Denha I of Tikrit

Denha I (Syriac: ܕܢܚܐ ܩܕܡܝܐ ܡܦܪܝܢܐ ܕܬܓܪܝܬ, Arabic: دنحا الاول مفريان المشرق)[1] was the Grand Metropolitan of the East and head of the Syriac Orthodox Church of the East from 649 until his death in 659.[2] He is commemorated as a saint by the Syriac Orthodox Church in the Martyrology of Rabban Sliba, and his feast day is 2 October.[3]

Denha I
Syriac Orthodox Grand Metropolitan of the East
ChurchSyriac Orthodox Church
Term ended659
Personal details
Died3 November 659
Feast day2 October
Venerated inSyriac Orthodox Church


Denha became a monk at the monastery of Saint Matthew near Mosul and studied under Marutha, who would later ascend to the office of Grand Metropolitan of the East, the highest-ranking prelate amongst the miaphysite bishops in the former Sasanian Empire.[4] After Marutha's death on 2 May 649 (AG 960), Denha was chosen to succeed him and was thus brought before the Patriarch Theodore and ordained as archbishop of Tikrit and Grand Metropolitan of the East.[5] It was formerly asserted by the French orientalist Rubens Duval that Denha was the first miaphysite Grand Metropolitan of the East to hold the title maphrian,[6] however, it was likely not in use until c. 1100.[7] He served until his death on 3 November 659 (AG 970) and he was buried with Marutha at the cathedral in the citadel of Tikrit.[5]


Denha wrote a hagiography of Marutha (Brit. Mus. MS. 14645), which was later translated by the French Syriacist François Nau.[4]


  1. ^ Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent (17 August 2016). "Denha I, maphrian". Qadishe: A Guide to the Syriac Saints. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  2. ^ Wilmshurst (2019), p. 810.
  3. ^ Fiey (2004), p. 68.
  4. ^ a b Barsoum (2003), p. 325.
  5. ^ a b Mazzola (2018), pp. 359–360.
  6. ^ Duval (2013), p. 326.
  7. ^ Nicholson (2018), p. 957.


Preceded by Syriac Orthodox Grand Metropolitan of the East
Succeeded by