Balad, Assyrian Balaṭ, Syriac and Arabic Balad or Balaṭ, and modern Aski Mosul (Turkish for ‘Old Mosul’) are names referring to a town located some 40 km. northwest of Mosul, on the west bank of the Tigris. Balad occurs in the inscriptions of the Assyrian king Sennacherib (BC 705–681), and in Syriac sources as part of the province of Beth ʿArbaye. In the late 5th cent. it became an E.-Syr. bishopric seat, beginning with bps Ḥawaḥ and Shubḥa l-Ishoʿ, who were present at the synod of Mar Babai that took place in Seleucia-Ctesiphon in 497. The long line of E.-Syr. bps. ended around 1364 with Aaron. Balad was also a Syr. Orth. bishopric seat, but only one bp., Mushe (mid 9th cent.), bore the title ‘bp. of Balad’. The other bishops may have resided in Dayr al-Muʿallaq ‘Hanging Monastery’, located some 15 km. from the city, on Mt. Buṭmān. They bore the title ‘bp. of Beth ʿArbaye’, having under their jurisdiction Sinjār and Nisibis, in addition to Balad. The last bp. was called ‘of Sinjār’ and served in this rank between 1317 and 1345, a fact that led Patr. Afram Barsoum to date the final destruction of Balad to the 14th cent. Two famous Syr. Orth. bps. originated from Balad, Aḥudemmeh and Athanasios II.
- Barsoum, Scattered pearls, 552.
- Chabot, Synodicon Orientale , 67, l. 19.
- Fiey, Pour un Oriens christianus novus, 57–8, 175.
- Fiey, ‘Balad et Beth ‘Arabaye irakien’, OS 9 (1964), 189–232.
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
Amir Harrak, “Balad,” 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/Balad.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
Harrak, Amir. “Balad.” 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/Balad.
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