781: China: The Nestorian (Assyrian) Tablet
Posted: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 at 12:29 PM UT
The Nestorian (Assyrian) Tablet
This famous Nestorian (Assyrian) marble tablet was discovered at Singanfu (Sianfu), China, in the seventeenth century. It contains the oldest Christian inscriptions yet to be found in Far East Asia. The tablet was erected during the primacy of the Assyrian Patriarch Khnanishoa, in the second year of Kien-chung of the Tang dynasty (A.D. 781), on the seventh day of the first month, being Sunday according to the inscriptions.
The names of the sixty-seven Nestorian missionaries who worked in China are recorded on this tablet, they must have been residents of China at an earlier date, since, the eggs of the silkworm were brought from China to Constantinople in A.D. 551 by the Nestorian monks.
A replica of the monument was made by Dr. Frits Holm of Denmark and is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city, a silent testimony to the forgotten works of the Assyrian missionaries in the Far East.