The Chronicle of Seert: Christian Historical Imagination in Late Antique Iraq

Hardcover | October 9, 2013

byPhilip Wood

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This monograph uses a medieval Arabic chronicle, the Chronicle of Seert, as a window into the Christian history of Iraq. The Chronicle describes events that are unknown from other sources, but it is most useful for what it tells us about the changes agendas of those who wrote history and theiraudiences in the period c.400-800.By splitting the Chronicle into its constituent layers, Philip Wood presents a rich cultural history of Iraq. He examines the Christians' self-presentation as a church of the martyrs and the uncomfortable reality of close engagement with the Sasanian state. The history of the past was used as asource of solidarity in the present, to draw together disparate Christian communities. But it also represented a means of criticising figures in the present, whether these be secular rulers or over-mighty bishops and abbots.The Chronicle gives us an insight into the development of an international awareness within the church in Iraq. Christians increasingly raised their horizons to the Roman Empire in the West, which offered a model of Christian statehood, while also being the source of resented theological innovationor heresy. It also shows us the competing strands of patronage within the church: between laymen and clergy; church and state; centre and periphery. Building on earlier scholarship rooted in the contemporary Syriac sources, Wood complements that picture with the testimony of this laterwitness.

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This monograph uses a medieval Arabic chronicle, the Chronicle of Seert, as a window into the Christian history of Iraq. The Chronicle describes events that are unknown from other sources, but it is most useful for what it tells us about the changes agendas of those who wrote history and theiraudiences in the period c.400-800.By splitt...

Dr Philip Wood is Assistant Professor at the Aga Khan University, ISMC (London).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:October 9, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199670676

ISBN - 13:9780199670673

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Collaborators and Dissidents: Writing the hagiographies of the fifth century persecutions2. The Martyrs and the Catholicos: The Acts of the Symeon and their re-invention3. The Patriarchal Histories: Genesis of a centralising narrative4. The Church and the World5. Roman Ecclesiastical History in the Sasanian World: Reception, adaptation and reaction6. Beyond Ctesiphon: Monasteries and aristocrats in the Christian histories7. The Last Great War of Antiquity: The reaction of Christian Iraq8. The Church of Baghdad: A new past for Christian IraqConclusionEpiscopal and Regnal TablesSynodicaHistory-writing in the Church of the EastContents of the Chronicle of SeertAbbreviationsBibliography