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Kashkar, also known as Kaskar, (Classical Syriac: ܟܫܟܪ‎), was a city in southern Mesopotamia. Its name appears to originate from Syriac ܟܪܟܐ karḵa meaning "citadel" or "town".[1] Other sources connect it to ܟܫܟܪܘܬܐ kaškarūṯá "farming".[2] It was originally built on the Tigris, across the river from the later medieval city of Wasit.

The city was originally a significant Sasanian city built on the west bank of the Tigris where Greek speaking deportees from north-western Syria were settled by Shapur I in the mid third century A.D.[3]

According to Syriac tradition, Mar Mari is said to have preached and performed miracles and converted many of its inhabitants to Christianity.[3] Kashkar became an important centre of Christianity in lower Mesopotamia and had its own diocese which lay under the jurisdiction of the patriarchal see of Seleucia-Ctesiphon of the Church of the East.[3]

During a flood the Tigris burst its banks leaving Kashkar on its east bank. The medieval city of Wasit was built on the west bank of the new channel by al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, who drew off the population of Kashkar, which eventually turned it to a ghost town.[1] By the middle of the twelfth century Kashkar ceased to exist as a bishopric see.[3]


  1. ^ a b Mirecki, BeDuhn; Jason, Paul Allan (2007). Frontiers of faith: the Christian encounter with Manichaeism in the Acts of Archelaus. BRILL. p. 10. ISBN 978-90-04-16180-1.
  2. ^ قزانجي, فؤاد يوسف. مدينة كشكر: أول مدينة مسيحية في بلاد الرافدين (in Arabic). Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d Harrak, Amir (2005). The acts of Mār Mārī the apostle. BRILL. p. 69. ISBN 978-90-04-13050-0.

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