Five maps are provided here to serve as an initial aid in locating some of the main centers, cities, towns, and monasteries in the lands of Syriac Christianity in the Middle East, both in the historical and in the contemporary periods. These maps should not be seen as an attempt to fully document the historical geography of Syriac Christianity. As a matter of fact, the geography of Syriac Christianity is a much underdeveloped field, and the creation of a set of historical maps remains an urgent desideratum.
All five maps were specifically designed and drawn by the Ancient World Mapping Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, based on the data provided by the GEDSH editors. For all of the maps the terrain depiction was calculated from Environmental Systems Research Institute. SRTM Shaded Relief, on ESRI Data & Maps 2006 [DVD-ROM]. Redlands, CA. While Maps I and II have a primarily historical approach, Maps III to V were created from a contemporary perspective, reflecting the sites of Syriac Christianity in the present-day Middle East. As a rule we have followed the terminology most current among Syriac Christians, without attempting to match the Syriac (or Arabic) names with existing non-Syriac nomenclature.
While preparing the maps, we have relied on a great number of existing maps as well as on other relevant publications. The main sources are listed below and users of GEDSH are encouraged to turn to them as a first step in their more advanced study of any aspect of the historical geography of Syriac Christianity.
- Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman world, ed. R. J. A. Talbert et al. (2000).
- Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients (TAVO). Mit Unterstützung der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft erarbeitet vom Sonderforschungsbereich 19 der Universität Tübingen (1977–1994).
- E. Honigmann, Évêques et evêchés monophysites d’Asie antérieure au VIe siècle (CSCO 127; 1951).
- An historical atlas of Islam. Atlas historique de l’Islam, ed. H. Kennedy (2002).
- Tübinger Atlas (see under I).
- H. Aydin, Das Mönchtum im Tur-Abdin. Das Leben der Mönche im Tur-Abdin in der Gegenwart (1988). (two maps)
- H. Hollerweger, A. Palmer, and S. P. Brock, Turabdin: Lebendiges Kulturerbe. Wo die Sprache Jesu gesprochen wird (1999).
- A. Palmer, Monk and mason on the Tigris frontier. The early history of Ṭur ʿAbdin (University of Cambridge Oriental Publications 39; 1990).
- J. F. Coakley, The Church of the East and the Church of England. A history of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Assyrian Mission (1992), esp. 8–9.
- J. M. Fiey, Assyrie chrétienne. Contribution à l’étude de l’histoire et de la géographie ecclésiastiques du nord de l’Iraq, vol. 1–3 (Recherches publiées sous la direction de l’Institut de lettres orientales de Beyrouth 22, 23, and 42; 1965–1968). (covers all traditions)
- A. Harrak, Syriac and Garshuni Inscriptions of Iraq (Recueil des inscriptions syriaques 2; 2010). (several maps)
- H. L. Murre-van den Berg, ‘The Patriarchs of the Church of the East from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries’, Hugoye 2.2 (1999).
- J. C. J. Sanders, Assyro-Chaldese christenen in Oost-Turkije en Iran. Hun laatste vaderland opnieuw in kaart gebracht (1997; ET as Assyrian Chaldean Christians in Eastern Turkey and Iran. Their last homeland re-charted )
- D. Wilmshurst, The ecclesiastical organisation of the Church of the East, 1318–1913 (CSCO 582; 2000).
- M. Immerzeel, Identity puzzles. Medieval Christian art in Syria and Lebanon (OLA 84; 2009), esp. 41 and 83.
- A. Schmidt and S. Westphalen, Christliche Wandmalereien in Syrien. Qara und das Kloster Mar Yakub (Sprachen und Kulturen des Christlichen Orients 14; 2005), 12.
I. Syriac Christianity in the Roman and Sasanian periods
II. Syriac Christianity in the Islamic period
III. Syriac-Orthodox Christianity centered around Ṭur ʿAbdin
IV. The heartland of East-Syriac Christianity in the modern period
V. Main sites of Syriac Christian wall paintings in Lebanon and Syria
Map I. Syriac Christianity in the Roman and Sasanian periods.
Map II. Syriac Christianity in the Islamic period.
Map III. Syriac-Orthodox Christianity centered around Ṭur ʿAbdin.
Map IV. The heartland of East-Syriac Christianity in the modern period.
Map V. Main sites of Syriac Christian wall paintings in Lebanon and Syria.
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
“Maps,” in Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay (Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018), https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Maps.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
“Maps.” In Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition. Edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay. Digital edition prepared by David Michelson, Ute Possekel, and Daniel L. Schwartz. Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018. https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Maps.
A TEI-XML record with complete metadata is available at https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Maps/tei.