Syriac Names on a Chinese Monument

Syriac Names on the Nestorian Steele

[The Following are written in Syriac, running down the right and left sides of the Chinese inscription above]. “Adam, Deacon, Vicar-episcopal and Pope of China.

In the time of the Father of Fathers, the Lord John Joshua, the Universal Patriarch.”

[The Following is in Syriac at the foot of the stone].

“In the year of the Greeks one thousand and ninety-two, the Lord Jazedbuzid, Priest and Vicar-episcopal of Cumdan the royal city, son of the enlightened Mailas, Priest of Balkh a city of Turkestan, set up this tablet, whereon is inscribed the Dispensation of our Redeemer, and the preaching of the apostolic missionaries to the King of China.”

[After this, in Chinese characters, follows: ]

“The Priest Lingpau.”

[Then follows in Syriac:]

“Adam the Deacon, son of Jazedbuzid, Vicar-episcopal.

The Lord Sergius, Priest and Vicar-episcopal.

Sabar Jesus, Priest.

Gabriel, Priest, Archdeacon, and Ecclesiarch of Cumdan and Sarag.”

[The following subscription is appended in Chinese :]

“Assistant Examiner: the High Statesman of the Sacred rites, the Imperially conferred purple-gown Chief Presbyter and Priest Yi-li.”

[On the left-hand edge are the Syriac names of seventy Christians, most have Chinese names. ]

Left side top row

1.Mor Johanon Bishop (Bishop Yao-Lun)

2. Ishok Priest (Priest Jih-chin)

3. Joel Priest (Priest Yao-yueh)

4. Micael Priest (Preist Kuuang-ch’ing)

5. Giwargis Priest (Priest Ho-chi)

6. Mahadad of Goshnasaf   Priest (Preist Hui-ming)

7. Mashihadad Priest  (Priest Pao-ta)

8. Ephrem Preist  (Priest Fu-lin)

9. Aba Preist (missing name)

10. Dawid Priest (missing name)

11. Mosha Priest (priest Fu-shou)

Second Row

12. Bakos Priest  (Priest Ch’ung-ching)

13. Elia Priest of Judea (Priest Yen-ho)

14. Moshe Priest of Judea (missing name)

15. Abdisho Priest and monk (missing name)

16. Shemoun Priest of Sepluchre (missing name)

17. Johanis Deacon and helper  (Priest Hui-t’ung)

Third Row

18. Aaron  (Priest Ch’ien-yu)

19. Petros Priest Yuan-i)

20. Job (Priest Ching-te)

21. Luke (Priest Li-chien)

22. Matti  (Priest Ming-t’ai)

23. John  (Priest Hsuan-chen)

24. Yeshuameh  (Preist Jen-hui)

25.  John (Priest Yao-yuan)

26. Sabryeshu (Priest Chao-te)

27. Yeshudad (Priest Wen-mming)

28. Luke (Priest Wen-cheng)

29. Constantinus (Priest Chu-hsin)

30. Noah (Priest Lai-wei)

Fourth row

31.  Izadsafas (Priest Ching-chen)

32. John (Priest Huan-shun)

33. Anoosh (Enoch) (Priest Ling-shou)

34. Mar Sagis  (Priest Ling-te)

35. Issak  (Priest Ying-te)

36. John (Priest Chung-ho)

37. Mar Sargis (Priest Ying-hsu)

38. Pose (Priest P’u-chi)

39. Shemoun (Priest Wen-shun)

40. Isak (Priest Kuang-chi)

41. John (Priest Shou-i)

Right Side, Top Row

42. Jacob Priest (Venerable Yeh-chu-mo)

43. Mar Sargis Priest and Choripiscopos of Shiang-thusa  (Priest Ching-t’ung)

44. George  Priest and Arch Deacon of Kumdan and doctor of reading (Priest Hsuan-lan)

45. Paul  Priest (Priest Pao-ling)

46. Shemoun Priest  (Priest Shen-shen)

47. Adam Priest (Priest Fa-yuan)

48. Elia Priest (Priest Li-pen)

49. Isak Priest (Priest Ho-ming)

50. John Priest (Priest Kuang-chen)

51. John Priest (Priest Nei cheng)

52. Shemoun Priest and Servant (missing name)

53. Jacob Reader (Priest Ch’ung-te)

54. Ebdyesua (Priest Tai-ho)

55. Ishodad (Priest Ching-fu)

56. Jacob (Preist Ho-kuang)

57. John (Priest Chih-te)

58. Shubhaalmaran  (Priest Feng-chen)

59. Mar Sargis (Priest Yuan-tsung)

60. Shemoun (Priest Li-yung)

61. Ephrem (Priest Husan-te)

62. Zakriah (Priest I-chi)

63. Koriakos (Priest Chih-chien)

64. Bakus (Priest Pao-kuo)

65. Emanuel (Priest Ming-i)

Third Row

66. Gabriel (Priest Kuang-te)

67. John (no Chinese name)

68. Shlemoun (Priest Chu-shen)

69. Ishak  (no Chinese name)

70. John (Priest Te-chien)

The monument was damaged in 1859 with graffiti. According to Saeki:

This was erected in the 2d year of Kien-chung, of the Tang Dynasty [A.D. 781], on the 7th day of the 1st month, being Sunday.

Written by Lu Siu-yen, Secretary to Council, formerly Military Superintendent for Tai-chau; while the Bishop Ning-shu had the charge of the congregations of the Illustrious in the East.


The Nestorian Stele is also referred to as the Nestorian Monument, Nestorian Stone, Nestorian Inscription, or in its original Chinese title, Dàqín Jǐngjiào liúxíng Zhōngguó bēi 大秦景教流行中國碑, literally “Memorial of the Propagation in China of the Luminous Religion from Daqin.” For monographlength treatments of the Nestorian Stele, see Frits Vilhelm Holm, Paul Carus, and Alexander Wylie, The Nestorian Monument: An Ancient Record of Christianity in China (Chicago: Open Court, 1909); P. Y. Saeki 佐伯好郎, The Nestorian Monument in China (London: SPCK, 1916); P’an Shen 潘紳, Jing jiao bei wen zhu shi《景教碑文註釋》= The Nestorian Tablet at Sian Shensi: Text and Commentary by P’an Shen, a Scholar of the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui (Shanghai: Sheng Kung Hui, 1925-1926); Feng Chengjun 馮承均, Jing jiao bei kao《景教碑考》= Nestorian Stele (Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1935; repr., Taipei:

Commercial Press, 1962); Paul Pelliot, L’inscription nestorienne de Si-ngan-fou



About daleinchina

Chongqing University of Arts and Sciences.
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