Maruthas one of the most important men in the Syrian Church of the 4th and 5th centuries, was bishop of Tagrit, in Mesopotamia, called also by the Syrians Maipherkin, Maipherkat, and Medinat Sohde, i.e. city of the martyrs. He took an active part in the management of Church affairs, and is also known as a writer. So great, indeed, was the consideration he enjoyed at the hands of his contemporaries that he was popularly credited with power to work miracles. In 403 he made a journey to Constantinople, as agent in the negotiations between the emperors Arcadius and Theodosius II and the Persian emperor Yezdegerd II, who was persecuting the Christians, and in these negotiations he gained the esteem and confidence of the Persian emperor. He was enabled by his sagacity to defeat the intrigues of the Magians to effect his downfall, and his reputation only rose higher, so that he obtained permission for the Christians to rebuild their churches, and to hold their meetings for divine worship. The next year he went again to Constantinople to plead the cause of Chrysostom, who was exiled. He was subsequently sent again by Theodosius II to Yezdegerd. He is said on this occasion to have taken part in a synod assembled by patriarch Isaac of Seleucia Ctesiphon, but Hefele (Conciliengesch. 2:90) has proved that the documents we possess concerning this council are spurious, and the very existence of such a council is now considered doubtful. Maruthas, however, took part in the Council of Antioch against the Messalians (q.v.). in 383 or 390. He wrote a nulmber of works in Syriac, described by Assemani (ut infr.). Among them the following deserve special notice: A liturgic work, found in Syriac in the missal of the Maronites (1594, p. 172), and in Latin in Renaudot (Liturgiarumn Orient. collectio, 2:261); an exposition of the Gospels, from which it appears that he inclined towards the doctrine of transubstantiation; a history of the Persian martyrs under king Shapur (Sapores) — this history forms the first part of Assemani's Acta Alartyrum Orientalium. qui in Perside passi sunt, et Occidentalium, translated under the title Elliche Acten heiliger Martyrer d. Moragenlandes (Innsbruck, 1836). See Assemani, Biblicih. Orient. Clenseniino-Vaticcna, 1:174-179; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 9:131; Neander, Hist. of the Christican Religion and Church, 2:110, 700. (J.N. P.)

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