Peter III of Raqqa

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Peter III of Raqqa
Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
Church Syriac Orthodox Church
See Antioch
Installed 581
Term ended 591
Predecessor Paul II
Successor Julian II
Personal details
Born Raqqa, Eastern Roman Empire
Died 22 April 591
Monastery of Gubba Barraya, Eastern Roman Empire

Peter III of Raqqa[1] (Latin: Petrus Callinicus; Peter of Callinicum), was the Patriarch of Antioch and head of the Syriac Orthodox Church from 581 until his death in 591.


Peter, son of a certain Paul, was born in the 6th century in the city of Callinicum (modern Raqqa), where he became fluent in Greek and Syriac and studied philosophy and theology.[2] The late 6th century was a period of controversy within the church as dispute existed between two factions, the Paulites, supporters of Paul II, who had been deposed in 575, and Jacobites, who opposed Paul II. Pope Damian of Alexandria, an opponent of Paul II, consecrated Peter as patriarch at the Monastery of St Ananias in 581 and Paul died soon after.[2]

Afterwards, Peter, with Probus and archimandrite John Barbur travelled to Hauran and Alexandria to promote religious ties with the Coptic Orthodox Church, another miaphysite church.[2] Whilst in Alexandria, upon hearing the preaching of Stephanus of Alexandria, Probus and John Barbur adopted monophysitism and were subsequently excommunicated and expelled. Probus and John Barbur returned to Syria to promulgate monophysitism. Akin to earlier patriarchs, Peter took residence outside of Antioch as Syriac Orthodox patriarchs were barred from Antioch and resided at the Monastery of Gubba Baraya near Mabbogh where he formulated refutations against monophysitism. In 584/585 or 585/586, Peter held a synod at the monastery and condemned Probus and John Barbur.

In c. 585, Pope Damian published a treatise condemning tritheism, a heretical doctrine popular amongst monophysites, however, Peter considered it sabellian and published Against Damian, a three volume treatise refuting Damian, in 588/589. A certain Jafna, a Ghassanid tribal leader, attempted to reconcile Damian and Peter and organised a meeting at the Church of St. Sergius in Jabiyah, but was unsuccessful and the two churches were in schism until 616 AD.[3] He also wrote Adversus Tritheistas or Many-lined Letter, a short treatise refuting tritheism, which may have formed part of Against Damian. Peter administered the Syriac Orthodox Church until his death at the Monastery of Gubba Barraya on 22 April 591 AD.[2]


  • Petri Callinicensis Patriarchae Antiocheni Tractatus contra Damianum, ed. and tr. by R.Y.Ebied, A.Van Roey, L.R. Wickham, Corpus Christianorum, Series Graeca 29, 1994;32, 1996; 54, 2003.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Taylor (2006), p. 15
  2. ^ a b c d Barsoum (2003)
  3. ^ Khalek (2011), p. 75


Preceded by
Paul II
Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch
Succeeded by
Julian II