Quryaqos Kyriakos (d. 817) [Syr. Orth.]

Patr. of Antioch, ordained on 17 Aug. 793 in Ḥarran, died in June or August 817 in Mosul (the sources are not unanimous); he came from Tagrit; before becoming patr. he had been a monk in the Monastery of Esṭona near Kallinikos.

At a synod in the Monastery of Naphshatha on 7 Sept. 797, by a christological formula acceptable for both parts, he managed to achieve a church union with the Julianist Patriarch Gabriel, to the effect that if the latter survived Quryaqos, he would become patr. for the united Syr. Orth. Church (‘Chronicle to the year 813’; Chronica minora 252/191). The planned union did not come into being as some of the Severian bishops would not accept it and even accused the patr. of becoming a Julianist heretic.

Quryaqos tried to take decisive steps against the eucharistic formula (said to be of Nestorian tendency) ‘Panem caelestem frangimus’, which for a long time had been causing much dissension in the Church, but because of the danger of a schism was tolerated by the previous patriarchs. Quryaqos’s solution (at a synod in Beth Bathin in 795) did not bring the controversy to its end. On the contrary it brought about an open schism, as all other dissidents united with the party of the followers of the formula. The center of the opposition was the monastery of Gubba Barraya and the diocese of Cyrrhus, the bp. of which had been deposed by Quryaqos. At the synod summoned in 807/8 in Gubrin the dissenting bishops were deposed. Then they elected a monk of Qarṭmin, Abraham, an anti-patriarch. He sought recognition by the Coptic Patr. Markos, but due to Quryaqos’s intervention was excommunicated by Markos. This, however, did not put an end to the schism and it existed over the whole period of Quryaqos’s pontificate. One of the results of the machinations of the dissidents was that Caliph Hārūn al-Rashīd gave orders to destroy churches in the region of Tagra.

In some cases Quryaqos seems to have supported hierarchs who were disliked by their congregations. Such was the case with Shemʿon, the metropolitan of Tagrit (only the death of whom brought peace to the diocese) and with Basilios, his successor. The latter soon fell into a conflict with the people of Mosul, as he opposed their choice of Daniel, of the powerful Dayro d-Mor Matay, as their bp. Quryaqos who supported the authority of Basilios (as the metropolitan of Tagrit, the position later known as maphrianate), formally had precedence over other metropolitans of the ‘East’ (i.e., the part of the Syr. Orth. Church on the former territory of the Persian [Sasanian] state). Quryaqos tried to solve the conflict by a conciliatory decree (Michael Rabo, Chronicle, 495f/IIIb,33–35).

In the atmosphere of conflicts within the church’s hierarchy the discipline among the priests and monks diminished. Quryaqos tried to improve that by instituting canons at two synods: in Beth Bathin near Ḥarran in November 794 (46 canons) and in Ḥarran in 812/13 (26 can.).

His literary works include responsa, a liturgy (anaphora), a collection of memre on theological themes (incomplete), a biography of Severus of Antioch (discovered by A. Vööbus), letters (three of which are quoted by Michael Rabo) and a synodal letter to the Coptic Patriarch Markos being a profession of faith (preserved in Arabic translation).

See Fig. 58.

    Primary Sources

    • Abbeloos and Lamy, Gregorii Barhebraei chronicon ecclesiasticum, vol. I, cols. 332–44.
    • Chabot, Chronique de Michel le Syrien, XII.3–12.
    • Guidi et al., Chronica minora, vol. 3 (CSCO 5), 243–60.
    • K.  Kaiser, ‘Die syrische “Liturgie” des Kyriakos von Antiocheia’, OC 5 (1905), 174–97. (Syr. with LT)
    • F.  Nau, Les canons et les résolutions canoniques de Rabboula, Jean de Tella, Cyriaque d’Amid, Jacques d’Édesse, Georges des Arabes, Cyriaque d’Antioche, Jean III, Théodose d’Antioche et des Perses (Ancienne littérature canonique syriaque 2; 1906). (FT)
    • H.  Teule, ‘La lettre synodale de Cyriaque, patriarche monophysite d’Antioche (793–817)’, OLP 9 (1978), 121–140. (Arabic with FT)
    • A.  Vööbus, Syrische Kanonessammlungen: ein Beitrag zur Quellenkunde, vol. 1. Westsyrische Originalurkunden, 1A–B (CSCO 307, 317; 1970), 13–35 (can.); 298f. (responsa).
    • A.  Vööbus, The Synodicon in the West Syrian tradition (CSCO 367–8, 375–6; 1975–76), vol. 2.1–2, 6–24 (Syr.), 7–27 (ET).

    Secondary Sources

    • Baumstark, Literatur, 270–1.
    • R.  Draguet, ‘Le Pacte d’union de 797 entre les Jacobites et les Julianistes d’Antioche’, LM 54 (1941), 91–106.
    • W.  Hage, Die syrisch-jakobitische Kirche in frühislamischer Zeit nach orientalischen Quellen (1966).
    • I.  Nabe-von  Schönberg, Die westsyrische Kirche im Mittelalter (800–1150) (1977), 89–92.
    • Palmer, Monk and mason, 179–81.
    • A.  Rücker, ‘Das dritte Buch der Mēmrē des Kyriakos von Antiochien’, OC 31 (1934), 107–15.
    • A.  Vööbus, ‘Die Entdeckung der Memre des Qyriaqos von Antiochien’, OKS 25 (1976), 193–5.
    • A.  Vööbus, ‘Discovery of the biography of Severus of Antioch by Qyriaqos of Tagrit’, Rivista di Studi Bizantini e Neoellenici 12–13 (1975–76), 117–24.


How to Cite This Entry

Witold Witakowski, “Quryaqos,” 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, https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Quryaqos.

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

Witold Witakowski, “Quryaqos,” 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/Quryaqos.

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Witakowski, Witold. “Quryaqos.” 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/Quryaqos.

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