Marutha (d. 649) was the monophysite bishop of Tagrit (Tikrit), and the first real Maphrian (organiser) of the monophysites (Jacobites) in Persia. He should not be confused with the 5th century Marutha of Maiperkat.
Among the Syriac writers of the 7th century, the name of Marutha 1 is the first that deserves mention, more, however, on account of his ecclesiastical weight and position than his literary merit. He was a native of Shurzak (?), a village in the diocese of Beth Nuhadhre 2 near modern Balad in Iraq and was ordained priest in the convent of Nardus. He lived for ten years in the convent of Zakkai or Zacchaeus at Callinicus (ar-Rakkah), and from there went to Edessa to study.
On returning to the East, he resided in the convent of Mar Mattai (Matthew) at Mosul, where he occupied himself with remodelling its rules and orders. He sided with the Monophysite party at the Persian court, and, after the death of the physician Gabriel 3, found it advisable to retire to 'Akola (al-Kufah) 4.
He was elevated to the dignity of metropolitan bishop of Taghrit ca. 628/9, after the establishment of peace between the Greeks and Persians 5, and was the first real maphrian (maphreyana) and organizer of the Jacobite Church in the East, which so rapidly increased in numbers and influence that he was called upon to ordain bishops for such remote regions as Segestan (Sistan) and Harew (Herat). Marutha died in 649.
His life was written by his successor Denha 6 (d.660) who lists some of his writings.
The following works are known.
- A liturgy and wrote a commentary on the Gospels, both of which are sometimes wrongly assigned to the elder Marutha of Maiperkat 7.
- Some short discourses on New (or Low) Sunday.
- A homily on the Blessing of the Water at Epiphany.
- Some hymns and sedras 8.
- An account of the 'Nestorianisation' of the Church of Persia, which is preserved in the Chronicle of Michael the Syrian [FT].
Some 13th century manuscripts containing Marutha's works survive. From a homily in one of these, British Library Addit. 14727, it appears that Marutha used an Old Syriac gospel text 9.
- B.O.,ii. 416, 418.
- See Hoffmann, Auszuge, pp. 208-216, but especially p. 215.
- See above, p. 126.
- Bar-Hebraeus, Chron. Eccles., ii. 111; B.O., ii. 416.
- The circumstances are given in detail by Bar-Hebraeus, (Chron. Eccles., ii. 119 sq.) and Assemani (B.O., ii. 419).
- See Brit. Mus. Add. 14645, f. 198 a (Wright, Catal., p. 1113).
- See above, p. 46. From the commentary are taken the passages quoted in the Catena of Severus. See Assemani, Catal., iii. 11 (on Exod. xv. 25), 24, and Wright, Catal., p. 910.
- See Brit. Mus. Add. 14727, f. 140a; 17267, f. 17b; 17254, f. 164 a; 17128, f. 91b.
- 'Studies of the History of the Gospel Text in Syriac', Vööbus, A. Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium: Subsidia, Tome 3, Louvain 1951 (volume 1) and 1987 (volume 2)
- "The canons ascribed to Maruta of Maipherqat and related sources", Arthur Vööbus [ed. and tr]. CSCO vol.431-440, Scriptores Syri t.191-192. Lovanii:E. Peeters (1982). 2 vols (160/145pp), Syriac text, English translation. ISBN 2801701955 (v.1); ISBN 2801701963 (v.2) (ascribed to Saint Maruta, Bishop of Maipherkat, 5th cent)
- F. Nau, F. 'Denha, histoire de Marouta', PO III, 1 Paris (1905). Syriac text, French translation.
- On Epiphany: S. P. Brock, Oriens Christianus 66 (1982), pp.51-74. English translation.
- On the spread of Nestorianism: J.B.Chabot, Chronique de Michel le Syrien. XI.ix (vol. 2, pp.435-40).
- Codex Vatican. Syriac. 161 Brief description: "4o parchment codex containing 216 folios and of early date ("pervetustus"). This manuscript was originally part of the forty-five Syriac manuscripts that formed the personal collection of J. S. Assemani. The collection was acquired by Assemani during a voyage to the East (1715-17) which was undertaken at the request of Pope Clement XI (1700-21). The volume contains two sermons on the Persian martyrs attributed to Marutha, Maphrian of Takrit (d. 649), and a large collection of martyrdoms."