The College Houses

Nisibis

Nisibis is the home of St. Ephrem Malpana (born 306AD) and St. Narsai the Harp of the Spirit (born 399AD – which this school is named after).

It was captured by the ancient Assyrians during the reign of king Adad-Nirari II in 896BC. After the Church of the East grew, it was the second most important city in the Church of the East, after Seleucia-Ctesiphon, being the patriarchate See of the Church of the East.

It boasts to have the world’s first university, as well as the centre of Church of the East’s theology during the Classical Period.

The primary faculties in the school were Theology, Philosophy and Medicine.

The most important teacher at the School of Nisibis was St. Narsai the Harp of the Spirit, who was the head of the School of Edessa before it was closed down.

Narsai

St. Narsai was one of the most important writers of the Church of the East. He is called the “Harp of the Spirit.”

He was orphaned at an early age and was raised by his uncle.

He spent 10 years studying in the School of Edessa and returned to teach there. Later, becoming the head of the School.

After the School of Edessa was closed down by Emperor Zeno for teaching the theology of the Church of the East, St. Narsai, most of his staff and students moved to Nisibis and re-established the School of Nisibis.

It is said by St. Abdisho of Nisibis that St. Narsai wrote 360 memre (long hymns that taught different subjects) in 12 volumes, commentaries on most of the Old Testament and a book called “On the Corruption of Morals,” only which 8 memre have survived.

Nineveh

Nineveh was the capital of the Ancient Assyrians.

It wasn’t until king Sennacherib’s reign when Nineveh reached its magnificence. Most of the statues that were made weighed between 9 and 27 tonnes.

Nineveh was where Jonah was sent to preach God’s message. The people fasted for 40 days; babies and animals couldn’t eat also. The king himself, stepped down his throne, wore sackcloth, fasted and prayed too.

Nineveh was also the Bishopric See of St. Isaac, a 7th century  monk known for writing about how to live like a monk. He became a bishop of Nineveh; and not really used to the lifestyle of living a normal life and talking with people, he resigned from his Episcopal office 5 months after his consecration.

Seleucia

Seleucia was the capital of the Seleucid Empire; founded by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great’s generals.

Seleucia was the first See of the Patriarchate of the Church of the East. It was the centre of the Church of the East for the first couple of centuries after Christ’s resurrection.

The first official Synod of the Church of the East was held in Seleucia in 410AD by St. Isaac Catholicos. It had accepted the Nicene Creed during this Synod, which was brought by a Western Bishop named St. Marutha of Maiperat.