counsel with Mar Catholicus in order to help him to flight, and to deliver him from the hands of those [impudent men]. He was afraid [at first] of this, but when they pressed him he harkened (i.e. consented). And at cock crow they brought him out through a small opening in the chamber in which he was imprisoned. Now the size of the opening was so small that a person would think that not even a child could come out through it, and they lowered him down and he went to other places and kept himself hidden.

And when the day dawned the Muslim Mongols were sorely vexed and they did not know what they were to do. And they were also afraid lest someone should take vengeance on them (109), saying, "Ye have destroyed the Catholicus."Thereupon they straightway went forth from the city, and made their way to Baghdad.

And whilst these men were in the act of parting, another messenger arrived, an evil man who was more wicked than Nawruz, the accursed. And there was with him a Christian who had become a Muhammadan, and he brought with him another Order to the effect that thirty-six thousand dinars ( £18,000) should be given [by the Catholicus]. And because Mar Catholicus was in hiding, those impudent messengers seized certain of the disciples in the palace, and by means of many blows and tortures they reduced the bodies of the disciples to a state of helplessness. And they hung them up head downwards [in the open air] during the days of frost and snow when the cold was more intense than any which had ever before been experienced. And after all [the people] in the city had been gathered together to obtain their release, the disciples were only delivered from the hands of these wicked men with the greatest difficulty by paying sixteen thousand dinars (£8,000). And the Catholicus and all those who cleaved to him, whether venerable old men, or monks, or members of the laity, were persecuted by every man, and were obliged to hide themselves (110) in the houses of the laity. And when the persecutors knew that they were in a certain house [those who were hidden therein] straightway departed to other houses. [And this state of affairs lasted] until the great Feast of the Resurrection [A.D. 1296].



Now when the sun had descended into the sign of the Ram, and creation was warmed a little, the Catholicus sent one of the monks of the Cell to the victorious King KAZAN, to the place called MUGHAN, the winter station of all the Mongol Kings, to bless him and to inform [him] concerning the events that had happened to him. And when that monk arrived at the Camp, and he had taken care to see all the Amirs, they introduced him into the presence of the victorious king, and he declared unto him in their entirety all the words which Mar Catholicus had spoken to him saying, "Blessed is thy throne (111), O king, and it shall stand firm forever, and thy seed shall be surely seated thereon for ever."And the king asked, "Why did not the Catholicus come to us?" and the monk replied, "Because of the confused state [of his mind]. He was hung up, and cruelly beaten and his head touched the earth. Through the severe pain which hath been roused in him, he was unable to come to do homage to the king, and it is for this reason that he hath sent me to pronounce his blessing upon thee, O my lord, the king. But when the victorious king shall arrive in peace at TABHRIZ, whether the Catholicus is sick or whether he be well, he will come to salute thee and do homage to thee."

And God caused these words to find mercy in the eyes of the king, and he gave to the Catholicus a Pukdana, according to custom, in which it was laid down that poll-tax,9 should not be exacted from the Christians (112); that none of them shall abandon his Faith; that the Catholicus shall live in the state to which he hath been accustomed; that he shall be treated with the respect due to his rank; that he shall rule over his Throne; and shall hold the staff of strength over his dominion [i.e. that he shall wield his sceptre with vigour and determination]. And he promulgated an Edict throughout all countries, and addressed it to all the Amirs by their names, and to the soldiers, ordering them to give back everything which they had taken from the Catholicus or from the holy old men by force, and to give back to him what those men of Baghdad and their envoys, whom we have mentioned above, had taken. Moreover, he allotted and despatched to the Catholicus five thousand dinars ( £2,500) for his expenses, saying, "These will serve him as a supply until he cometh to us."

Because Christ doth not forsake His Church, He bindeth up the brokenhearted, He redeemed those who are humble in spirit, He is the refuge of the poor, and is their Helper (113) in times of tribulation. God chastiseth in mercy, and in order to possess [the sinner] He maketh him suffer. His rebuke is for the man who hath understanding, and teacheth him that he is not a stranger [to God]. And He doth not leave him that is tempted to be tempted more than his strength [will bear]. And again he envelopeth him with His mercies, and, sustaineth him; and He gathered him into the fold of life after He hath tried him. God--may His honour be adored!--turned the heart of the king towards His people, "for the heart of a king is set in His hands like a fountain of water; He turneth it about in whatever direction He pleaseth,"(Prov. xxi.1).

And from that day the rays of salvation began to shine on the whole Church. In the districts of ARBIL the churches were laid waste long ago. In TABHRIZ and HAMADAN they were entirely destroyed, and their foundations had been uprooted from the earth. In MAWSIL (MOSUL) and its provinces, and in BAGHDAD, the churches had been ransomed at very large prices and tens of thousands of darics. But the Church which the Catholicus MAKIKHA (1257-63) built in BAGHDAD (114) by the command of HULABHU (HULAGU), the victorious king, and TUKOS KHATUN, the believing queen, and the Cell of the Catholicus were taken, and the palace which had belonged to the Arab kings. When HULABHU (see Plates VIII, IX) the father of these kings (i.e. the Mongols) had taken and looted Baghdad he gave that palace to MAR MAKIKHA, the Catholicus, in order that he might establish in it services of prayer on behalf of himself and his seed for ever. Now this was not sufficient, for those who took this church and the Cell of the Catholicus to set up [mosques upon it], but they compelled the Christians to eject from it even the bones of the two Patriarchal Fathers [MAR MAKIKHA and MAR DENHA], and those of the holy old men, and monks, and believers who had been buried therein. And these things were carried out by the command of that son of perdition, that accursed and damned man NAWRUZ, the hater of justice, the enemy of the truth, and the lover of falsehood.

And when that monk whom Mar Catholicus [had sent to the king] returned, and brought with him the Pukdana, [i.e. the royal Edict which restored to him his authority], and showed him the affection of the Amirs, and the greatness (115) of the victorious king's goodwill towards him, the door of the Cell was opened, and the Catholicus took his seat upon his Throne, and gathered together his scattered adherents, and brought nigh to him the members of his household who had betaken themselves afar off. And the Pukdane (Edicts) were read in the Diwan (judical assembly) and every man brought that which he had taken. From that sum of money the Catholicus took what was necessary for travelling to King KAZAN. And he went forth from Maraghah in the month of Tammuz (July) of that year, which fell in the month of Ramadhan, and was the year of the Greeks one thousand six hundred and seven (A.D. 1296), to the place which is called UGHAN (or OGHAN).

Two days after his arrival he went into the presence of the king with appropriate state and ceremony. And the king burned incense according to custom and made the Catholicus to sit on his right hand, and [the attendants] brought wine, and the king took the cup and presented it to the Catholicus, and also to all the holy men who were with him. And from that [time] he began [to treat him] with affection. And in proportion as the king, little [by little], was increasing the honour which he paid to the Catholicus, the hatred which was in the, hearts of the enemies [of the Catholicus] increased (116), and they forged evil plots, and they sent information about everything which took place to that son of perdition, that accursed man NAWRUZ



And in the year of the Greeks one thousand six hundred and eight (A.D. 1296--97), the victorious king came down to pass the winter in the city of BAGHDAD, and Mar Catholicus remained in MARAGHAH. And it fell out that a certain man, who was called by the name of SHENAKH EL-TAMUR (or SHAING EL-TAIMUR, or SHAKH EL-TAIMUR) came into MARAGHAH, and he cast about a report that he had with him an Edict ordering that every one who not abandon Christianity and deny his Faith should be killed. And he added many threats and magnified the severity of the Edict, and inserted various [penalties] which had never before been heard of in the world. Now when the people of the Arabs heard this they became like savages and they stirred themselves up to fight, and their hearts became bold (117) and cruel, and in the fierceness of their strength the whole of their people rushed to the Cell, and plundered everything which they found [there]. This took place during the Fast of Lent, on the fourth day of the week (Wednesday) following the Sunday on which the prayer beginning] "Tau naudhe waneshabbah"(i.e. "come ye, let us praise and glory") [is said].

And when the story went forth that this impudent fellow had done this without any royal command, and had acted solely because of the evil of his disposition, and the intensity of is wickedness, the Amirs and the governors who were in MARAGHAH gathered together, and took counsel, and decided to perform judgement on a following Sunday and to restore to the Cell the various valuable objects which those impudent men had carried off from it. Now these objects were of very great price, among them being the gold seal which the King of Kings MANGU KHAN [the eldest son of TULUI KHAN and grandson of GENGHIS KHAN] (see Plate XIX)--May our Lord give rest to his soul, and make his portion to be with the saints!--had given to the Patriarchal Cell, and that crown which Mar Papa (the Pope) had given to the Cell, (see p. 58), and another seal, made of silver, which the deceased King Arghon had given to Catholicus (see p. 48) (118).

And then [on the following Sunday] the people of the Arabs were assembled before the Amirs and Judges, and the rods for the punishment of the evil doers had been brought [and they began] to beat [them], straightway with one voice they all uttered loud cries [of protest]. And they took stones in their hands, and, shut their ears, and chased the Amirs and the governor every man to his house. And every Christian who fell into their hands they smote and belaboured pitilessly. In the impetuosity of their attack they came to the Cell, and they pulled down all the buildings as far as the beams of the of the roof. And they smashed in with stones the heads of the monks who were in the Cell, and of the young men who had gone up to the roof to hide themselves. When one of the disciples saw these things taking place, he hurled [the stones] back on the Arabs and wounded some of them. Thereupon the Arabs became more infuriated and one of them went up behind that disciple and smote him with [his] sword and cut off his head, and threw it down to the ground. Then the monks who were there cast themselves down [from the roof], and there were some of them whose bones were broken. And one of the Christians (119), seeing that the monks had cast themselves down in order to save their lives, stretched out his hand for the knife, and smote that monk and killed him. Certain believing men grasped the other monks and dragged them into [their] houses. And the treasury of the holy church of MAR GEORGE, which RABBAN SAWMA had built, was broken open and everything that was in the Cell, the vessels of copper and iron, the carpets, and the chests of stores, which had escaped a previous looting, were all taken and carried off at the same time. But by the looting of those things the church itself was saved and delivered from pulling down and destruction. Those impudent men had fully intended to destroy the church, but God in His mercy on that church prevented them from doing this by means of the objects which they looted.

And to speak briefly this last looting was so much worse than the first looting which took place at the beginning [of the persecution], that neither the tongue is capable of describing it, nor the pen of the skilled scribe able to write any account of it]. If God had not shown mercy (120) and the believing woman QUEEN BURGESIN ARGI (?) had not hidden the Catholicus and the holy men in her house, and, with the help of God which supported [her], protected them, all that was left for the Church to do was to bow her head, and veil her face, for those turbulent men were determined to make a massacre.

After five days (121) they departed to a place which is called SHAKATO, and thence they removed themselves to the mountain which is called SIYA KUH, until the king returned from BAGHDAD TO HAMADAN. And in the neighborhood of this city the Catholicus went to him, and when the king saw him he was sorry for him, and for his broken condition. And he issued a Pukdana (Edict) and sent a messenger and gave orders that all the people of the city of Maraghah should be seized, and bound with fetters, and beaten with stripes until they gave up what they had robbed from the Cell, and also that they should rebuild the churches and restore them to their former condition, And after great toil, and the beatings and tortures which they were made to suffer, they had produced a very small part of what they had stolen. and the rest remained [with them].



Now this calamity which overtook the Cell did not suffice, for the believing folk of the Fortress of Arbil fell into a disaster which was even greater than that. For when the natives of the city, [who were] Arabs, were wishing to overthrow the Church [there], through the agency of the KARTEWAYE (or KURDAYA, i.e. KURDS), it happened that certain of the soldiers of the king, who were Christians and were called KAYAJYEH or KAIJAYE), that is to say, "those who go up into the mountains and their hills,"shot arrows at them and killed a certain well-known man (or nobleman). And fighting and hatred followed, and revolt increased, and even grew, and fury and bitter hatred flourished in both parties, namely, in both the Christians and the Arabs (122). And they laid ambushes each party for the other, and they fought pitched battles, and the bridge of the Fortress was cut. Now this did not happen in the ordinary course of events, but because that son of perdition NAWRUZ, the accursed, had gone to KHORASAN, and wished to rebel against the kingdom and to seize it for himself. And he stationed allies in every place, and men who belonged to his party in every district, until God revealed his plans and laid bare his crafty designs. And whilst the Arabs were pressing in on (i.e. beleaguering) that Fortress, the brother of that impudent man, and his wives and children were captured, and the victorious King KAZAN--may his life be preserved!--put them to death on the Sunday [of the prayer] "Ainau asya"(i.e. "what physician"), during the Redeeming Fast (i.e. Lent) of the yea of the Greeks one thousand six hundred and eight (A.D. 1297). And, straightway, rebellion arose afresh. The highways and roads were cut (i.e. blocked) by the keepers of the guard who were stationed upon them, for that son of perdition' NAWRUZ, had escaped, and the troops of the king went forth to search for him; and were longing to catch him.

And whilst they were in pursuit of him, the Christians in the Fortress of ARBIL were to being pushed (i.e. attacked) by those who were outsiders; they cast up embankments and set up battering rams (123), and fixed machines for castings (maghenas), and they made fierce war against the Fortress. And the Metropolitan of ARBIL, whose name was MAR ABRAHAM, and who was an old and feeble man, was captured, together with many priests who ministered in the church, and the clerics and believing men; and some of them were killed and some of them were sold [as slaves] for very high prices. And the Fortress remained in the possession of the soldiers, some of them being Mongols in the service of that Amir who had brought this result about, and others, men belonging to various tribes of the KARTEWAYE (i.e. Kurds). To state the matter briefly, men came from every country to plunder the Christians; and for this reason many murders took place, and carryings off of men and women into captivity which cannot be described. And even among the Arabs many died by the mouth (i.e. edge) of the sword. And matters continued to be thus from the second day of the week (Monday) of the Prayer of the Ninevites until the Feast of My Lord the Adorable Cross, of the year which has been mentioned (A.D. 1297). Thus were these things.

Now the soldiers of the victorious King KAZAN, and a great Amir, (124) who was with him, at length confined that son of perdition [NAWRUZ, the accursed], in one of the fortresses of KHORASAN, and the men of the fortress acted treacherously in respect of him, and put him in fetters and delivered him, bound, to those soldiers. And then and there they cut off his head and sent it to the victorious king. And the messenger who brought the head arrived and came to the victorious king on the twenty-fifth day of Abh (August) of this year, when he was in a place which is called SHAREKHANAH (or SHARAPKHANAH), and is in the neighbourhood of ALA TAK. And the king had rest from the waves of his (i.e. NAWRUZ'S) wickedness and from the storm of his cunning desires and crafty deceits. May his portion be with Satana, his counsellor and fellow-servant!

Now the accusations (or complaints) against the Fortress of Arbil and the believers who were therein increased steadily, and the tumult because of them waxed strong in the Great Camp. It was said:--"These men have killed a large number of Arabs. They have revolted against the Government. Every Ishmaelite (i.e.Hagaraya or Muhammadan) they meet they kill without pity. Enmity increased, threats were multiplied (125), until at length they succeeded in making the reports enter the ears of the victorious king, and they were repeated before his throne. Now as we have said before [in writing of] these [Mongol] kings, God gave the Christians favour in the eyes of the king, and he knew that they were cruelly oppressed. But although he had turned aside from the way of his fathers, and had inclined to dogma [which maketh] bitter the soul, he had not changed his good disposition in respect of them.

As his answer to those men who had made him hear the accusations against the Fortress when Mar Catholicus set out with a following for the [Royal] Camp at ALA TAK, through the force of the circumstances which lay upon him, for there remained not to him one place in which to lay his head, the victorious king sent to him two of the nobles who [stood] before him. One of these was called KHWAJA RASHID AD DIN, and with him was TARMADADH, an Amir. And they said unto him, "The king commandeth; let Mar Catholicus hear his command!"And Mar Catholicus replied, "Most certainly, who is there that would not receive the command of the king--may he live for ever!"And the nobles said, "The king (126) commandeth, saying "If the king were to make the Christians evacuate that Fortress, and give them land, and water, and houses, and protect them from everyone who attempted to injure them, and bring them here, and release them from every burden of tax and duty, how would [this] plan work out, and how doth it appear in thy opinion? For the enmity between these two religions of the ARABS and the SYRIANS hath increased. If the matter be left in the state in which it now is, very grievous injuries will overtake the kingdom through it; if these men are left as they are, many other revolts will spring into existence. What now doth the Catholicus say to the matter, and the manner in which it is to be carried out?"

And the Catholicus made answer to them. When he heard this his eyes became filled with and his mouth showed forth his suffering, and with a bitter choking of his voice he said, "I have heard the command of my lord, the king, and there is no one who can evade it or change the character thereof. If only I could remember what hath happened to me, and show it forth the heavens and the earth would be forced to weep. If it pleaseth you (127), since ye demand of me an answer to declare to the victorious king, I will speak. I had a Cell in BAGHDAD, and a church and endowments which were settled upon me; they have been taken [from me]. The church and the Cell that were in MARAGHAH have been torn up by their roots and cast down, and everything which was in them hath been plundered, as ye are well aware. I have escaped being murdered, and my state is manifest. As for the church and the Cell which were in TABHRIZ, there remaineth only a flat plot of ground with no building upon it, and everything that was in them hath been plundered. The places whereon the Cell and the church stood in the city of Hamadhan it is wholly impossible to point out. There remain now the Cell and the church in the Fortress of Arbil and one hundred souls, and do ye wish to scatter them also and to plunder them? What is the good of life to me? Let my lord the king command either that I return to the East, whence I came, or that I go to the country of the PEROGAYA (Franks) and bring my life to an end there."

(128) When the envoys heard this they were sorrowful, and their eyes also were filled with tears. And they rose up straightway and went in haste to the victorious king, and placed before him these answers, word for word. And forthwith the king--may he live for ever!--gave the command, "The Christians shall not be ejected from the Fortress, and if they are in want of food let it be given to them at the expense of the Diwan until the soldiers can come down on the approach of winter."

And a certain Amir, who was a hateful man, prevented [this order being carried out] for he wrote and acted in another manner. The matter, however, which was most necessary, was the rescue of the oppressed men and prisoners, who were shut up in the Fortress. And after much labour and constant going to and fro an Edict appeared; and envoys were permitted to go to Arbil and release the men in the Fortress And the Catholicus sent with them to the Fortress a certain holy man (a bishop?) that perhaps through his intervention [the envoys] would be able to open the gates of the Fortress [more easily], and that the people would devote themselves to concluding an arrangement for peace.

And the Catholicus said farewell to (129) the envoys and the holy men (bishops?) who were with them, and they arrived at Arbil on the 14th day of the month of 'Ilul (September of the year already mentioned [A.D. 1297]. They tied together the [parts of the] bridge of the Fortress, and they went in and released the men in the Fortress, and after much labour and tribulation of spirit, and suffering of the heart, they made them to be friends with the Arabs. And the expense incurred by the Catholicus and the Christians who were there was not small, for it was about ten thousand dinars ( £5,000) in addition to what was given from the Cell to the Amir who effected this with them, and this amounted to about fifteen hundred dinars more. The chief of the Arabs confirmed (i.e. signed or sealed) the agreement on the oars of the Arabs to keep the peace, and the Metropolitan of the Christians confirmed (i.e. signed or sealed their agreement with the Arabs to keep the peace; and one of the Amirs carried away both documents and exhibited them before the victorious king.

And another Edict was promulgated ordering that the Fortress should belong to the Christians who were empowered to demand the restoration of everything which had gone from them. Thus wickedness ceased, and peace (or goodwill) increased (130) by the help of God and the outpouring of His mercies upon His creatures.

But in spite of all this the Arabs did not cease from evil, and they found means of attacking and doing harm to the Christians as they have always done. And a certain man among them was a lord of the Diwan whose name was NASIR AD-DIN, obtained an Edict from the king ordering the Christians to pay the poll tax, and to tie girdles round themselves when they were walking about in the market-places.Now this calamity was the most difficult of all calamities [to endure]. And many of the Christians were slain in the "City of Peace"(i.e. BAGHDAD). And without any delay the gezitha, that is to say, the poll tax, was dragged from them, and their loins were bound round with girdles; now, to speak the truth the gezitha was not a tax but absolute plundering. And when the Christians were walking in the markets, and among the houses, the Arabs would scoff at them, and revile them and make a mock ol them saying, "See what ye look like in these girdles, O wretched people!"And there was nothing which they could do to afflict them they that did not do to them (131), until at length God had mercy upon them, and lightened all the burdens that rested upon them, and removed far from them the trials which had overtaken them and which had surrounded them on all sides.



And that winter the Catholicus went with the victorious king to MUGHAN, which was the winter quarters of them [i.e. the Mongols]; from there he came with them to there TABHRIZ, and passed the summer in the royal Camp. [This he did thinking that perhaps he might be able discreetly to supply the things necessary both for the Church and himself, and also that he might turn back the violence and strength of the opposition (?) of [his] enemies, and cool their anger. VVhilst things were thus, the victorious king commanded and a seal was made like unto that great seal' which had been stolen [from the Catholicus], and engraved with the same inscription, that was upon it, and a sukur, that is to say (I32)ashater (i.e. parasol) was given to him. Thus the sparks of love were beginning to flash forth from him.

And the Catholicus passed the winter of the year of the Greeks, one thousand six hundred and ten [A.D. 1299] in the Fortress of ARBIL, for from the year which we have mentioned that is, one thousand six hundred and five, he had not seen the people thereof. He rejoiced at the sigh! of them, and passed the winter happily among them. The joy of the father in his children increased, and also that of the children in their father, for they were emerging from labours, that is to say, trials, and were freeing themselves from a great disaster and from stark suffering.

And when the winter had passed, the Catholicus set out in the month of Nisan (April) for the Royal Camp, and he went to MUGHAN where the kings passed the summer. And [the king] rejoiced in him greatly and paid him honour, and commanded that whatever happened, he should enter MARAGHAH again. And in accordance with the [king's] command he went to the city [and arrived there] on the Sunday [of the prayer] "haw dabhithutheh" (i.e. "He who in His being"). And he passed that summer in [his]Cell, with great content, in MARAGHAH (133).

And in the month of the [first] Teshri, (October) of the year of the Greeks, one thousand six hundred and eleven [A.D. 1299], he went down again with the victorious King Kazan to the countries of Arbil and MAWSIL (Mosul). Now the object of the victorious king was to conquer the countries of PALESTINE and SYRIA. And the Catholicus wintered in the Fortress of ARBIL, and during the whole of that winter, he devoted himself to getting ready the money for [the building of the monastery of which he was laying the foundations. And when the victorious king returned from PALESTINE [and SYRIA], having conquered and broken their armies, and plundered them, and scattered, and slain and carried of the inhabitants into captivity--for he hd actually carried out what he had determined to do10--the Catholicus went up again with him to ADHORBIJAN. And he began to build the monastery, and he devoted his whole care and energy to the work until he completed it.

And in the month of 'Ilul (September) of the year [A.D. 1300], KAZAN, the victorious king came to Mar Catholicus at Maraghah, and he remained with him for three days. And the joy of the Christians waxed great, and the kin (134) showed great love towards them, for he knew well that they were simple and guileless, and innocent of wickedness. And he departed with a joyful heart from the Catholicus, who had ministered unto him exceedingly well.

And the king turned and went down again to the countries of ARBIL and MAWSIL in the winter of the year of the Greeks, one thousand six hundred and thirteen [read 1612--A.D. 1300-01]. And the Catholicus also went down with him and accompanied him to a place which was nigh unto the region of SHIGHAR (SINJAR). Then he went back and passed the winter in the citadel of ARBIL,until the victorious king returned, when he again went up with him. And during the going up the KARTEWAYA (KURDS) made an ambush for Mar Catholicus, and as he was passing on the road, they sent arrows at him, and an arrow hit one of his fingers and wounded him slightly. The victorious king was enraged at this and he swore the full Mongol oath, saying, "I will take vengeance of those Kurds" (135).

And when the Catholicus arrived at MARAGHAH he went up to the monastery of MAR JOHN THE BAPTIST, which he had founded, and he took with him the monks whom he had gathered together. His intention was to finish that building, and he said:, "If God hath mercy upon me, and I am able to finish it and to consecrate it, this would be a great act of grace on His part towards me."And God--may His honour be adored!--helped him, and, his object, according as he wished, was accomplished. And that building was finished with everything that was beautiful, and the ornamentations thereof were such that words cannot describe their great excellence.

The buildings were handsome, the doors were things to be admired, and its superstructure was raised above on worked slabs (or pillars?), and its foundations of dressed stones were truly laid. Thus it was, he made its doors of dressed slabs, ornamented. with designs, and its stairways were also of dressed stone. What wards can describe its majesty [adequately]? And the site on which the edifice was built possesseth great consolation [i.e. charm], and is full of splendour. The veils [i.e. curtains] that are before the door of the altar, and in front of the tombs and the sacristy, are most wonderful and marvellous. They are made of a woven fabric (136), with designs in hollow work, and have threads of fine gold running through them. Its wall is so high [that its height] preventeth the attainment of the scaling of it. As for the water suppIy of the monastery, water flowed through all the cells of the monks, and carried outside it by means of channels (or drains) every impurity. Recently a cell for the Patriarch has been built in the monastery, and the Throne is therein to-day, for the Patriarch doth not go out therefrom. And the greater number of the layings on of hands [i.e. ordinations] take place therein, and the decrees, that is to say, ecclesiastical cannons are confirmed therein.

There too are fixed [i.e. deposited] the relics of the saints, whose names we will mention presently and healings descend upon all those who take refuge in them. And although, strictly speaking the monastery was built [in the name of] MAR JOHN, the Baptist, there have, nevertheless been gathered together therein the relics of [many other] saints, with a care and diligence which surpasses. And these have been laid up there for the help of believers, and as a refuge for the afflicted, and the relief of those oppressed with pain, and the consolation of those who are troubled. The holy shrine, containing relics (137) are arranged in order and are placed near each other.

The length of the temples (i.e. the two naves and aisles of the monastery, together with the altar is, according to those who have measured them say, sixty cubits (about 100 feet), and the width of the middle nave is twelve cubits [about 20 feet]. The altar, and the chamber of the holy of holies, and the treasury are very spacious. The whole of the outside of the dome of the altar is inlaid with green glazed (kashani) tiles, and on the top of it is placed a cross. The names of the saints' relics and portions of whose bodies are preserved in it are: Of the blessed Mother, my LADY MARY, a small piece of her head-cloth which the deceased RABBAN SAWMA had brought from the countries of the PEROGAYE, Franks); MAR JOHN the BAPTIST; the holy Apostles PETER and PAUL--may their prayers be with the community!; MAR THOMAS the Apostle; and MAR GEORGE; MAR ADDAI and MAR MARI, the Apostles, and preachers of the Gospel in the regions of the East; MAR STEPHEN the Protomartyr; MAR CYRIHACUS, the martyr who was martyred at TARSUS, A.D. 301], and the Forty Martyrs [who were slain by SAPOR II, A.D. 356]; MAR SIMON BAR-SABBA'E, martyred by Sapor II at Ledan]; (138) MAR JOHN of DAILEM; MAR SERGIUS and MAR BACHUS, [martyred by Maximian]; MAR SHALITA, (see p. 88); MAR SABHA the martyr; MAR HANAN 'ISHO; MAR SAMUEL; MAR JAMES, who was cut in pieces; MAR SELIBHA, MAR IISHO'-SABHRAN, MAR ELISHA, the tried martyr; the holy daughter of MA'YO (MANYO); and SHAMONI and her sons [who were slain by ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES]. May their prayers help the world, and may it preserve the inhabited portion of it from every harm!

[And the Catholicus] consecrated the church and set the stone of its altar in its place on the day of the holy festival of Mar (i.e. my.Lord) the Adorable Cross on the 13th day of 'Ilul (September) in the year of the Greeks one thousand six hundred and twelve (A.D. 1301). And on the day of its consecration there were gathered together all blessed believers of Adhorbijan, and they flocked thither bearing votive offerings and tithes, each one according to his ability, and every man according to his position and rank. And they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And Mar Catholicus made a great feast, and he gathered together to it men of every shade of religious belief and opinion. And he took (139) the cup and presented it to all of them, and made them to enjoy the feast. And he blessed them even as did SOLOMON the king when he had completed that great house of God (2 Chron. vi.) and blessed the people of the Lord.

And the amount of money which the Catholicus spent on the monastery before he finished it was four hundred and twenty thousand zuze [i.e. between £40,000 and £50,000]. And he gave apparel to the holy men (bishops?) and monks, and architects, that is to say, the carpenters and the handicraftsmen, and every one had toiled on the building, to each according to his rank, and according to the service he had rendered. Behold, services of prayer, and celebrations of the Eucharist take place therein continually; it is a spectacle (or public show) for all the Orientals, and a refuge which dispenseth help. The Catholicus gave to this holy monastery a village called DHABHI, which lay in the eastern parts of MARAGHAH, and which he had bought for eleven thousand dinars. He made the village "Wakf," that is to say, he settled it as a permanent endowment for the monastery. And he settled other properties upon it, such as gardens, vineyards, plantations, fields,and other things, so that (140), the income from them, that is to say, from [the sale of] the crops which they produced, would sustain the life of the monks and provide food for them, and for lamps and candles, and defray the cost of the repairs and the upkeep of that holy place. And he called that holy monastery, "Malka dhe 'Umre," i.e. the "King of Monasteries." May he receive [from] our Lord his reward and may He grant him the wages of his weary toil, namely, the happiness which is in the kingdom of heaven, and a sojourning with the saints, the lovers of our Lord Jesus Christ; and may our Lord place on his right hand every one who hath laboured with Mar Catholicus and been associated with him in this work! Amen.



And after the completion of this monastery, and the consecration of it, Mar Catholicus went to TABHRIZ, to the victorious King (141) KAZAN. And the king welcomed him gladly, and looked on him joyfully, and paid him honour more than was customary, and magnified him in an unusual manner. And he asked questions about his building [and the progress of] his work, and when Mar Catholicus said that it was entirely finished, the victorious king rejoiced and was glad; and Mar Catholicus blessed him before those who were reclining there. And the king himself set out for MUGHAN to pass the winter there, but he commanded Mar Catholicus to dwell in his monastery throughout the winter, saying, "It is a new building, and it will be agreeable and convenient for its master [to be there], because of the great labour [which he hath expended on it]."

And at the return of the year [in 1302?], when the king came back from MUGHAN, the Catholicus again went to see him, and to pronounce blessings upon him; now this meeting was exceptionally joyful [to each], and the sight [of each other was most grateful to them. The king set apart for him a seat of honour on his right hand, and gave him many gifts, that is to say a Paiza (see p. 62) and costly royal apparel, and he manifested towards the Catholicus the sincere love which cometh from a very pure heart. And Mar Catholicus thanked him (142), and then returned to ARBIL in the year of the Greeks, one thousand six hundred and fourteen [A.D. 1302], that he might go from there to BAGHDAD. Now it was a long time, in fact a nine years since he had been to that Great Throne, and the chief reason for his journey thither was the determination of the victorious king to go there.

He set out from ARBIL on the day of the Friday after the Festival of the Nativity of that year (A.D. 1303], arid he entered BAGHDAD on the night of the holy Epiphany. And he made a festival in DARATH RHOMAYE, and all the congregation rejoiced in him, and his own gladness was exceedingly great. And after twenty days he departed from BAGHDAD, and went to the city of HILLAH (which lieth by the side of Babil (Babylon), which NEBUCHADNEZZAR, the Chaldean king, built), that he might see King KAZAN. When the Catholicus arrived there he went to the king on the day of the "White Festival" [i.e. the Festival of the New Year when men and women alike wore white apparel], which (143) the Mongols were celebrating. And the victorious king welcomed him more gladly than words can say, and he asked him questions and why he had taken the trouble to visit him; and Mar Catholicus replied to him in appropriate words.

Now the king had determined to go to Palestine [and Syria] a second time, and to subdue and conquer those countries a second time. And when after some days Mar Catholicus [went to] see the king, so that he might [obtain permission] to return to BAGHDAD, the king gave him five splendid vestments of great price, which were [usually] worn by kings, and he concluded all the matters of business which the Catholicus had to do with him according to his request. Then the king went to those countries [of Palestine and Syria], and the Catholicus went to BAGHDAD, and lodged in Darath Rhomaye. And he dwelt there for the whole of that winter, and hoped that at the end of the Lenten Fast he might go up again to ADHORBIJAN, and take up his abode in the monastery which he had built.

And on the 10th day of the month of Nisan (April) of that year [A.D. 1303] he departed from Baghdad., the City of the Throne, and on the 13th day of the month of 'Iyar (May) (144) he arrived at the city of Maraghah, and he rested in peace in the monastery which he had founded. Later, on the 10th day of the month of Haziran (June), the victorious king himself came to this monastery, and Mar Catholicus met him and welcomed him with pomp and ceremony. And as was befitting, he made a great feast for him and the kings, and the Amirs, and the nobles of his kingdom. And the king paid him very great honour, and he made his rank to be higher, than that of everyone else; and he made him great and excellent promises, and taking off the cloak of his body, he arrayed him therein, and all the believers rejoiced with an exceeding great joy.

And the king passed the night in the monastery. And that night, whilst he was sleeping, he saw in his dream three angels standing above him, the apparel of one of them was red, and the two others were clad in shining green garments. And they spake words of consolation to him, and gave him reason to hope that the disease in his toes would be healed. And on the following morning, the king brought out a splendid cross made of fine gold, wherein (145) rare stones of very great price were set, and in it was a fragment of the adorable wood of the Cross of our Vivifier which had been sent to the king as a mark of honour by MAR PAPA of the Romans, and he gave it as a gift to Mar Catholicus. And the king related his dream before all those who were seated there, and confessed (or declared), saying "Through the blessings of this holy hothouse I have got healing."And he remained there all that day praising and magnifying Mar Catholicus. Then he set out for that place wherein he used to pass the summer, that is to say 0ghan. And on the 20th day of Haziran (June) of this year the king--may he live with victory!--sent to Mar Catholicus, by his own courier, a famous horse, on which he himself rode, and a rich and splendid robe, with salutations to Mar Catholicus, and promises of future favours of all kinds. Later in this year, in the month of Abh, the victorious king sent to Mar Catholicus vases of crystal, and vases of glazed porcelain (kashani, in Persian djini) with (146) designs on them in gold. [The king] had brought handicraftsmen from the city of DARMASUK (DAMASCUS) and from KASHAN [on the Tehran road]. By the dispatch of these vessels [the king] showed great love for [MAR CATHOLICUS.].

Any whilst the king remained in the city of TABHRIZ, Mar Catholicus went down to pass the winter, according to his wont, in the Fortress of ABRIL. In the month of the latter Teshri (November), in the year of the Greeks, one thousand six hundred and fifteen [A.D. 1303], all the Fathers and the Christian nobles who were there gathered together to him, and after the great festival of the Resurrection of our Lord [A. D. 1304], the great Amir, to whom was entrusted the direction of the affairs of the Government of DIARBAKR, came to visit Mar Catholicus, who went up with him quietly (or slowly) in great state to the monastery which he had built. And he arrived there on the night of the Feast of Pentecost. Five days later there came to him the bitter, horrible and truly evil report of the death of the victorious King KAZAN. He died on the Sunday (147) of Pentecost, at the turn of the day (i.e. towards the evening) on the border of the city of SAHAND [in ADHORBIJAN]. And all the inhabitants of the countries of his great dominions mourned for him. His coffin was brought to the city of TABHRIZ, on the Sunday [of the prayer] "Kul medem sa'ar,"i.e. "He doeth everything,"and was placed in the great vault which the deceased king himself had built.



And because the great Amirs, who held the steering oars of the Government of the kingdom [of the deceased king], ruled firmly, no rebellion broke out, and no confusion took place in any place whatsoever. They sent straightway for the brother of the deceased king on his father's side, who was called ULJAITO (148), who was in the countries of Khorasan, and they brought him and made him king on the 12th day of the month Tammuz (July) of this year [A.D. 1304]. [Oljaito was the third son of Arghon and was born in 1281. At birth he was called Oljai-Buka, and later Kharbande, i.e. the "Muleteer,"which was changed to"Khudabende,"i.e. "Servant of God."His mother was the daughter of Prince Saruji, the brother of Queen Dokuz Khatun]. And because he had been baptized, when he was a child, in the time of his father, King ARGHON, he used to run in and out often to see Mar Catholicus with his mother URGAU (ARGAU) Khatun, who was a Christian queen. And he enjoyed free and friendly intercourse with him, and loved him with a boundless affection. And the Catholicus rejoiced greatly at his accession [to the throne], and he thought and said, "This [king] will honour the congregation more than his father and his brother when he hath seen and learned the honour in which they held it, and their love towards it."And he did not perceive that voluntary motions vanquish and overcome those which are habitual and natural, especially when they take root and flourish. Now the king had become a Hagaraya (i.e. Muhammadan) in those regions and he had acquired another kind of instruction (or education?) which had made him to forget all the things that appertained to the first (149). And through the numerous discussions which he had heard there, was found in him a kind of hatred of the Christians.

And when Mar Catholicus went to him--now he met him on two occasions--the king paid him due honour, though not heartily; but he received him with a little courtesy, which was due to his venerable position. He gave a mighty hand and a strong arm to the Muhammadans in everything--in gifts, and Pukdane (Edicts), and honours, and [permission] to build mosques--and because of this they treated the churchmen with contempt. And forthwith their wickedness grew strong, and they came at length to sow (i.e. whisper) in the ears of King ULJAITO that they should take the monastery which Mar Catholicus had built, and make the church of the town of TABHRIZ into a mosque, and that its wakf. that is to say the endowments thereof should become the property of the mosque. And this proposal was all but carried into effect, and the evil would certainly have been committed, if God's help and God's grace had not stirred up the excellent Amir IRINJIN--may [his] life be preserved! --the uncle of the king, who restrained their audacity and curtailed their impudence. [Irinjin was the son of Prince Saruji, and the nephew of Dokuz Khatun; he gave his daughter, Kutluk-shah to Oljaito in marriage.] Also they wanted to take possession of the monastery which the Catholicus had built.

And the winter of the year of the Greeks, one thousand six hundred and sixteen (150 (A. D. 1304-05) ) Mar Catholicus passed in the town of Eshnok [in ADHORBIJAN]. And when.there he escaped with the greatest difficulty from the hands of the rebels, and came to the monastery which he had built. And he set out from there for the Royal Camp at 0ghan, and went with the king to TABHRIZ, and he struggled to make prosperous the affairs of the Church, and received [from the king] a Pukdana (Edict), and returned to the monastery. From there he set out to pass the winter in the Fortress of ABRIL and as soon as he arrived there, at the beginning of the year of the Greeks, one thousand six hundred and seventeen [October, A.D. 1305), he laid the foundation of a great Cell in the Fortress, and he built it of limestone and mortar, and he finished it and furnished it with every kind of beautiful thing. And at the beginning of the month of 'Iyar of that same year [A.D. 1396], he went up to the monastery which he had built and passed the summer there. When heard that the king had begun to levy the poll-tax on the Christians, he went again to Oghan, and he met the king, but gained no advantage therefrom.

And the king began to build a city in the neighbourhood (151) of the borders of KAZWAN (KAZWIN), and he finished it and called it "SULTANIYAH." And he collected there handi-craftsmen from all the countries of his kingdom, and he adorned it with splendid buildings, and in a manner which it is impossible to describe.

And since Mar Catholicus was without an income from any source whatsoever, and his expenses were very great, he went again to the Cell which he had built in the Fortress of ABRIL, and he passed there the winter of the year of the Greeks one thousand six hundred and eighteen [A. D. 1306-07], and the summer also, and the winter of the year of the Greeks, one thousand six hundred and nineteen [A.D. 1308]. At the beginning of the month of 'Iyar he went up to Adhorbijan and visited the king in the city of UGHAN. And the king paid him the honour which was usually paid to him.

And the king rode forth to the chase, and he came to the holy monastery which Mar Catholicus had built. And the monks went out to meet him, and they brought him in with pomp and ceremony. And when he went in to the cell of the director of the monastery, that director (152) found mercy in his eyes, and he asked him questions about the Mysteries of the Christians. And the director replied to the king in noble words and most eloquently, and the king was well pleased with the same. Then he went into the Cell of the Catholicus, and sat upon the patriarchal Throne, and he made the monks to come there, and he rejoiced with them, and gave them five pieces of beautiful and valuable cloth. Thereupon the director of the monastery mentioned the poll-tax, and the king promised that he would not again levy it. And he laid no burden of any kind on the monastery (i.e. his visit cost the monks nothing].

And when the king had departed on the following day, the Catholicus having heard [of his visit] came to the monastery, and he grieved greatly that he had not been present in the monastery. And he followed the king, and overtook him by the waters of the river which is called GAKTO in Mongolian and WAKYAROD in Persian, and the holy men (bishops?) and the director of the monastery were with him, And the king paid Mar Catholicus very great honour, and permitted to be written for him, and for the Christians, the great Pukdana of the Pukdane [an Edict conferring very great privileges on the holders], ordering (153) that throughout the whole dominion of his kingdom no man should demand the poll-tax from the holy men, and the monks, and the elders, and the deacons. And when he returned to the monastery, he sent after him (the Catholicus) to TABHRIZ, and he gave him one of his riding mules and a rich robe of honour. From the time when the king entered the monastery the fetter which bound his heart was loosed, and God threw mercy into his heart. And he commander, Catholicus to pass the winter in his monastery, and he himself went into winter quarters at Ughan; now the Mongols call the place "Mughan."

And the Catholicus passed both the winter and the summer of the year of the Greeks, one thousand six hundred and twenty [A.D. 1308-09] in the monastery. And the king showed great mercy in the favourable Edicts which he issued and he allotted to the Catholicus the whole of the poll-tax of ARBIL, and commanded the poll-tax should never again be levied on the Christians. And immediately the Catholicus went to the Fortress of ARBIL in the month of the latter Teshri (November) of the year of the Greeks, one thousand six hundred and twenty-one [A.D. 1309] (154), he fell sick on the road of a deadly, disease, but our Lord healed him, and he went to the Fortress of ABRIL in great state and all the people of the city came out before him and brought him in with great honour.



Now because the divine decrees must of necessity be fulilled, and these decrees would never be carried out but for the causes (or works) of the marvellous government of God, He made in olden time in the mountains certain men who are called "KAYADJAYE,"that it to say, "those who ascend the height of the mountains,"and who quarrel with each other. And certain of these men went to the king and made accusations (155) against their Amir ZAYN AD-DIN BALO, into whose hands was committed the duty of feeding and paying [an army] of three thousand men. And the king was wroth with him and shut him up in prison for one year. And because of him the victorious king sent to the Fortress of Arbil a certain Arab, who was called NASIR, and who was evil by nature and of a bitter disposition. It was he who was the cause of the carrying into effect of that plan of the Arabs, which he began to put into execution already in the year of the Greeks, one thousand six hundred and eight [A.D. 1297]. And all the sons of HAGAR (i.e. the MUHAMMADANS), great and small, high and low, Amirs and soldiers, scribes and lawyers, governors and councilors made a plan secretly to take the Fortress of ARBIL from the Christians, and to destroy, its inhabitants.

It is meet, however, to state the truth, namely that the hearts of the inhabitants of the Fortress, and of those who were with them, had become hard. They had forsaken the way of Christianity; they had treated wholly with contempt the divine laws, and scoffed at recluses, and the priests, and robbed each other, and they had broken through the fences of the laws of our Lord; (156) neither to admonition nor instruction did there remain a place with them. Hatred had waxed great among them, envy had seized their hearts, they brought accusations against each other, and they oppressed and smote, and persecuted, and defrauded, and plundered. And they formed themselves into companies and invaded the houses of their chiefs and to speak briefly, they gave themselves place [i.e. took the opportunity] to perform wickedness of every kind. And no one let the matter enter his mind, and no one feared the fierce anger and the punishment [which was to come].

Although actions such as these are divine, it is Providence that, seizing upon the causes, maketh them complete. As, for example, the cause of the death which God decreed for Adam was the transgression of a command; it was because He had hardened the heart of Pharaoh that He could bring punishment, and others like unto them are mentioned as figures. But the object of Providence [was obvious], from that [which was said to Pharaoh, "I established thee for this purpose, that I might show forth my power on thee, and that my Name might be proclaimed in all the earth"; (157) and in another passage [it is said], "The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, that he might not know Him, so that He might show forth His great works and mighty deeds upon the earth" (Exod. xx.I; iv.17).

These things happened in the hearts of the dwellers in the mountain who are called KAYADJAYE. The dwellers in the Fortress of Arbil hardened [their hearts], and were [therefore] forsaken by divine help, so that the mighty deeds of Providence might be made known, and a hidden things of its glorious nature might be learned. Now although God--may His honour be adored!--knew before He brought man into being, to what object his nature would incline, in establishing him He admonished him, according to what His foreknowledge knew and provided.

Now this man NASIR, whom we have mentioned above, as soon as he had gone into the Fortress, took up his abode in a tower close to the gate, and never went forth from it. He caused to be brought up there, secretly, weapons and munitions of war and soldiers, and he sent a message to the Camp saying, "These men are Yaghaye, that is to say, enemies of the king, because their Amir is shut up in prison" (158). And the more he did this the more the inhabitants of the Fortress were making manifest [their] wickedness. But as for him there was no way in which anyone could do him an injury, for, with the exception of a very few, he had all the people on his side, and the gold of all the Mashlemanutha (i.e.,} Ishmaelites, or Islam). As for them, there was no opportunity (?) for one of them to help his fellow, even with a shamuna (farthing). NASIR possessed the Ahitophelian counsels (see I Chron. xxvii.33) of all the scribes and of all the chiefs, whilst they (i.e. the people of Arbil) had no man [to give them counsel], because they were drunk with wine and had passed beyond [the limits of] their minds [i.e. had gone mad], either because of the absolute abandonment of them by God, or because of the evil works which they performed. And they did not fear the just and righteous judgements of the Lord. And what happened through this? The envoys of the king were coming and going, [and they said], "Rise up, and get ye down from the Fortress, 0 Christians."But they had made up their minds absolutely, to refuse to obey, and to rebel. And in proportion as they acted in this manner, the people (159) of the Arabs rejoiced and were glad, for they knew well that their object would be fulfilled and make itself plain."

And when the condition of things grew worse, there went forth a royal Edict addressed to the Amir, a man who was called SUTI, who was at that time in the regions about DIYAR BAKR, and [to] another man who was called HAJJI DALKANDI, who was a brother of the above-mentioned Nasir, who had taken up his abode in the Fortress. [And the Edict ordered] that, "If the KAYADJAYE are not going down from the Fortress, and if [they will not go], let it be assaulted and reduced by force, and let the troops of the king be gathered together to fight a pitched battle."

Now the Catholicus, because of his love for the kingdom (or Government), did not believe that this would be done in the Fortress whilst he was dwelling in it, and he did not think that the Christians would be treated in this way as long as he was with them. And all [the Christians] neglected to do what they ought to have done, and they were too careless to make a journey to Royal Camp, and show [the king] what had happened to them. And they continued in the sleep of negligence until there overtook them (160) certain events which they never thought could possibly take place.

On the 9th, the fourth day of the week (Wednesday) in the month of Adhar (March) of that year [A.D. 1310], during the Lenten Fast, the son of the Amir whom we have mentioned, and three Amirs of thousands (Chiliarchs) went up to the Catholicus to bring him down, and it was ordered that if he would not come down with them he was to be put in prison. On the following day he came down, being forced to do so, and from the that moment fear and weeping fell on the Fortress; and evil signs made themselves manifest. And they brought the Catholicus to the monastery of MAR MICHAEL of TARIL. And the Amir SUTI came to him, and the soldiers who were with him were from the Amirs of thousands, and others, and he showed him great affection. In times past he had often visited the cell, and was a first favorite with Mar Catholicus, and had been held in high honour by him in the time of the deceased KAZAN. And he said to the Catholicus, "The Edict [of the king] orders that the Mountaineers (KAYADJAYE) shall come down from the Fortress, and that the others shall remain [there]. These (161) will not go forth except at thy bidding, therefore thou shalt send one of thine own men to [make] them go down."

On the morning of the following day, which was the Eve (i.e. Friday), the Patriarch brought oxen, and lambs, and wine to the house of the Amir mentioned above, [and he made a feast], and placed the wine-cup in his hands, according to the custom of the Mongols, and he mounted him on a good horse in order to confuse his senses. [In other words the Catholicus bribed the Amir.] And the Arabs who were there, HAJJI DALKANDI, an the old man (Shekh) Muhammad, who ruled in ARBIL, and his brother who was called AHMAD, were complaining bitterly against the Christians, and also against the Catholicus, and saying, "Besides thyself there is no one who can bring those men down from the Fortress. "But the emir, thinking only of the bribe which had been given to him by the Catholicus, paid no heed to them.

Then they agreed to send messengers [to the Mountaineers] to advise them to come down. The Catholicus sent one of the holy men who were with him, and who was called MAR 'ABHD ISHO' (162) Bishop of HANITHA, and the Amir sent one of the Amirs of thousands, who was called SATI BAG, to talk to them and bid them come down. And when they went and talked to them in very gentle words, which were coupled with promises of benefits, the Mountaineers would neither receive them nor hearken to them; so the envoys turned back and arrived from them on the Sabbath (Saturday), the 14th day of the month of Adhar. And immediately the Amir SUTI heard this, he came to the Catholicus, and held converse with him, saying, "These are YAJAYE, that is to say, enemies [of the government]; thou must send a messenger to them O Catholicus, a second time."And Mar Catholicus himself wrote an exhortation to those men to go down, and he sent it by the hands of the bishops, MAR ISHO'-SABHRAN, the Metropolitan, and the aforementioned Mar Abhd-Isho', and the monks RABBAN DAWID, the anchorite, and RABBAN DENHA, the director of the monastery of MAR MICHAEL of TARIL. And they departed on the night of the Sunday of the prayer "Enhu dhe-te'ol"(i..e. "If Thou wilt enter"), and when the day dawned they went into the Fortress and held converse with the dwellers therein, and they submitted and undertook to go down.

And when NASIR heard this, (163) he straightway hoisted the signal which had been agreed upon between himself and the inhabitants of the city, namely, that when he hoisted the signal on the roof of the tower in which he dwelt, they were to rush up to him and set the battle in array. Now when these wretched men who had been counselled to go down into the church they saw the swords which flashed and the sharp arrows that were falling down [upon them], they made haste to leave [the church] and went with the greatest difficulty to the door of the Fortress, and they too made war from the fourth hour of the day until the evening, and the whole night long. Three of the Arabs were killed, and twelve Christians, and if they (i.e. the Christians) had not hurled fire under the tower all night long, they would all have been slain to a man.

And when the Amir SUTI and the soldiers that were with him heard [of this] they made haste and went and surrounded the Fortress, and they carried the Catholicus, who wept, along with them by force. That same day they went below the Fortress, saying to him as they went, "Do-not allow them to take part in the fight."On the night of the (164) second (?) day of the week (Monday) certain men went down from the Fortress, and God delivered them; but they and the Catholicus, and the clergy who were with him, [were cast into] prison. And from daybreak or, the second day of the week (Monday), the Amir SUTI, and those who were with him, urged MAR Catholicus to send an envoy to them [telling them to let NASIR go down with everything that he had; and he sent the bishop ISHO'-SABHRAN and RABBAN DAWID, the anchorite. And when the Arabs saw them, they killed RABBAN DAWID the anchorite without mercy, and they smote ISHO'-SABHRAN with swords and staves, but God rescued him from their hands, and he fled and came [back].

And the evil condition of things became worse, because punishment had arrived, and the Arabs and the Mongol troops began to throw up mounds and to construct machines of various kinds and to wage war systematically. From the moment when NASIR hoisted that evil signal, the Christians who were in the city were slain in the streets (or bazars), and in the market-places of the city. Many of them fled and went into the houses of the Muslims, but even these were dragged out from them through informers; and on the second day of the week (165) (Monday), they died cruel deaths, no mercy [being shown to them]. The people who belonged to them who were in the prison of the Kadhi, were brought out and beaten cruelly until they received death. The young women were stripped of their apparel, and were made to walk about naked through the streets of the city. And also the women who were with child were ripped open, and [the soldiers] slew the unborn children, and cast their bodies before the gate of the Fortress.

And men were in the habit of going to the Amir SUTI, and saying, "O Amir, send a messenger, and see how [the Christians] are killing the Muslims, and casting [their bodies] at the of the Fortress"And he, in his simplicity believed them, and he gave the order, and the four churches, which were on the plain were pillaged (or destroyed). Two of these, that which was the name of ISHO'-SABHRAN, the glorious martyr, and that which was built in the name of MAN'O, belonged to us. The church of the JACOBITES, which was built in the name of my LADY MARY, and the church of the Armenians, were razed to the ground, and also all the houses and buildings of the Christians, and the Cell (166) of the Metropolitan Throne.

And the Amir sent through all the country, and collected men to fight, and he brought down the KARTEWAYE (KURDS) from the mountains. And the Christians from all the villages, because they were unable to go to the city, gave no small amount of money for weapons of iron and food for the soldiers. And the war waxed strong against the Fortress, which was attacked on all four of its sides by night and by day. And many were killed, both those who were below (i.e. the attackers) and those who were above (i.e.the defenders), and many of the KURDS and ARABS; but few of the Mongols were slain, because they did not come near the Fortress, but were content to shoot arrows from a distance. And the roads were cut to the Christians in that country and everywhere else, and wherever the people saw them they killed them without pity, and said, "Ye are from the Fortress,"or "These men are fugitives."And the stupefaction of death seized every man.

As for the Catholicus, no helper remained to him against those who had seized upon him as far as deeds were concerned, and very few even in the matter of words. In the night season they watched him from near, and in the daytime (167) from afar; and he did not know what was going to happen to him. His thoughts were in a tumult, both through fear for himself and fear for the Fortress. And only with the greatest difficulty did he find an opportunity to write a letter to the Metropolitan of ARBIL who, was a fugitive in the village of BETH SAYYADHE. This man who because he was wroth with the people of the Fortress, for they had not hearkened unto him, had betaken himself to BETH SAYYADHE, together with everything else that he had and settled himself down in that place. [The Catholicus wrote to him], saying, "What will thy escape profit thee if thou dost not go to the [Royal] Camp? "And two days later the Amir SUTI sent guards with the Catholicus, and they brought him to BETH SAYYADHE.

[Thereupon] the Metropolitan set out on the night on which the letter reached him, and in four days he arrived in BAGHDAD, together with the young men who were with him. And he went to the [Royal] Camp, and made known there what had happened to the Catholicus and the Christians. Now the Amirs who were in the Camp had already heard of (168) everything that had happened in full detail, because the Amir SUTI had sent messengers there to report what was being done by him. And the Catholicus also wrote a letter [and sent it] by a messenger to one of the servants of the Cell [saying] what had happened to him; and that servant went and made it known to the Amirs and the councillors, and explained the case to them, and also informed them about the massacre which had taken place. And the hearts of the Amirs who had no knowledge whatsoever of this event were utterly stupefied, for those who had committed this deed had held their peace. Following on this also quickly came the Metropolitan, and he repeated the story before all the Amirs. And a royal Edict was written and sent by a messenger to the Amir SUTI, saying, "Thou hast explained to us the matter in this wise, but the Catholicus in other wise; which of you are we to believe and hold as true?"Thus the [course of the] evil was restrained somewhat.

When the Amir SUTI heard of this thing, he was exceedingly grieved (169) and became furiously angry. And he sent for the Catholicus and had him brought to him, [and he said to him], "Hast thou written thus and thus? "And all the people of the Arabs were shouting abuse at the Catholicus, and each man was crying out what he wanted [to do] with him. And the Catholicus said, "I have written nothing, but a certain Metropolitan belonging to the district went and spake on behalf of his house and his flock"And they (the Amirs) said, '"Now make these rebels to come down, according to the royal Edict, and if thou wilt not do that, write thy declaration that they are Yaghaye (i.e. enemies)"Then the Catholicus sent to the Metropolitan of MAWSIL (MOSUL), and some of the young men of the Cell, and exhorted them [to come down], but they were afraid do so.

Now there were among them certain men who were really rebels, and they, fearing to be massacred, were strengthening the others in their rebellion so that they might not go down, Thereupon the Amir SUTI and those of his party gained an advantage over the Catholicus, and they pressed him saying, "Thou must give us thy writing (i.e. certificate) that those men are YAGHAYE (i.e. enemies), that we may send a messenger to inform the king."And they seized upon and carried off everything (179) that he had with him. Some of those men who had come down with him they killed, some they sold as slaves. And by force they obtained a certificate from the Catholicus, and the holy men who were with him, which was worded as they wished.

On that day the Amir sent HAJJI DALKANDI [to the king]. Now he was a kinsman of the king and on his arrival he exhibited the matter [i.e. the certificate of the Catholicus]. And one of the Amirs, who was called ASAN KUTLOK, rebuked him severely, and reproved his impudence because he knew the truth, and perceived that the certificate had been obtained by force; and he wished to smite HAJJI DALKANDI, who removed himself. And the aforementioned Amir, and all the councillors, went to the king and explained the matter. And the king issued an Edict ordering that the men in the Fortress and the Arabs should make peace, and that on neither side should reprisals be made, and that no man should fight again. This Edict was promulgated only after many exertions, and troubles and anxieties on the part of the Metropolitan and his companions, and it was committed to the care of certain of the sons of the kingdom (princes?) that they might carry it to ABRIL (171). And HAJJI DALKANDI went back in disgrace, and his face was covered with shame. With the Edict there came two of the disciples of the Cell, and they arrived at ABRIL on the day of the Eve of the Confessors (i.e. the Friday after Easter). And straightway they tied (i.e. rejoined) the bridge which had been burnt, and they made peace, and many came down from the Fortress to the plain.

Now, as has been already said, the Muhammadans gave to NASIR, and to his brother, as much gold as they wished to expend in bribes, and thus they were able to satisfy the cupidity of the messengers who had brought the Edict; and they suggested to them to go up into the Fortress. And when they had gone up no man spread a cushion for them to sit upon, and they were not offered food, not even a crust of bread, and no man gave them any money, not even a shamuna (i.e. farthing). Then those messengers repented concerning the peace, forsooth! which they had made, and they reverted to their evil and bitter disposition. And they wished to inflict some injury on the young men of the Cell who were with them, but one of them fled from the them secretly by the door of the Fortress to the village of BATH (172) and they pursued him but he was not to be found. Then they seized his companion and put him under restraint. And the messengers [of the king] pursued [the other] and came to the village of BETH SAYYADHE, and they brought back the Catholicus, and repeated the words, "These men will not come down except at thy word; come, hearken to the Edict."

And when he (the Catholicus) arrived at ARBIL, all the people gathered together to SUTI, and began to use violent language towards the Catholicus; but he, because of the great reliance which he placed in the Government, made answer to them in bold words. Then the Catholicus sent a message by the Amir SUTI, and ordered the men in the Fortress a second time to come down. And they were to swear by the Gospel that they would do no harm to NASIR, and he also was to swear [to do no harm] to them, and thus there would be peace [between them]. And many came down and swore that they would do him no harm, and that they would be subservient to him according as he wished. And it being ascertained that of a surety he had gone up with three hundred men, the gate [of the Fortress] was shut, because their hearts were full of guile. When SUTI saw that it was thus, he seized those who had come down and slew them.

And the companion of the young man of the Cell who had fled (173) was questioned closely about his fellow-disciple, and beaten severely; only with the greatest difficulty did the Catholicus save his life. Then they seized the horses and mules of the Cell, and everything which the young men and the holy men had who came with the Catholicus, and they carried off even their clothes. And after this they said with deceit to the Catholicus, "We will take thee up to the street (or market) below the Fortress, and bring the chief men of the city to thee there, so that no man may quarrel again or be stirred up to make war until we can inform the victorious king." The Catholicus in his simplicity agreed, and went up into the Fortress, but he did not know of the trap which the Muslims had made (i.e. laid) to kill him.

On that same day there came to the Amir SUTI a messenger from his houses (i.e. home), who said, "The soldiers of the PALESTINIANS have invaded [thy] domains, and if thou dost delay in coming peradventure even thy house (i.e. wife and family will be carried off into captivity." And forthwith [he and] all the soldiers who were with him set out, although he was very ill and suffering from a serious sickness. And at the foot of the Fortress there remained only the KURDS and the natives of the city. On the following day war broke out (174) again, and on both sides massacres took place. The roads were cut, and there was none who went out or went in, and no one who carried out or took in news. Famine waxed strong in the Fortress. And every one who went out either to flee or to fetch in food for his house, was killed without mercy. Catholicus, and the three clerics who were with him, and the young men who remained with him, were imprisoned in the Fortress without a covering, without a cushion to lie on, without sustenance and without food. And the punishment became more severe, ruin increased terror waxed strong, and there remained neither a helper, nor a place of refuge, nor any one who was able to utter a word which would help [them].

As for those messengers, they returned to Camp with HAJJI DALKANDl, and they explained to the king that [the people in the Fortress] were enemies, that the Catholicus stirred them to revolt, that he had given a bribe and gone up into the Fortress, and had opened the places of treasure, and distributed gold, and had produced for them stores of wheat, and weapons of war and ropes and machines for fighting, and had strengthened their intention to carry on the war (175).

Thereupon evil ruled supreme in the hearts of the king and his nobles, and again Edicts were promulgated, thirteen in number, and addressed to all the Amirs, by name, to each of the Amirs of the KURDS by name, to each of the four Amirs of the King of the Mongols by name, and one to the whole country of ARBIL. [In these it was ordered] that if any man sendeth up food to the Fortress, or giveth it to the men there, his village shall be looted and [his people] slain, and any estate belonging to.him in the district shall be taken from him, and shall become the property of the king absolutely; and it was ordered that [the Amirs] were to prosecute the war with the armour of strength, and to bring it to a triumphant end for the sake of the Ishrnaelite Faith.

And [the king] sent a separate Edict addressed to the Catholicus by name, in which it was set forth the following: "We and our fathers have paid thee honour so that thou shouldst pray for us, and give us thy blessing: but now that thou hast acted otherwise, know thou that that which is coming upon thee is due to thyself and not to us."And they handed the Edicts over to one of the men who were at the Door of the Kingdom (i.e. the palace or Camp), who was called TOGHAIN and to HAJJI (176) DALKANDI, both being in very truth, enemies of all Christendom, that they might go to ARBIL and work their will.

Now the Metropolitan of ARBIL remained in the Camp for three days after those messengers had been sent, with the two young men of the Cell, to make peace. And he pondered, saying, "If the natives of the Fortress and the Arabs make peace, there is nothing to be gained staying in the Camp, but if they go on fighting, it is impossible for me to speak without the advice of the Catholicus."And straightway he rose up and came in haste to the village BETH SAYYADHE, but on his arrival he found that the Catholicus had been carried off that very day, together with the holy men who were with him, even as has been shown above, and had been imprisoned in the Fortress. And all the Christians, were in a state of acute suffering, and they grieved sorely, their grief being from the heart, and not on the eyebrows and eyelids as is the case with certain people. And it dissolved the flesh and rent asunder (177) the bones, because they did not know what was going to happen to them at the hands of the Arabs, and whether they would be delivered from this persecution or not. And they were like those who have suffered shipwreck, and are being buffeted by waves and tempests, for they were afraid of sinking through the destruction of the persecution.

Now the aforementioned Metropolitan was not able to endure [this uncertainty]. He thought that he would go back to the Camp, but was in doubt about it, because for one thing the roads were cut, and he had no companions of any kind with him, and there would remain no opportunity of taking counsel with the Catholicus. On the other hand, if he dwelt in the Cell, whilst the Catholicus and the holy men were suffering affliction and tribulation, and the Christians being put to the torture, he would be condemned by the canon of truth and the law of Christ, which saith, "Whether it be shepherd or whether it be friend, it is meet for him to lay down his life, and to give himself to death, and to think scorn of his life, and to bear tortures of all kinds for the love of Christ."(Cf. I John iii.16.) And he became emboldened, and took with him the young men of the Cell (178), who had fled and were in hiding, and they went forth from the village of BETH SAYYADHE in the evening of the sixth day of the month 'IYAR (May) of that year [A.D. 1310]. And they marched all night and all day long, over mountains, and across plains, and hills, and barren rocks, being in fear and terror of ambushes by the enemy, without any place in which to shelter, and with not enough food to satisfy [them]. And by the help of God they arrived in the city of HALMADHAN in ten days, for they had heard that the king was there.

And when they had gone into the city [they found that] the victorious king had departed that day, and had gone to the royal city of the Mongols. On the following day the Metropolitan and the young men departed, and went to Sultaniyah and they heard [there] that those Edicts had been given to the two men who have been mentioned above, namely TOGHAN and HAJJI DALKANDI, and that they were preparing to set out and go to ARBIL. On hearing [this] their hands dropped helplessly, their knees tottered, and their eyes dripped with tears over the breaking (179 up of the Church, and what had happened to her children. And they took counsel with certain men who were friends of the Catholicus, and certain churchmen, as to what they should do And answer was made to them, saying, "If ye hesitate to spend your own moneys, and those of the Cell, the Catholicus will perish and ye yourselves also, and the churches will be pillaged, and also the Wakf (i.e. endowments) of the Christians will disappear because of the Catholicus."

Then straightway the Metropolitan took with him a certain sum of money, and he went to one of the Amirs, who was a near kinsman of the king. And they took him into the presence of the Amir, who treated him with honour, and listened to his speech about the Catholicus and also about the Christians. And the Amir took from him a copy, written by the hand of the Metropolitan, of everything that he had said, and showed it to the [other] Amirs and to the king, victorious in God!, as will be shown afterwards. And the Amir delivered him over to three men who were close friends of his, so that they might take him to each one of the Amirs and Wazirs, who [stand] before the king, that he might say with his mouth (180) what he had written. And those men brought him to an Amir who was called ASAN (HASAN (?)) KUTLOK, and to Khawaja SAID AD-DIN, the chief of the scribes, and to the Wazir Khwaja RASCHID AD-DIN.

And the Metropolitan spake boldly the following address: "Mar Catholicus saluteth you, saying. Ye know, O Amirs, that it is this day five and thirty years since I came from the East; and that I have been made to sit on this Throne of the East by the Will of God; and that I have served and blessed seven kings in all long suffering, and in the fear of God, and especially the father of the present victorious king, the deceased ARGHON, and his mother the believing Queen URGHO (sic) KHATON. I have deceived no man. I have coveted none of the property of the Government, and if certain gifts have been bestowed upon me by them (i,e. the kings), I have spent them again on their behalf (181). Although I was a young man once, I am now an old man; and I have no wife, no children, no relatives, and no kinsfolk. Am I likely to rebel against the king for the sake of the love of the world? Or shall I think of snatching away from him anything that is his? Why then should the words which mine enemies [speak] against me be believed? Moreover, I have never experienced any evil thing from the present victorious king in God, and God forbid [that I should]! But even supposing that it could happen and that he wrought evil upon me--which God forbid! I am commanded by the Holy Gospel, the Book which I confess, to return good for evil, for it saith, 'Pray for your enemies, and bless him that curseth you, and do what is good to him that hateth you,' (Matt. v. 44). And it is impossible for me to abandon that which I have been commanded by God, through Christ, for transgression of the command maketh a man, whoever he may be, a stranger to Him that laid down the command. I beseech you. If the king is convinced in his heart that I have committed evil, let him bring me (182) to the Door of the Kingdom and inform me accurately what I have done; and then, supposing I deserve death, he will be guiltless of my blood. But let him not leave me in the hands of my enemies."This was the speech of the Catholicus.

[And the Metropolitan spake saying]: "All Christians who are in the Fortress say, 'We are not rebels against the victorious king. But are terribly afraid of our enemies the KURDS and the ARABS, who kill us unsparingly; and we have no one who will have pity upon us, and will make known to the king the state of affliction in which we live. We are the servants of the king and subject unto him, and at all times we pay the tribute and taxes at which we are assessed. Now if the king commandeth us to bring down these KAYADJAYE, on whom the king's heart rests, have we strength enough? But if he commandeth us ourselves to come down from the Fortress, let him send to us one who will deliver us from the hands of these tyrants, and let him [then] command us to go whithersoever he wisheth. We do not dwell here because of the pleasantness of the place but because of our great fear (183) of the PALESTINIANS and the KURDS. Behold, our sons and our daughters have been carried off into captivity, and the greater number of [our] men have been slain. And, O Amirs, all of you are well acquainted with these [facts], and I, the Metropolitan, your servant, pledge myself by what I have said in the document which I have written and given [to you]."

Then the Amirs accepted the statement, and showed it to the victorious and merciful king. And the king commanded that the Amir of the Amirs DJOPAN should know the matter, and should bring the Metropolitan to him that he might hold converse with him. And when they had brought him he spake all the things which have been recounted [above] and added, "It is through thee that all these things have been done to us."Now some bond existed between him and the Amir of the KAYADJAE-, who was called BALU. And he received the statement unhesitatingly, and stopped the journey of HAJJI DALKANDI to Arbil, and made promises of good things (184) to come. And he selected men to go as envoys besides those who had been first [chosen].

Notwithstanding these things, and not to make [our] narrative too long, HAJJI DALKANDI neither slumbered nor slept, and he gave no sleep to his eyes, and all the people of the Arabs were with him. And they gave huge bribes to the Amirs, and the nobles, and the small men, and the soldiers, and that proverb which says, "The bribe blindeth the eyes of the wise in judgement "(Eccles. xx.1) was fulfilled, and they went back on the agreement and conditions arranged. The Metropolitan was seized secretly and was handed over to TOGHAN, so that he might go and bring down the Catholicus and the Christians from the Fortress, and if he did not he was to be slain without pity. And they brought him by night outside the city to a mountain which was close by, and no man whatsoever had any knowledge of him. The suffering of all the Christians, of every sect, who were gathered together there in the city, waxed sore, and all the young men of the Cell fled and were scattered. And there remained none, (185) to help them or to care for them except the adorable mercy of God, who worketh according to His grace, and provideth according to his mercy.

Now the Metropolitan had a younger brother, and. he fled and went to the Amir DJOPAN--may his life be preserved!-and he showed him what had been done, saying, "The servant of the Amir of the Amirs, the Metropolitan, who came to him yesterday on account of the Fortress of ARBIL, hath by guile and force been carried off to ARBIL."And the Amir was exceedingly angry, and he sent a messenger and brought back the Metropolitan from out of the hands of the accursed ones. And he brought him into the presence of the victorious king, sand repeated to him the statements which the Metropolitan had made concerning the Catholicus and the Christians. And the king commanded that the Catholicus should be brought to the Camp, and that the Christians should come down from the Fortress, and that no harm should be done to them. And the king had TODJAIN (sic) brought and gave him orders about these matters, and also commanded him to go to ARBIL.

And the great Amir of the Amirs, the head of the Diwan, DJOPAN, took the Metropolitan (186) to his house. And he wrote for him many letters to all the Amirs of the Mongols who had gone to reduce the Fortress, and to the Amir GAIDJAK, a son-in-law11 of the deceased king Hulagu, the father of all the Mongol kings, asking them to bring down the Catholicus with suitable honour, according to the royal Edict, and also to let the Christians come down unharmed. And he delivered it to the enemy, saying, "If any man streteheth out his hand against the Christians, thou shalt not bring them down."And he sent away the Metropolitan with due honour, and handed him over to the royal messenger, saying, "If the ARABS and KURDS will not obey this, tarry with the Catholicus and the Christians, and send me a message, and let me know."

And the Metropolitan and the messenger came first of all to the Amir GAIJAK and showed him the decree of DJOPAN, the Amir of Amirs, and GAIJAK and his wife(1) rejoiced in the deliverance of the Catholicus and the Christians. And the Amir GAIDJAK sent one hundred of his Mongol horsemen, (187) besides those who had already gone to the Fortress, to assist in this operation, and he also wrote to eight hundred Kurdish foot-soldiers, over whom he ruled, to bring down the Catholicus. Now three days before the arrival of the Metropolitan and the messenger who was with him, TODJAIN (sic) arrived, and he sent a messenger to the Catholicus, and showed him the command that he was to come down. And the Catholicus without any hesitation came down, and the holy men and the priests who were with him on the day of the Eve (i.e. Friday) on the sixth and twentieth day of the month of HAZIRAN (June) [A.D. 1310]. And [thus] he heard (i.e. obeyed) the Edict.

And TODJAIN persuaded him to go up again to the Fortress and bring down the Christians. In the simplicity of his heart the Catholicus went up, and commanded them to come down, and those wretched folk hearkened [i.e. were obedient] in [their] simplicity to the command of the King and the Father (i.e. Catholicus). And they went down at daybreak on the Sabbath, with their sons, and daughters, and wives, one hundred and fifty men more or less, besides women and children, without any weapon, and without a sword, and without a knife. And when the wicked people of the Arabs saw that they had come down, they were filled with fierce passion, (188) and worked themselves up into a rage, and they drew their swords, and slew them, from the greatest of them to the least, without pity and without fear. And the women and children they carried into captivity. And the Arabs took as their excuse, "They shot arrows at us from the Fortress."But all this was only that they might make the Catholicus afraid to go down, and that the accusation which had been made against him before the king might be held by the king to be true, and that peradventure he might be wroth, and command that the Catholicus and all the Christians should be massacred.

Then the Catholicus, with his hope in Christ, with weeping and sighs, and bitterness of soul came to go down. He held the sword in contempt thinking within himself, "If I die of hunger in the Fortress the name of rebel will go forth concerning me, and that would be an evil thing; it is far better for me to obey to the death. I will go down. If my Lord saveth me, it will be a glorious victory for me; and if He doth not, I am ready to accept the crown of martyrdom for the sake of the name of Christ."And the Christians fell down at his feet weeping and saying, "We will not let thee go down"(189) and thus also [spake] the holy men (i.e. bishops who were with him. And the Catholicus made answer, saying, "There is nothing else for me to do except to go down, but I do not urge anyone whatsoever to go down with me; but the man who wisheth to be a participator in my suffering I will not prevent from doing so."And he said farewell to them.

And the three bishops who were with him clave to him, and the young men of the Cell and certain monks and priests. And they went down in (or by) the wall, treading, as they went upon those who had been killed and butchered, and who without offence had been hacked in pieces. And the Catholicus himself saw his sons with their bodies ripped open, and their entrails dragging loose upon the ground, and there was none to bury them or to wrap them up for the grave. He had trusted in the word of TODJAIN (sic) and thought that he was a friend, whereas in truth he was a false friend.

And then, with [the words of] the prophet in his heart, he said, "I cried to my friends, and they have deceived me. My priests and my elders have come to an end in my midst. They sought food for themselves that they might have their souls (or lives), and they are not to be found. See, O Lord, that I am sorely afflicted, and my bowels are troubled. My heart hath turned back (190) within me, because I have complained bitterly. Outside the sword hath destroyed, and death him that was in the house. Hearken for I am groaning, and there is none to console me. All mine enemies have heard of my calamity, and they have rejoiced because it is Thou who hast prepared it for me. Bring the day that Thou hast called, and they shall become ever as I am. And all the wickedness of the HAGARAYA (i.e. Muhammadans) shall come before Thee. Trouble Thou them with the trouble with which Thou hast, because of my sins, troubled me, and which Thou hast shown, through me, to my children, and those who are precious to me. And because my groanings are many and my heart is sick." [Lam. i. 19-22; but the Syriac text is; defective].

What next? TODJAIN (sic) came before the Catholicus, laughing like a man who had done nothing, and he brought him to his tent, and paid him honour, and presented the cup to him kneeling on his knees. And the Catholicus said unto him, "Is this the form which thy promises take? And is this the way in which the royal Edict which thou didst read to me yesterday is carried out? In that it was commanded that every man who went down was not to be harmed, and that not even the blood of his nose was to be made to flow."

TODJAIN replied, "They shot arrows from the Fortress, and wounded two men (191) and they are dead."And the Catholicus said, "Those who shot the arrows ought to have been killed, and not those who obeyed the royal Edict and came down"; and TODJAIN held his peace and answered never a word.

Now although the accursed peoples of the Arabs had taken counsel in order to destroy the Catholicus, TODJAIN and NASIR, the brother [HAJJI] DALKANDI pretended that they knew nothing about it, so that [their ignorance] might be for them an excuse. But the Lord hath pleasure in His chosen ones, and He sendeth to them deliverance whence they know not, and with out their perceiving how [it cometh]. Now the Metropolitan pondered in his mind, and said to the Amir GAIDJAK, "O Amir, thou knowest well what manner of man this TODJAIN is. He hath arranged for us to go to Arbil, but I am afraid that he will work [some] wickedness before we arrive [there]. It will be a good thing if the Amir will send [on in advance] one of his own men, and one of the companions of the messenger who is with me."And this the Amir did without any delay (or hesitation), and he sent on one of his own men, and one of the men who were with the messenger. And [they] arrived on the day of the Sabbath mentioned above, at the turn of the day (i.e. in the evening), after the wretched people had been massacred (192). And they came and saluted the Catholicus and TODJAIN, and they showed him the copy of the Edict of the king which the Amir of the Amirs, had written on the subject of the Catholicus. And when TODJAIN and NASIR heard it the light of the face of TODJAIN became clouded, and the face of NASIR became green (or yellow), and they began whispering to each other. There remained to them no means [of exculpation], for the men who had come had seen the Catholicus. And when the darkness fell NASIR and TODJAIN rode with him (the messenger?) a mile. And he went to the village of AMKABHA [near Arbil].

And the Metropolitan, and the messenger who was with him, arrived on the morning of Sunday, the seven and twentieth day of the month of Haziran (June) and they saw what had happened; and they were sorely grieved, and their suffering was great, but they were somewhat relieved that the Catholicus and the clergy who were with him were saved. And straightway they went to the Catholicus, and showed him the instructions of the great Amir, and the character of the royal Edict concerning him; and the Catholicus rejoiced and blessed them and the Amir.

And in the morning of the following day the messenger went to TODJAIN and asked permission to go up to the Fortress, but TODJAIN would not permit him [saying], "These (193) men, who are YAGHAYE [i.e. enemies, or rebels] would kill thee."The messenger said, "Whether they kill me or leave me [alive], I am going up to them."And when he went up TODJAIN would not let any food or drink whatsoever go up with him [saying], "Thou hast come to save the Christians, who are haters of our Confession (i.e. Faith), and are also enemies of our people. And since the Christians do not obey the royal Edicts, we will not obey the command of thy Amir."The messenger, however, paid no heed to him, and he went up to the Fortress, and showed [the Christians] the decree of the Amir; and they agreed to go down, and all were obedient. And the messenger came down in the evening, and he brought down three men with him; one of these they (i.e. the Arabs) snatched from his hands and slew, and the other two they carried off as prisoners. The messenger brought with him the keys of the Fortress, which he delivered to TODJAIN, and then he came to the Catholicus sadly, and they took counsel together as to what he should do.

[And the messenger said], "Those who are at the foot of the Fortress are many and powerful. In the Fortress there is not food enough for a single day, and they stopped me from (194) taking anything up. And if I bring them down the Arabs will seize them and massacre them. I have no one here to help me, and what to do I know not. But I can gather together the men who have come with me, and the one hundred horsemen of the Amir GAIDJAK. They can bring down the women and children first of all, and carry them into the villages. And as for the men who can fight, they, and I, and the men who are with me can pass away and make our escape in the night. And if any man putteth out his hand against us, we can put out [our hands also]." And the Catholicus said, "Thou knowest [best what to do]; according as God giveth thee [knowledge] that do."

On the third day of the week (Tuesday) the messenger went up to the Christians, and he gathered them together about him and held converse with them; and the greater number of them hearkened to his counsel, but, as the proverb saith, "Out of the bone cometh the worm." 12 Now certain of the people of the Fortress had long acted deceitfully, and had made themselves confederates of NASIR AD-DIN. And every day they sent messengers to him, and made him acquainted with everything that took place in the Fortress. And when these men saw that the greater number had decided to (195) go down, they went and informed NASIR. And straightway he wrote [saying], "The dwellers in the Fortress, with the exception of the Mountaineers [TURAYE] shall give nothing to any man, and they shall not come down from the Fortress, but they shall make their hearts happy. The Mountaineers shall give the messengers money for the way, and, if they wish, they may come down."At this decision the people in the Fortress broke up into two parties, and some of them went down to him (i.e. NASIR), both they and their houses (i.e. families); and they were unharmed, and were allowed to depart, and they came to the village of AMKABHA. And after one day they (i.e. the Arabs) came and took them away from that place, and they were massacred.

From that time onward there remained in the Fortress no chief, no governor, no counsellor, and no man who knew [affairs]. The messenger remained by himself in the Cell of the Catholicus, but finally he went down, and left them without a helper in bitter weeping and anguished groanings. Alas for that hour full of injury! Alas for that season of affliction which brought forth tribulations! Supposing they dwelt [there]--no strength remained in any man even to draw water, and who was there to do the fighting? Famine (or hunger) vanquished them completely! The, wheat was (196) already finished, and was sold at eight zuze the litya (i.e. pound). As for salt, who could find any? They had already finished the asses, the dogs, and the ferrets, and no old leather objects were left. They filled themselves with the husks of the seed of the cotton plant ('mar-kubha). Widows stretched out their hands [helplessly] and wept, and there was none to bind up what was broken. And there was absolutely no one to bury the dead. Who was there who had strength enough to dig a grave? Who was there who could show pity and affection? Who was there to give alms? Orphans died on the dung heaps. Others fell down [dead] in their houses and dried up, and others hurled themselves down from the wall, and those who were below received them on their swords, and hacked them in pieces.

Alas for the men of honour whom the Lord hath spurned! Alas for the men of honour whom the Lord hath rejected! Alas for the nation for whom there remaineth none to show pity, and none to extend help to it! See, O ye who hear, how violent is the punishment of our Lord of those who do not turn back (i.e. repent)! How cruel is Thy rod, O our God! How injurious is Thy stroke, O Thou who careth for us! (197). How cruel are Thy beatings, O Thou who bindest us up! Thou hast turned Thy face backwards, and the crown of their heads hath fallen, and their rejoicings have been turned back into sorrow (Lam. v. 15,16). They have wept by day and by night, their tears have furrowed their cheeks, and among all their friends there is not one to offer consolation (Ibid. 1, 2). They all heave sighs and demand bread (Ibid. i.11). Their eyes have become darkened through tears, their bowels are in a turmoil, and their honour has been turned back on the ground, through the breaking of their Fortress. Children and, babes say to their mothers, "Where is the bread? Where is the oil?"And they collapse before them, like the slain (Ibid. ii.11,12) whilst asking for bread; and there is none to break it and give it to them.

Behold, those who once fed sumptuously now lie in the streets; and behold, those who were reared in purple apparel, now lie down on the dung heaps (Ibid. iv. 4, 5). Their visages are blacker than ashes, and they cannot be recognized. Their skins have shrunk on their bones, and have dried up, and become like wood. Far happier are those who have been slain with the sword than those who have been slain by hunger. The women eat their own fruit, and loving hands cook their children (198) who become their food (Ibid. iv. 8-10). Children and old men lie together on the ground, and virgins and young men have suffered disgrace. The men have been butchered, and the Lord hath not had pity on them (Ibid. ii. 21); and arrows have penetrated their kidneys. And they have become a laughing stock among all the nations (Ibid. iii. 13, 14), for the Lord hath fulfilled His wrath, and hath poured out the wrath of His anger (Ibid. 10, 11), because those who have observed for them (the bishops) have observed vainly (Ibid. iv. 16). They cry out with the Prophet [Jeremiah] saying, "Our sins you have roused themselves up against us, our strength hath become sick (or weak), for the Lord hath handed us over into the hand of one against whom we can do nothing (Ibid. i.14); righteous, is the Lord against Whom we have rebelled."

Hear, O all ye nations, and look on our affliction. Our virgins and young men have gone into captivity (Ibid. i.18), and our strong young men and men of war have been slain. What are we to say? That our priests have led us astray, and have not laid bare before us our sins? (Ibid. ii.14). God forbid! They exhorted, and we did not hearken; they rebuked us, and we did not incline our ears. We despised them, and showed no favour to their persons. We have shown no affection to our old men, we have oppressed the widows, and we have persecuted the poor and needy. Our iniquity is greater (199) than that of JERUSALEM, and the wickedness which is in our days surpasseth that [of the days] of NOAH. Because of this the Lord hath performed that which He meditated, and He hath fulfilled His word according to what He commanded in the days of old. He hath swept us away pitilessly, and hath girded us about with enemies, and hath raised up the horn of our oppressors (Ibid. ii.17 ). All our enemies have opened their mouths against us, they have hissed and gnashed their teeth at us. They have sold our children into a far country, they have defiled our virgins before us, and they have mocked our women before our very eyes (Ibid. v.11)saying, "We will swallow you up. This is the day which we expected, and we have found it, and seen it " (Ibid. ii. 16).

And the people of the Arabs went up to the Fortress with TODJAIN and NASIR on the fourth day of the week (Wednesday), the first day of Tammuz (July), in the year of the Greeks, one thousand six hundred and twenty-one [A.D. 1310], and they conquered it. And they slew everyone they found in it, and spared none, and everyone they saw they carried off into captivity; and they looted the treasures, and pillaged what was laid up there. And those who remained there of the TURAYE KAYADJAYE (i.e. the Mountaineers) they (200) hurled from the top of the wall, and those who were down below received them on their swords until they had made an end of all of them. They sold [some of] the women and virgins, and they gave [the others] to everyone who came to them, and made gifts of them. In short, they brought into daylight all the evil that was hidden in their hearts. And we also, with that same Prophet say, "Exult ye, O men of Arbil, for the cup hath come unto you, and Ye shall be confounded and broken with troubles (Ibid. iv. 21), and there is none to save you. But the Lord will be mindful of what hath happened to His people, and how His inheritance hath been plundered (Ibid. v. 1). The Lord is good to him that awaiteth Him, and to the soul that seeketh Him (Ibid. iii. 25). He will return reward, according to the work of your hands. And He will give to you sorrow of heart, and His stroke shall follow after you. In His anger He will destroy you, and He will blot you out from under the heavens (Ibid. iii.65, 66), because ye have swept away His churches, and have hacked in pieces the sheep of His pasture. Those who pass on the road shall smite together their hands at you (201), and shall hiss, and wag their heads, and say, "This is ARBIL [the city] which God hath cursed!" (Ibid. ii. 15).



Then the Catholicus, and the Mongols, and the clergy who were with him, who had come from the Amir GAIDJAK to bring him, went to the village of BETH SAYYADHE, but with great fear, and terror, and great anguish and affliction. And they stayed in the village for.a few days until they had collected some money, which they gave to the messenger of the Amir DJOPAN, and to the one hundred men who had come from the Amir GAIDJAK, and to the KURDS, who were with them. Then they departed and went to the Camp, on the 8th day of the month Tammuz (July) of this year (A. D. 1310).

And the Catholicus visited the princess, the wife of the Amir GAIDJAK, and she paid him great honour and also sent men (202) with him to the Camp. When he arrived he went straightway to visit the great Amir DJOPAN, who saw him, and paid him the honour which was his due, and thence he went to the city; and all the Amirs were well acquainted with his history. And he went to the victorious king and blessed him according to custom, and placed the cup in his hands, and the king likewise gave him the cup, but neither of them spake a word with the other. And sorely afflicted, the Catholicus went forth from the presence, for he had intended if the king had questioned him to make known to him all that had happened to himself and to his flock. At this treatment his heart was broken grievously, and he sat down there for a month of days, hoping that, peradventure, some new thing might happen, or that some one would ask him about what had happened. And when certain necessary business connected with the Cell and the Christians had been accomplished, he went back and came to the; monastery which he had built by the side MARAGHAH. And he made up his mind that he would never again go to the Camp, saying, "I am wearied (or disgusted) with the service the Mongols."

(203) And in the year of the Greeks one thousand six hundred and twenty-two (A.D. 1310-11) he passed the winter in the monastery In the summer he went to the city of TABHRIZ because he heard that the Amir IRNADJIN--may our Lord preserve his life!--had arrived there; and the Catholicus having come thither met him straightway. And IRNADJIN paid him great honour, and he and his wife [KEKHSHEK], the daughter of King AHMAD, the son of the deceased King Hulagu, gave him gifts and presents. And the princess [KEKHSHEK] was greatly honoured in the kingdom, because the victorious King [ULJAITO] had taken her daughter [KUTLUKSHAH KHATUN] to wife, and she was then the greatest of his wives. The amount of money which the Amir IRNADJIN and his wife gave to the Catholicus was ten thousand [dinars], which are [equal to] sixty thousand zuze (£5,000) and two riding horses. And the Amir also gave a village to the church MAR SHALITA, the holy martyr, for his dead father was laid therein, and his mother and his wives were buried therein (204).

The Catholicus passed the winter of the year of the Greeks one thousand six hundred and twenty-three (A.D. 1311-1I2) in the monastery and the summer also. And when his case was represented to the king by the Council he bestowed upon him five thousand dinars ( £2,500) which came to him for his maintenance every year. And the king also gave him villages [in the neighborhood' of the city of BAGHDAD.

Now up to this year the number of the Fathers, Metropolitans and Bishops which he has ordained for flocks by layings on of hands, is seventy-five. Thus are they. He lived in the monastery which he had built until the year of the Greeks, ne e thousand six hundred and twenty-nine [A.D. 1317]. He died on the night of the [Saturday preceding] the Sunday [of the prayer] "Ma shebhih mashkenakh "How glorious is Thy habitation"), the 15th day of the month the latter Teshri (November), and was laid in the monastery which he had built. May his memory be for blessing! And may the prayers of MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA, the Catholicus, and RABBAN SAWMA be upon us, and upon the world, (205), to the uttermost limit thereof, and upon the Holy Church and her children.

And to God be glory, and honour, and praise, and worship, for ever and ever. Amen and Amen.

Here endeth this "History of MAR YAHBH-ALLAHA, the Catholicus and Patriarch of the East, and of RABBAN SAWMA, the Visitor-General." And to God be constant glory, and to the sinner who wrote these lines, may there be forgiveness of debts, and remission of sins in the terrible Hall of judgement! Amen.


ABBELOOS, J. B. "Life and Acts of Mari " (in "Analecta Bollandiana, Tome IV).

ABBELOOS, J. B., and LAMP, T. J. The Chronicon Ecclesiasticum of Bar Hebraeus, 3 vols., Syriac and Latin, Louvain, 1872-77.

ASSEMANI, J. S. Bibliotheca Orientalis, Vol. III, Part II.

AWGIN, MAR. For the Syriac version of his Life, see Bedjan, Acta Martyrum, Vol. III, Paris, 1892 (PP. 376-480).

BACHMANN, W. Kirchen and Moschen in Armenien and Kurdistan, Leipzig, 1913.

BADGER, G. P. The Nestorians and Their Rituals, 2 vols., London, 1852.

BAR HEBRAEUS, GREGORY ABU'L-FARAJ. Chyonicon Syriacum, 1789, edited and translated by P. J. Bruns and G. G. Kirsch 2 vols. Syriac and Latin, Leipzig. An edition of this Chronicle was published by Bedjan at Paris in 1890.

Chronicon Ecclesiasticum, edited and translated by J. B. Abbeloos and T. J. Lamy, 3 vols., Syriac and Latin, Louvain, 1872-77.

BAUMSTARK, A. Geschichte der Syrischen Literatur, Bonn, 1911.

BEDJAN, P. Histoire de Mar Jab-alaha, Patriarche, et de Rabban Sauma, 2nd ed., Paris, 1895.

Livre d'Heraclide, Paris, 1910

"Life of Mar Mari"(in Acta Martyrum, Vol. I, Paris, 1890),

"Life of Mar Awgin"(in Acta Martyrum, Vol. III, Paris, 1892).

Kethabha dhe Makhtebhanuth Zabhne, Paris, 1890.

BETHUNE BAKER, J. F. Nestorius and His Teaching, Cambridge, 1908,

BREHIER, L. L'Eglise et l'Orient au MoyenAge, Paris, 1921.

BRETSCHNEIDER, E. Mediaeval Researches from Eastern Asiatic Sources, 2 vols., London, 1910.

BRUNS, P. J., and KIRSCH, G. G. The Chronicon Syriacum of Bar Hebraeus, 2 vols., Syraic and Latin, Leipzig, 1789.

BUDGE, E. A. WALLIS. The Book of Governors, the Historia Monastica of Thomas, Bishop of Marga, A.D. 840, 2 vols., London, 1893.

The Histories of Rabban Hormizd the Persian and Rabban Bar-'Idta, 3 vols., London, 1902.

CHABOT, J. B.Histoire de Mar Jabalaha III et du moine Rabban Cauma, Paris, 1895.

DRIVER, G. R. The Bazaar of Heracleides, Oxford, 1925.

DUVAL, R. La Litteratuye Syriaque, Paris, 1899.

ETHERIDGE, J. W. Syrian Churches, London, 1846.

GIBBON, E. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Smith's edition), Vol. VI, London, 1855 (the sections dealing with Nestorius and the Nestorians).

GISMONDI, H. Maris, Amri et Slibae de patriarchis Nestorianorum commentaria, Rome, 1896-99.

HAMMER-PURGSTALL, J. von. Geschichte der Ilchane, Darmstadt [still a very useful book].

HAVRET, G. La stele chretienne de Si-ngan fou Chang-Hai, 1895. [A volume in the Series Varietes Sinologiques, B.M. Press-mark 15235 C.]


HOFFMAN, G. Auszuge aus Syrischen Akten Persischen Martyrer, Leipzig,, 1880.

HOWORTH, H. H. History of the Mongols, London, 1876--88.

JANIN, R. Les Eglises Orientales, Paris, 1922.

KRUMBACHER, K. Geschichte der Byzantinischen Litteratur (2nd edition), Munich, 1897.

LABOURT, J. Le christianisme dans L'Empiye Perse, Paris, 1904.

LE STRANGE, G. Mesopotamia and Persia under the Mongols in the XIVth Century, London, 1903.

The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate, Cambridge,1905.

Baghdad during the Abbasid Caliphate, Oxford, 1900 and Reprint, 1924.

LI UNG BING. Outlines of Chinese History, Shanghai, 1914. [Edited by Professor Whiteside, of Soochow, China.]

LOOFS, F. Nestoyius and His Place in the History of Christian Doctrine, Cambridge, 1924.

LUKE, H. C. Mosul and its Minorities, London, 1925.

MUIR, W. The Caliphate, London, 1891.

MARI, MAR. For the Syriac version of his Life, see Bedjan, Acta Martyrum, Vol. I, Paris, (pp. 45-94).

MINGANA, A. The Early Spread of Christianity in Central Asia and the Far East, Manchester, 1925.

MONTGOMERY, J. A. History of Yaballaha III, New York, 1927. [Contains an English translation of Bedjan's Syriac text from pp. 3-99.]

MOSHEIM, J. L. von. Institutionum historiae ecclesiasticae libri IV, 1726. Translated by J. Murdock (Institute of Ecclesiastical History), and revised by H. L. Hastings, Boston, 1892.

MOURADJA D'OHSSON. Histoire des Mongols, Amsterdam, 1852

NAU, F. Documents pour servir d l'histoire de l'Eglise nestorienne, Paris, 1913.

Le Livre d'Heraclide de Damas, Paris, 1920.


PERCY, H. EARL. The Highlands of Asiatic Turkey, London, 1901.

PERKINS, JUSTUS. A Residence of Eight Years in Persia, Andover, 1843.

[In this work there is a full account of the founding of the American Mission to the Nestorians at Urmiyah and the establishment of the famous printing press from which so many valuable works in Syriac and Fallaelu have issued. The debt which Syriac scholars owe to Perkins and his colleagues, W. R. Stocking, A. L. Holliday, Dr. Grant, E. Breath (the printer), J. L. Merrick, Lieut.-Col. Stoddard, W. Jones, and B. Labaree, cannot be estimated.]

PHILLIPS, G. The Doctrine of Addai, London, I876

POLO, MARCO. The Book of Sey Marco Polo, the Venetian, concerning the Kingdoms and Marvels of the East. Translated by Henry Yule, 2 vols., London, 1875. [Contains much valuable information about Nestorians, and dealings of the Mongol il-Khans with them.]

PREUSSER, C. Nordmesopotamische Baudenkmaler, Berlin, 1911.

RAABE, R. Geschichte des Dominos Mari, Leipzig, 1893.

RICH, J. CLAUDIUS. Narrative of a Residence in Kurdistan, 2 vols., London, 1836.

RILEY, J. A. L. "Nestorians,"in The Encyclopaedia Byitannica, XIth ed., Cambridge, 1911, Vol. XIX, p. 407 f.

SAEKI, P.Y. The Nestorian Monument-in China London, 1916.

[An important work containing the Chinese text of the famous Stele of Hsi-an-fu, with an English translation, and notes which are full of valuable historical criticism.]

SOOTHILL, W. E. China and the West, Oxford, 1925.

SYKES, PERCY. A History of Persia, 2 vols., London, 1921. [The section dealing with the il-Khans in Vol. II.]

THOMAS, Bishop of Marga, his Historia Monastica. See BUDGE, Book of Governors.

WERNER, E. T. C. "The Burial-Place of Genghis Khan"in Journal of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. 56, 1925.


WIGRAM, W. A. Introduction to the History of the Assyrian Church, 100-640 London, 1910.

Our Smallest Ally, London, 1920.

Assyrian Settlement, London, 1922.

WIGRAM, W. A., and E. A. Cradle of Mankind, London, 1923.

WILSON, A. T. "Mission of the Jesuit Fathers in China"(in Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, Vol. IV, Part I).

WRIGHY, W. Syriac Literature, London, 1894.

YULE, H. The Book of Ser Marco Polo, the Venetian, 2 vols., London, 1875.

YULE, H. and CORDIER, H. Cathay and the Way Thither, Hakluyt Society, London, 1913-16.


1 See The Travels and Adventures of Three Princes of Sarendip. Translated from the Persian into French and from thence done in English, London, MDCCXXII (Brit. Mus. Press-mark 12510 bbb 22).

2 I It is nowhere stated in the Syriac text of the narrative translated in this volume that Bar Sawma and Mark were sent to worship in Jerusalem by Kublai Khan, the Kakhan, but this fact does not invalidate the assertion of Bar Hebraeus that they were. Bar Hebraeus lived in Maraghah, which the Mongols had made one of their capitals, and his position in the city gave him the opportunity of learning what the plans and aspirations of the Mongols were. And though he was a Jacobite, he was well acquainted with the politics of the Nestorian Church. Moreover, he knew, as did every other instructed Christian and Jew and Armenian, that all the Kakhans, from Chingiz downwards, and all the fl-Khans, had wanted to wrest Jerusalem from the Saracens, and that it was the dream of Kublai Khan to get possession of the Holy City before he died. Further, he knew well that two simple monks could never have made their way from Pekin to Maraghah unless they had been provided with a written authority to travel from' Kublai Khan. Bar Hebraeus calls this document a "pukdana"and his Chronicle shows that he used this word to translate the Mongolian word yarlikh. This was a letter, stamped with the great seal of Kakban, or Khan, in which the king called upon all officials, and all and sundry other individuals, to facilitate the journey of the bearer, and to render him any assistance that he might require. Its modern equivalent among the Turks was the "Buyuruldi."It seems to me a fact that Kublai Khan wanted information about the state of affairs in Jerusalem, and that he felt he was more likely to get it from a couple of monks, whose ostensible object was to pray at the Holy Places for the salvation of their souls, than from envoys who were great officers of State. The monks being Christians, would be received without suspicion by the Christian communities in Syria and Palestine. And they would learn from them whether there was a possibility that any of the Christian kings of Eastern Europe would assist the Mongols with armed forces if they marched on Jerusalem. The use of the word "pukdana "by Bar Hebraeus, shows that he was well acquainted with the usages of the Mongols when they sent officials and others on missions. A high official of State was always given a "paiza,"i.e. an inscribed gold or silver. tablet, and a yarlikh, but for two humble monks the yarlikk would be sufficient. Therefore, Bar Hebraeus uses the word "pukdana."And Bar Hebraeus was well acquainted with the character of Kublai Khan, for he describes him as "a king, just and wise, a lover of the Christians, and one who honoured scribes, and learned men, and physicians (headers) of every nationality "(Chronicle of Dynasties, ed. Bedjan, p. 514, 11. 14-16).

3 Bar Hebraeus (ed. Bedjan), p. 488, 1. 8, calls her Sarkuthani Bagi.

4 The figures in heavy type within brackets on this and following pages refer to the numbers of the pages in Bedjan's edition (the second) of the Syrian text, and are added to facilitate reference to this text.

5 Professor J. A. Montgomery omits the Syrian translator's Prayer and Preface.

6 Or perhaps the meaning is, "was sweet water found wherewith to load (i.e. to fill) the water-skins."

7 The terseness of this sentence renders it almost ununderstandable. The Patriarch having decided to make Mark Metropolitan Bishop, wished to give him a Syriac name, and to hear him called "Mar(i)"i.e. "My Lord,"but he could not make up his mind as to the name Mark should in future be known by. Therefore, he resorted to "pious divinations."He wrote certain names on slips, and laid them face downwards on the Altar and, presumably, prayed. Whether someone, either the Patriarch or a Priest, then drew out a slip as in a lottery, or whether the slip bearing the chosen name separated itself from the other slips under some supernatural influence, cannot be said.

8 Chabot identfied him with John of Jerusalem, who, in 1286 went to Germany to arrange for te coronation of Rudolph of Hapsburg.

9 Bedjan has a long note on the poll-tax (p. 111) which I translate here:--"In the year of our Lord 692, 'Abd al-Malik laid a capitation tax on the Syrians. And he issued a strict edict that every man should go to his country, and to his village, and to his father's house; and that every man should be registered by name, and [should state] whose son he was, and [declare] his vineyard, and olive [trees], and his possessions, and his children, and everything that he had. From this began [the custom] of levying the tax on the skulls of men. From this began all the evils who have burst upon the people until this present. The kings took tribute from the earth, not from men. And from this the children of Hagar began to subjugate the children of Aram with the subjugation of the Egyptians. But woe be to us! for we have sinned. Slaves have dominion over us. Behold this is the first capitation tax which the Arabs levied. "Written by Mar Dionysius, the Patriarch of the Jacobites, in the year of our Lord 755.

10 He defeated the Egyptians with great slaughter at Homms and besieged Damascus.

11 Gaidjak married Tutukai, the fourth daughter of Hulagu; her mother was a slave of Dokuz Khatun.

12 I can find no equivalent in the Bible for this proverb, But the Assyriologists have shown recently that the Babylonians believed that toothache was caused by a worm at the root of the tooth; it is possible that the proverb quoted above is connected with this belief. See the Legend of the Worm, in Thompson, R. C., Devils and Evil Spirits of Babylonia, vol. II, p. 160 f.