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Myth vs. Reality

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Myth vs. Reality

Aug-10-2000 at 11:58 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Here are some abstracts from an article titled "Myth vs. Reality", which appeared in the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies. Please read the historical evidences which shows that the appellation "Assyrian" was used before the 19th century and the coming of the English missionaries.

Fred ************************************************************

In a general response to Fiey, Coakley states: In respectful disagreement with Fiey, I think the part played by the Anglican missionaries in later years was slight. In an earlier response to John Josephs statement that While the name Chaldean was appropriated by the Uniats, the illustrious twin name Assyrian was in time applied to the Nestorians and that they accepted and used it from the end of the 19th century. Edward Odisho quotes Konstantin Tseretely stating that Those Assyrians who live in the Soviet Union call themselves Assyrians and their mother tongue Assyrian, an appellation which occurs in the 18th century Georgian documents. More recently, Tseretely specifically refers to some correspondences between the Georgian King Irakli II and Mar Shimun in the years 1769 and 1770 in which Mar Shimun refers to himself as the Assyrian Catholicos and the King identifies Mar Shimuns people as Assyrians. The above documents are significant because they imply that the appellation Assyrian was in circulation before the British missionaries arrived in the region and that they were not the first to use the name Assyrian in connection with the Christians of the Church of the East.

Further evidence to substantiate that the Assyrian appellation was in circulation prior to the advent of the Anglican missions to the region is found in the Chronicle of the Carmelites in Persia. The Chronicle begins with a mention of the split in the Church of the East in 1552. Then it further dwells on the subject as follows: Under Pope Julius III (1549-1555), certain of the Nestorian Chaldean refused to obey the Patriarch at Babylon and came into communion with the Catholic Church. The Pope appointed for them, as they petitioned, a patriarch they had chosen named Simeon Sulaka, a monk of the Order of S. Pacomius. Sulaka went back to his people with the pallium of a patriarch and the title of Patriarch of the Eastern Assyrians.

The compiler of the Chronicle, in footnote 4 of the same page, changes Assyrian to Chaldean and the statement thus reads as: .and on 19 April, 1553 was proclaimed Patriarch of the Chaldean. What this change signifies is that, at least temporarily, the patriarch was identified as the Patriarch of the Eastern Assyrians, but soon afterwards, in order to distinguish between those who have joined Rome and those who have not, the name was changed to Chaldean. This might have been done, also, for reasons of consistency, as it is implied in Raymond LeCoz, who writes that On the 7th of August, 1445, the Nestorians of Cypress who had joined Rome were given the name Chaldean by Pope Eugene IV and that since then this name was used to designate those Christians from the Church of the East who had joined Rome. Bet Ashur citing Xavier Koodapuzha also highlights this change of name from Assyrian to Chaldean.

In fact, in J.B. Segals investigation of the early history of Christianity there are instances and events, which reveal some important facts concerning Assyria and Adiabene as interchangeable names. In the Doctrine of Addai, the Apostle Addai, on the introduction of Christianity to Edessa, describes the discovery of the cross at Jerusalem by Queen Protonice, wife of Emperor Claudius. With reference to this discovery, Segal comments on the name of Queen Protonice, by saying that Protonice may be a variant of Stratonice, wife of the king of Assyria, and one of the reputed founders of the temple of Hierapolis. Segal further states that Protonice in this story obviously reflects Helena mother of Constantine the Great, whom history credits with the finding of the Cross. But local legend confused this Helena with an earlier Queen Helena, who was queen of Adiabene, which was popularly called Assyria. Further down, we read: The story of religious development in Adiabene and that of Edessa seem to be almost inextricably interwoven. Merchants played a part also in the proselytization of Edessa And sympathizers to Christianity came, we are told, to Edessa in the guise of merchants to witness the acts of Addai and then to return home to spread the faith in their own country of the Assyrians, that is, Adiabene. The statement: their own country of the Assyrians in the above quotation is the English translation of the Syriac original transliterated here as: Va b atra dilhun d Aturaye. Here the term Aturaye is translated Assyrians.

Myth vs. Reality

George V. Yana

JAAS, Vol. XIV, No. 1, 2000

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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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