al-Ṣalīb, Dayr Dayro da-Ṣlibo, Monastery of the Cross [Syr. Orth.]

Monastery and village in Ṭur ʿAbdin. Dayr al-Ṣalīb, also called the Monastery of Beth El and located ca. 30 km. northeast of Midyat and 13 km. north of Ḥaḥ, is to be distinguished from another Monastery of the Cross in Defne/ʿAtafiyya near Ḥesno d-Kifo (Hasankeyf). The monastery derives its name from a piece of the Holy Cross obtained in Constantinople by Mor Aḥo of Reshʿayna (6th cent.), whose tomb is found today in a separate chapel outside the main monastic complex. Within the main complex there is, besides the main church of the Holy Cross, a church of Mor Ḥworo (disciple and successor of Mor Aḥo) and Mor Barṣawmo.

After the Syr. Orth. diocese of Ṭur ʿAbdin was divided into those of Qarṭmin and Ḥaḥ in 1088, the bishops of Ḥaḥ regularly resided at Dayr al-Ṣalīb. After the schism of 1364, Ḥaḥ and Dayro da-Ṣlibo continued as a bishopric under the patriarchate of Ṭur ʿAbdin. The last metropolitan of Dayr al-Ṣalīb, Antimus Yaʿqub of Esfes, was killed in 1915.

The monastic complex, which is said once to have housed 300 monks, provided refuge for those living in neighbouring villages and itself became a village in the 19th cent. In 1892, O. H. Parry found ‘about twenty Syrian families’ living within the monastery with ‘their flocks’. The village, with a reported population of 400 in 1914, suffered heavy losses during and after the First World War. Anschütz records that there were 88 Christians, new-comers from nearby villages and Kurdish-speaking, in 1967. In July 2004, Gevriye Arslan, head (mukhtar) of the village since 1983, was murdered by Kurds from the neighborhood seeking to appropriate the village’s lands. In 2005, there was one resident nun, along with five Christian families, including returnees from Europe, living within the monastic complex.

See Fig. 107.


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How to Cite This Entry

Hidemi Takahashi , “al-Ṣalīb, Dayr,” in al-Ṣalīb, Dayr, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay,

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

Hidemi Takahashi , “al-Ṣalīb, Dayr,” in al-Ṣalīb, Dayr, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay (Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018),

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Takahashi, Hidemi. “al-Ṣalīb, Dayr.” In al-Ṣalīb, Dayr. 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.

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