Simandu (West Syrian Diocese)

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Simandu was an archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in Cappadocia, attested between the tenth and twelfth centuries. Thirteen of its bishops are mentioned in the lists of Michael the Syrian and other Jacobite sources.


The main primary source for the Syrian Orthodox metropolitans of Simandu is the record of episcopal consecrations appended to Volume III of the Chronicle of the Syrian Orthodox patriarch Michael the Syrian (1166–99). In this Appendix Michael listed most of the bishops consecrated by the Syrian Orthodox patriarchs of Antioch between the ninth and twelfth centuries. Twenty-eight Syrian Orthodox patriarchs sat during this period, and in many cases Michael was able to list the names of the bishops consecrated during their reigns, their monasteries of origin, and the place where they were consecrated.

Two twelfth-century bishops omitted from Michael's list are mentioned in the Chronicon Ecclesiasticum of the Jacobite maphrian Bar Hebraeus (ob.1286).


Simandu was a district near Melitene, known in Greek as Tzamendos. During the twelfth century it was included in the territories of the Frankish County of Edessa.[1]

Bishops and metropolitans of Simandu[edit]

Eleven Jacobite metropolitans of Simandu are mentioned in the lists of Michael the Syrian.[2]

Name From Consecrated in the reign of Place of consecration
Yaʿqob Unspecified Iwanis II (954–7) not known
Basil Monastery of the Mother of God Yohannan VI (965–86) not known
Eliya Monastery of Peter Athanasius IV Laʿzar (987–1003) Not known
Philoxenus Monastery of Mar Bar Sawma, Melitene Dionysius IV Heheh (1032–42) Not known
Ignatius Monastery of Barid Athanasius V Haya (1058–64) not known
Athanasius Monastery of Barid Yohannan VIII bar Shushan (1063–73) Harran
Yohannan ʿAbdon Monastery of Bar Gaghi, Melitene Basil II (1074–5) Monastery of Mar Bar Sawma, Melitene
Basil Monastery of Barid Athanasius VI bar Khamara (1091–1129) not known
Mattai Monastery of Beth Qenaya Yohannan X Maudiana (1129–37) not known
Basil Monastery of Mar Ahron, Shigar Athanasius VII bar Qutreh (1139–66) not known

Two twelfth-century bishops of Simandu omitted from the lists of Michael the Syrian are mentioned in the Chronicon Ecclesiasticum of Bar Hebraeus:

  • Yohannan, previously bishop of Segestan, was awarded the diocese of Simandu at the synod of Kaishum in 1129, at the request of the Frankish count Joscelin I of Edessa.
  • Bar Turkaya, bishop of Tel Bshir, was transferred to Simandu in or shortly after 1132, and after a short residence as bishop of Simandu was again transferred to Habora.[3]

The diocese of Simandu seems to have lapsed around the end of the twelfth century, perhaps after the death of the bishop Basil (1139/1166).


  1. ^ Fiey, POCN, 268
  2. ^ Michael the Syrian, Chronicle, iii. 451–82 and 502
  3. ^ Bar Hebraeus, Chronicon Ecclesiasticum, i. 520


  • Abbeloos, Jean Baptiste; Lamy, Thomas Joseph, eds. (1877). Bar Hebraeus, Chronicon Ecclesiasticum (3 vols). Paris. 
  • Fiey, J.M. (1993). Pour un Oriens Christianus novus; répertoire des diocèses Syriaques orientaux et occidentaux. Beirut. ISBN 3-515-05718-8. 
  • Jean-Baptiste Chabot, Chronique de Michel le Syrien, Patriarche Jacobite d'Antiche (1166-1199). Éditée pour la première fois et traduite en francais I-IV (1899;1901;1905;1910; a supplement to volume I containing an introduction to Michael and his work, corrections, and an index, was published in 1924. Reprinted in four volumes 1963, 2010).