Mari, Acts of (late 6th or 7th cent.)

The Acts of Mari, which date from the late 6th or 7th  cent., provide an account of the earliest preaching of the Gospel in the Parthian/Persian Empire. Mari, a disciple of Addai, is sent to preach in ‘the region of Babel’; starting from Edessa his travels are said to have taken him to Nisibis, Arzanene, Beth Zabdai, Beth ʿArbaye, Arbela, Athor, and Nineveh, continuing on southwards to Beth Garmai, Beth Aramaye, Seleucia-Ctesiphon, ending up in Dayra d-Qunni, where he died. Very probably the Acts of Mari were produced in the Dayra d-Qunni, which became famous in the early Islamic period. It is possible that the account of Mari’s travels was also intended to act as a counterpart to that of the missionary travels of Mani. Other sources on Mari, notably Bar ʿEbroyo (Ecclesiastical History II, 3) and the ‘Book of the Tower’, limit Mari’s preaching to Babylonia. The Acts, which clearly know the ‘Teaching of Addai’, are probably the earliest source to refer to the impression of Christ’s face left on a cloth (sindon, the term also found in the Greek Acts of Thaddaeus, whose date is disputed; in the Teaching of Addai his portrait is painted).

    Primary Sources

    • A.  Harrak, The Acts of Mar Mari the Apostle (2005). (Syr. with ET)
    • C. and F. Jullien, Les Actes de Mar Mari (CSCO 602–603; 2003). (Syr. with FT)
    • I.  Ramelli, Atti di Mari (Testi del Vicino Oriente antico 7; 2008). (IT)

    Secondary Sources

    • C. and F. Jullien, Aux origines de l’Église de Perse. Les Actes de Mar Mari (CSCO 604; 2003).


How to Cite This Entry

Sebastian P. Brock, “Mari, Acts of,” 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, https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Mari-Acts-of.

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

Sebastian P. Brock, “Mari, Acts of,” 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/Mari-Acts-of.

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Brock, Sebastian P. “Mari, Acts of.” 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/Mari-Acts-of.

A TEI-XML record with complete metadata is available at https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Mari-Acts-of/tei.

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