Le rôle de tribus arabes chrétiennes dans l’intégration de l’Orient à l’Église syro-orthodoxe : de la mort de Sévère (v. 683-684) à la crise entre Denḥā II et Julien II (r. 687-709)
Simon V. Pierre
Simon V. Pierre, « Le rôle de tribus arabes chrétiennes dans l’intégration de l’Orient à l’Église syro-orthodoxe : de la mort de Sévère (v. 683-684) à la crise entre Denḥā II et Julien II (r. 687-709) », Mélanges de l’École française de Rome – Moyen Âge [En ligne], 132-1 | 2020, mis en ligne le 06 avril 2020, consulté le 09 avril 2020. URL : https://journals.openedition.org/mefrm/7486 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/mefrm.7486
This article is devoted to mentions of Christian Arab tribes during the Second Civil War (fitna: 680-692) and the subjugation of post-sasanian Iraq to umayyad Syria. We attempt to elucidate these occurrences by clarifying the general context of the defeat of « the East » and its absorption by the West: a fundamental stage in the merge of the province of Ǧazīra wa-l-Mawṣil. The method consists in cross-referencing Syriac and Arab sources dealing with clerical, political and tribal conflicts in the geographical landscape of Northern Syria (ǧund Qinnasrīn), post-Roman Ǧazīra and formerly Persian Bēt ʿArbāyē. We shall analyze narratives about the violent confrontation between Denḥā II, Metropolitan of the Miaphysites of the East from 688 to 727 and the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch today, quoting the role of the bishop of Ṭayyōyē or Taglibōyē. We then go back to the source of this conflict by looking at the West-Syriac correspondence written during the crisis of Raʾs al-ʿAyn of 684 involving John Sābā, the predecessor of Denḥā. The ʿammē of Tanūkōyē, Ṭūʿōyē and ʿAqūlōyē are explicitly invoked in relation to their bishop while they are part of synchronous events of the outbreak of the fitna between marwānides, zubayrides and ʿalides in Syria-Ǧazīra. In a third step, we put into perspective the group of the mostly Christian Taġlib in the framework of the aštarī pro-ʿalī province of Mosul and its struggle against the pro-zubayrī tribes of the Euphrates: context of Denḥā’s election as well as its suffragan Joseph of the Taglibōyē. Finally, we study the specific case of Julian’s patriarchate (r. 687-708), close to the victorious marwānī power in Iraq, who linked up with the monastic networks of Qarṭmīn and Mār Mattay to extend his influence in the East while the ahl al-Šām submitted Iraqi Arab-Muslims. We discuss here both the tribal Arab revolts of this time as well as their image reflected by the Syriac chronicles. The encounter of Christian and Muslim literature about the hybrid issue of the Christian Arab tribes reveals multiple convergences of fault lines and territorial dynamics. It is mainly a question of Syrian/Western church and state expansion in Iraq/Orient and the beginning of the union process of Ǧazīra and Mosul, even if it remains difficult to prioritize causes and consequences.
Keywords: Qinnasrīn, Ǧazīra, Northern Mesopotamia, tribe, Tanūḫ, Taġlib, bishop, Syrian Orthodoxe, miaphysite, fitna, metropolitan, suffragan, ecclesiastical province, Takrīt, Mossoul, Raʾs al-ʿAyn, Nisibe, rebellion, geo-ecclesiology.