|Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of the East|
|Church||Syriac Orthodox Church|
|Archdiocese||Metropolitanate of the East|
by Jacob Baradaeus
|Rank||Metropolitan of the East|
|Born||Balad, Sassanian Empire|
2 August 575|
Ctesiphon, Sassanian Empire
|Previous post||Bishop of Beth Arbaye|
Ahudemmeh was born in the 6th century into a Nestorian Assyrian family. In his youth he received religious education from the Nestorians and was elevated to bishop within the church for a time. Ahudemmeh later left the church and converted to Monophysitism, breaking off ties with his family and began to criticise Nestorianism.
According to Bar Hebraeus, Ahudemmeh was consecrated Bishop of Beth Arbaye by the Armenian Catholicos Christopher I in 540. As bishop, Ahudemmeh preached amongst the nomadic Arab tribes of Beth Arbaye and converted many to Monophysitism. He also founded a sanctuary dedicated to St. Sergius in the heart of Beth Arbaye known as Aïnqenia, so that the Arabs did not have to travel to Byzantine territory to pray. However, the sanctuary was destroyed by Nestorians not long after.
During this period, Monophysites were subject to a great deal of persecution from the Sassanians, under suspicion that as they obeyed a spiritual head residing in Byzantine territory, they were therefore inclined to support the Byzantines. This was spurred on by accusations of favouring the Byzantines from Nestorians at the Shah's court at Ctesiphon; thus encouraging further persecution. The Shah Khosrau I decided to hold a debate between the Monophysites and the Nestorians at his court, to see the most convincing of the two.
The Nestorian group was led by the Catholicos of the East, Joseph and the Monophysite group was led by Ahudemmeh. John of Ephesus claims that Khosrau I saw that the Monophysites were superior and consequently gave them freedom to build places of worship throughout the empire. John also states that the result of the conference encouraged Jacob Baradaeus to consecrate Ahudemmeh as Metropolitan of the East in 559.
As metropolitan, Ahudemmeh rebuilt Aïnqenia and also founded the Monastery of Ga'tanî near Tagrit. Here, in 573 Ahudemmeh baptised a son of Khosrau I, who was then forced to flee to the Byzantine Empire. Khosrau I, outraged, ordered Ahudemmeh's arrest and he was brought to the capital of Ctesiphon where he was imprisoned. He remained in prison until he was executed on 2 August 575.
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