International Symposium on Patriarch Michael the Great (+ 1199)
October 8, 1999
DAMASCUS. The 800th anniversary of the passing away of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and scholar Mor Michael the Syrian was commemorated at an international symposium convened by H.H. Mor Ignatius Zaka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and H.E. Metropolitan Mor Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, Metropolitan of Aleppo.
The occasion also marked the 75th anniversary of the forced mass-exodus of the Syrian Orthodox people of Edessa (Urhoy or Urfa). The St. George Syrian Orthodox Church of the Edessan Syrian Orthodox, in Aleppo, has the only manuscript of the greatest work of Patriarch Michael, "The Chronicle of Mor Michael the Great."
The Symposium convened at the Patriarchate's new educational facility, St. Ephrem Theological Seminary, at Ma'arat Saydnaya outside Damascus, Oct 1-8 1999. About 20 scholars from Belgium, England, Germany, Lebanon, Syrian and the United States delivered papers on a variety of topics related to the great historical chronicle produced in the 12th century by Mor Michael, at what was the first scholarly meeting in modern times devoted to the study of Syriac historiography. Each session concluded with rigorous and learned discussion. A concert of sacred music presented by the seminarians of St. Ephrem's preceded the symposium. Participants were also entertained with a tour to local churches and monasteries, and a magnificent dinner hosted by H.H. Mor Ignatius Zakka I.
Speakers at the Symposium included: Prof. Michel Van Esbroech, Prof. Susan Ashbrook Harvey, V. Rev. Dr. Joseph Tarzi, Ms. Dorthea Weltecke, Ms. Emma Loosley, Prof. Michael Morony, Dr. May Touma, H.E. Metropolitan Mor Gregoios Yohanna Ibrahim, Rev. Fr. Abdo Badwi and Mr. Fadi Baroody, Rev. Fr. Elias Khalifeh, H.E. Metropolitan Theolophilos George Saliba, Prof. Dr. Robert Betts, and Prof. Dr. Seta Dadoyan.
The following papers were presented:
Source: Very Rev. Fr. Joseph Tarzi, Ph.D.