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(314 words)

Author(s): Drijvers, Han J.W.
[German Version] (Syriac Bardaiṣan; 154, Edessa – 222, probably Edessa) was the court philosopher of King Abgar VIII (177–212) of Edessa. Nothing remains of his many Syriac works except for a few fragments of his hymns preserved by Ephraem Syrus. Also extant in Syriac is the Book of the Laws of Diverse Countries, a dialogue on fate and freedom written by one of his disciples. Greek, Latin, Syriac, and Arabic authors also preserve, in various different versions, ac…


(566 words)

Author(s): Drijvers, Han J.W.
[German Version] was built in 303/302 bce by Seleucus I in a strategically favorable location in northern Mesopotamia. After the collapse of the Seleucid empire (Seleucids) in 132 bce, it was capital of the Osroene kingdom under the Arab Abgar dynasty, which nominally reigned until 242 ce. Its indigenous name was Urhai, present-day Urfa, a provincial capital in southeast Turkey. In 165/166 ce, Edessa became a Roman client state, and a Colonia Romana in 213. The cession of Nisibis to the Sassanids in …


(277 words)

Author(s): Drijvers, Han J.W.
[German Version] (Erbil, present-day Irbil) is the chief city in the region of Adiabene, situated east of the Tigris between the lesser and greater Zab in modern Iraq. In the 1st century ce, the royal house resident there, Queen Helena and her son Izates, converted to Judaism (Jos. Ant. XX, 2–4). The Chronicle of Arbela first published by A. Mingana, which offers purportedly precise information concerning its Christianization, is a late forgery, apparently pre…