Derived from Syriac malkā, ‘king, emperor’, the term Melkite can have two different senses, referring to: 1. adherents of the imperial religious policy which, from the time of Justin and Justinian, enforced acceptance of the Council of Chalcedon. With the resulting development in the 6th cent. of two patriarchal lines in the Patriarchate of Antioch, one Chalcedonian, the other Syr. Orth., the former came to be designated as ‘Melkite’ (and later also as ‘Rum Orthodox’, from Romaios in the sense of ‘Byzantine’). By extension the term Melkite is sometimes also used in connection with the Chalcedonian Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Alexandria. 2. adherents of the Catholic patriarchal line (since 1724) of the Chalcedonian Patriarchate of Antioch. Thus in a modern ecclesiastical context the term ‘Melkite’ is retained solely with reference to the Catholic line (sometimes alongside ‘Greek/Byzantine Catholic’) whereas ‘Rum/Byzantine Orthodox’ is used with reference to the Byzantine Orthodox patriarchal line.
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
Sebastian P. Brock, “Melkite,” 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/Melkite.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
Brock, Sebastian P. “Melkite.” 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/Melkite.
A TEI-XML record with complete metadata is available at https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Melkite/tei.