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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2020

Christian Elite Networks in the Jazīra, c.730–850

From the book Volume 1 Transregional and Regional Elites – Connecting the Early Islamic Empire

  • Philip Wood


A major survival from the Roman Near East that endured within the caliphate was the episcopal and monastic networks making up the different Christian denominations. This article draws on the Chronicle of Michael the Syrian to illustrate how the caliphate became an increasingly hostile environment for Christian landed lay elites, incentivizing powerful families to take roles in the state’s administration or within the church. Using examples from the Jacobite church, I argue that the state became increasingly involved in church governance, by publicly endorsing the patriarch and his ability to raise revenues from Christians, and by supporting him with state troops against rival clerics.

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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