Chaldean Identity الهوية الكلدانية

Assyrian Catholic Villagers of the Chaldean Rite, Nineveh.

Further reading:
Who are the Chaldeans? (English | Arabic), Chaldean or Assyrian Catholics? (English | Arabic)


Evolution of the "Chaldean" Identity

Disclaimer:
The following sources presented within this page have been analysed with great care and were acquired from public/ private collections from a number of world-renowned institutions.

Abbreviations:
BCE: Before Common Era
CE: Common Era


Timeline: 


1 CE -1200 CE
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1359 CE
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1445 CE
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1552 CE
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1562 CE
"Patriarch of the Eastern Assyrians at the Sacred Ecumenical Council of Trent. Approval, and profession, and letters of Cardinal Marco Antonio Da Mula, ambassador to the Holy Council of Trent. 1562."
- Abdisu IV Maron and Cardinal Marco Antonio Da Mula, R.D. Patriarchae Orientalium Assyriorum De Sacro Oecumenico Tridentini Concilio, 1562

1585 CE
"Concerning the Patriarch of the Eastern Church of the Assyrians. The Patriarch of the Assyrians swears obedience to the Roman Pontiff, especially about the cult images; from Onuphrius. It is our intention to prove that there were Assyrian observers of the cross too at this time, it is under Julius III... Once Simon Mama, the Metropolitan of all East across the Euphrates to the Indians was dead, the Church of Eastern Assyria had elected Simon Sulaka as Patriarch (first "Chaldean" Patriarch), a man distinguished for his Catholic faith, and had sent him to Rome for confirmation."
- Simeone Maiolo, Episcopi Vulturariensis Historiarum Totius Orbis (Rome: In Aedibus Populi Romani, 1585), 385.

1615 CE
"Three patriarchs of the Assyrians, in previous years, acknowledging the authority of the Roman Pope, gave him due obedience: Emericus to Innocent III toward the year 1200; Simon Sulaca to Julius III around the year 1500; Abdisu to Pius IV in the year 1562 and to Gregory XIII in the year 1575."
- Nicolao Godinho, De Abassinorum Rebus, Deque Aethiopiae Patriarchis Ioanne Nonio Barreto & Andrea Ouiedo, Libri Tres (Lugduni: Sumptibus Horatii Cardon, 1615), 162-163. 

1628 CE
"The Assyrians and Indians unjustly named Nestorians."
- Richard Field, Of The Church, Five Books (Oxford: William Turner, 1628), 64. 

1628 CE
"You have a Latin Narration commended by Pope Pius the 4. unto the Council of Trent, concerning Abdisu Patriarch of the Assyrians (second "Chaldean" Patriarch), and all Churches under him, subjecting themselves to the Church and Pope of Rome. The Nation of the Assyrians was so far remote from Rome, that at Rome it was scarce known that there was any Church there."
- Thomas Morton, The Grand Imposture of the (now) Church of Rome (London, George Miller, 1628), 338.

1726 CE
"The ambitious views of the Roman pontiffs sowed the pestilential seeds of animosity and discord among all the eastern churches, and the nestorian christians, who are also known by the denomination of Chaldeans, felt early the effects of their imperious councils."
- Johan Lorenz Mosheim, An Ecclesiastical History, Translated from the Latin (London:  Thomas Tegg & Son, 1838), 80. Primary publication ca. 1726 CE.

1728 CE
"Chaldeans or Assyrians who are called Orientals or Nestorians."
- Giuseppe Simone Assemani, Bibliothecæ Orientalis Clementino- Vaticanæ (Rome: Typis Sacrae Congregationis de Propaganda Fide, 1728), 3.

1736 CE
"Pope Innocent the XIth, according to Father Le Brun's Account, wrought the Conversion of a great Number of Nestorians at Diarbeck, by sending thither several of his Apostolical Missionaries. This happy success induced him to establish and appoint a new Patriarch over them. They distinguish themselves by the Name of Chaldeans; for they detest and abhor the Denomination, or Distinction of Nestorians."
- Claude Du Bosc et al., The Ceremonies & Religious Customs of the Various Nations (London: 1736), 195.

1738 CE
"SULACHA (a) (Simon) a Nestorian Monk, of the order of St Pacomus, withdrew his obedience to his patriarch, and united himself to the Church of Rome. Those who shook off the yoke as he did, made him their patriarch and sent him to Rome, where Pope Julius III, confirmed his patriarchate in 1552 (b). Sulacha made his confession of faith at Rome, which was translated into Latin by Masius, with the letter those Nestorians wrote to Julius III, to desire him to confirm the election of Sulacha, and to ask his protection against a family, which had kept the patriarchate a long time (c). This was the subject of their division: several of them could not endure that this dignity should always remain in one family; and that family, which had enjoyed it above two hundred years, would not resign it. Simon Sulacha being returned to the East, established his patriarchal see at Caramit, a town of Mesopotamia, took the title of Patriarch of the Assyrians, and ordained several bishops and archbishops. The Turks put him to death at the solicitation of the Schismatics. They elected for his successor a Monk of St Pacomus, whose name was Hebed-Jesu (d). I have mentioned him under that name, and under that of Abdissi: see those articles."
- Pierre Bayle et al., The Dictionary Historical and Critical of Mr. Peter Bayle, Vol. 5 (London: Des Maizeaux, 1738) 267.

1797 CE
"The Christians who are born in the towns of Mosul, and of Mardin, do not speak a word of Chaldaic, at least it is not their mother tongue."
- Carsten Niebuhr, A Collection of Late Voyages & Travels (London: Watson & Co., 1797) , 80.

1841 CE
"We attended evening prayers in the church. It was an old stone structure, ornamented within by a multitiude of coarse shawls and Roman pictures hung around its walls, and its interior was extremely dark. Like the common Armenian churches, its floor was strown with sheep skin and bits of rugs; and each one, as he entered, left his shoes at the door, and placed himself upon one of them. Few were present; and I think I never saw so little reverence, and so much carelessness in divine worship. In form it resembled that of the Nestorians, which will be hereafter described. In fact, all the Nestorian church books are used by the Chaldeans. The priest seemed to think, that, in conformity with the name of his church, its books must in ancient times have been written in the Chaldean character, but confessed that at present it possesses no such books, and only uses the Nestorian character, with now and then an old manuscript in the Estrangelo."
- Eli Smith & Harrison Gray Otis Dwight, Researches (Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1833), 191.

1841 CE
"The so-called "Chaldeans" of Mesopotamia received that title, as you know, from the pope, on their becoming Catholics."
- Edward Robinson, The Biblical Repositor (New York: WM. R. Peters, 1841), 485.

1843 CE
"In the vicinity of Mosul, where they are subject to the Turks. These, however, for the most part, more than a century ago gave in their adhesion to the Pope of Rome; and their patriarch still residing at el-Kosh, acknowledges his supremacy. The Pope bestowed upon them, in return, the venerable, but unmeaning, title of Chaldeans, which they now claim; although they were and are truly nothing more than papal Nestorians or Nestorian Catholics. The absurdity has arisen from the kindred folly of attempting to make the modern papal Chaldeans an offshoot of the ancient Chaldeans."
- The North American Review Vol. 57 (Boston: David H. Williams, 1843), 159.

1843 CE
"The title, Chaldeans, was given to these Papists by the Pope, on their embracing the Catholic system."
- Justin Perkins, A Residence of Eight Years in Persia Among the Nestorian Christians (New York: Allen, Morrill & Wardwell, 1843), 4.

1843 CE
"The Nestorians, who once inhabited this district, have all embraced the Romish faith and become Chaldeans, as the papal Nestorians are usually called. They mostly inhabit the villages on the east of the Tigris; and Elkosh, with its convent of Rabban Hormux, is the chief seat of their influence."
- Asahel Grant, The Nestorians: or, the Lost Tribes (London: John Murray, 1843), 25.

1847 CE
"To the title which the Pope has given to them of "Chaldean Christians," they have no exclusive claim, not such a strong claim, indeed."
- John Wilson, The Lands of the Bible (Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1847), 589.

1852 CE
"When the Latin missionaries had succeeded in forming a schism among the Nestorians of Diarbekir, they wanted a name whereby to designate the proselytes (converts). Thus, A difficulty now arose; the new converts styled themselves 'Soorâyé' and 'Nestorayé.' The Romanists could not call them 'Catholic Syrians' or 'Syrian Catholics,' for this appellation they had already given to their proselytes from the Jacobites, who also called themselves "Syrians." They could not term them "Catholic Nestorians," as Mr. Justin Perkins, the Independent American missionary does, for this would involve a contradiction... There can be no doubt but that the Chaldeans were of the same family with the Assyrians, who were also called Syrians, by which name, as we have seen, the mountain Nestorians, and the Papal Chaldeans of the plains, who speak the vulgar Syriac, still designate themselves. This, however, is not the subject of dispute; but whether the term "Chaldeans: was or is used of the Nestorians themselves or others. I have provided that it is not. They call themselves Soorâyé, Nestorayé, and sometimes Christiané and Meshihâyé, but never Chaldâyé or Chaldâni."
- George Percy Badger, The Nestorians & Their Rituals (London: Joseph Masters, 1852), 180.

1854 CE
"The Nestorians also differ from the Chaldeans, a name given by the Roman Catholics to its converts from the Nestorian community; and who may not improperly be called Papal Nestorians, or Papal Syrians."
- Leicester Ambrose Sawyer, Organic Christianity; or, The Church of God (Boston: John P. Jewett & Co., 1854), 137.

1854 CE
"CHALDEANS. A modern sect of Christians in the East, in obedience to the see of Rome."
- Walter Farquhar Hook, A Church Dictionary (London: John Murray, 1854), 165.

1875 CE
"At the schism on account of Nestorius, the Assyrians, under the generic name of the Chaldean Church mostly separated from the orthodox Greeks, and, being under the rule of the Persians, were protected against persecution. They engaged actively in the dissemination of the Gospel throughout the continents of Asia, and appear to have met with great success. Monuments are yet standing in China with Assyrian inscriptions in the Syriac character which attest the triumphs of the Nestorian Church in that land."
- Henry John Van-Lennep, Bible Lands: Their Modern Customs & Manners (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1875), 344.

1878 CE
"In 1553 a dispute about the election of a patriarch split it (Church of the East) into two factions, the weaker of which transferred its allegiance to Rome to which a small colony of the sect settled in Cyprus had already been gained over more than a century earlier. It was not, however, till 1681, when the bishop of Diarbekir, having quarrelled with his patriarch, similarly seceded and was consecrated by the pope patriarch of the "Chaldean Church," that the schism assumed the definite shape it has since maintained. This name "Chaldeans" is often erroneously applied to the whole Nestorian community, though properly belonging only to these papal proselytes (converts) from the parent sect. It was not till 1845 that they were recognised by the Porte (Ottoman authorities) as a separate community, but in that year their primate, with the aid of the French embassy, obtained a firman acknowledging him as patriarch of the new sect."
- The Living Age Vol. 138 (1878), 316.

1881 CE
"The inhabitants of Assyria consist now of mixed races, Arabs, Turkomans, Koords, Yezeedees, Jews, and Christians called Chaldeans and Syrians. The last two-named denominations doubtless belong to one nationality, the Assyrian, and they were only distinguished by these two names when they separated consequent upon theological dispute of the age, namely, Monophisites or Jacobites, and Nestorians."
- Faith & Thought Vol. 14 (1881), 207.

1893 CE
"Pope Julian III, who in 1553 consecrated Sulâka, an Assyrian convert, "Patriarch of the Chaldeans"- the designation then given for the first time to the so-called Nestorians who had seceded to Rome, which patriarchate has been continued up to this present day."
- Alexander James Donald D'Orsey, Portugese Discoveries Dependencies & Missions (1893), 392.

1897 CE
"Chaldeanism: Those that know the future through the stars, and is the name of an ancient nation, and currently eastern Soorâyé are known by this name."
- Mar Thomas (Toma) Audo, Dictionnaire de la Langue Chaldeenne vol. 1 (Mossoul: Imprimerie des pères dominicains, 1897), 465.

1898 CE
"There is another fact connected with the nationality of the Chaldeans which goes far to show they are as much entitled to Assyrian descent."
- Hormuzd Rassam, Faith & Thought Vol. 30 (1898), 50.

1901 CE
"Documentation of relations between the Assyrians of the Eastern or Chaldean Church."
- Niccolò Marini, Bessarione Vol. 1 (Rome: 1901), 50.

1907 CE
"Name and Territory of Chaldeans- Strictly, the name of Chaldeans is no longer correct; in Chaldea proper, apart from Bagdad, there are no very few adherents of this rite, most of the Chaldean population being found in the cities of Kerkuk, Arbil, and Mosul, in the heart of the Tigris valley, in the valley of the Zab, and in the mountains of Kurdistan. It is in the former ecclesiastical province of Atōr (Assyria) that are no found the most flourishing of the Catholic Chaldean communities. The native population accepts the name of Atōraya-Kaldaya (Assyro-Chaldeans), while in the neo-Syriac vernacular Christians generally are known as Syrians."
- Charles George Herbermann et al., The Catholic Encyclopedia vol 3 (New York: The Encyclopedia Press, 1907), 559.

1916 CE
"There can be but little doubt that the Chaldeans were of the same family with the Assyrians. And the similarity of the physiognomy of certain tribes of this race to that of the Assyrians and Chaldeans as sculptured upon the ancient monuments, which have been excavated in the ruins of Nineveh, is remarkable."
- Abraham Yohannan, The Death of a Nation (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1916), 3

1920 CE
"It may not be out of place, therefore, to point out that there were exceedingly few Roman Catholic Assyrians or "Chaldeans" as they are generally termed when they embrace Rome, amongst the refugees at Baqubah. The very large majority of the Roman Catholic Assyrians in the Mosul vilayet did not join the mountaineers and fight against the Turks in consequence were permitted by the Turks to continue to dwell practically unmolested in their homes about Mosul."
- Herbert Henry Austin, The Baqubah Refugee Camp: An Account of Work on Behalf of the Persecuted Assyrian Christians (London: Faith Press, 1920).

1935 CE
"The term, "Chaldean" was originally given to the members of the Church of the East,". No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation.”
- Yūsuf Malik, The British Betrayal of the Assyrians (Assyrian National Federation and the Assyrian National League of America, 1935) 65.

2004 CE
“I personally think that these different names serve to add confusion. The original name of our Church was the ‘Church of the East’... When a portion of the Church of the East became Catholic, the name given was ‘Chaldean’ based on the Magi kings who came from the land of the Chaldean, to Bethlehem. The name ‘Chaldean’ does not represent an ethnicity... We have to separate what is ethnicity and what is religion... I myself, my sect is Chaldean, but ethnically, I am Assyrian.”
- Mar Raphael I Bidawid, Simo Parpola, National and Ethnic Identity in the Neo-Assyrian Empire and Assyrian Identity in Post-Empire Times (University of Helsinki, 2004) 22.

2008 CE
“those who had been won over to Rome were constituted as a new entity known as Chaldean Catholics. This shattered the unity of the Assyrian community.”
- Hirmis Aboona, Assyrians, Kurds, and Ottomans: Intercommunal Relations on the Periphery of the Ottoman Empire (New York: Cambria Press, 2008) 82.

2013 CE
"Technically, the term 'Chaldean' was first used in the 15th century to describe those East Syriac Christians in Cyprus who came into union with the Roman Catholic Church. While in earlier centuries simply the term 'Catholic' was preferred, Later on 'Chaldean' came into common usage and became official only after 1828."
- Mar Louis Raphaël I Sako, The Chaldean Church: Story of Survival, (2013), <http://saint-adday.com/permalink/5084.html>, accessed 31 08. 2016.

2016 CE
"The nomenclature of the Chaldean Catholic Church warrants explanation, as its members are obviously not Chaldean in the original sense of the term- the people of this name having been assimilated by the Babylonians already five centuries before Christ- nor have they historically dwelt in the region identified as Chaldea (i.e., the southeastern extremity of Mesopotamia), but rather in the north, in an area known for thousands of years as Assyria. In 1830 the head of the restored Catholic hierarchy of the Assyrian Church received the current title "Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans," although the term had been first used (even more inaccurately) to refer to a group of "Nestorian" Uniates resident in Cyprus who in 1445, at the conclusion of the Council of Florence, pledged union with Rome (cf. the bull Benedictus sit Deus). Evidently, the odd attribution derives from Latin Christians' confusion concerning the location of the biblical homeland of Abraham (Ur Kaśdim, or "Ur of the Chaldees")."
- George Thomas Kurian and Mark A. Lamport, Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, Volume 5 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), 433.

2016 CE
“CHALDEANS, CHALDEAN CHURCH, Rather confusingly, the Chaldean Church and its members, who call themselves Chaldeans, are not remotely related to the ancient people called Chaldeans. The Chaldean Church is aligned with the Roman Catholic Church, and most of its adherents are ethnic Assyrians living in Kurdistan and in the rest of Iraq, and in Turkey, Syria, and Iran, as well as in diaspora in the United States and elsewhere. They call themselves Chaldeans to distinguish themselves from the Assyrians who follow the Eastern Rite or Orthodox Churches. The language of the church is Syriac, an Aramaic language.”
- Naomi Duguid, Taste of Persia: A Cook's Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan (New York: Artisan, 2016), 359.

Keywords: Chaldaeorum, Chaldea, Chaldean, Chaldean Catholic Church, Chaldéenne, Chaldees, Kaldaya, Mandaeans, Sabeans, כשדים, الصابئة المندائيين, الكلدان, الكنيسة الكلدانية، اور الكلدانيين، Chaldean Identity, Chaldean League, Louis Raphaël I Sako, الاثوريون ,البطريرك لويس روفائيل ساكو, الرابطة الكلدانية, خلاصة تاريخ الكنيسة الكلدانية, الاثوريون, القوش, تل كيف, بخديدا, زاخو‎‎, عنكاوا‎‎, سرهد جمــّـو, Sarhad Jammo, المطران مار باسيليوس يلدو, المطران بشار ورده, Paulus Sati, بولس ساتي, Niaz Toma, الاب نياز توما

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