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The Modern Chaldeans of the Middle East

The usage and origin of the name Chaldean has been the subject of much acrimonious debate.

During the catholicate of Mār Shemʿōn IV Basidi (1437-97), the Church of the East or so-called “Nestorian” Church sustained its presence across the East and the Mediterranean. This extraordinary geographical expansion was a testament to the resilience of the faith of its members despite having endured some of the greatest adversities and was indicative of their capability to comfortably develop in a variety of cultural contexts. The community remained quite influential particularly in Famagusta, Cyprus and enjoyed extended interactions with Latin and other Eastern Christian traditions present in the island. Due to the strenuous efforts exhausted by various Papal missions, the Church of the East’s Metropolitan of Tarsus (mod. Mersin, Tur.), Timothy, recognised the authority of the Roman Pontiff at the Council of Florence on 7 July 1445. It was in this context that the historic name Chaldaeorum (…

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