Diaries

22/5/1909

Sat. May {23} 22. [22 May 1909] Had an awfully long day beginning with 1/2 an hour's work on the basilica of Mar Philoxenos which was I think a true basilica with the narthex to the W. Probably all vaulted; the old vault of the N aisle remains, of great stones, quite different from the new vaults. Rode off at 6.5 with Jusef and Abd ur Rahman and got to {Arnas} Salah at {5.50} 7.25. The wonderful church lies to the W of the village. Stayed there till 9.20. It deserved a longer visit. Lots of mouldings, round the bottom of the narthex wall, round the inside of the nave (decorated and too high to take) doors etc. But horribly dark inside. Got to Arnas at 10.35 and stayed till 12.20. The church is much ruined - remains of the cymatium still to be seen outside. It has been restored but I think exactly on the old plan, ie the engaged piers here are part of the original structure. They fit onto the apse instead of leaving the awkward gap of the reconstruction piers. Lunched before I left. The church is part of a house (the buildings of Mar Yakub are also inhabited by peasants). Two {apses} niches on the E side of court, one apsed, but both much later work. We rode down hill and up to another village, Halaf, which we reached at 12.55. At 2 we got to Kefr Zeh and stayed till 3.45. The church is inhabited by a nun - there was also a Kas but I'm not sure if he lived there - there was only one room. The piers here are part of a reconstruction: I shd think the church was originally vaulted from the walls only. Here and in both the other chambers fine decorated mouldings round the triumphal arch. I was very tired by the time I had finished. We were told it was 3 hours to Khakh but it was only a little over 2. We left Kefr Zeh at 3.45, {got to} passed Mar Hanik at 4.50 and so onto a plateau from which we presently saw Khakh lying on its hill with the mountains behind it - very beautiful. We had had thunderstorms all day and the evening was mild and lovely like an English spring. Got into camp at 5.50. After tea I took a look round and found that there was much to be done. Prayers were being said in the Adra, the women standing in the narthex, the men inside. One of the latter had put down his knife and half a cigarette in a holder on the narthex door step. As I came back through the village, the people coming up from prayers greeted me with "Marhaba Ingliziyeh." The Adra is occupied by a monk, a novice and a nun. The latter begged me to give them arms as a little time ago the Moslems came and said that order had been given that all Xians were to be killed. The Xians in Midyat heard the same thing and shut themselves into their houses for a day or two.

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