History and Geography
Chapter 7 The Nineteenth Century
The Nineteenth Century
Following successive persecutions, the most violent being that of the era of Timur Lang (Tamerlane) in the fourteenth century, the faithful of the Church of the East were obliged to seek refuge in north-eastern Mesopotamia, in the region lying between Mosul (in northern Iraq) and Lake Van (in south-east Turkey). In the nineteenth century they were therefore to be found established partly on Ottoman territory and partly on Persian. In the Ottoman Empire the Assyrian populations extended from the town of Amadiya (in the south) to the environs of the town of Van (in the north). They were mingled with a large Kurdish majority and some Armenians. In the Persian Safavid Empire, the Assyrians lived in Azerbaijan (today in north-west Iran), especially at Urmia, their principal centre, where they formed a good proportion of the population, and in the surrounding area. They also lived in the highlands of Tergavar, Mergavar and Baranduz (to the south of Urmia). There were still some Assyrians at Maragha, the city which the Mongol khan Hulagu (d. 1265) had made his capital on the eastern shore of Lake Urmia. We should not forget that there was also a small community of Christians originating from the Church of the East in Kerala (in southwest India).
In the mountainous region of Hakkari (in the south-east of modern Turkey) most of the villages where the faithful of the Church of the East lived were along the valleys...
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