Telkepe Tell Kaif
Town 15 km. north of Mosul, it is a populous Chald. settlement, seat of a bishopric, with a conspicuous diaspora in Iraq (Mosul, Baghdad, Baṣra, etc.) as well as in the USA, especially in San Diego and Detroit. Ecclesiastic sources give a population of around 900 Chald. families living in Telkepe in 1961. Economy is traditionally based on agriculture, periodically suffering drought and parasites. Excavation is not allowed in a graveyard on the tell that might cover an Assyrian citadel. The name of Telkepe is mentioned in 8th-cent. Arabic sources. Other early information is scarce and uncertain. The village was plundered by Murād Bey (Bar Yak) in 1508. From the 17th cent. Telkepe was one of the centers promoting union with Rome. A Belgian missionary reports that in 1653 the patr. had left his ordinary residence in the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd under the pressure of continuous Kurdish attacks and took refuge in Telkepe. The same missionary complains that there were so many priests for such a small village that they were reduced to the level of cowherds. In 1743 the Persians of Nādir Shāh, unable to conquer Mosul, plundered Telkepe and other villages in the plain. By the end of the 18th cent. Telkepe is described as entirely Chald., but in the 2nd half of the 19th cent. the clergy of the village went through a troublesome period of division and rivalry. As late as 1890 Budge met a ‘Nestorian’ party in Telkepe. Many influential Chaldeans were born in Telkepe, including: Yawsep II, the second Chald. patr. and prolific author (b. 1667), the fine Sureth poets (Yawsep of Telkepe, 17th cent.; Toma Tektek Sindjari and Yawsep ʿAzarya, both 19th cent.), the poetess Anne of Telkepe (alive in 1914), and the much-debated ‘princess’ Mary Therese Asmar (1804, d. Paris ca. 1870). As a result of the arabization policy of 1980–1990, Telkepe now has an Arab majority.
- Fiey, Assyrie chrétienne, vol. 2, 355–76.
- Wilmshurst, Ecclesiastical organisation, 223–32. (incl. further references)
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
Alessandro Mengozzi , “Telkepe,” 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/Telkepe.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
Mengozzi, Alessandro. “Telkepe.” 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/Telkepe.
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