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The Legend of Mar Qardagh – Narrative and Christian Heroism in Late Antique Iraq - California Scholarship Online
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The Legend of Mar Qardagh: Narrative and Christian Heroism in Late Antique Iraq

Joel Walker


This study uses an early seventh-century Christian martyr legend to elucidate the culture and society of late antique Iraq. Translated from Syriac into English here, the legend of Mar Qardagh introduces a hero of epic proportions, whose characteristics confound simple classification. During the several stages of his career, Mar Qardagh hunts like a Persian King, argues like a Greek philosopher, and renounces his Zoroastrian family to live with monks high in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. Drawing on both literary and artistic sources, the author explores the convergence of these diverse them ... More

Keywords: seventh century, Christian martyr, legend, late antique Iraq, Syriac, Mar Qardagh, Persian King, Greek philosopher, Zoroastrian family, monks

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780520245785
Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520245785.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Joel Walker, author