The Assyrian identity and the nomenclature

8/8/2005 4:46:43 PM
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Truth and fact are the same in the minds of many Assyrians, especially those who try to avoid confronting the “bitter fact”; hence they tend to suggest some submissive ideas for a “common” goal which they don’t work for neither believe in, in the first place. But the anomalous reality of genuine peoples be it in regards to their rights or identity, should be faced with the confirmed truth and political methods depending on a reformist intellectual movement stemming from the political institutions either through awareness or by cleaning the house in any possible manner. The truth though is contrary to the claims of some opportunist Assyrians who because their Church is the largest in Iraq then they think as: “Be careful about our feelings… We are many”! As if the majority supports them… In addition to other coquetry methods which were the reason behind new cultures being entered into the contemporary Assyrian nationalism when they are already void but some politicians try to give them more importance than they really deserve in order to succeed in the Iraqi elections…

Many a time we try to guess as to what will be the new unifying name which would be suggested if the hedaad of the Evangelical Church in the world was to decide calling its Assyrian followers “Sumerians”? Then we’d see how our “striving” candidates for the “Christian Kurdish” or “Christian Iraqi” positions would run quickly to promise the followers of this Church to add their new name to the name of our “people” (?) in order to unite our “nation” (?) so we can obtain our full rights (?) in our “homeland” (?) ---- All without naming nor defining ---- They shy away from identifying these slogans because their proposals are already disgraceful …In any case let’s proceed one step ahead of the “future Sumerians” and do our parties’ job in order to compensate for an expected loss, by digging a little into history’s pages so as to conclude and have a clear idea about the Assyrian name and nomenclature, by going into the meaning of each, how and why they were used throughout history? Where they given to a section of people joined in one culture? A “people”…Or “nation”?

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting” (Buddha)

In the midst of the struggle between the two Assyrian schools (the Assyrian nationalists and the neo nationalists) new names are being suggested which have no relation whatsoever to any nationality, while others aren’t related to a specific nationality, but when we want to discuss our name (I regrettably say it..), we must study and analyze our suggestions from a historical and a futuristic point of view, understanding their meaning, cultural and national extent, thus in order to be clearer we shall begin with the oldest name - out of curiosity - just to explain what a “nationality” means.

We can firmly for example say that we are the descendants of Akkadians but we can’t say that our nationality is “Akkadian” because our Akkadian forefathers didn’t have an Akkadian culture and the “Akkadian” language is related to the geographical environment and not to the “people”, also there wasn’t an Akkadian nationalism but rather a “political” tendency which was limited to expanding and uniting the subdued areas in one entity providing security for a human group, whether cultural or racial (just like the other groups did before the idea of “nationalism” was born) However, the Assyrian expansion was aimed at spreading an “Assyrian culture” by imposing an Assyrian ideology, worshipping Assyrian deities and phasing out other cultures within the national melting pot policy in the expanded Assyrian society by way of captivity. Professor Simo Parpola mentions what the Assyrian King Tiglath Pileser the first, had inscribed in the ancient Assyrian language about those captives in old Assyrian: “Itti nise mat Assur amnosunuti” which means “I counted them as citizens of Assyria”[1] hence there was an Assyrian “nationalism”.

It’s erroneous to connect the history of “Assyrian nationalism” with the beginning of the “Assyrian State” because that state was called “Ashur” in reference to god “Ashur” which ultimately means that the Assyrian “culture” or “ideology” (religion, philosophy, language.. all with Assyrian characteristics) were found even before establishing the Assyrian State. This thought was firmly established in the belief of god Ashur the creator of the universe (today’s Almighty God) thus even a king from the early period of what’s known as “Mesopotamia” had taken the name of god Ashur, that is Puzur-Ashur I, this preceded the Akkadian period of Sargon of Akkad by four kings. Then there was Puzur-Ashur II in the Akkadian period when the Assyrian independence began (independence of kingdoms and not a state) that’s about 570 years before King Shamshi Adad which some historians assert that he was the founder of the Assyrian "State”, then there was Puzur-Ashur III (1521 - 1497 B.C.) who succeeded Ashur Nirari I (1547-1521 B.C.) during the Assyrian period. This repetition in the name of “Ashur” even before the Akkadian period is a proof on the authenticity of the Assyrian ideology before establishing the State, and repeating the phrase “Puzur-Ashur” is another proof on the continuity of roots, as in Sharukeen (Sargon) the first, during the Akkadian period, followed 1600 years later by Sharukeen II in the neo Assyrian period.

If we are to look into the origin of the word “Akkad” we will notice that it didn’t represent a culture since it was mentioned in the Assyrian inscriptions as Akkadu and before that, it was mentioned in the historical accounts of the goddess Ishtar’s story who submitted to the “Aka-Di” which meant the “crown” or the “wreath” of fire in Sumerian[2] therefore “Akkad” didn’t mean a national belonging but rather was a geographical name for a socio-political (State of Akkad) in the physical sense, and the people were retraced to the “geographical” name Akkad and not the national one in reference to the period before the establishment of the national ideology as it is known today. The Catholic Encyclopedia directly refers to the “Assyrian” culture of the Akkadians by saying that the “Chaldean” astrology should be called “Assyrian” because the first inscription about astrology goes back to the Akkadian era at the time of king Sargon I[3] therefore astronomy during Sargon of Akkad’s period was an “Assyrian” science even if it had existed before the establishment of the Assyrian State.

As for the Syrian name, it represents a Church culture which spread in what the Greeks erroneously called “Syria” from "Ashur" [4] because Ashur (the State which contained one national society and not the Empire) was far smaller than the area which was called the Greek “Syria”[5-6] but as long as we have our own particular history and a distinguished language then we’re not obliged to dress what the Greeks or others had sewn. The Syrian name (Suryaya) never meant a nationality but rather a cultural, liturgical or Church heritage, thus we can say that all our Churches (Church of the East, Syrian and Chaldean) share a “Syrian” (Suryaya) liturgical rite (as per the academic liturgical explanation and not as per the historical truth of the Suryaya “culture”).

Nationalism isn’t limited to a certain Church and vice versa, we shouldn’t forget that our Churches over periods of history included Indians, Arabs, Assyrians, Persians, Mongols … All those weren’t from “our people” that’s why we say it’s not possible for the Syrian name to be a national one but it can rather denote Christian groups regardless of their national belonging, thus it’s possible for a Saudi Arabian to join the Syrian Church today and be called “Suryaya”, and what we read in Greek history about “Surios” or “Syrian” in English translations doesn’t mean “Suryaya” (so-called “Syriacs”) as some imagine, but rather “Syrians” as per the geography of the Greek "Syria" because ancient Greek historians never used the term “Suryaya” or “Surian” (Arabic term), therefore there are "Suryayeh” amongst the Assyrians and others, but we have to always determine that, according to the geographical belonging of these “Suryayeh” human groups in a certain area. Thus for example if we look at the “Suryayeh” in Turkey we will notice that the Turkish historian, Professor Shemsettin Gunaltay in his book “History of the East” says that the city of Edessa (Urhai or Urfa) was founded by the Assyrian tribes (On-Asurilar) then he says that the followers of the Old Syrian Church (Qadim Surianilar) are the descendants of the Subartian Assyrians (Subari Asurilar)[7] Also when the traveler Father Horatio Southgate had visited the areas of Tur Abdin and Deir al- Za’afaran (Za’afaran Monastery) in the early 19th century he wrote about the Syrians (Suryayeh) : Armenians did not know them under the name which I used, Syrian, but called them Assouri[8]

Hence a Syrian (Suryaya) can only be an Assyrian if he was connected historically with the Assyrian land and language whether he liked it or not, this applies to all the Assyrian people’s denominations whether they are Suryayeh Chaldeans or Easterners, because there are – for example - Indians amongst the Chaldeans[9], Easterners and Suryayeh… But there aren’t “Indian Assyrians”!

As for the term “Chaldeans” which was lately introduced in a nationalistic mold, it’s a noble term in history just like the Rab-Shaqi (the head of butlers) or Ashaku (priest) or Shangu (the temple’s curator) and all the other names which were used by the Assyrians of both Babylon and Nineveh in their daily life, but this doesn’t mean that we turn these names into national ones whenever foreigners stick them to us, we have also to be careful of the opportunists and the self-serving amongst the Assyrian people who are trying to land positions following the fall of Saddam, and what’s amazing today is how those have turned over on their own previous principles, taking advantage of the simplicity of some of their fellow Church members, as an example we see the president of the so-called “Chaldean National Congress” who had written a splendid article – before the fall of Saddam – titled: “Towards an Assyrian strategy for the Kurdish question in Iraq” where he concluded it with the following statement: Let us hope, as Assyrians, we will be able to achieve our national rights with the minimum amount of sacrifices…[10] However, today we see his organization calling for a “Chaldean” nationality in Iraq, without any future vision of a “Chaldean nation” (if there is one).

The dilemma grew bigger when the likes these people were given much more consideration than they really deserve, on the other hand there’s a large number of Catholic Assyrians who reject such ideas and participate in all the Assyrian national institutions and more over many were founders of such institutions. The (neo nationalists) don’t dare to discuss their opinions with the Iraqi political platforms because their demands are limited to including the Chaldean name as a national one without having any case or national political opinion in regards to the group which they claim to represent, but they hide behind the clergy who are well known for their shameful stands and all that those neo nationalists do is to embarrass the clergy using their religious ranks which are respected by Iraqi politicians, unti,l as the Arab saying goes; “the cup over flows”.

Let’s leave for a moment today’s matters to deal with the Chaldean name historically, not only as a Church name, but we shall even go back to the period prior to the Christian era when this term only meant a class of society in and outside of Babylon, when it was given to every astrologer or fortune-teller, for those who were historically known as “Chaldeans” were tribes which were interested in science, thus what some read about “the land of the Chaldeans” in the Old Testament doesn’t indicate that the land was Chaldean but rather whomever wrote that portion of the Torah was a contemporary of the tribes which were called “Chaldu”, as for example the phrase “Ur of the Chaldeans” which doesn’t have any connection to reality because Ur was a Sumerian city so when the Jewish shepherd was talking about the land which had at the time some groups that the Assyrians called “Chaldu”. The late Professor Nahum Sarna who taught Torah studies at Brandeis University – Massachusetts and was the head of the Torah Hebrew translation department, said that “Ur” itself could not be called "of the Chaldeans" whereas Chaldeans entered it in the 1st millennium B.C[11]

The term “Chaldean” was mentioned for the first time in 878 B.C. in the accounts of the Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal who had named the southern lands subdued to Babylon at the time as “the land of Chaldu” (al Ahwar and its southern parts) when Babylon was still inhabited then by its indigenous people, that was the first time according to discovered accounts that the name “Chaldu” was mentioned[12], when those tribes that came from Dilmon (today’s Bahrain) entered Iraq in the beginning of 1000 B.C. …

Now all this isn’t important to us but rather the meaning of the Chaldean name and how it was used …. The term “Chaldu” only meant a fortune-teller; the name was used for all non-Babylonian astrologers as well, such as the European astrologers. The name was used in Rome when this occupation was started by a Roman slave called Antiochus, some thing which was confirmed by the Roman author Marcus Porcius Cato (3rd century B.C.) who had attacked the “Chaldeans” in Rome stating that they were inspired by the evil gods. Later Augustus Caesar (31 B.C.-14 A.D.) supported the engineer Marcus Vitruvius Pollio when he said Listen to the advice of the Chaldeans, they read the divination and they know the future[13] denoting Rome’s astrologists. Then the Roman historian Gaius Suetonius (1st century A.D.) mentioned in his book "De Vita Caesarum" (The Lives of the Caesars), what Vitilius Caesar (15A.D.-69A.D) had said when he was fed up with the fortune-tellers of Rome, Soetonius says: He (Vitilius) ordered the astrologers to leave the city and Italia before the calends of October, a placard was at once posted, reading: “By proclamation of the Chaldeans”, That is, the astrologers, for whom "Chaldaei" became a general term[14] which means that those who were known as “Chaldeans” weren’t only Babylonians.

The famous astrology historian, Professor Robert Hand asserts in his research “The History of Astrology” that The reference to Chaldeans refers to astrologers[15] as for “Babylon’s Chaldeans”, they possessed a respectable occupation during those times, and there are many specialists in spiritual history such as the Russian philosopher Helena Blavadsky (1831-1891) the founder of the Theosophy Movement who confirmed that The Chaldeans, or Kasdim, were at first a tribe, and then a caste of learned Kabbalists. They were the savants, the magians of Babylonia, astrologers and diviners. The famous Hillel, the precursor of Jesus in philosophy and ethics, was a Chaldean[16], knowing that Hillel (60 BC – 20 AD) wasn’t Babylonian, but a Hebrew[17]

As for the Catholic Encyclopedia, it mentions that [The Assyro-Babylonian priests (Chaldeans) were the professional astrologers of classic antiquity… ][18] This is also confirmed by the Encyclopedia of Wikipedia [Roman and later authors used the name Chaldeans in particular for astrologers and mathematicians from Babylonia[19] The Robertson’s word studies mentions that Among the Persians there was a priestly caste of Magi like the Chaldeans in Babylon[20] the same is mentioned by Dr. Wilder, a specialist in ancient philosophy when he wrote The sacerdotal and learned class were styled magians or magicians. We find them also called Chaldeans[21], while the traveler and discoverer William Winwood Reade (1838-1875) wrote: Although the term Druid is local, their religion was of deep root, and a distant origin. It was of equal antiquity with those of the Persian Magi, the Chaldees of Assyria, and the Brachmans of Hindostan[22]. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia mentions the following: kasda'im, the same word as the Greek “Chaldaioi” (Chaldeans), denotes in Daniel, where alone it occurs, not the people so designated but a class of astrologers. This usage (common in classical writers) arose after the fall of the Babylonian empire, when the only Chaldeans known were astrologers and soothsayers[23]

Jullie Gillentine, Professor of astrology at Colorado University, U.S.A. wrote in one of her scientific researches The Chaldeans were accomplished astronomers and astrologers and ancient writers often used their name as a synonym for magician[24], The famous researcher, linguist and Dean of Canterbury’s Theology College, Bishop Robert Payne Smith wrote: Chaldeanism means Astronomy and astrology[25] The same is confirmed by another historical encyclopedia, Biblical Archaeology The signs of the heavens presumably consisted of the “signs of the zodiac” used by Babylonian priest-astrologers known as Chaldeans, who were among the “wise men,” e.g., a retinue of conjurers, diviners, magicians, and master astrologers, serving at the courts of the Babylonian kings[26] Thus there shouldn’t be a mix up between a “Babylonian” and a “Chaldean”, and that there isn’t a “Chaldean nationality”. As for the ancient historians, the Greek historian Herodotus (05th century B.C.) in his book “The Histories” in its nine volumes, had mentioned the term “Chaldean” two or three times only, he said: The shrine contains no image, and no one spends the night there except, as the Chaldeans who are the priests of Bel say, an Assyrian woman, all alone, whoever it may be that the God has chosen[27]

The Greek Strabos (60B.C.-20A.D.) wrote In Babylonia there was a dwelling place for the native philosophers, called Chaldeans, who are for the most part concerned with astronomy …. And there are of the Chaldean astronomers several kinds. For some are called Orchenoi, and others Borsippenoi[28]. The historian Diodorus Siculus (80B.C.-21A.D.) had mentioned that Babylonians named their astrologers by “Chaldeans”[29], Then the historian Eusebius of Caesarea (the father of Church history) (260-340A.D.) in his book "Praeparatio Evangelica" (Preface to Evangelism) where he handled the relation between the Old and New Testaments, mentioned that Chaldeans were Assyrians[30]

As for those who believe in the myths of the Old Testament claiming that in some parts the term Chaldean was mentioned, we see that Isaiah frankly and clearly had expressed who the (ancient) Chaldeans were when he wrote: Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness[31] The Torah researcher Robert Dick Wilson explains that “Chaldean” in the Torah didn’t mean a nation or people[32] and he presents the following verses from the Book of Daniel in regards to King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream:

(Daniel 2:1-2): And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king(Daniel 2:10): The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.] Then Nebuchadnezzar said of his dream in(Daniel 4:6-7): Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof. When a strange writing appeared on the wall of King Belshazzar,(Daniel 5:7): The King cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then Belshazzar’s wife interferes and advises him to forego the interpretations of the “wise men of Babylon” and call for Daniel as it is mentioned in(Daniel 5:11): there is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers.

Thus, how would Nebuchadnezzar say “I brought in the Chaldeans” if he belonged to a “people” called Chaldean? And how would his daughter in law talk to her husband about Daniel saying “Thy father made him master of the Chaldeans”, even though Daniel was a Hebrew? Assuming that Belshazzar was a king for a “people” called Chaldean? Rather we see that the Chaldean name always took place next to the names of occupations!

All these references confirm that there wasn’t a Chaldean “nationality”, a “people”, or even a “nation”, but rather those who had carried the name “Chaldu” were fortune-tellers and their presence wasn’t limited to Babylon, but there were those who were called “Chaldeans” amongst the Egyptians, Persians, Assyrians and even Romans… And even some of the “Chaldu” who had lived in Babylon were rejected by the Babylonians who asked for help from the Assyrians of the North when the “Amukani” and “Yakeen” tribes which were known as “Chaldu” attacked Babylon in 734B.C. hence, the Assyrian army arrived from “Arapkhu” (kurdified to "Karkuk") at the demand of their compatriots the Babylonians and saved the city from the “Chaldu” who had come from Al Ahwar region[33] Also the Assyriologue Wilfinson speaks of the Babylonians’ hatred towards their foreign rulers and mentions how they used to call for the Assyrians from the North to assist them, then he mentions how some Babylonian rebellions wanted to join Nineveh, and that Babylon was a mix of nations with controversies and conflicts[34]

Even during Christian times there isn’t any thing which points to the Chaldean name as being a “nationality”, however, historians do agree that those who practiced this occupation either faded away within their different roots or were integrated within a religion whether Christianity, Islam or Magianism. In her book “Hagarism, The making of the Islamic World”, Patricia Crone (History Professor at the University of London) highlighted this subject when she wrote: Like the Assyrians, they might call themselves Suryane in contradistinction to the pagans; but they never shared any single identity between them: the only identity there was to inherit was Chaldean, and on conversion the Chaldean renounced his ethnicity as Magian and his culture as Zoroastrian. The Assyrian Christians have a genuine precedent for their name, but Christians were only called Chaldeans by way of abuse[35]

Then we see the Chaldean name disappearing and we don’t hear about it except in the lamentations of the Vatican upon Abraham and his Ur which was called “Chaldean”, then the name re-appeared in Cyprus in the middle of the 15th century A.D. enforced by the Vatican in 1445 when Pope Eugene IV decided to call the followers of the Church of the East who became Catholics as “Chaldeans”. One of the Church historians, Father Botros Nasri wrote: On August 07/1445A.D. Pope Eugene IV issued his famous declaration in regards to those who found the “right path” in it he ordered that they shouldn’t be called “Nestorians” any more, but “Chaldeans”[36] and later, Cardinal Eugene Taisaran, secretary of the Holy Council of the Eastern Church mentions: The conclusive union came to be in 1445 A.D. when a formal document from the Roman Church was issued by Pope Eugene IV when Timothaeus the “Nestorian” Archbishop declared his (Roman) Catholic faith, then the Pope declared that they shouldn’t be treated any more like those Syrian heretics but rather they should be called “Chaldeans”[37]

Hence the modern Chaldean name was synonymous to “Nestorian”, thus it’s not a national name because there isn’t a “Nestorian nationality” and if we want to see what the experts say specially the Vatican itself through the famous “Catholic Encyclopedia” we would notice that the “few” Assyrians who are calling for Chaldean as a national name, are turning in a vortex and the case has become that of being stubborn and nothing more… So what about today’s “Chaldeans”?

The Wikipedia Encyclopedia mentions about today’s Assyrians: “Assyrians traditionally belong to the Assyrian Church of the East (Nestorian), the Chaldean Catholic Church, or the Syrian Orthodox Church. Modern Assyrians trace their heritage to an ancient race of the same name, responsible for creating the world's first empire in recorded history”[38] then continues relating to the Chaldeans: The Chaldeans are Catholic Assyrians, their church is part of the Church of the East, and is also known as the Chaldean Church of Babylon or the Chaldean Catholic Church. In Iraq there are an estimated 750,000 living mostly in the North (Shimal) of the country. They speak Neo-Assyrian which is also known as Syriac Aramaic[39]

Father Professor Javier Koodapuzha, the bishopric representative for St. Dominic’s Catholic Cathedral in Tamil – India asserts that the Vatican’s documents mention Mar Youkhana Sulaqa who founded the “Chaldean” Church as being the Patriarch of the Assyrian nation[40] In a definition for the word “Chaldean” used today, the Catholic Encyclopedia mentions Strictly, the name of Chaldeans is no longer correct; in Chaldea proper, apart from Baghdad, there are now very few adherents of this rite, most of the Chaldean population being found in the cities of Kerkuk, Arbil, and Mosul, in the heart of the Tigris valley, in the valley of the Zab… It is in the former ecclesiastical province of Ator (Assyria) that are now found the most flourishing of the Catholic Chaldean communities[41] It also mentions that Patriarch Sulaqa was the founder of this Church, and was called The Patriarch of Mosul and Assyria[42]

The International religious World Vision publications mention the following: The 17th and 18th centuries witnessed a change in the Church of the East, when the Assyrians of the valleys of North of Iraq were subdued in 1778 under the Papal authority, their name became “Chaldean” and the title of their Patriarch became Patriarch of Babylon[43]

In modern history the Chaldeans are known for their Assyrian nationality and there isn’t till now any politician who mentions them as a “nationality”, even their fate hasn’t been dealt with distinguishly in any international conference because their fate is that of every “Christian” in the East which the West’s concern for them is merely a religious one, in his book "Minorities in the Middle East", Mordechai Nissan, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Jerusalem wrote: The Mosul massacres of 1959-1960 found the Assyrians, particularly in Tall Kayf, loyal to Kassem in his struggle against Nasserites insurrection[44]

In their valuable book, “Politics and Minorities in the Near East”, both historians Laurent and Annie Chabri, in a chapter titled “The Assyrians: Nestorians and Chaldeans”, stated the following: Today’s Assyrians are descendants of the ancient Assyrians and they’re devided into two denominations: The “Nestorians” who are gathered within the Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Church which split from the “Nestorians” since 1553[45]

Where then is the “nationalism” of the Chaldean name? And upon what do some Catholic Assyrians build their new theories? How will they face the Iraqi academics if the matter of recognizing “Chaldean” as a nationality was brought up in a proper manner? How will they demand that they be mentioned in the curriculum of the history subject in Iraq?

These are fundamental questions which must be answered so that they would avoid ridicule; many non-Assyrian politicians and Assyriologists regretted the division of the Assyrian nation and the newly national suggestions which have begun to hinder the advancement of the Assyrian Cause, one of those is Professor Simo Parpola when he writes: Today, the Assyrian nation largely lives in Diaspora, split into rivaling churches and political factions… many modern Assyrians originating from central Assyria now identify with "Chaldeans", a term associated with the Syriac language in the 16th century but ultimately derived from the name of the dynasty that destroyed Nineveh and the Assyrian Empire! … Disunited, dispersed in exile, and as dwindling minorities without full civil rights in their homelands, the Assyrians of today are in grave danger of total assimilation and extinction. In order to survive as a nation, they must now unite under the Assyrian identity of their ancestors. It is the only identity that can help them to transcend the differences between them, speak with one voice again, catch the attention of the world, and regain their place among the nations[46]

What’s more strange are the claims made by some that today’s Assyrians aren’t the descendants of ancient Assyrians and that the Assyrian name is a new name which was given by the English to those who were called “Nestorians”, hence we see one of those accused of “Assyrianizing the Nestorians” that is the Englishman Dr William Wigram writing that the Persian king Yezdegerd recognized Assyrians as a “Millet” (nation)[47] as it was also mentioned by Father Horatio Southgate when he had visited Tur Abdin and Deir Azza’afaran in the western mountains of Ashur that he was surprised by Syrian Orthodox being called “Assouri” by the Armineans and he wrote: … “Assouri”, which struck me the more at the moment from its resemblance to our English name “Assyrians”, from whom they claim their origin, being sons, as they say, of Assour, (Asshur,)[48] This phrase clearly shows that the English who came to the area called us “Assyrians” in reference to history and because we retrace ourselves to the Assyrians before their arrival, of the Englishmen, but they were interested with this new “discovery” for political reasons and they as part of a sham, supported the independence of the Assyrian nationality from the occupying peoples, as well as for religious reasons because they had thought that the Assyrians were annihilated as was mentioned in a the political Jewish magazine (The Torah), thus meeting the “Nestorians, Syrians and Chaldeans” was for the English a historical discovery specially that the Assyrians had kept traditions, customs, and a heritage which were “purely Assyrian” and were spoken of by many English and German travelers.

In the following lines we shall limit the mention of the Assyrians before the 19th century (before the arrival of the English) as this subject is worthy to be aware of because Assyrian generations are brought up upon wrong understanding of history, we shall state “some” references which point to the irrefutable truth about the continuity of the Assyrian people, language, land and identity even with the fall of their political entity in 612B.C., it’s to be duly noted that many Assyrian and non-Assyrian authors and historians have preceded us in supplying the libraries with interesting researches in the matter but regrettably they are still discarded by many something which is clear through some of the opinions which we read or hear about from some who are naïve.

The historical accounts have proved that the “Assyrian” language remained alive and was even used by the Persians, it was known to the Greeks as well by the same name even with the inclusion of some Aramaic vocabulary which were used by the Aramaean tribes, this is what we know from a foreigner called Thucydides (471-400 B.C), the commander of the Greek navy in the war between the cities of Sparta and Athena (05th century B.C.) who had mentioned the arrival of Artavernis the Persian King’s envoy to Athena by saying: When he was brought to Athens, the Athenians translated his letters out of the Assyrian language into Greek, and read them[49] This took place after the fall of Nineveh and Babylon, and after the Assyrians had developed the Akkadian language from the time of Sennacherib and included some Aramaic which was already influence by the Assyrian writing in what relates to grammar and conjugation as asserted by the late Dr Taha Baqer, who was Professor of ancient languages at Baghdad University.[50] Therefore, the language which was and is still spoken by the Assyrians is an Assyrian language.

The Assyrians continued on with their daily lives, participating as a military power within the Empires which ruled them after the political fall of Assyria (Ashur), the most important sources which mention that are those written by the Greek Herodotus who was born the Greek city of Halicarnasus in 490B.C., that is 122 years after the fall of Nineveh and he lived in Assyria during the Persian occupation. Herodotus told about the Assyrians’ daily lives, their participation as brigades in the Persian army and of that he wrote The Assyrians were equipped with bronze helmets, made in a complicated barbarian way which is hard to describe, shields, spears, daggers, woodden clubs studded with iron, and linen crosslets…[51]

In one of his valuable researches titled The Archaemenid period in Northern Iraq, Professor John Curtis, head of the Eastern Artifacts section at the British Museum, wrote about Assyrian delegations used to visit Darius and Xerxess[52] Arian (Lucius Flavius Arrianus) the well known Greek historian 86-160A.D. wrote that 10.000 Assyrian men had helped Alexander the Great in building aqueducts after they welcomed him as their savior from the Persians[53]

The Assyrian continuity wasn’t only a human one, because the Assyrian culture continued through the Persian and Roman eras when the temple of god Ashur was re-built and worshipping continued in other temples such as that of god “Sin” which was considered one of the religious, military and political inspiration centers for the Assyrians[54] and that was re-built in the neo Babylonian era by Nabonides (556-539 B.C)[55] after he dreamt of “Sin” calling him to rebuild the temple so he would have had the power to occupy Egypt[56]. The Assyrians continued worshipping in that temple before the coming of Christ and till the 09th century A.D, one of the temple’s priests “Baba of Harran” had predicted the coming of Christ[57] The Assyrians in these areas remained on their ancient religious beliefs, while Professor Simo Parpola mentions that the ancient beliefs continued till the 10th century A.D. when he says: In Harran, the cults of Sin, Nikkal, Bel, Nabu, Tammuz and other Assyrian gods persisted until the 10th century AD and are still referred to in Islamic sources. Typically Assyrian priests with their distinctive long conical hats and tunics are depicted on several Graeco-Roman monuments from Northern Syria and East Anatolia[58]

The beginning of the Christian era witnessed the folding of some long pages of history, when societies began to go through new social, religious and intellectual ideas, the Assyrian people accepted the new religion easily because it didn’t differ much from their old religion (the Assyrian religion before Christianity). Before the coming of Christ the Lord, the Assyrians had spread the idea of the Oneness of God and believed in him as “Ashur” in Nineveh and Merdokh in Babylon, as they had believed in his resurrection three days after his death, the significance of these ideas was what the Assyrian New Year represented, which was celebrated on the 01st of “Nissanu” (Starts in the Spring equinox, 19-21 of March) in Babylon and Nineveh[59] These similarities influenced the traditions of the Church of the East which was founded by the Assyrians, thus tangible representations such as (portraits and statues) didn’t become a part of its daily practices and worshipping rites, in contrast other Churches which its people used to worship idols and statues or used tangible representations as means of communicating with the gods before the coming of Christ, while till today there hasn’t been any discovery of idols in Assyria.

As they embraced the new religion, the Assyrians added new ideas to understanding life and the philosophy beyond it, as they were the first to accept Christianity[60] when the Church was founded at the hands of the apostles Addai (Thaddaeus) and Mari, the Assyrian society with all its classes welcomed it where monasteries quickly spread in all the Assyrian regions but specially in the areas of Beth Karmaii (Kirkuk), Hidyab {Adiabene} (Arbil), Nohadra (Dohuk), Beth Bagash (Nojiyya and Gawar) and Beth Slakh (today’s Shaqlawa and North Eastern Arbil).

As to what concerns the continuation of the Assyrian identity following the spread of Christianity, Henry Saggs, Professor of Semitic languages at the University of Cardiff-Britain wrote: The collapse of the Assyrian Empire didn’t obliterate the inhabitants who were –primarily- peasants, the descendants of those Assyrian peasants used to re-build-when given the chance-their new villages on top of the old cities and they would live their rural lives remembering the traditions of the cities; following seven or eight centuries of turbulence they embraced Christianity… [61]

In what concerns the cohesiveness of the Assyrian society, the historian Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) wrote in his famous book “The history of the Decline and the fall of the Roman Empire” quoting the philosopher Libanius (314-394) who taught rhetoric to Emperor Julian[62] as follows: The fields of Assyria were devoted by Julian to the calamities of war, The trembling Assyrians summoned the rivers to their assistance; and completed, with their own hands, the ruin of their country … Two cities of Assyria presumed to resist the arms of a Roman emperor: and they both paid the severe penalty of their rashness…. The Assyrians maintained their loyalty by a skilful, as well as vigorous, defense; till the lucky stroke of a battering-ram, having opened a large breach, by shattering one of the angles of the wall, they hastily retired into the fortifications of the interior citadel[63] which means, that during the time of the Persian king Shah’bur Ardashir and Julian the Roman emperor who was killed at the entrances of Ctesephon during his attack on the city[64], the Assyrians were ready to face a great Empire and they were united even though they were overcome by the Persian Empire.

The Assyrian national tendency in the early centuries of Christianity is confirmed by Patricia Crone, history Professor at the University of London, who goes as far as accusing the Assyrians of being chauvinists because they resorted to Christianity but more precisely “Nestorianism” fleeing from being integrated with Persian Zoroastrianism and Greek Orthodoxy, so that they would avoid dispersing within the surrounding cultures. She writes that in her book Hagarism: The making of the Islamic world …condemned to oblivion by the outside world, Assyria could recollect its own glorious past in certain tranquility. Consequently when the region came back into the focus of history under the Parthians, it was with an Assyrian, not a Persian let alone Greek, self-identification: the temple of Ashur was restored, the city was rebuilt, and an Assyrian successor state returned in the shape of the client kingdom of Adiabene…. Like the provincials of the west, the Assyrians stuck to their genealogy, but unlike them they could not merely go heretical: even a heretical Zoroastrian was still conceptually a Persian, and vis-à-vis the Persians the Assyrians therefore needed a different religion altogether. On the other hand, even an orthodox Christian was still only a Greek by association; vis-à-vis the Greeks a heresy therefore sufficed. Consequently, after a detour via Judaism, the Assyrians adopted Christianity and found their heresy in Nestorianism… (And she continues) Hence where Coptic chauvinism was ethnic and linguistic, that of Assyria turned on the memory of a glorious past. In this connection two timely conversions served to dear the Assyrian kings of their Biblical disrepute. Firstly Sardana the son of Sennacherib, thirty-second king of Assyria after Belos and ruler of a third of the inhabited world, submitted to the monotheistic message of Jonah and instituted the Ninivite fast which saved Ninive from destruction; and the fast having saved the Assyrians from the wrath of God in the past, it was reinstituted by Sabrisho' of Karkha de-Bet Selokh to save them from a plague a thousand years later." Secondly, the conversion of Izates II of Adiabene to Judaism was reedited as the conversion of Narsai of Assyria to Christianity. In other words the Assyrians were monotheists before Christ and Christians after him, and the past therefore led on to the present without a break. Thus the history of Karkha de-Bet Selokh begins with the Assyrian kings and ends with the Assyrian martyrs: Sargon founded it and the martyrs made it 'a blessed field for Christianity'. Likewise in the seventh century before Christ all the world stood in awe of Sardana, and in the seventh century after Christ the saints took his place as the 'sun of Athor' and the 'glory of Ninive'. …[65] In the 04th century A.D. King Sennacherib II reigned over the kingdom of "Ashur" and he was the father of the saints Behnam and Sarah[66] Ashur was also mentioned by other Assyrians, when the Catholicos Mar Isho-Yabh III of Adiabene (649-659) wrote a letter to the Archbishop Mar Gabriel, and to Mar Hermis D’Beth Laphat stating The best example of such faith is found among those living in central Athur (Assyria) and the surrounding places. A heritage of good manner, a clear mind and the teaching of the word of God have contributed to the growth of this blessedness[67]

During the period when the Assyrians embraced the new religion, many prominent brilliant figures appeared in intellect and philosophy such as Tatian of Adiabene (130 A.D.) who called himself “the Assyrian”, he was the one who collected the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) in one book which he called the Diatessaron[68] He is credited with firmly establishing the doctrine of the Holy Trinity since the idea was originally that of his forefathers culture, about that, Hippolytus the historian (170-236 A.D) who was known as “the martyr bishop of Rome” wrote in his book titled “Refutatio” (“Refutations of all Heresies”) what follows: The Assyrians first advanced the opinion that the soul has three parts, and yet one. For of soul, say they, is every nature desirous, and each in a different manner, for soul is cause of all things made.[69] In any case the Church of Rome was concerned about the Christian Trinity, for the Pope Dionysius (259-268 A.D.) considered the trinity idea proposed by Clement of Alexandria as a heresy and when he asked about the origines of his trinity Ideology, Clement said that it’s from the teacher, “Tatian the Assyrian”[70]

The mention of the Assyrians is seen precisely again in the middle of the 06th century A.D. when Emperor Anastasius occupied the city of Dara (between Mardin and Nisibis) in 556 A.D. which is mentioned by Bishop John of Ephesus (505-585 A.D.) in his Ecclesiastical History: And thus he (Anastasius) spoiled the city of a vast and incalculable prey, and took the people captive, and emptied it of its inhabitants, and left in it a garrison of his own, and returned to his land with an immense 385 booty of the silver and gold taken from the inhabitants, and the churches, and every where else. Its capture, and deliverance into the hands of the Assyrians, took place seventy-two years, more or less, after the time of it’s first being founded by king Anastasius [71]

In another letter of Patriarch Mar Ishoyahb III to Bishop Theodorus he wrote: I shall be late for few days visiting the Assyrians who live outside these lands[72] This took place in the 07th century A.D., then in the 08th century A.D. we read in a letter by the Catholicos Mar Timotheus the Great to Mar Sargis the bishop of Elam: “We wrote twice to the brothers Khnanisho and Isho Sabran, as per the law of the word of God, but they are not willing to come even though the Assyrians respect them”…[73]

In his book the “Sharafnameh”, the Kurdish historian Sharaf khan Bedlisi (16th century A.D.) had stated about how a group of Assyrians from Hakkari had met with Asad al-Din al-Kolabi ( nicknamed “Zerinjank”: the golden hand) where he said: “A group of Christians known as “Assuri” of that Vilayat (Hakkari) had traveled as usual to Egypt and Sham (Syria) to work and make a living, so they had a chance to see the position and prestige of Asad al-Din Zerinjank”[74]

During the 18th century A.D. , before the arrival of the English, and according to George Bournoutian, Professor of Middle East history at the University of New York, in a letter from the Russian Colonel Sivan Burnashiev to General Paul Potmekin dated 26/05/1784, Burnashiev wrote: There are 100 villages inhabited by Assyrians in the domain of the Khan of Urmiye, in addition , some 20,000 families reside within the borders of Turkey[75]

These were but some of a wealth of resources which confirm the presence of the Assyrian people prior to the arrival of the English, and the impossibility of having any name next to the Assyrian one, whether it’s under the motto of “unity” or any other banner, the unity should a “Assyrian Unity” and not that of three nationalities in one Christian people as we see in some moody decisions as that of the Baghdad Conference whose organizers don’t believe in the Assyrian identity but consider the Assyrian name a denominational[76-77] even though they lead “national” parties bearing the Assyrian name alone, and knowing that these parties have members of all our denominations.

However, all voices call for unity, all are Assyrians, all are Syrians and all are Chaldeans… Every one says and writes what he desires as if our division was a denominational one, this is a great crime against the Assyrian nation because calling for unity amongst “denominations” is an affliction in itself, because those who believe in the Assyrian name as a national one belong to all our denominations, contrary to those who believe in the other names as national ones, and who don’t belong except to the denominations that carry those names (the neo-nationalists).

In this manner the Assyrian intellect who calls for a compound unity (whether he believed in the Assyrian name or not) resorts to the rule “we are all one people” as if he has made a new discovery, then he suggests the compound name without any research specially if he is still flipping in the beginnings of nationalism, here the germ of “call me whatever you like” is born following a difficult intellectual birth, but he who is calling for that would collide with other currents which don’t agree with his “call me whatever you like” idea. We can justify the position of these currents because the Iraqi Constitution shall not include a nationality called “Whatever you like”… Rather there’s a confirmed historical truth and an abnormal reality represented in the lies and treachery of some Assyrian politicians and the naivety of some followers of one Patriarch or another… adding to that the cowardice of the intellectuals … This is the fact!

This fact is the result of previous ideological struggles which don’t exist today but they have formed a “separatist” thought for some, which was spoken of a hundred years ago by the Assyrian martyr Ashur Yousif – the Syrian Orthodox[78] when he said: “The hindrance before the advancement of the Assyrian people was not so much the attacks from without as it was from within, the doctrinal and sectarian diputes and struggles, like Monophysitism (One nature of Christ) Dyophysitism (Two natures of Christ) is a good example, these caused division, spiritually, and nationally, among the people who quarreled among themselves even to the point of shedding blood. To this very day the Assyrians are still known by various names, such as Nestorians, Jacobites, Chaldeans”[79]

The devout Assyrian activist the late Dr David Perley, also from the Syrian Orthodox Church gave an advice which expressed his sarcasm towards the stands of the clergy who were then neglecting the unity between the Churches of the Assyrian people, about that he said: “I am an Assyrian, and as an Assyrian I’m obligated to be actively interested in the destiny of the Assyrians, once the greatest nation now almost forgotten. I would be an arch-criminal if I failed to assume this obligation… Indeed we are caught in an inescapable network of destiny; the Nestorian needs the Jacobite, the Jacobite needs the Chaldean, and they all need each other, none is an island entirely of itself… everyone is a part of the Assyrina national stream, we cannot emphasize enough that our destinies are tied together. These are the facts of Assyrian life, however our clerics try to romaticize our problem and say something different. Ignore them, and let them seek their happiness in ostrich of optimism”[80]

The Assyrian people have to be aware that the Iraqi Constitution shall not be merciful, and that all those who represent this people (those whom the Assyrians were fooled by- with no exceptions) those aren’t concerned neither with its identity nor rights, thus it is the duty of the intellectuals to unite in a true Assyrian unity to face every party, organization, movement or Church that would hinder the recognition of the Assyrian identity and the rights of the Assyrian people in equality with the rest of the Iraqi factions in the Constitution.

Notes:

  1. “The Assyrian Identity in ancient times and today”, Prof Semo Parpula, P:7
  2. “Materials for a Sumerian Lexicon”, John D. Prince, P: 23 – Journal of Biblical Literature, 1906
  3. “Astrology” The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol II
  4. “An article about Syria” The late Syrian Catholic Patriarch Mar Afram II Rahmani, Beirut-Lebanon, 1926, page 1.
  5. “Christianity’s history in the East”. Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazeem, the Middle East Council of Churches Publications. Beirut, Chapter 15, 2002, Page 468. (Arabic)
  6. [We are not “one people”, but “Assyrians”], Ashur Giwargis, December 2001.(Arabic and English).
  7. http://cavemanart.com/osroene/osroene.htm “The history of the Suryoyeh”. Father Gabriel Aydin. 1994, page 18
  8. “Narrative of a Visit to the Syrian Church of Mesopotamia”, Horatio Southgate, 1844 - P:80
  9. “Chaldean Christians”, by J. Labourt, the Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III
  10. “Al-Muntada” Magazine, article by Ghassan Hanna Shathaya, Apr -1999, P: 39,40,41
  11. “The Problem of Ur” By Prof. Nahum M. Sarna, Shocken Books, New York, 1966, reprinted 1970 – P: 98
  12. “Babylonians”, H.W.F Saggs, 1995, P: 153
  13. “Chaldeans”,Encyclopedia of Wikipedia
  14. Soetonius, J. C. Rolfe, The Loeb Classical Library, 1914, Vol II
  15. “The History of Astrology – Mesopotamian Astrology First Stages”, Robert Hand, (Research).
  16. “Theosophy”, Helena Petrova Blavadsky, Vol. 52, No. 6, P: 175 – Edition 1964
  17. “Hillel & Jesus”, By Dr.James H. Charlesworth, Loren L.Johns – 1997
  18. “Astrology”, By Max Jacobi, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol II
  19. “Chaldea” - Encyclopedia of Wikipedia
  20. “Matthew II”, Robertson’s word studies
  21. “New Platonism and Alchemy” Dr, Alxander Wilder – 1869, Chap: “ Alchemy or the Hermetic Philosophy”
  22. “The Mysteries of the Druids”, William Winwood Reade, Vol III “The Druids”, 1861.
  23. “Divination and the Bilble”, the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.
  24. “Is Character influenced by Calendars ?”, Jullie Gillentine, Atlantis Rising Magazine, Issue 52
  25. “A Compendious Syriac Dictionary”, R. Payne Smith, First ed. 1903, Oxford. Reprint in 1998, Indiana – P: 215.
  26. “Assyrian and Babylonian Calendar”, Biblical Archeology, Editon 2000, Michael Germano
  27. “The Histories”, Herodotus, Vol I, P: 72, Translation by Prof. Aubrey De Selincourt, Penguin Edition, 1996.
  28. “Geographies”, by Strabos, Part XII, 9
  29. “Bibliotheca Historica”, Diodorus Siculus, Book II, P: 9, translated by John Skelton
  30. “Praeparatio Evangelica”, Eusebius of Caesarea, Translated by E.H. Gifford (1903) - Book 9, Chap: 10 (Oracles of Appolo)
  31. Isaiah 23:13
  32. “Studies in the Book of Daniel: A Discussion of Historical Questions”, R.D Wilson, Chapter XVII: The Chaldeans.
  33. “The Power that was Ashur”. Professor Henry Saggs. Translation by Dr Aho Yousif, 1995, page 140.
  34. “The history of Semitic languages”. A. Wilvinson. Beirut-Lebanon, 1980, page 29.(Arabic translation).
  35. “Hagarism: The making of the Islamic World”, Patricia Crone, Michael Cook, Cambridge University Press, P:55-57 – (Also Arabic Editon by Nabil Fayyad, 1999)
  36. “A treasure of thought in the history of the Eastern and Western Syrians (Syriacs) Father Botros Nasri, 1913, Vol. II, Page 72.
  37. “A Valuable Summary from the history of the Chaldean Church. Cathlolic Liturgy Dictionary, 1930, page 107 (Arabic).
  38. “Assyrians”, Encyclopedia of Wikipedia.
  39. See reference # 13.
  40. “Faith and communion in the Indian church of St.Thomas Christians”, Oriental institute of religious studies, India, P: 59
  41. See reference # 9.
  42. “The Chaldean Rite”, Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol.III, P: 427-428 (Article by William Warda, “Zinda”, June/22/2005)
  43. “I am the Way”- World Vision Publishing , 1987, P:45
  44. “Minorities in the Middle East – A History of Struggle and Self Expression”, Mordechai Nissan, Edition 1991, P:165
  45. “Politics and Minorities in the Near East: The reasons for explosion”. 1991, Chapter 7, page 370. (Arabic)
  46. See reference #1 Page 18.
  47. “Assyrians and their neighbors”, Rev. W. A. Wigram, London, 1929, P:51
  48. See reference # 8 - Southgate.
  49. “History Of The Peloponnesian Wars”, Thucydides, Trans. Thomas Hobbes (1839), Volume I: Book: VI
  50. “Ancient linguistic precipitations in our linguistic heritage”. The late Dr Taha Baqer. Popular Heritage magazine, Baghdad-Iraq, 1973, pages 9-21 (From a research by Dr. Saddi Al-Malih: “The Assyrian roots of today’s Chaldeans, The language as example”.
  51. “Histories”, Herodotus, Book VII, P: 396, Penguin Classics edition, Trans. By Prof. Aubrey De Selincourt, 1996.
  52. “The Archaemenid period in northern Iraq”, 21-22 Nov, 2003, Ref: Schmidt 1953: pls.153B, 203C; Roaf 1983, P: 130
  53. “The Campaigns of Alexander”, Arrian, Trans: Sergyenko, 1962, P:231 – Ref: Matviev
  54. “The religion of Babylon and Assyria”. S. Hook. Translation Nohad Khayyata, page 144.
  55. “Gaza”, Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol.VI
  56. “Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament”, James B. Pritchard, 1969 P: 562.
  57. “The missing link in the Assyrians history”. Zaia Kanon, page51.(Arabic)
  58. “State Archives of Assyria”, Prof. Simo Parpola, Vol.9: Assyrian Prophecies - Helsinki, 1997
  59. “April First: The Assyrian New Year”, Ashur Giwargis. An-Nahar Newspaper 14/04/2002. Beirut-Lebanon. (Arabic and English)
  60. I Peter, 5:13.
  61. “The might that was Assyria”. Professor Henry Saggs, Arabic edition by Dr Aho Yousif, 1995, pages 396-397.
  62. “Julian the Emperor” (1888) -Libanius, Funeral Oration for Julian
  63. “The history of the Decline and the fall of the Roman Empire” -1776, Lord Edward Gibbon, Part III, Chap:24
  64. “The Quarterly Journal of military history”, Barry S. Strauss, June/29/2005
  65. See reference # 35, Patricia Crone.
  66. “The biographies of the Martyrs and Saints. The works of Mar Marutha, IV century. Zaia Kanon, page 68. (Arabic)
  67. “The Book of Consolations, the Pastoral Epistles of Mar Isho-Yahbh of Kuphlana in Adiabene”, Philip S. Moncrieff, Part I
  68. “Diatessaron”, a Greek word meaning “stemming from four”. This book was translated to Arabic by Abu al-Faraj Abdalla Ibn Al-Tayeb (an Arab from the Church of the East) 1543.
  69. “Refutatio”, Hippolytus, The System of the Naasseni, Book V, 7.9
  70. “Strom”, Clement of Alexandria, III, 12.81, 1.1 and 11.2
  71. “Ecclesiastical History of John Bishop of Ephesus”, By Jessie Payne Margoliouth, 1909, Part III, Book VI.
  72. “Ishoyahb Patriarch III liber epistularum”, Rubens Duval, 1905, P: 106
  73. “Today’s Assyrians”. Odisho Malko. In reference to the book of the late Archbishop Yacoub Augin Manna “Al Mouroj al Nozheeya” Vol. II, page 34 (Arabic)
  74. “Sharafnameh”. Sharaf khan al-Badlisi, translated from Persian by Mohammad Ali Aouni. Vol. I, page 90 (Arabic)
  75. “Armenians and Russia (1626-1796): A Documentary Record”, G. Bournoutian, Coasta Mesa, California: 2001 (From “Assyrians, the continuous saga, By Frederick Aprim, edition 2004, P: 166)
  76. “The Syrians and the controversy of names”. Mr. Bashir al- Saadi. Article in the “Socialist Studies Magazine”. March 1991.
  77. An interview with Mr. Younadam Kana on “Roge” Kurdish T.V, 31/05/2005.
  78. Ashur Yousif, the founder of “The Assyrians Guide” newspaper and one of the first martyrs for the Assyrian Cause. He was hung in 1915 in the Turkish prisons.
  79. “The reasons behind the retrogression of the Assyrian people”. An article by prof. Ashur Yousif, was published on 20/10/1914.
  80. An article by the late Dr. David Perley. 29/04/1973.