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Assyrian Continuity
Frederick A. Aprim
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Assyrian Continuity Events table Assyrian Continuity Events table
Year Author or Originator Description of Event
600 B.C. J. Brinkman In region of Sheikh Hamad on the Khabor River Assyrian language and script couched in Assyrian legal formulae is discovered (Brinkman 1997).
539 B.C. King Cyrus II or the Great, upon entering babylon, returned the divine and cult images to Assyria According to Hermann Bengtson, the city of Assur had not been abandoned; it was no longer a capital, but excavations have revealed evidence of human habitation there down to the Parthian conquest. There are many Assyrians dwelling throughout Mesopotamia, as we can tell by theophoric personal names, compounded with the name of their national god, Asshur (Bengtson 1968)
44 B.C. ­ A.D. 238

Klaus Beyer Aramaic inscriptions uncovered from Ashur, Hatra, and other northern Mesopotamian regions show the use of many typical Assyrian names such as Ashur, Assarhaddon, and Ashur god (Beyer 1998).
A.D. 74 Jean Bottero Assyrian Akkadian script discovered (Bottero 1995).
A.D. Crone and Cook,
citing W. Cureton
Pointing to the identity of province of Adiabene: "the disciples of Addai returned to their own
    country of the Assyrians in the time of Narsai the king of the Assyrians (Crone and Cook 1977).
A.D. 115 Emperor Trajan Emperor Trajan occupies Mesopotamia and later Adiabene, makes it part of the Roma Empire, and calls the new Roman province Assyria (O'Leary 1949).
A.D. 110­ 180

Tatian, one of Asia's firsttheologians In his "Address to the Greeks", Tatian referred to himself as an Assyrian (Moffett 1998)
A.D. 120­

Lucian of Samosata, one of the early Christian writers Lucian stated that he was an Assyrios (Assyrian) (Millar 2001)
A.D. 200­250 Prof. M.J. Geller Akkadian language survived throughout the Parthian period, at least until the mid-third century (Geller 2000).
A.D. 363 Edward Gibbon, citing Ammianus Marcellinus, a soldier and historian in Emperor Julian's Army The primitive Assyria, which comprehended Ninus [Nineveh] and Arbela [Arbil], had assumed the more recent and peculiar appellation of Adiabene (Gibbon 1995, 2000).
A.D. 306 ­373 St. Ephrem (Aprim) St. Ephrem (Aprim) glorified Assyria and Assyrians in his poetry (Mcvey 1989).
A.D. 309 ­

King Shapur II According to Aboona, there existed an Assyrian prince by the name of Sannacherib in the fourth century A.D.: "as for the big monastery, it was built after the death of Mar Behnam by his father Sannacherib, a prince apointed by the Persian King Shapur" (Aboona 1996).
A.D. 309 ­

King Shapur II King Shapur II was very impressed with the 25-year-old pagan Qardakh that he made him the Prince of Atour (Assyria) or governor over the region between River Tormara and the city of Nisibin (Paul Bejan 1912).
A.D. 531 ­

King Khosroes I King Khosroes, the Just, established four provinces, which he called Assyria, Media, Persia and Bactriana (Gibbon 1995).
A.D. 505 Youhanna al-Amidi,Bishop of Ephesus In his writings, Youhanna al-Amidi wrote that Emperor Anastasius built a city, which he called Dara and delivered it to the Assyrians.
A.D. 585 Mar Eshuyow In the synod of Mar Eshuyow held in 585, the name of Mar Awa Qashisha is present representing Mar Khnana Metropolitan of Atouraye (Assyrians).
A.D. 600s Salame-Sarkis According to Chronicles of Syria and Hassan Salame-Sarkis, a bema (plaque) dating back to the seventh century that was discovered recently in Syria includes the name of a certain Otal Bar Sargon (Salame-Sarkis 1989).
A.D. 642 Sepeos According to Bat Ya'or, a document by the Armenian Sepeos records that the army of the Arabs left Assyria via route of southwest Lake Van and controlled the region west to the Lake and south of Mount Ararat (Ye'or 1996).
A.D. 650­ 652

Letters of Patriarch 
Ishu'yab III
In a letter to Mar Hurmiz of Beth Lapat, "This faith is how their faith was, as was mine, and continues to be as strong as ever regardless whether or not it appeared so to others. This faith best describes those of the center of Athur and the surrounding nearby peoples... (Philip Scott Moncrieff 1904)
circa A.D.636 Armenian 
geography of 
Ananias of Shirak
Citing Hewsen, Robinson Chase F. shows that the thirty-sixth country of Asia was called Assyria, i.e., Mosul, which has mountains, rivers, and the city of Nineveh (Robinson 2000).
A.D. 675 Sargon Bin Mansour According to Audiryanos Shakour, a certain Sargon Bin Mansour worked as the tax
collector for the Umayyad Dynasty treasury in Damascus (Shakour 1984).
A.D. 705 The Armenian
Chronology and
Edouard Dulaurier
According to the Armenian Chronology, Caliph 'Abd Al-Malik laid waste to Armenia and sent many Armenians to Assyria (Ye'or 1996).
A.D. 750 Bar Hebraeus
(Gregorius Abul-Faraj)
The Chronography of Bar Hebraeus mentions that during the conquests of Caliph Marwan, the Caliph came down to Harran and then towards Athor (Assyria) (Budge 1976).
A.D. 800s Thomas of Marga
(Bishop Toma BarYacoub)
Thomas of Marga (born in the ninth century explains how Metropolitan Mar Aha was
consecrated as the "Metropolitan of the countries of Athor and Adiabene" (Budge 1893).
A.D. 851 Caliph al-

According to Bat Ye'or, Caliph al-Mutawakkil entrusted troops to a certain Yusuf, whose father Abuseth had died in the lands of Assyria (Ye'or 1996).
c. A.D.
Abu al-Faraj
Muhammad Ibn
Ishaq al-Nadim,
scholar and
According to Bayard Dodge, in his index titled Fihrist al-Nadim, Abu al-Faraj Muhammad Ibn Ishaq al-Nadim, who described many people, gives a definition of the word Ashuriyun (Arabic for Assyrians) as such: Their master and chief is named Ibn Siqtiri Ibn Ashuri. They collect revenues and profits. In some things they agree with the Jews and about other things they disagree with them. They appear to be a sect of Jesus (Dodge 1970).
A.D. 1140 Mari Ibn Suleman According to William Young, in the Book of Tower by Mari Ibn Suleman and his historian successors, Amr Matta and Saliba Bar Yuhanna (c. 1350) a list of metropolitan provinces are listed and the second province is Mosul and Assyria (Young 1974).
A.D. 1169 Michael the Great According to Bat Ye'or, the records of Michael the Great indicate that August 1169 witnessed the death of the prince of Mosul and of all Assyria, Qutb ad-Din (Ye'or 1996).
A.D. 1173 Michael the Great According to Bat Ye'or, the records of Michael the Great indicate that 1173 was a year of distress for the Christians of Assyria and Mesopotamia (Ye'or 1996).
A.D. 1178 Benjamin ben
Jonah of Tudela, a
Jewish traveler
According to H.W.F. Saggs, Rabbi Benjamin describes Mosul as such: "It is Ashur the Great, and about seven thousands Jews live there…It sits on the Tigris, between it and Nineveh is a connecting bridge. Nineveh is in ruins but within its ruins there are villages and communities... (Saggs 1985).
A.D. 1200s Shlimon Khoshaba Poet Khamis Bar Qardakhi was known Khamis Bar Qardakhi Atouraya (the Assyrian) (Khoshaba 2002).
A.D. 1250 Bar Hebraeus
(Gregorius Abul- Faraj)
According to E.A. Wallis Budge, the Chronography of Bar Hebraeus mentions that during the reign of Ghoyuk of the Mongols, the Khan handed Athor (Assyria) to a certain chief named Ailshikatai (Budge 1976).
A.D. 1300 Poet Gewargis of Arbil Poet Gewargis of Arbil, who died in 1300, repeatedly mentions Assyrians and their ancient city of Nineveh in his poems and he describes many clergymen as being the Assyrian, such as Mar Mari the Assyrian and Mar Odisho the Assyrian.
Early A.D.
Arab geographer
Abu'l Fida
According to H.W.F. Saggs, Arab geographer Abu'l Fida describes Mosul as such: "opposite, on the east bank, are the ruins of Nineveh. South of Mosul. The Lesser Zab joins the Tigris near the ruins of the town of Ashur." (Saggs 1985).
A.D. 1400
Kurdish historian
Sharaf Khan al Bidlissi
According to Bidlissi's book Sharafnameh, during the time of Hassan Beg Aq-Qwinlo (15th century) there were Christians in Zur district (Hakkari) known as “Asuri”.
A.D. 1587 Vatican Archives According to a declassified letter dated 1587 published by David Wilmshurst, the Assyrian nation is under four patriarchs, three of them were confirmed by the Vatican, however, the fourth was not (Wilmshurst 2000).
A.D. 1763 Vardapet Hovnan, head of the St. John the baptish Monastery in Mush According to George Bournoutian, in a letter from Vardapet Hovnan to Joseph Emin, who had joined the British and Prussian armies against France, Hovnan writes: "As for the fighting men, you shall have 40,000 to meet you at the end of the six days journey; the Assyrians and Yezidy Curds are likewise ready to join us (Bournoutian 2001).
A.D. 1784 Colonel Stepan D. Burnashev, in charge of the Russian troops in Tiflis According to George Bournoutian, in a letter from Colonel Stepan D. Burnashev dated May 26 to General Paul S. Potemkin, commander of the Russian forces, Burnashev mentions a certain Ilia, the son of the former leader of the Assyrian people (Bournoutian 2001).
1996 Prof. L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza et al Genetic Study: The Assyrians are a fairly homogenous group of people, believed to originate from the land of old Assyria in northern Iraq.

Aboona, Alber. Adab al-lugha al-Aramiya (The literature of the Aramaic language). 2nd Printing. Beirut: Dar al-Mashriq, 1996.

Bedjan, Paul. Khayyeh d’ Qadeesheh (Life of Saints). Paris, 1912.

Bengtson, Hermann, ed. The Greeks and the Persians: From the Sixth to the Fourth Centuries. John Conway, trans. New York: Delacorte Press, 1968.

Beyer, Klaus. Die aramäischen Inschriften aus Assur, Hatra und dem übrigen Ostmesopotamien (datiert 44 v. Chr. bis 238 n. Chr.). Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1998.

Bottéro, Jean. Mesopotamia: Writing, Reasoning, and the Gods. Z. Bahrani and M. Van De Mieroop, trans. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Bournoutian, George A. Armenians and Russia (1626–1796): A Documentary Record. Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers, Inc., 2001.

Brinkman, J.A. “Assyrians After the Empire.” Lecture presented at the Mesopotamian Museum: Chicago, January 1999.

Budge, E. A. Wallis. trans. The Book of Governors: The Historia Monastica of Thomas Bishop of Marga A.D. 840. vol. 2. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., Ltd., 1893.

Budge, E. A. trans., 1932. The Chronography of Gregory Abul-Faraj 1225–1286. vol. 1. Reprint, Amsterdam: Philo Press, 1976.

Crone, Patricia & Michael Cook. Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977.

Dodge, Bayard. The Fihrist of al-Nadim: A Tenth-Century Survey of the Muslim Culture. vol. 2. New York: Columbia University Press, 1970.

Geller, M. J. Paper titled “The Survival of Babylonian Wissenschaft in Later Tradition.” In The Heirs of Assyria. The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project. Sanna Aro and R. M. Whiting, ed. Helsinki, 2000.

Gibbon, Edward. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. David Womersley, ed. Penguin Books, 2000.

Khoshaba, Shlimon Esho. Khamis Bar Qardakhi (In Syriac). Iraq: Nisibin Press, 2002.

Mcvey, Kathleen E. Ephrem the Syrian. New York: Paulist Press, 1989.

Millar, Fergus. The Roman Near East: 31 B.C.–A.D. 337. 4th printing. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2001.

Moffett, Samuel Hugh. A History of Christianity in Asia, Vol. I: Beginnings to 1500. New York: Orbis Books, 1998.

Moncrieff, Philip Scott. The Book of Consolations, or the Pastoral Epistales of Mar Ishu‛yab of Kuphlana in Adiabene, part I. London, 1904.

Robinson, Chase F. Empire and Elites After the Muslim Conquest. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Saggs, H. W. F. The Might that was Assyria. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1985.

Salame-Sarkis, Hassan. Paper titled “Syria Grammata Kai Agalmata.” In Syria. Revue D’Art Oriental et D’Archéologie, vol. 66. Paris, 1989.

Shakour, Audiryanos, trans. al-Mi-aat Maqala fi al-Imaan al-Orthodoxy (St. John of Damascus: The One Hundredth Article in the Orthodoxy Faith). From the Greek Fathers Collection Migne, P.G., t 94, Col. 789–1228. Beirut, 1984.

Wilmshurst, David. The Ecclesiastical Organisation of the Church of the East 1318-1913. CSCO, Vol. 582, Tomus 104. Louvain: Peeters, 2000.

Ye‛or, Bat. The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude. London: Associated University Presses, 1996.

Young, William G. Patriarch, Shah and Caliph. Pakistan, 1974.

Assyrian Holocaust: Religious Persecution and Ethnic Genocide of Assyrians in the Middle East. Frederick A. Aprim
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