Town 40 km. north of Mosul in Iraq. Seat of a Chald. bishopric. It now numbers around 5,000 inhabitants. Many families and individuals migrated from Alqosh to larger Iraqi cities (Mosul, Baghdad, etc.) or abroad, especially to the USA and UK. The town’s economy is based on agriculture (wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils, beans, cucumbers, gourds, melons, grapes, and figs) and animal husbandry (sheep and goats). Traditional trades included weaving and dying cloth. Alqosh is a major spiritual center. Jews used to go on pilgrimage to the tomb believed to be that of the prophet Nahum, who, according to an interpretation of Nah 1.1, may have come from Alqosh. Two important E.-Syr. monasteries lie close to Alqosh: the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd, founded in the 7th cent., used to be one of the patriarchal residences of the Ch. of E., later moved to Mosul, then Baghdad, and the more recent Monastery of the Virgin, also known as ‘the Lower Monastery’ or ‘of Our Lady of the Seeds’. From the 16th cent. the cultural life of the village flourished thanks to the so-called School of Alqosh. Alqosh was pillaged several times, by Murād Bey (Bar Yak) in 1508, the Pasha of ʿAmadiyya in 1740, the Persians in 1743. People sought refuge on the mountain, in the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd, but there were rapes and casualties. Around the mid-16th cent. some of the population supported Yoḥannan Sullaqa, the first Chald. patr. elected with official approval of Rome. In 1767, around 100 of the 500 families were Catholic. Literary sources and annotations made by European travelers record recurrent cases of pestilence and famine, caused by draught or locusts, which devastated the region during the 19th cent. In 1832 and 1842 the village was attacked and pillaged by Kurds.
- E. Coghill, The Neo-Aramaic Dialect of Alqosh (Ph.D. Diss., University of Cambridge; 2004).
- Fiey, Assyrie chrétienne, vol. 2, 387–400.
- Wilmshurst, Ecclesiastical organisation, 241–58. (incl. further references)
- Pictures of Alqosh and surroundings available at www.alqosh.net.
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
Alessandro Mengozzi , “Alqosh,” 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/Alqosh.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
Mengozzi, Alessandro. “Alqosh.” 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/Alqosh.
A TEI-XML record with complete metadata is available at https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Alqosh/tei.