Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

(DIARBEKIR.)

An Armenian Rite diocese located in Mesopotamia, Asiatic Turkey.- The foundation of the city of Amida has been wrongly attributed to Tigranes I, or Tigranes III (the Great), Kings of Armenia : it has been identified with either Tigranocerte or Dikranagherd. It got from the Greeks and the Romans the name of Amida, and is known in Turkish as Kara-Amid, i.e. "Amid the Black," but goes more generally by its Arabic name Diarbekir (Land of the Virgin). The town rises on the left bank of the Tigris, about 75 miles from its source and about 900 miles from the mouth of that river. An interior citadel overlooks the double enclosure of the town with its seventy-two towers, and dates back undoubtedly to the Armenian epoch; it was repaired by Valens (A.D. 364-378) and was finished by Anastasius I (491-518). In this citadel is the old Byzantine church of St. John, now used for Mussulman worship, and known as Olou Djami, the Long Mosque. In 638, Amida was taken by the Arabs who called it Diarbekir. Later on it passed under the Persian domination. Since 1514 it belongs to the Ottoman empire and is the chief city of the vilayet of the same name. It has about 35,000 inhabitants, of whom are 20,000 are Mussulmans (Arabians, Turks, Kurds, etc.), 2,300 Catholics (Chaldeans, Armenians, Syrians, Melchites, Latins), 8,500 Gregorian Armenians, 900 Protestant Armenians, 950 Jacobite Syrians, 900 Orthodox Greeks, and 300 Jews. Diarbekir possesses an Armenian Catholic bishop, a Syrian Catholic bishop, a Syrian Jacobite bishop, a Chaldean Catholic archbishop, and a Greek Orthodox metropolitan under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Antioch. The Latin Mission of Diarbekir, founded by Père Jean-Babtiste de Saint Aignan (1667), remained in the hands of the French Capuchins during nearly a century and a half. Its founder converted (1671) the Nestorian Bishop Joseph, with whom Innocent XI inaugurated (1681) the series of the Chaldean Catholic patriarchs. The mission suffered much during the French Revolution. In 1803, at the death of the last French Capuchin, it was entrusted to Italian religious. In 1841, Spanish missionaries took charge of it, but eventually it passed again into the hands of Italian missionaries. The Capuchin Fathers direct a school for boys. Near them the Franciscan nuns of Lons-le-Saunier have opened (since 1882) a school for girls. An American Protestant mission, working especially among the Armenians, keeps up three schools : two for boys and one for girls. Besides these foreign establishments Diarbekir possesses fifty-four others. The Turks have 4 medresses, 3 secondary and 33 elementary schools, one of which is for girls. The Gregorian Armenians have 5 elementary schools, one of which is for girls. The Catholic Armenians have an elementary school for boys, the Catholic Chaldeans 3 elementary schools, one of which is for girls. The Catholic Syrians have an elementary school for boys, and the Israelites an elementary school for girls.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Corinthians 4:7-15
7 But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
1 [Song of Ascents] When Yahweh brought back Zion's ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:20-28
20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came with her ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 25th, 2014 Image

St. James the Greater
July 25: For James there was no indication that this was the day that his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter