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Subject Religion » Christianity

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631232032.2001.x


Seleucia and Ctesiphon, Seleucid Greek and Parthian foundations respectively on opposite sides of the Tigris to the south of modern Baghdad. Seleucia, named after Seleucus I Nicator ( c .358–281 BC), was the outpost of Greek culture in the East. Even after the fall of the area to the Parthians it retained autonomy and commercial importance until its destruction by Avidius Cassius in AD 164. The Parthians centred their activities on Ctesiphon, the Arsacid winter capital, founded as a military encampment. Impressive Parthian remains include a magnificent arch. No reliable information on the evangelization of Seleucia-Ctesiphon is available: the Chronicle of arbela is suspect and we rely otherwise on the legend of the missions of addai and Mari. The latter is a plausible apostle of the region (Acts of Mari). The first clearly known bishop of Seleucia is Pāpā at the beginning of the fourth century (310–29). It is not, however, until we enter the timescale of the synodikon orientale (synods from 410) that we are on firm ground. Note may also be made of the eleventh-century Arabic Chronicle of Se'ert . A suburb of Ctesiphon, Kōkē (later Māṭōzā, Veh Ardashīr), was the actual site of the episcopal, later patriarchal, see of Seleucia. Being at the heart of the Parthian and Sasanian empires, it inevitably became the dominant see in the Persian sphere; from the earliest records the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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