Anbar (Arabic: الأنبار) was a town in Iraq, at lat. 33 deg. 22' N., long. 43 deg. 49' E, on the east bank of the Euphrates, just south of the Nahr 'Isa, or Sakhlawieh canal, the northernmost of the canals connecting that river with the Tigris.
Anbar was originally called Pērōz-Šāpūr or Pērōz-Šābuhr (from Middle Persian: 𐭯𐭥𐭩𐭥𐭦𐭱𐭧𐭯𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭩, meaning "Victorious Shapur"; in Parthian: 𐭐𐭓𐭂𐭅𐭆𐭔𐭇𐭐𐭅𐭇𐭓 prgwzšhypwhr; in Aramaic: פירוז שבור), and became known as Perisapora or Pirisabora to the Greeks and Romans. The city was founded c. 350 by the Sasanian Persian king Shapur II, and in the Sassanid province of Asōristān. Perisapora was sacked and burned by Emperor Julian in April 363, during his invasion of the Sasanian Empire. The town became a refuge for the Arab, Christian and Jewish colonies of that region. The name of the town was then changed to Anbar (Middle Persian word for "granaries"). According to medieval Arabic sources, most of the inhabitants of the town migrated north to found the city of Hdatta south of Mosul.
Anbar was adjacent or identical to the Babylonian Jewish center of Nehardea (Aramaic: נהרדעא), and lies a short distance from the present-day town of Fallujah, formerly the Babylonian Jewish center of Pumbedita (Aramaic: פומבדיתא).
Abu al-Abbas as-Saffah, the founder of the Abbasid Caliphate, made it his capital, and such it remained until the founding of Baghdad in 762. It continued to be a place of much importance throughout the Abbasid period.
According to geographical part of the NUZHAT-AL-QULŪB (The Pleasure of Hearts - Completed 740/1339-40) of Ḥamd-Allāh Mustawfī of Qazwīn wrote "Anbār was a town of the Third Clime, lying on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. King Luhrāsp the Kayāniyan built it as a prison for the captive (Jews) whom Nebuchadnezzar had brought here from Jerusalem. For this reason was it named Anbār (meaning the Barn, or Jail). King Sapor II rebuilt the city, and Saffāḥ the first of the Abbasid Caliphs founded here many mighty edifices, making it his capital. The circuit of its walls is 5000 paces. In climate and produce, also in the manners and customs of its peoples, it resembles Baghdād. Its revenue is 10,000 (dī- nārs)*, and this is paid over to the Baghdād Treasury.
Anbar used to host an Assyrian community from the fifth century: the town was the seat of a bishopric of the Church of the East. The names of fourteen of its bishops of the period 486–1074 are known, three of whom became Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon.
- Narses fl.540
- Simeon fl.553
- Salibazachi fl.714
- Paul fl.740
- Enos 890
- Elias fl.906-920
- Jaballaha fl.960
- Elias II fl.987
- Unanmed bishop fl.1021
- Mundar fl.1028
- Maris fl.1075
- Zacharias fl.1111
No longer a residential bishopric, having faded.
It has had the following incumbents, generally of the lowest (episcopal) rank, with a single archiepiscopal (intermediate) exception, the first :
- Titular Archbishop Stéphane Katchou (1980.10.03 – 1981.11.10), as Coadjutor Archeparch of Bassorah of the Chaldeans (Iraq) (1980.10.03 – 1981.11.10); later succeeded as Archeparch (Archbishop) of Bassorah of the Chaldeans (1981.11.10 – 1983.11.29), finally Archbishop-Bishop of Zaku of the Chaldeans (Iraq) (1983.11.29 – death 1987.11.08)
- Titular Bishop Ibrahim Namo Ibrahim (1982.01.11 – 1985.08.03), as Apostolic Exarch of United States of America of the Chaldeans (USA) (1982.01.11 – 1985.08.03); later restyled and promoted first Eparch (Bishop) of Saint Thomas the Apostle of Detroit of the Chaldeans (USA, the same) (1985.08.03 – 2014.05.03)
- Titular Bishop Shlemon Warduni (2001.01.12 – ...), Bishop of Curia of the Chaldean Catholic Church
It is now entirely deserted, occupied only by mounds of ruins, whose great number indicate the city's former importance.
- Peters 1911.
- G. W. Bowersock, Julian the Apostate, (Harvard University Press, 1978), 112.
- Lewis, Bernard (1986). "Ḥadīt̲a". In Hertzfeld, E (ed.). Encyclopaedia of Islam. 3 (Second ed.). BRILL. p. 29. ISBN 9789004081185. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. II, coll. 1171-1174
- Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 832