2630511The New Student's Reference Work — Nestorians

Nestor′ians, a sect formed in the 5th century by the followers of Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople in 428 A. D., deposed in 431 because of his peculiar views as to the divine and human nature of Christ. After it was driven out of the Roman empire, the sect extended into Persia, India and even China. In Asia Minor, under Bishop Babæus of Seleucia (498-503) and his successor, the Nestorians grew rapidly and produced many learned theologians, philosophers and physicians, as Hippocrates and Galen. Under the rule of the caliphs the Nestorians enjoyed toleration, and spread in Arabia, Syria and Palestine. The Prester John of romance was a Christian of this color, and tradition has it that Mohammed learned what he knew of Christianity from a Nestorian monk. The sect reached the height of its prosperity in the middle of the 13th century, but after the persecutions of Tamerlane they dwindled away. They now are a poor and illiterate race numbering less than 150,000. Their chief seat is in Persia and in the mountains of Kurdistan.