1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Edessa (Mesopotamia)

EDESSA, the Greek name of an ancient city of N.W. Mesopotamia (in 37° 21′ N. lat. and 39° 6′ E. long.), suggested perhaps by a comparison of its site, or its water supply,[1] with that of its Macedonian namesake. It still bears its earlier name, modified since the 15th century (by the Turks?) to Urfa.

The oldest certain form is the Aramaic Urhāi (“Western” pronunciation Urhōi), which appears in Greek as an adjective as Ὀρροηνή[2], -νοί[3] (perhaps also as a fortress with spring, as Ὀρρά),[4] and in Latin as Orr(h)ei,[5] and (in the inscription on Abgar’s grave) Orrhenoru(m).[6] The Syriac Chronicle ascribed to Dionysius of Tell-maḥrē derives the name from a first king Urhāi, son of Hewyā, whom Procopius (De bello persico, i. 17) calls Osroes (cf. below), connected by Bayer[7] with Chosroes,[8] from which G. Hoffmann would also derive the Syriac Urhāi (Z.D.M.G. xxxii. 742). The Syriac town name has, however, the form of an ethnic, and we may therefore with Duval leave it unexplained (Hist. 22). The fact that the Arabic name is Ruhä supports the hint of the Graeco-Latin forms that there was a vowel between the R and the H. There is little plausibility in the suggestion of Assemani and others that Ruhā comes from ροη of Callirrhoe. A gentilic of the form Ru-u-ai occurs in a letter (of an Assyrian king?) to chiefs in a (Babylonian?) town as the designation of three captives (Harper, Ass. and Bab. Letters, No. 287 [=K 94], line 6; cf. Bezold, Die Achämenideninschriften, p. xii.), who have Semitic names; and Ru-’-u-a is the name of an Aramaic people mentioned with other Aramaeans by Tiglath-pileser IV., Sargon and Sennacherib. It is not impossible that some such people may have settled at Urhāi and given it their name, although the Ru-’-u-a are always mentioned in connexions that imply seats near the Persian Gulf.[9] The district name Osroēnē for Ὀρροηνή, is Greek, perhaps due to analogy of Chosroes. It occurs but rarely in Syriac (Uzroina); e.g. Chronicle of Edessa. § 35;[10] elsewhere Bēth-Urhāyē (e.g. Cureton, Spicileg. Syr. 20). In the time of Tiglath-pileser I. (c. 1100 B.C.) the name seems to have been “District of (not Edessa, but) Ḥarrān” (Annals, vi. 71). The Arabs pronounced the name er-Ruhā (see above), and that form prevailed till it gave place to Urfa in the 15th century.

The Greek name Edessa appears in the Jerusalem Targum to Gen. x. 10 as Hădas (הדס, myrtle); it has been proposed (cf. Duval, Hist. d’Édesse, 23) to derive Edessa from Aram. הדת, as though = Carthage, New Town; but Syriac writers, when they occasionally [11] use the name (Edessa, אדסא; so Yāqūt, Adāsā), show no suspicion of its being Semitic. According to Pliny, v. 86, Edessa was also called Antioch, and coins of Antiochus IV. Epiphanes with the legend “Antioch on the Callirrhoe” may imply that he rebuilt and renamed the place (so Ed. Meyer in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopädie, col. 1933, 66; otherwise Duval, Hist. 23; cf. art. Osroene). Pliny indeed seems to call the city itself Callirrhoe, and S. Funk finds it so named in the Talmud (Bab. Mez., 18a רעל רכם נהרא שויר מתא: Die Juden in Babylonien 200-500, ii. 148; 1908); but K. Regling (Klio, i. 459 n. 1) may be right in his emendation which applies the title in Pliny to the sacred spring.

History: Pre-Hellenistic.—Until excavation gives us more definite data we can only infer from its position on one of the main thoroughfares between the Mediterranean and the East (see Mesopotamia) that Urhāi-Edessa, possibly bearing some other name, was already a town of some importance in the early Babylonian-Assyrian age. Whatever may have been the ethnographical type of the early inhabitants, it must by the beginning of the second last millennium B.C. have included Hittites in the large sense of the term, probably Aryans, and certainly Semites of some of the types characteristic of early Assyrian history. Most probably its people belonged to the domain of the then more famous Ḥarrān-Carrhae, between which and Samosata (on the Euphrates) Urhāi lies midway (some 25–30 m. distant from each) in the district watered by the Balīh. Although at Edessa itself no cuneiform documents have yet been found, a little more than four hours journey eastwards, at Anaz (=Gullāb?)=Dūr of Tiglath-pileser IV. was found in 1901 a slab with a bas-relief and an inscription; and 15–20 min. W. of Eski-Ḥarrān, in 1906 a very interesting 6th-century Assyrian inscription (see Mesopotamia).

In the later Assyrian empire the population was largely Aramaic-speaking; but S. Schiffer’s theory (Beiheft I. zur Orientalistischen Litteratur-Zeitung) finds contemporary evidence of Israelites settled in the neighbourhood of Edessa in the second half of the 7th century B.C. At the fall of Nineveh many towns in Mesopotamia suffered severely at the hands of the Medes. The period remains dark, notwithstanding the obscure light that has been thrown on it lately (Pognon, Inscriptions). When Aramaic began to take the place of Assyrian in written documents is not known; but just across the Euphrates the change had occurred as early as the 8th century B.C. (Zengīrli, Hamath; see also Pognon). Certain it is that the earliest documents that have survived in Syriac, or Edessene Aramaic, do not represent an experimental stage. Moreover, although the Syriac of the Story of Aḥīqār is of a late type, the sources of the story, traces of which are to be found in the Hebrew Tobit (q.v.), go back to the pre-Hellenistic period.

Graeco-Roman Times.—According to a credible tradition found in Eusebius (Excerpta, 179), the Syriac Chronicle ascribed to Dionysius of Tell-maḥrē (Tullberg, 61), and elsewhere, Urhāi was renovated, like other Mesopotamian sites, in 304 B.C. by Seleucus I. Nicator, who gave it its Greek name.[12] It would share in the Hellenistic culture of Syria, although the language of the common people would continue to be Aramaic (E. R. Bevan, House of Seleucus, i. 227 f. with reff.). With the decay of the Seleucid power, weakened by Rome and Parthia, the old influx from the desert would recommence, and an Arabic element begin to show. Von Gutschmid (Untersuch., cf. Duval, ch. iii. end) argues plausibly that it was in 132 B.C., in the reign of Antiochus VII. Sidetes, that Edessa became the seat of a dynasty of some thirty local kings, whose succession has been preserved in native sources. The name of the first king, however, appears in different forms (cf. above), and one (Osroës-Orhai) is so like that of the town that Ed. Meyer suspects the historicity of the first reign, of five years. The names of the other kings—Abgar, Maʽnu, Bekr, &c.—are for the most part Arabic, as the people (in whose inscriptions the same mixture of names occurs) are called by classical authors; but the rulers, among whom an occasional Iranian name betrays the influence of the dominant Parthians,[13] would hardly maintain their distinctness from the Aramaic populace. This state which lasted for three centuries and a half, naturally varied in extent.[14] Bounded on the W. and the N. by the Euphrates, it reached at its widest as far as the Tigris. At such times, therefore, it included such towns as Ḥarrān (Carrhae), Nisibis, Sarūg, Zeugma-Birejik, Resaena, Singara, Tigranocerta, Samosāta, Melitene. Its position “on the dangerous verge of two contending empires,” Parthia and Rome, determined its changeful fortunes. Parthian predominance yielded for a time to Armenian (Tigranes, 88–86 B.C.). Then, at the time of the expeditions of Lucullus, Pompey and Crassus, Edessa was an ally of Rome, though Abgar II. Ariamnes (68–53) played an ambiguous part. In A.D. 114 Abgar VII. entertained Trajan on his way back to Syria (Dio Cass. xviii. 21); but in 116, in consequence of a general rising, his consul L. Quietus sacked the city, Abgar perhaps dying in the flames, and made the state tributary. Hadrian, however, abandoning Trajan’s forward policy in favour of a Euphrates boundary, restored it as a dependency of Rome. When L. Verus (163-165) recovered Mesopotamia from Parthia, it was not Edessa but Ḥarrān that was chosen as the site of a Roman colony, and made the metropolis by Marcus Aurelius (172).

To one of the native kings doubtless is to be ascribed the Syriac inscription[15] on one of the pair of pillars, 50 ft. high, which stood, no doubt, in front of a temple connected with some local cult. Trustworthy data for determining its nature are lacking. One or both of the pools below the citadel containing sacred fish may have been sacred to Atargatis (q.v.), an Ishtar-Venus deity; and according to the Doctrine of Addai, alongside of Venus were worshipped the sun and the moon.[16] Nergal and Sin were known as “twins,” and connected with the sign Gemini, under the name ellamme, “the youths” (cf. Zimmern, K.A.T. 363). This makes more plausible than it otherwise would be the suggestion of J. Rendel Harris that the great twin pillars were connected with the cult of the Dioscuri, and that in the Acts of Thomas is to be seen a later attempt to substitute other “twins,” viz. Jesus and Judas-Thomas (Addai), whom legend buried “in Britio Edessenorum” (explained by Harnack as the Edessan citadel: Aram. birtha).[17]

Whether it was at Edessa that a Jewish translation of the Old Testament into Syriac was made,[18] under the encouragement perhaps of the favour of the royal house of Adiabene (Josephus, Bell. Jud. ii. 19. 4), or whether that work was done in Adiabene,[19] cannot be discussed here. That the translation did not share the fate of the other non-Christian Syriac writings, which did not survive the 13th century (see Syriac Literature), is due to the fact that it was adopted (after being revised) by the Christians, and thus rescued. Although the beginnings of Christianity at Edessa are enshrouded in the mists of legend, and the first mention of Christian communities in Osrhoëne and the towns there is connected with the part they played in the paschal controversy (c. A.D. 192), it has been reasonably urged that the legends imply a fact, namely that Christianity began in the Jewish colony, perhaps by the middle of the 2nd century, although the earliest seat of the Syrian church may have been farther east, in Adiabene.[20] Parts of the New Testament were certainly translated into Syriac in the 2nd century, although whether the “Old Syriac” (so e.g. Hjelt) or the Diatessaron (so Burkitt) came first is uncertain. About the end of the 2nd century Edessene Christianity seems to have made a fresh beginning: the ordination of Palūṭ by Serapion of Antioch may mean that things ecclesiastical took a westward trend, and it is possible (so Burkitt) that the “Old Syriac” New Testament version was now introduced. A strong man offered himself in Bardaiṣān (q.v.; Bardesanes), to whom perhaps we owe the finest Syriac poem extant, the “Hymn of the Soul,” though orthodoxy rejected him. He was a contemporary of Abgar IX., at whose court Julius Africanus stayed for a while. A Syrian official record from this reign, preserved in the Edessene Chronicle, gives a somewhat detailed account of a violent flood (autumn, 201) of the Daiṣān river which did much damage, destroying amongst other things “the palace of Abgar the Great,” rebuilt as a summer palace by Abgar IX., and “the temple of the church of the Christians.” The form of this last statement shows that at the time of writing (206) the rulers had not adopted Christianity themselves. Abgar IX. is now commonly supposed to be the ruler to whom the famous legend was first attached (see Abgar); but though he visited Rome there is no proof that he ever became a Christian (Gomperz, in Archäologisch-epigraphische Mitteilungen aus Österreich-Ungarn, xix. 154-157). It was at Edessa that Caracalla, who made it a military colony under the style of Colonia Marcia Edessenorum, spent the winter of 216–217, and near there that he was murdered. The religious philosophical treatise preserved under the title of Book of the Laws of the Lands was probably produced at this time by a pupil of Bardesanes, and the Acts of Thomas in its original form may have followed not long after.

Sassanian Period.—In 226 the Parthian empire gave place to the new kingdom of the Sassanidae, whose claim to the ancient Achaemenian empire led to constant struggle with Rome in which Edessa naturally suffered. The native state was restored by Gordian in 242; but in 244 it became again directly subject to Rome. The Edessan martyrs Sharbēl and Barsamyā, whose “Acts” in legendary form have come down to us, may have perished in the Decian persecution. In 260 the city was besieged by the Persians under Shapur I., and Valerian was defeated and made prisoner by its gates. Odaenathus of Palmyra (d. 267), however, wrested Mesopotamia from the Persians; but Aurelian defeated his successor Zenobia at Emesa (273), and Carus, who died in 283 in an expedition against the Persians, and Galerius (297) carried the frontier again to the Tigris. Diocletian’s persecution secured the martyr’s crown for the Edessenes Shamōna, Guria (297), and Ḥabbīb (309), and shortly thereafter Lucian “the martyr,” who though born at Samosata received his training at Edessa; but the bishop Qōna, who laid the foundations of “the great church” by the sacred pool, somehow escaped. Edessa can claim no share in “the Persian Sage” Aphrahaṭ or Afrahaṭ (Aphraates); but Ephraem, after bewailing in Nisibis the sufferings of the great Persian war under Constantius and Julian, when Jovian in 363 ceded most of Mesopotamia to Shapur II., the persecutor of the Christians, settled in Edessa, which as the seat of his famous school (called “the Persian”) grew greatly in importance, and attracted scholars from all directions. He taught and wrote vigorously against the Arians and other heretics, and although just after his death (373) the emperor Valens banished the orthodox from Edessa, they returned on the emperor’s death in 378. Under Zenobius, disciple of Ephraem, studied the voluminous writer, Isaac of Antioch (d. circ. 460). Rabbūla perhaps owed his elevation to the see of Edessa (411–435), in the year which produced the oldest dated Syriac MS., to his asceticism, and it was to his time that the sojourn there of the “Man of God” (Alexis) was assigned; but he won from the Nestorians the title of the Tyrant of Edessa. In particular he exerted himself to stamp out the use of the Diatessaron in favour of the four Gospels, the Syriac version of which probably now took the form known as the Peshitta. When the popular Nestorianism of the Syrians was condemned at Ephesus (431) it began to gravitate eastwards, Nisibis becoming its eventual headquarters; but Edessa and the western Syrians refused to bow to the Council of Chalcedon (451) when it condemned Monophysitism. In and around Edessa the theological strife raged hotly.[21] When, however, Zeno’s edict (489) ordered the closing of the school of the Persians at Edessa, East and West drifted apart more and more; the ecclesiastical writer Narsai, “the Harp of the Holy Spirit,” fled to Nisibis about 489. Till about this time Syriac influence was strong in Armenia, and some Syriac works have survived only in Armenian translations. In the opening years of the 6th century the Persian-Roman War (502–506) found a chronicler in the anonymous Edessene history known till recently as the Chronicle of Joshua Stylites. Whether Edessa received from the emperor Justin I. the additional name of Justinopolis may be uncertain (see Hallier, op. cit. p. 128); but it seems to have been renewed and fortified after the “fourth” flood in 525 (Procop. Pers. ii. 27; De aedific. ii. 7). About this time, according to Nöldeke, an anonymous Edessene wrote the Romance of Julian the Apostate, which so many Arab writers use as a history. Chosroes I. Anushirwān succeeded in 540, according to the last entry in the Edessene Chronicle, in exacting a large tribute from Edessa; but in 544 he besieged it in vain. A few years later Jacob Baradaeus, with Edessa as centre of his bishopric, was carrying on the propaganda of Monophysitism which won for the adherents of that creed the name of Jacobites (q.v.). The valuable Syriac Chronicle just referred to probably was compiled in the latter half of this century.

Islam.—In the first decade of the next century Edessa was taken by Chosroes II., and a large part of the population transported to eastern Persia. Within a score of years it was recovered by the emperor Heraclius, who reviewed a large army under its walls. The prophet of Islam was now, however, building up his power in Arabia, and although Heraclius paid no heed to the letter demanding his adhesion which he received from Medina (628), and the deputation of fifteen Rahāwiyīn who paid homage in 630 were not Edessenes but South Arabians, a few years later (636?) Heraclius’s attempts, from Edessa as a centre, to effect an organized opposition to the victorious Arabs were defeated by Saʽd, and he fell back on Samosāta. The terms on which Edessa definitely passed into the hands of the Moslems (638) under Riyād are not certain (Balādhurī). As it now ceased to be a frontier city it lost in importance. In 668 occurred another destructive flood (Theophanes, p. 537), and in 678 an earthquake which destroyed part of the “old church,” which the caliph Moʽāwiya I. is said to have repaired. To the latter part of the century belongs the activity of Edessa’s bishop Jacob, whose chronicle is unfortunately lost. It may have been the impulse given by the final supremacy of the caliphate to the long process which eventually substituted a new branch of Semitic speech for the Aramaic (which had now prevailed for a millennium and a half), that led Jacob to adopt the Greek vowel signs for use in Syriac. A century later Theophilus of Edessa (d. 785), author of a lost history, translated into Syriac “the two books of the poet Homer on the Conquest of the city of Ilion.” When the Bagdād caliphs lost control of their dominions, Edessa shared the fortunes of western Mesopotamia, changing with the rise and fall of Egyptian dynasties and Arab chieftains. In the 10th century al-Masʽūdī, writing in the very year in which it happened, tells how the Mahommedan ruler of Edessa, with the permission of the caliph, purchased peace of the emperor Romanus Lecapenus by surrendering to him the napkin of Jesus of Nazareth, wherewith he had dried himself after his baptism. The translation of the Holy Icon of Christ from Edessa is commemorated on the 16th of August (Cal. Byzant). A few years later Ibn Ḥauḳal (978) estimates the number of churches in the city at more than 300, and al-Moḳaddasī (985) describes its cathedral, with vaulted ceiling covered with mosaics, as one of the four wonders of the world. In 1031 the emperor recovered Edessa; but in 1040 it fell into the hands of the Seljuks, whose progress had added a large element of Armenian refugees to the population of Osrhoëne. There is no reason, therefore, to discredit Maqrīzī’s statement that it was three brother architects from Edessa that the Armenian minister Badr al-Gamāli employed to build three of the fine city gates of Cairo (1087–1091). The empire soon recovered Edessa, but the resident made himself independent. Thoros applied for help to Baldwin, brother and successor of Godfrey of Bouillon in the First Crusade, who in 1098 took possession of the town and made it the capital of a Burgundian countship, which included Samosata and Sarūǵ, and was for half a century the eastern bulwark of the kingdom of Jerusalem.[22] The local Armenian historian, however, Matthew of Edessa, tells of oppression, decrease of population, ruin of churches, neglect of agriculture. With the campaign of Maudud in 1110 fortune began to favour the Moslems. Edessa had to endure siege after siege. Finally, in 1144 it was stormed, Matthew being among the slain, by ʽImād ud-Dīn Zengī, ruler of Mosul, under Joscelin II., an achievement celebrated as “the conquest of conquests,” for laying the responsibility of which not on God but on the absence of the Frankish troops, an Edessan monk, John, bishop of Ḥarrān (d. 1165), brought down upon himself the whole bench of bishops. Edessa suffered still more in 1146 after an attempt to recover it. Churches were now turned into mosques. The consternation produced in Europe by the news of its fate led to “the Second Crusade.” In 1182 it fell to Saladin, whose nephew recovered it when it had temporarily passed (1234) to the sultan of Rūm; but the “Eye of Mesopotamia” never recovered the brilliance of earlier days. The names it contributed to Arabic literature are unimportant. By timely surrender (1268) it escaped the sufferings inflicted by Hūlākū and his Monguls on Sarūǵ (Barhebraeus, Chron. Arab., Beirūt ed., 486). Mostaufī describes a great cupola of finely worked stone still standing by a court over a hundred yards square (1340). Ali b. Yazd in his account of the campaigns of Tīmūr, who reduced Mesopotamia in 1393, still calls the city (1425) Ruhā. In 1637, when Amurath IV. conquered Bagdād and annexed Mesopotamia, it passed finally into the hands of the Turks, by whom it is called Urfa.

The Modern Town.—Urfa lies north-east of the Nimrud Dagh. It is surrounded by a wall, strengthened by square towers at distances of 18-20 steps, probably dating in its present condition from medieval Mahommedan times. On a height in a corner towards the west, overtopping the town by 100-200 ft., are the remains of the old citadel, and the two famous Corinthian columns[23] known as “the Throne of Nimrūd.” In the hollow between this height and the town rise two springs which form ponds, the farther removed of which from the citadel is known as Birket al-Khalīl, doubtless the Callirrhoe of the classical writers, and contains the sacred fish, estimated by J. S. Buckingham at 20,000, and the nearer as ʽAin Zalkha (i.e. Zuleikha, the wife of Potiphar). On the north edge of the Birket al-Khalīl (see plan in Sachau, p. 197) is the great mosque of Abraham, the interior of which is described by J. S. Buckingham (Travels, pp. 108-110). Diagonally opposite the mosque is a house with a square tower, which is locally believed to occupy the place of the famous ancient school. The waters of the two pools make their way in a single stream southwards out of the town. The once dangerous stream Daiṣān (Σκιρτός) no longer flows southwards through the town, but encircles it on the north and east in the channel of the old moat. This stream, now called Kara Kuyun, and the other are exhausted in the irrigation of the gardens lying south-east of the town, except when fuller than usual, when they reach the Balīh. Not far east of the sacred pool is the largest building in the town, the recent Armenian Gregorian cathedral, whose American bells were first heard during Sachau’s visit in 1879. About the middle of the town is the largest mosque, Ulu Ǵamī (parts of it probably pre-Islamic), which probably occupies the site of the Christian church reckoned by the early Mahommedan writers as one of the wonders of the world. In the bazaar, which lies between the chief mosque and the sacred pool, and contains several streets, are displayed not only the native woollen stuffs, pottery and silver work, but also a considerable variety of European goods, especially cloth stuffs. The principal manufactures are fine cotton stuffs and yellow leather. The streets are of course narrow and winding; but the houses are well built of stone. The outskirts are occupied by melon gardens, vineyards and mulberry plantations. The fertile plain south of the town is noted for its wheat and fine pasture. The climate is healthy except in summer; the “Aleppo button” (see Bagdad, vilayet), a painful boil, is common. The rocky heights south and west of the town, whence the building material is largely obtained, are full of natural and artificial caverns, once used as dwellings, cloisters and graves, where are most of the inscriptions published by Sachau, who also visited and describes (pp. 204-206) the Dēr Yaʽqūb, nearly two hours distant.

Urfa is the capital of a sanjak of the same name, in the vilāyet of Aleppo. The population was estimated by Olivier in 1796 at 20,000 to 24,000, by Buckingham at 50,000, by Chernik in 1873 at 40,000, by Sachau in 1879 at 50,000, in Baedeker’s Handbook in 1906 at 30,000. Vice-Consul Fitzmaurice said that before December 1895 it was close on 65,000, of whom about 20,000 were Armenian, 3000 or 4000 Jacobites, Syrian-Catholic, Greek-Catholic, Maronites and Jews, and the remaining 40,000 Turkish, Kurdian and Arab Mahommedans. Two barbarous massacres occurred on the 28th and 29th of October and the 28th and 29th of December 1895; 126 Armenian families were absolutely wiped out. He believes that 8000 Armenians perished in the second massacre. The Deutsche Orient-Mission has its chief seat in Urfa, and there have for years been American and French missions. The Germans have an orphanage with 300 Armenian children, a carpet factory and a medical station. The American school had some years ago 250 pupils.

Authorities.—Inscriptional: H. Pognon, Inscriptions sémitiques de la Syrie, de la Mésopotamie et de la région de Mossoul (1907, 1908); Sachau, “Edessenische Inschriften,” in Z.D.M.G. xxxvi. 142-167; F. C. Burkitt, “The Throne of Nimrod,” in P.S.B.A. xxviii. 149-155 (1906); J. Rendel Harris, The Cult of the Heavenly Twins (1906); Nöldeke, “Syrische Inschriften,” in Z.A. xxi. 151-161, 375-388 (1908). Literary: Ludwig Hallier, Untersuchungen über die Edessenische Chronik mit dem Syrischen Text (1892); F. Nau, Analyse des parties inédites de la chronique attribuée à Denys de Tell-maḥré (1898); J.-B. Chabot, Chronique de Denys de Tell-Maḥré, quatrième partie (1895); W. Wright, The Chronicle of Joshua the Stylite (1882); Bayer, Historia Osrhoena et Edessena (St Petersburg, 1784), collects the references in classical authors; for the coinage see references in von Gutschmid (see below). Discussions: A. von Gutschmid, “Untersuchungen über die Geschichte des Königreichs Osroëne” (in Mémoires de l’acad. imper. des sciences de St-Pétersb. vii. sér. tome 35, No. 1, 1887); L.-J. Tixeront, Les Origines de l’église d’Édesse et la légende d’Abgar (1888); R. A. Lipsius, Die Edessenische Abgarsage kritisch untersucht (1880); K. C. A. Matthes, Die Edess. Abgarsage auf ihre Fortbildung untersucht (1882); F. Nau, Une Biographie inédite de Bardesane l’astrologue (1897); Bardesane l’astrologue: le livre des Lois des Pays (1899); A. Hilgenfeld, Bardesanes, der letzte Gnostiker (1864); A. A. Bevan, “The Hymn of the Soul” (in Texts and Studies, 1897); F. C. Burkitt, Early Eastern Christianity (1904); J. R. Harris, The Dioscuri in Christian Legend (1903), and The Cult of the Heavenly Twins (1906); the histories of Rome, Persia, Crusades, Mongols, &c.; Rubens Duval, Histoire politique, religieuse et littéraire d’Édesse jusqu’à la première croisade (1892), a useful compilation reprinted from the Journ. As.; the excellent article by E. Meyer in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopädie, 1933-1938. Topography: J. S. Buckingham, Travels in Mesopotamia (1827); E. Sachau, Reise in Syrien u. Mesopotamien (1883), 189-210; cf. Duval, op. cit. chap, i.; C. Ritter, Erdkunde, xi. 315-356. Map of town in Niebuhr, Voyage en Arabie, reproduced with modifications in Wright, Chron. Josh. Styl.; also a map in Reclus, Univ. Geog. ix. 232. Four pictures of the town in Burkitt, Early East. Christ.  (H. W. H.) 

  1. So Appian, Syr. 57; cp. Steph. Byz., s.v. Εδεσσα: διὰ τὴν τῶν ὑδάτων ῥύμην.
  2. Steph. Byz., s.v. Βατναι.
  3. Dio, passim.
  4. Isidore Charac. 1 (Müller, Geog. Gr. Min., i. 246).
  5. Several times in Pliny, Nat. Hist.
  6. CIL. vi. 1797.
  7. Hist. Osrhoena et Edessena, p. 33.
  8. Written Ὀσρόης in Dio Cassius, Excerpta, lxviii. 22.
  9. See the reff. collected by M. Streck, M.V.G., 1906. The name occurs in the same company in the fragmentary tablet K. 1904. The mountain Ru-u-[a], mentioned thrice by Tiglath-pileser IV., is placed by Billerbeck near Hamadān (Sandschak Suleimania, 82, 86, and map, 1898).
  10. See further Payne Smith, Thesaurus 110 b.
  11. In translating from the Greek; also in Ephraim (Duval, Hist. 22, n. 4) and the Acts of Sharbīl (Cureton, Anc. Syr. Doc. 41).
  12. On a possible restoration under the name of “Antioch on the Callirrhoë” see above.
  13. The Edessans used to call their town “the city,” or “the daughter,” “of the Parthians” (Cureton, Anc. Syr. Doc., 41 ult., 97 l. 7; 106 l. 12).
  14. The portion of the Mesopotamian steppe under Osrhoënic influence was, according to Nöldeke (Zeitsch. Ass. xxi. 153, 1908), called ‘Arābh in Syriac.
  15. The inscription, which is difficult to read, connects the structure with Shalmat the queen, daughter of Ma’nu, who cannot be identified with certainty, and refers to some image(s), which probably excited the pious vandalism of the Arabs.
  16. Nebo and Bel (Doctr. Addai, 31) may come from the Old Testament (Burkitt).
  17. S.B.A.W., 1904, 910 ff.
  18. So, e.g. F. C. Burkitt, Early Eastern Christianity, 72.
  19. Marquart, Ostasiat. und osteurop. Streitzüge, 292 ff.
  20. Marquart, op. cit.
  21. Some one found time, however, to produce the oldest dated MS. of a portion of the Bible in any language.
  22. The counts were: Baldwin I. (1098), Baldwin II. (1100), Joscelin I. (1119), Joscelin II. (1131–1147).
  23. Pictures in Burkitt, Early East. Christ., frontispiece; P.S.B.A. xxviii. 151 f.; J. R. Harris, The Heavenly Twins.