Marutha of Maypherqaṭ (4th/5th cent.)
Bp., doctor, and co-convenor of the Synod of Seleucia-Ctesiphon (410). There are several late sources for his life in Armenian (ed. Marcus), Greek (ed. J. Noret, in AB 91 , 77–103), and Arabic (Chronicle of Siirt, chap. 66; Yaqut, under ‘Mayyafariqin’; Ibn al-Azraq); probably all go back to lost Syriac sources. Son of a local governor, he evidently trained as a doctor before becoming bp. of Maypherqaṭ (Greek Martyropolis, modern Silvan). His medical skill won him the favour of Yazdgard I (399–420), and when he was sent by the Roman emperor as a legate to Persia in 410, he and Isḥaq, the bp. of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, were able to get the Shah’s permission to convene a synod there, at which the Council of Nicaea was officially accepted by the Persian bishops; the part played by him at this Synod of 410 is described in the account of that Synod in the Synodicon Orientale (ed. J.-B. Chabot ). Marutha is said to have translated the Canons of Nicaea into Syriac, but as this statement is attached, not to the 20 genuine Canons (some of which also feature in the Canons of the Synod of 410), but to the 173 ‘Pseudo-Apostolic’ Canons, this remains doubtful. A number of Syriac texts concerning the Council of Nicaea are attributed to him, edited (along with other, unrelated, documents) by A. Vööbus (CSCO 439–40; 1982); his authorship of these is very uncertain. It was probably on his visit in 410, or on an earlier (399), that Marutha gained knowledge of some of the Acts of the Persian martyrs under Shapur II, a collection of whose bones he brought back as relics (hence his see gained the name Martyropolis). It is also possible that the list of names of these Persian martyrs at the end of the earliest dated Syriac ms., written in Edessa in November 411 (ed. F. Nau, in PO 10.1, 7–26), was provided by him on his return home; he may likewise have arranged for the collection and translation of some of these Acts into Greek (ed. H. Delehaye, in PO 2). A homily on New Sunday is thought by its editor (M. Kmosko, in OC 3 , 384–415) to be by this Marutha. According to one calendar (PO 10.1, 63) he was commemorated on 3 Oct.
- J.-M. Fiey, ‘Maruta de Martyropolis d’après Ibn al-Azraq (d.1181)’, AB 94 (1976), 35–45.
- R. Marcus, ‘The Armenian Life of Marutha of Maipherqat’, HTR 25 (1932), 47–73.
- Ortiz de Urbina, Patrologia Syriaca, 51–54.
- J.-M. Sauget, in Bibliotheca Sanctorum 8 (1966), 1305–9.
- L. Ter-Petrossian, ‘L’attribution du recueil des passions perses à Maroutha de Maypherqat’, AB 97 (1979), 129–30.
- E. Tisserant, in DTC , vol.10 (1928), 142–49.
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
Sebastian P. Brock, “Marutha of Maypherqaṭ,” 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/Marutha-of-Maypherqat.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
Brock, Sebastian P. “Marutha of Maypherqaṭ.” 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/Marutha-of-Maypherqat.
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