Karka d-Beth Slokh

The name occurs in the 6th- cent. ‘History of Karka d-Beth Slokh and its Martyrs’ published by Bedjan, and it means literally ‘Fortress of the House of Seleucus.’ Sometimes the toponym is abbreviated into Karka ‘Fortress’ or Beth Slokh ‘House of Seleucus’. These various forms refer to a major city in Beth Garmai, which corresponds more or less to the modern Iraqi city Kirkuk, called locally Karkūk, deriving from Kark Slokh.

The city was an E.-Syr. bishopric seat when Shahr-gird served as the seat of the province’s Metr. as early as the 3rd cent., and its first three bishops suffered martyrdom at the hands of Shapur II (309–379). Kark Slokh became in turn a Metropolitan seat as of 410 but in 831/2 the seat was moved to Shahrzur. The city became Chald. between 1767 and 1780, serving as a bishopric and then archbishopric seat from 1863 to this day.


  • P.  Bedjan, Acta Martyrum et Sanctorum Syriace, vol. 2 (1891), 507–35.
  • J.-M. Fiey, ‘Vers la réhabilitation de l’histoire de Karka d’Bét Slôh’, AB 82 (1964), 189–220.
  • J.-M. Fiey, Pour un Oriens christianus novus, 63–4.

| Karka d-Beth Slokh |


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