AFRAHĀṬ, name attested in Syriac (ʾfrhṭ) of a number of Iranian Christian churchmen. Cf. Middle Persian frahaxtan “educate, teach, instruct” and the New Persian name Farhād.

1. A bishop of Isfahan (ʾsfhn) who, with several other Iranian Christians, attended the synod of Dādīšōʿ in 424, where decisive steps were taken toward the formation of an Iranian Christian church (see further under Āfrīd).

2. A bishop of Bēth Baghaš (byt bgš) in the diocese of Arbela, who was a member of the synods of Mār ʾAqaq (Acacius, A.D. 486) and of Mār Bābay (497). These important gatherings proceeded in the spirit of the Acts of the synod of Bar Ṣaumā (q.v.) at Bēth Lāpaṭ in 484 (which were not entered in the archives). They made the Nestorian constitutio dogmatica the sole norm for Iranian Christianity and definitively abolished celibacy. They also ended the Iranian church’s internal quarrels. The opposition to anti-Nestorian Constantinople was clearly expressed in these events. 


Text of the Syriac Synodicon Orientale in I. Guidi, “Ostsyrische Bischofe und Bischofsitze im V., VI. und VII. Jahrhundert,” ZDMG 43 , 1889, pp. 396.15, 398.14 and 17.

Justi, Namenbuch, pp. 101-02, nos. 18 and 21.

J. P. Asmussen, “Das Christentum in Iran und sein Verhältnis zum Zoroastrismus,” Studia Theologica 16, 1962 pp. 6ff.

(J. P. Asmussen)

Originally Published: December 15, 1984

Last Updated: July 28, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 6, p. 570

Cite this entry:

J. P. Asmussen, “AFRAHĀṬ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/6, p. 570; an updated version is available online at (accessed on 14 March 2014).