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The Imam of the ChristiansThe World of Dionysius of Tel-Mahre, c. 750-850$
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Philip Wood

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780691212791

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691212791.001.0001

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Conceptions of Suryaya Identity in the Sixth to Ninth Centuries

Conceptions of Suryaya Identity in the Sixth to Ninth Centuries

(p.208) 9 Conceptions of Suryaya Identity in the Sixth to Ninth Centuries
The Imam of the Christians

Philip Wood

Princeton University Press

This chapter deals with the ways in which Muslim rule changed Jacobite conceptions of the past. It explores Dionysius' innovative discussion of the relationship between language, ethnicity, and ancient history, which was highly influential for his successor Michael the Syrian. It also charts the use of ethnic language in John of Ephesus, the Chronicle of Zuqnin, and Dionysius. The chapter situates their changing usage in the context of immigration by new ethnic groups and the development of a discourse of ethnicity that emphasized kingship. It considers the existence of a second discourse of ethnic prestige, namely scientific achievement, which Dionysius was probably aware of but deliberately avoided because of its pagan connotations.

Keywords:   Muslim rule, Jacobite conceptions, Michael the Syrian, ethnic language, ethnic prestige, pagan connotations

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