ST: Thomas And Cranganore Special Problems of Indian History


Special Problems of Indian History

Every scholar who essays an historical topic related to the pre-Portuguese or pre-Mughal India is seen expressing from time to time a complete sense of helplessness in the face of the paucity, often tending to non-existence, of reliable indigenous documentary or even other sources, apart from fables or legends, to base their studies on or to test their conclusions by. Even after the latest developments in the various branches of philology, geography, numismatics, and archaeology, and the accessibility today of the writings of travellers, historians and others in many languages and from many countries, many periods, persons and events in Indian history and in the histories of the different regions of India still remain shrouded in darkness.

Although this is a condition common to all ancient civilisations and countries, in the case of India much fault has been attributed to the so-called lack of interest in history supposed to characterise Indians in general and Hindus in particular. Leaving this aside as something that cannot be helped now, we must not lose sight of certain other human factors and tendencies which also have contributed to the present state of affairs. The Asoka known to us from the Buddhist Chronicles and legends, for instance, bears very little resemblance to the Asoka of the edicts. No one knew the great Mauryan emperor who built the Sanchi and Sarnath stupas, and whose concern for man and animal is renowned today, before 1838 when james Princep deciphered the Brahmi and Karoshti scripts. The part played by the chronicles in keeping the real Asoka hidden or distorted is ably discussed by J. Talboys Wheeler in his History of India.1

In India the existence of the followers of various religions as parallel societies, each functioning in its own separate exclusive compartment, has resulted in many a writer passing over information concerning those of other religious persuasions. Rivalry between religions, castes, factions and denominations has been the reason for writers ignoring, suppressing, qualifying, corrupting or outright refuting historical realities.2

The case of the Malabar Christians is to the point. Although one of the early (many believe the earliest) inscriptions in Kerala is the one granting aristocratic privileges to Christians, and although Kerala’s oldest granite sculptures are perhaps those in Kerala churches, and although definite information is available regarding the location and condition of more than a hundred churches and thriving Christian communities in Kerala by 1599, all pointing to the existence of a strong and influential Christian community in Kerala at least from the 7th century onwards, the great and prolific literature of Kerala even after the 15th century (for ex. the works of Ezhuthachan and Kunjan Nambiar) give hardly any indication even of the existence of such a community!

The "Thomas Question" in the course of centuries

Apart from the difficulties peculiar to the historical study of any ancient Indian event, the Thomas question presents some problems of its own. A. E. Medlycott, the first ‘bishop’ of the Syro-Malabarians in modern times and the person whose painstakingly exhaustive pioneering work has inspired or assisted, directly or indirectly, practically all the 20th century studies of the Thomas question even up to the present day, has truthfully remarked:3 "The Apostle who had stood in the full light of the public life and miracles of Our Lord was nevertheless capable of doubt when His resurrection was announced, so also the field of the same Apostle’s labours has been shrouded with unnecessary doubt." There are those who say that the Apostle never came to India, others who say that he went to Taxila only, or only to Mailapur, or to Mailapur and Malabar only, and so on, reminding one of the story of the blind men and the elephant.4 Works have proliferated dealing with various questions5 connected with the Apostle Thomas and his Indian mission, perhaps "owing to contentious discussions".6 This considerable body of literature go to make "the tale of the Apostle Thomas (as it stands today) a sea unspeakably vast" 7 to which these few pages can hardly do justice.

What is most astonishing about the researches into the historicity of the Apostle’s Indian mission is the agreement of newly discovered data almost without exception with details known earlier. It gladdens the heart of the student when it is found that whenever a bit of new, authentic knowledge, is forthcoming that concerns the supposed fields of the Saint’s apostolate it has a tendency to invariably fall into place in the jig-saw puzzle, and to help untie the tangle of uncertainties. Even today there is divergence in the views held by scholars concerning the authenticity of the traditions linking St. Thomas with India. During this (20th) century, however, the degree of divergence has diminished considerably and very few scholars today dare to assert that St.Thomas never came to India at all. This has resulted in the Government of India bringing out two stamps in commemoration of the Indian apostolate of St. Thomas, one in 1964 and another in 1973, and the Holy See proclaiming St. Thomas ‘The Apostle of India’ and in Cardinal Tisserant bringing his bones to India and Kerala in the year 1953.8

As historians, archaeologists, geographers, philologists and numismatologists have made advances in their respective fields, critical opinion has tilted more and more in favour of an Indian and Malabar Apostolate than against such a possibility. Some information concerning the views of historians about the mission and life of St. Thomas in India in general and about the North-Western and South-Eastern traditions in particular is indispensable for properly appreciating the Apostle’s relationship with Kodungallur. Traditions and testimonies regarding the Tomb of the Apostle Thomas at Mylapore on the East Coast of India (in Tamilnadu) and the story of the relics are narrated in Chapter IV of this book (Kodungallur: City of St. Thomas, 1987)

Apostle Thomas In India

[See Picture above of the Relics of the right arm of Apostle St. Thomas brought and enshrined by Eugene Cardinal at Kodungallur in commemoration of the 19th century of the landing of saint in India.]

Most unprejudiced historians today believe that St. Thomas planted the seed of the gospel on Indian soil. This is the general trend of their thinking: During Apostolic times there were well frequented trade routes, by land and / or water, connecting North-West India (today Pakistan), the West Coast and the East Coast, with North Africa and West Asia. Thus Alexandria, Aden, Socotra, Ormuz, Ctesiphon, Caesarea, Taxila, Broach, Kodungallur (Muziris) and even Rome were inter-linked. The witnesses of different authors belonging to different places, Churches, cultures, centuries and races ( and often speaking different languages) supporting the Apostle’s Indian mission provide an almost unassailable bulwark of evidence, along with the South Indian tradition that is woven into a myriad details of folklore, place names, family traditions, social customs, monuments, copper plates, ancient songs, liturgical texts etc.............

The following are some of the early references to the Indian sojourn of St. Thomas in foreign sources: (All these testimonies are of a date prior to the commencement of the Malayalam or Kollam era, i.e. A. D. 825. Many of these belong to centuries immediately following the first Ecumenical Council of 325.)

I.                    The Acts of Judas Thomas  Century: 2nd/3rd (c. 180-230) Church represented: Syrian Sources : Dr. Wright (Ed.), Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, London, 1871 (Syriac Text in Vol.1, English translation in Vol. II); Rev. Paul Bedjan, Acta Martyrum et Sanctorum, Vol. III, Leipsic-Paris, 1892. Other Syriac texts, Greek, Latin, Ethiopic, Arabic, Armenian versions are discussed in A. E. Medlycott, India and the Apostle Thomas, London 1905, (hereafter Medlycott). Appendix, pp. 221 -225. Gist of Testimony : The Apostles cast lots as to where they should go, and to Thomas, twin brother of Jesus, fell India. Thomas was taken to king Gondophoros as an architect and carpenter by Habban. The journey to India is described in detail....After a long residence in the court he ordained leaders for the Church, and left in a chariot for the kingdom of Mazdei. There, after performing many miracles, he dies a martyr. 20th Century Discussions : Medlycott, pp. 1-18, and Appendix, pp. 213/298. A.C. Perumalil, S. J., The Apostles in India, Patna, 1952, (hereafter ‘Perumalil’) Appendices 5 and 6, pp. 126-134. A. F. J. Klijn (Ed). The Acts of Thomas, Leiden, 1962 J. N. Farquhar, The Apostle Thomas in North India, reprinted in booklet form from the Bulletin of J. R. Library, which is a discussion of the first part of the Acts (hereafter ‘Farquhar’). See also the many autographed articles and exhaustive bibliographies and/or notes in the St. Thomas Christian Encyclopaedia of India, (Ed.) George Menachery, Trichur, vol. II (1973), Vol. I 1982, hereafter Menachery, Stcei I, II, especially the following: William G. Young, ‘Christianity in Pakistan’, Vol. I, pp. 133-135. A. Porathur, ‘The Acts of Thomas’ II, pp. 24-26. A. M. Mundadan, ‘The First Centuries’, I, pp.4-8. V. Vithayathil, ‘Mission and Life of St. Thomas in India’, II, p.2 ff. A. Podipara, ‘The Indian Apostolate of St. Thomas’, II, p.7 ff.

II.                  Clement of Alexandria  Century: 3rd (d.c. 235) Church represented: Alexandrian/Greek Biographical Note : Greek Theologian, b. Athens, 150. After conversion, and touring Italy, Syria, and Palestine taught at the oldest centre of sacred science in Christian history viz. The Catechetical School of Alexandria where he succeeded his teacher Pantaenus. He was the first to reconcile Platonic and Christian teachings. Defended orthodoxy against Gnosticism though apparently, held the Gnostic notion that the possessor of intellectual knowledge is above other Christians. Origen was his pupil. Further relevant details in minor articles on Clement, in Menachery (Ed) STCEI, II, p. 201, Col.1. Gist of Testimony : Clement makes a passing reference to St. Thomas’ Apostolate in Parthia. This agrees with the testimony which Eusebius records about Pantaenus’ visit to India. (cf. Origen. infra.) See also under Heraclion and Clement in Major Article by H. Comes in Menachery (Ed.)STCEI, II, pp.23-24.

III.                Doctrine of the Apostles Century: 3rd Church represented: Syrian Sources : Cardinal Mai, Scriptorum Veterum Nova Collectio, Rome, 1838. W. Cureton, Ancient Syriac Documents, London, 1864: Latin Translation by A. Assemani; Vindobonae, 1856; Didascalia in Coptic, Ethiopic, and Arabic. Also see Medlycott, p. 33 ff. (This portion has been reproduced in STCEI, II 1973, Ed. G. M., 20,21, by the present writer). It may be termed the primitive Manual of Catechism of the Church, representing its early usages, customs and belief. Gist of testimony : "After the death of the Apostles there were Guides and Rulers in the Churches.....They again at their deaths also committed and delivered to their disciples after them everything which they had received from the Apostles;...(also what) Judas Thomas (had written) from India". "India and all its own countries, and those bordering on it, even to the farther sea, received the Apostle’s hand of Priesthood from Judas Thomas, who was Guide and Ruler in the Church which he built and ministered there". In what follows "the whole Persia of the Assyrians and Medes, and of the countries round about Babylon.... even to the borders of the Indians and even to the country of Gog and Magog" are said to have received the Apostles’ Hand of Priesthood from Aggaeus the disciple of Addaeus (Cureton, pp. 32, 33, 34). 20th Century Discussions : Medlycott, pp 33-37 alias Menachery, STCEI, II, 20-21, Farquhar, p. 26 ff.

IV.               Origen  Century: 3rd (185-254?) quoted in Eusebius, cf. infra Church represented: Alexandrian/ Greek Biographical Note : Christian Philosopher, b-Egypt, Origen taught with great acclaim in Alexandria and then in Caesarea. Edited the Bible in six parallel Hebrew and Greek versions (the Hexapla). Many other works including his theological De principis and his polemical Contra Celsum. Sources : Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., 3.1; Patrologia Graeca, Migne Edn., 20.215; Patrologia Latina, Migne, 21.478. Gist of Testimony : He is the first known writer to record the casting of lots by the Apostles. Origen’s original work has been lost; but his statement about Parthia falling to Thomas has been preserved by Eusebius. "Origen, in the third chapter of his Commentary on Genesis, says that, according to tradition, Thomas’s allotted field of labour was Parthia". Farquhar, p. 30. 20th Century Discussions : Perumalil, pp. 50,51.E. R. Hambye, "Saint Thomas and India", The Clergy Monthly 16 (1952). Comes, S. J., "Did St. Thomas Really come to India?", in Menachery (Ed).) STCEI, II. Farquhar, pp. 30,31,

V.                 Eusebius of Caesarea Century: 4th (d. 340) Church Represented: Alexandrian/Greek Biographical Note : Eusebius of Caesarea or Eusebius Pamphill, Greek historian, wrote Ecclesiastical History in 10 books. Sources : Patrologia Graeca (Migne), 19-24., 20.215. Gist of Testimony : Quoting Origen, Eusebius says: "When the holy Apostles and disciples of our Saviour were scattered over all the world, Thomas, so the tradition has it, obtained as his portion Parthia...." 20th Century Discussions : See Origen, above. Also J.C.Panjikaran, Christianity in Malabar w.s.r.t. The St. Thomas Christians of the Syro-Malabar Rite, Orientalia Christiana, VI, 2 (23), Roma I, April 1926, p.99 esp. for reference to Pantaenus’ Indian visit.

VI.               Ephrem Century: 4th Church Represented: Syrian Biographical Note : See Chapter Iv. More details are given in Medlycott, p. 21 ff. alias STCEI, II, P. 18. Sources : Bickell, S. Ephraemi Syri, Caramina Nisibena, Lipsiae, 1866; Monsignor Lamy, S. Ephraemi Syri Hymni et Sermones, (Quarto 4 vols.); Breviary acc. to the Rite of the Church of Antioch of the Syrians, Mosul, 1886-96. Also See Medlycott, pp. 21-32. Alias Menachery (Ed.) STCEI, II, p. 18 ff. Gist of Testimony : Many devotional hymns composed by St. Ephraem, bear witness to the Edessan Church’s strong conviction concerning St. Thomas’s Indian Apostolate. Some lines from St. Ephraem appear in Medlycott’s translation elsewhere in these pages. There the devil speaks of St. Thomas as "the Apostle I slew in India". Also "The merchant brought the bones" to Edessa. In another hymn apostrophising St. Thomas we read of "The bones the merchant hath brought". "In his several journeyings to India, And thence on his return, All riches, which there he found, Dirt in his eyes he did repute when to thy sacred bones compared". In yet another hymn Ephrem speaks of the mission of Thomas "The earth darkened with sacrifices’ fumes to illuminate". "A land of people dark fell to thy lot", "a tainted land Thomas has purified"; "India’s dark night" was "flooded with light" by Thomas. 20th Century Discussions : Medlycott, pp.21-32 alias Menachery (Ed.), STCEI, II, p. 18 ff. Also see the bibliographies, and notes esp. under the first dozen or so articles in the latter.

VII.             Gregory of Nazianzus Century: 4th (d. 389) Church Represented: Alexandrian/Greek Biographical Note : Gregory was born A. D. 330, consecrated bishop by his friend St. Basil; in 372 his father, the Bishop of Nazianzus induced him to share his charge. In 379 the people of Constantinople called him to be their bishop. By the Greeks he is emphatically called "the theologian’. Sources : Homil. XXXII,xi, Contra Arianos et de seipso. Migne, P-G 36-228. Gist of Testimony : "What? were not the Apostles strangers amidst the many nations and countries over which they spread themselves?...Peter indeed may have belonged to Judea; but what had Paul in common with the gentiles, Luke with Achaia, Andrew with Epirus, John with Ephesus, Thomas with India, Mark with Italy?" 20th Century Discussions : Medlycott, pp, 42,43; Perumalil pp. 43,44.

VIII.           Ambrose of Milan Century: 4th (d. 397) Church Represented: Western Biographical Note : St. Ambrose was thoroughly acquainted with the Greek and Latin Classics, and had a good deal of information on India and Indians. He speaks of the Gymnosophists of India, the Indian Ocean, the river Ganges etc. a number of times. Sources : Migne, P-L 140 1143. (Also see 17. 1131, 17.1133, for his Indian knowledge.) Gist of Testimony : "This admitted of the Apostles being sent without delay according to the saying of our Lord Jesus... Even those Kingdoms which were shut out by rugged mountains became accessible to them, as India to Thomas, Persia to Mathew.." 20th Century Discussions : Medlycott, pp. 43, 44. Perumalil, pp. 44.45 Some others The authorities we are giving hereafter are discussed in detail in a number of books including Medlycott, Perumalil and Menachery (STCEI I, II). In addition to these many authorities are quoted in and/or discussed by the various Patrological works (e.g. Migne Edns.; Wm. A. Jurgens, Faith of the Early Fathers:etc.). History of Christianity-Source Materials by M. K. George, CLS, Madras, 1982 and the Handbook of Source Materials by Wm. G. Young are also useful here. Among other books which may be of assistance may be mentioned: D. Ferroli, The jesuits in Malabar, Vol. I. Bangalore, 1939, esp. notes and documents p. 71 ff.; W.S. Hunt, The Anglican Church in Travancore and Cochin, Kottayam, 1920, esp. p. 27, p.33 pp. 46-50; G.T. Mackenzie, i.c.s., "History of Christianity in Travancore", in The Travancore State Manual, Vol-II, Edited by Nagam Aiya, Trivandrum 1906 pp. 135-233; Also please see the Bibliographies under the various related topics in Menachery, STCEI, I, II. We are giving below the testimonies of only some authorities up to 825.

IX.               St. Jerome (342- 420) "He (Christ) dwelt in all places: with Thomas in India, Peter at Rome, with Paul in Illyricum."

X.                 St. Gaudentius ( Bishop of Brescia, before 427) "John at Sebastena, Thomas among the Indians, Andrew and Luke at the city of Patras are found to have closed their careers."

XI.               St. Paulinus of Nola (d. 431) "Parthia receives Mathew, India Thomas, Libya Thaddeus, and Phrygia Philip".

XII.             St. Gregory of Tours (d. 594) More about St.Gregory’s testimony see ch. IV. ‘Thomas the Apostle, according to the narrative of his martyrdom is stated to have suffered in India. His holy remains (corpus), after a long interval of time, were removed to the city of Edessa in Syria and there interred. In that part of India where they first rested, stand a monastery and a church of striking dimensions, elaborately adorned and designed. This Theodore, who had been to the place, narrated to us.’

XIII.           St. Isidore of Seville in Spain (d. c. 630) "This Thomas preached the Gospel of Christ to the Parthians, the Medes, the Persians, the Hyrcanians and the Bactrians, and to the Indians of the Oriental region and penetrating the innermost regions and sealing his preaching by his passion he died transfixed with a lance at Calamina...a city of India, and there was buried with honour".

XIV.         St. Bede the Venerable (c. 673-735) "Peter receives Rome, Andrew Achaia; James Spain; Thomas India; John Asia....  

          In addition to these there are many breviaries, martyrologies, other liturgical books and calendars of the Syrian, Alexandrian/ Greek, Latin and other Churches belonging to a period before the commencement of the Quilon era, which bears ample testimony to Thomas’ Indian Apostolate. See the works mentioned above in this chapter. Many twentieth century scholars have discussed these testimonies in greater or lesser detail and have more often than not come to the conclusion that St. Thomas did come to India and did preach the gospel in one, two, or three of the four areas9 in India that at the time was closely linked with the outside world, especially by sea.

Earlier we spoke of the tendency for practically every bit of new evidence unearthed, which concern these matters, to go invariably to vindicate the view that the Apostle was in India. For example: The Acts of Judas Thomas mentions the visit of the Apostle to the kingdom of Gudnaphar, who is spoken of as ruling in India, and also his brother Gad. Yet those names were totally unknown to history until, by excavation, both west and east, of the river Indus, coins and inscriptions were discovered which revealed the facts. 10 "In the several texts of these Apocryphal books the king’s name appears variously as Gudnaphar, Gundafor, Gundaforus, and Goundaphorus. On his coins it appears, in Kharoshthi, as Guduphara or, occasionally, Godapharna; in Greek, as Undopheros, Undopherros or Gondopherros, which apparently represent local pronunciations of the Persian Vindapharna ‘The Winner of Glory’11 The Greek rulers of the Punjab were ultimately overcome by the Saka tribes of Central Asia....They established principalities at Mathura, Taxila, and elsewhere.12 We are here concerned with "one of these Parthian Princes, known to the Greeks as Gondopharnes" 13, the "Bringer of Victory", 14 who was in about 50 A. D., succeeded by Pacores 15. Discussing the various rulers of Taxila in his Guide to Taxila, Sir John Marshall, who was for many years Director- General of Archaeology in India, has the following: "Not long after A. D. 19 the power of the Sakas was broken by the Parthians under Gondophares, and Taxila was incorporated in an empire which then or later comprised Sistan, Sind (probably with Cutch and Kathiawar), the Southern and Western Panjab, the North-West Frontier, southern Afghanistan, and probably part of the Parthian dominions west of Sistan. At Taxila Gondophares had, as his legates, first Aspavarma, who had been strategos under Azes II, and then Sasan, who was afterwards to serve as legate under pacores"16 Hence Gondopharnes can be considered both as an Indian king and as a Parthian.

There is in the ancient Church one succession of writers who say that Thomas went to India: these are all dependent on Edessa:- The author of The Acts of Judas Thomas (A. D. 180 - 230). Ephraem of Nisibis and Edessa in his hymns (d. A. D. 373). Gregory of Nazianzus, Hom. XXXIII. Ambrose, Ballerini, II., 389. Jerome, Migne. P.L., XXII., 588. There is then another succession of writers who say that he went to Parthia: these are all dependent on Alexandria:- Origen, comm. on Genesis, III. The Clementine Recognitions, IX, 29 Eusebius, H. E., III., I. Rufinus, H. E.,II.,5. Socrates, H.E., I., 19. 17 We find that Clement, Origen, Eusebius and others who assign Parthia to St. Thomas all must have written before the Christian leaders had an opportunity to come together and evaluate the spread of the Gospel in various parts of the world. But once the representatives of the different Churches came together at Nicaea for the first Ecumenical Council in 325 and exchanged notes we find almost all the testimonies recorded thereafter unanimously speaking of India as the field of Apostle Thomas and we hear less and less about Parthia, although it is true, some later authorities appear to attempt a reconciliation of the two traditions. In spite of what has been written about the differences between the Syriac and Greek texts of the Acts, Gondapheres according to most scholars outside Kerala, is the King to whose court the Apostle came in the company of Habban the merchant. Writers in contact with Edessa and Mesopotamia, which had considerable and constant contacts with India, generally give ‘India’ as the field of Thomas. The so-called Alexandrian witnesses speak of Parthia, basing their evidence perhaps on a tradition that originated not in Alexandria itself but Caesarea Maritima, the great port of Herod with which Clement, Origen, Eusebius, etc. had intimate contacts (see biographical notes above). But as these authorities were also connected with the School of Alexandria many call this today the Alexandrian tradition. It is quite possible and probable that Thomas was recruited by the royal representative from Caesarea. 18 Caesarea was perhaps the one port where the latest architectural technologies19 were being effectively utilised, and it is natural that one who wanted to have some new form of construction20 would turn to that place. Was Thomas in reality working in Caesarea as a carpenter and architect? Is that the reason why he is given greater imortance by the Fourth Evangelist? Or is it because of his "twinness"?21 The western tradition (see I to XIV above) and the Indian East Coast tradition (see Ch. IV later in this book), thus definitely point to the Apostle’s Indian Apostolate.

Kodungallur as the see of St. Thomas  Regarding the arrival of St. Thomas in Malabar and his life and mission there considerable unanimity of opinion prevailed among the people of Kerala, whether Christians or non-Christians, until of late certain denominational rivalries or even political and communal vested interests began to colour the statements of some writers. As far as the Apostolate of St. Thomas in Kerala is admitted, his connection with Kodungallur has not been questioned. All traditions refer to that royal maritime city as the first host to the indefatigable Apostle. Any number of historians of repute can be cited on these two points. f. i: The Malabar tradition "which assigns the first preaching of the Gospel in Malabar to the Apostle Thomas is most ancient and strong."22 Further: "St. Thomas is supposed to have landed near Cranganore, and therefore the city is sacred to the Christians. It was the capital of the Cheraman Perumals, whose palace, known as Allal Perumkovilakam, was situated in the vicinity of the great Pagoda at Thiruvanchikulam, which formed a suburb of Kodungallur"23 The Malabar tradition which is near-unanimous "holds that St. Thomas the Apostle came to Cranganore in the year 52 A.D., built churches at seven places and then suffered martyrdom at St.Thomas Mount near Madras." 24 No wonder W. W. Hunter has remarked: "The large Christian population is a distinctive feature of the country. The Syrian Christians date from the earliest centuries of our era."25 The Hindu compiler of the Travancore State Manual has no doubt about the Malabar tradition: "There is no doubt as to the tradition that St. Thomas came to Malabar and converted a few families of Nambudiris, some of whom were ordained by him as priests such as those of Sankarapuri and pakalomattam. For, in consonance with this long-standing traditional belief in the minds of the people of the Apostle’s mission and labours among high caste Hindus, we have it before us today the fact that certain Syrian Christian women particularly of a Desam called Kunnamkulam wear clothes as Nambudiri women do, move about screening themselves with huge umbrellas from the gaze of profane eyes as those women do, and will not marry except perhaps in exceptional cases, and those only recently, but from among dignified families of similar aristocratic descent."26 As tradition goes, Christians from Malabar, West Asia and even from China used to go to Mylapore and venerate the Apostle’s tomb. These traditions are also enshrined in the Rabban Pattu, Margam Kali and the Veeradian Pattu songs of Kerala. The oral and documentary traditions have been well documented by the Portuguese in the 16th century. These are discussed in detail in A. M. Mundadan in his "Sixteenth Century Traditions"; and by Placid Podipara, The Thomas Christians. The Chapter entitled "The Indian Apostolate of St. Thomas" is reproduced in stcei II and also see stceI II p.7 ff. In all the accounts of the Malabar Tradition Kodungallur is the place designated as the apostle’s landing port in Kerala. In the narratives describing the churches and places connected with the apostle, Kodungallur invariably heads the list, It is remarkable that the Pazhayakoottukar (syro-Malabar Catholics), the Puthenkootukar (non-catholic syrians of Kerala) and the Latin catholics believe that the apostle first landed in or near Cranganore28. "The name of Nazaranis or Mar Thoma Nazaranis by which those Christians are universally known in Malabar, denotes an antiquity of origin prior to the time when the followers of Jesus the Nazarene had begun to be called Christians at Antioch"29

The seven churches of St. Thomas are to be found in locations where there were Jewish colonies in Kerala in the first centuries. According to some these colonies might have induced the visit of Thomas to India in one way or other.30 "The nation in general are called St. Thomas Christians in all parts of India, and it imports an antiquity that reaches far beyond the Eutychians or Nestorians or any other sect" says the author of Christian reasearches in Asia.31 He goes on to assert : "I am satisfied that we have as good authority for believing that the Apostle Thomas died in India as that the apostle Peter died in Rome."32 "The innumerable popular songs, stories, and local legends about the Apostle, the common name of Thomas in most families, the temple like structure of the earliest Christian churches, resulting from tradition, that the apostle allowed the new converts to use the temples which he purified for Christian worship."33 What is the west Asian tradition concerning the apostolic origin of the Malabar Church? "Some writers contend that Christianity was introduced into India from Mesopotamia by the East Syrians. But they are unable to assign the work to definite persons or to a definite age

. The East Syrians never claimed the honour . There is not the least trace of any tradition either among the Syrians or among the Indians concerning the original introduction of Christianity into South India by the East Syrians. The East Syrian bishops and patriarchs who ruled the Indian Church from the earliest times down to the sixteenth century never claimed that their forefathers were the apostles of South India...

They even explicitly recognised St. Thomas the Apostle as the founder of the South Indian Church"34 Vatican codex 22 written in Malabar in 1301 designates the then East Syrian Prelate of the Thomas Christians as "Metropolitan bishop of the See of St.Thomas ." The Patriarch of this prelate was only the head of a Church founded by a disciple of a disciple of St. Thomas (as the east syrians themselves believed ). Would a prelate tolerate a title that was more honourable than that of his patriarch, if that title did not mean what it said?"35 The statement attributed to Origen (as seen earlier) that the Gospel has not yet been preached in Ariake (supposedly the Bombay region), if anything only goes to prove that the other three well known areas of India near Taxila, Muziris and Mylapore had already been christianised.36 "There was Christianity in India and (along the Malabar coast) before Nestorius."37 It is to be noted that both the traditions about the arrival of Thomas of Cana to Malabar begin with an account of the decline of Christianity in Malabar after apostolic times: From this date (i.e., St.Thomas’ death) the faithful declined by little in our country. At that time St.Thomas’ appeared in a vision to the Metropolitan of the town of Edessa and said to him : Wilt thou not help India? and he also appeared to Abgar, King of Edessa, who was the King of the Syrians, and then by order of the King and the bishop three hundred and thirtysix families came to India under the leaders Thomas the Cananite ....... All these sailed in the sea and entered Corigalore (Kodungallur), our country. They inhabited it by special permission from the King Shiramon Pririmal......"38 With Podipara we can say that the Malabar tradition is not contradicted by any rival tradition. 39

The archaeological vestiges of the Thomas Christians of Kerala establish the great antiquity of these Christians. As an advisor to the Department of Archaeology, Government of Kerala, the author had rather close contacts with the leading archaeologists of the South and leading historians of Kerala during the last two decades. The author has gathered the strong conviction from these contacts, that the granite sculptures of the churches, especially the crosses and the baptismal fonts, are probably the oldest extant granite sculptures of Kerala, even older than any Hindu sculptures in Kerala.40- This view expressed through different media and in different forums, have not been refuted or contradicted. The premier status of Kodungallur in everything connected with the Thomas Christians is further attested by the universally accepted traditions of various ancient christian families and communities, that they had migrated from Kodungallur. Many christian families in various parts of Kerala were using the expression "Christians of Mahadevapattanam" (or Kodungallur) in their official documents and court cases. We have already seen that geographically also Kodungallur was the most accessible and the most important harbour of apostolic times. The Jews and the followers of Islam also first landed in India at Kodungallur.41 Many writers have pointed out that traditions as they exist today in recorded form are not earlier than 16th century or so. But the tradition existed and still exists as the life of a community, that lived and still lives among other communities, that too have their own long standing traditions. We find no anachronism nor anything else that may weaken in any way the force of the Malabar tradition concerning St. Thomas and Kodungallur.42 The Christian families of one locality in Malabar, which traditionally trace their origin from Apostle Thomas do not contradict the claims of other such families of the same or other localities.43 This unanimity and uniformity of opinion concerning the life of the Apostle in Kerala and churches founded by the Apostle, beginning with Kodungallur will be found to be more authentic, if we examine the documents, legends, and local traditions connected with the more than hundred churches mentioned by Gouvea (Journado, Coimbra, 1606). For example, the Kayamkulam Church though founded by the saintly Sapor and Proth, and called the church of "Kandeesangal’, is yet given only much less importance, than the seven churches of Apostle Thomas, first of all Kodungallur.

Take one particular instance : The church at Ollur near Trichur used to be one of the wealthiest in the whole of Kerala. This church was founded only in 1718. Before that they used to go for Mass to Pazhuvil church which was founded in 960. Before that, the tradition goes, they used to go to Enammavu founded in 500. The Enammavu church recognises the unimportant Noth Pudukad church as its mother church (400 A.D). This church in its turn originated from the Mattam church (Ca. 140 A.D), which traces its origin to the Palayur church founded by St. Thomas. What is important is that the people of all these places unanimously subscribed to the truth of the chronology, although time has brought about great changes in the status of each place, and yet the traditions concerning the origin of each church is recognised by all the churches unanimously. Similarly almost all the churches of Kerala trace their beginnings to one or other of the Thomas Churches or to churches which derive from one of those churches. Thus these traditions have no less value than documents written on paper or stone. It may be proper to summarise here relevant portions of the Rabban Pattu, which is the substratum of all the traditions concerning the Apostolate of St. Thomas in South India, even if some minor details may be backward projections from the concepts of Church’s life at the time of the latest redactions of the song. (The summary is adapted from Mundadan : History of Christianity, I, p.30-32). Thomas the Apostle coming from Arabia, landed in Maliankara in the year AD 50 in the month of Dhanu (Dec./Jan.). After a short stay there he proceeded to Mailapuram (Mylapore) and from there went to China. Coming back to Mailapuram port he sailed to Maliankara being invited by the King of Thiruvanchikulam (modern Cranganore), and founded seven churches there : in Cranganore (where he arrived in AD 51 and baptized the King, 3000 pagans and 40 Jews), in Kollam, Chayal, Niranam, (to which place the cross was transferred from the infidel village of Trikpaleswaram), Kokkamangalam, Kottakayal (Parur) and Palayur. (These are the seven churches well-known in tradition). In AD 59 in the month of Kanni (Sept./Oct.) he was called back to Mailapuram by King Cheran,who imprisoned him ........... But the king’s brother died at that time and was brought back to life and ........... Thomas was set free and the king along with 700 received baptism. After a stay of two and a half years in Mailapuram the Apostle returned to Malabar via Malyattur and visited the old places : Cranganore, Kottakayal,... staying in each place for a year and conferring on the faithful the sacrament of confirmation. In Chayal the Apostle took leave of the Christians, telling them that they would not see him again. Then in the year AD 69 he departed from there to the land of the Tamils. At this point the peom enumerates the miracles performed by the Apostle : he brought back to life 19 dead, drove the devil out of 260, etc... In all he converted 17750 persons, of whom 6850 were Brahmins, 2800 Kshatriyas, 3750 Vaisyas and 4250 Sudras... Kepa and Paul are said to have been consecrated bishops. Kepa belonged to the Cranganore royal family and he was set over Kerala. He took part in the burial of the Apostle. Back in Milapuram in the year AD 72 on the 3rd day of Karkadakam (July), on the way to the Little Mount he was pierced with a lance.... Whether the See of Kodungallur succeeds St. Thomas’ see of Mylapore It may be opportune to summarise here from Mundadan’s History of Christianity in India, Vol. I, p. 71-78 the theory proposed by some, especially following Bishop Ros who became the first Padroado Bishop of Kodungallur in 1600.

Against the purely Malabar tradition that the Christian Community of Kerala is entirely the first of the Apostolate of St.Thomas in Kerala,there are some who in later times maintained that the Kerala Community originated from the Christians of the coromandel Coast, especially Mylapore, who migrated to Kerala as a result of some natural calamities and religious persecutions in that area. Bishop Ros seems to have been influenced by two facts : 1. The Syriac Books which were his primary source of information, 2. his polemic interest to establish that the See of Angamaly of which he had recently been made bishop, is the successor of the oldest See of India, which according to him is Mylapore, where St.Thomas died. He argues that the See of Mylapore which was founded by the Apostle Thomas himself, was transferred to Cranganore, when the Christians left Mylapore and established themselves in Cranganore. This had a polemic purpose, in the dispute with the bishop of Cochin, conducted in 1607. Another tradition as given by Fr. Mathew (1730) in St. Giamil, Genuinae Relations (1902) p.562-564 has this to say, about the Mylapore exodus: After the death of the Apostle, the Malabar Church was left without a preacher and leader. After 93 years there were no priests at all. At that time a magician called Manikabashar appeared. He went to Mylapore and worked wonders by his magic, seducing many Christians from the true faith. Those who remained faithful, took refuge in Malabar and were kindly received by the believing brethren there. This Manikabashar is believed to have been a saiva saint, who lived in the 2nd part of the 9th century, and is the author of Tiruvasagam (the sacred word), a collection of devotional hymns. He is said to have debated with Buddhists from SriLanka to Chidambaram and to have utterly vanquished them. Cfr. K. A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, pp. 175, 369,370,425). From all this, one definite conclusion seems to emerge: at some time between 8th and 10th century, part of the Christian community of the Coromandel coast, owing to some natural calamities or antagonisms with other comunities, left that coast and merged with the Christian community of Malabar, where the community was more fully established at a still earlier date, as we have demonstrated in the rest of this study. Where was ancient Musiris? The schematic map of the region around Kodungallur gives only a faint suggestion of the landscapes of the area, which is hardly above sea level and abounding in canals and lagoons and prone to flooding in the rainy season. The landstrip, 5 to 10 Km. broad near the sea shore, shows every sign of being newly formed by the sea receding in recent times. As mentioned passim in Chapter I, it is now not possible to locate the ancient site of Musiris harbour, nor that of Mahodayapuram of the Chera Kings precisely at any of the present sites of the environs of Kodungallur. No structure or building existing today in the area can be dated back to more than 6 centuries. Although hundreds of Roman coins have been unearthed in the area, no satisfactory archaeological work has been done to identify any of the sites mentioned in early records. There is general agreement that the present Kodungallur area on the northern side of the estuary, where Periyar river joins the sea, is the continuation of the Cranganore of the 15th century, but we have no positive proofs as to where the site of the ancient Musiris Metropolis or the later Thiruvanchikulam or Mahadevarpatanam was.

There are surmises that make Parur near Kodungallur part of the ancient Musiris Metropolis (Cfr. Mundadan pp. 43, 92), while others suggest even Trichur area about 40 Km. away (e.g., J.J. Morris). Probably the great flood of 1341, mentioned above, changed the geography of the whole area beyond recognition and it would require extensive studies on archaeological excavations to arrive at definite conclusions. Vincent Smith’s opinion is worth mentioning here. (Short History of India, 1922, pp.iii-iv): "Let us consider for a moment the changes in the great rivers of India, which when seen in full flood, suggest thoughts of the ocean, rather than of inland streams....They cut and carve the soft alluvial places at their will, recking of nothing...The founders of the more important cities almost invariably built, if possible on the bank of a river, and not only that, but between two rivers in the triangle of the confluence". And when rivers have changed their course or the sea receded or taken away land, it is difficult to locate the position of old cities. This agrees very well with the general tradition of Kerala, clothed in mythical lore, called keralolpathies (treatises on the origin of Kerala, which seek to give divine origin to the special rights of the Brahmins and the caste divisions in Kerala society) that the land strip of Kerala from Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari) to Kasargod (Gokarnam) was raised out of the sea by the warrior-sage Parasurama (an incarnation of Vishnu) and was gifted to the brahmins, in order to propitiate for the killings for which he was responsible in the war against the kshatriya kings. But one fact is not disputed: that Musiris was up the mouth of the Periyar river, before it joins the Arabian sea. Hence in the complete absence of any vestiges of the ancient harbour and metropolis, the most natural site that recalls the landing place of St. Thomas, is certainly the shore of the estuary where Periyar joins the sea, that is today Azhicode on the Kodungallur side of the estuary. That was the reason why Cardinal Tisserant agreed to deposit the Ortona Relics of the Right Arm of the apostle that he brought in the modest shrine built at Azhicode, where periyar joins the sea.

Archaeological Vestiges around Kodungalloor-some details Roman coins of B. C. 123-A.D. 117 were discovered at Iyyal in the Trichur District (on 3rd Kanni 1121 ME i.e., 29th October 1945). The village of Iyyal is situated on the highway supposed to have existed connecting the ancient emporia of Tyndis and Muziris (Early Coins of Kerala, P.L. Gupta, Curator, Patna Museum, Trivandrum, 1965 published by the Government of Kerala). The exact contents of the hoard is not known. Only 12 gold and 105 silver coins were recovered from the finder and his associates and acquired under the Treasure Trove Act. While all the gold coins are Roman, 34 of the silver coins are punchmarked coins and the remaining 71 are Roman denarii. A number of Roman denarii, are either broken or are mere fragments. They are now (1965, later distributed among the various Government museums of the Kerala State) kept in the Archaeological Museum and Picture Gallery, Trichur. Another hoard of 184 silver punch-marked coins were discovered from the Kottayam District (Travancore Archaeological Department’s Report for 1121 M.E.) These coins help us to compare the time of the different hoards found in the state. Recently a large number of Roman gold coins were discovered at Parur while the compound of one Madhavi Amma was being dug by workmen. Of the nearly 2000 gold coins reported to have been found, only a fourth have come into the possession of the Government From preliminary examinations by the Archaeological department it is found that these coins also belong to the same period as the Iyyal coins. The Roman silver coins and the punch-marked coins were current in the country together and side by side, both being more or less of the same weight. Obverse and reverse of the Iyyal Roman gold coins of Tiberius (r.figure of clemency seated), Claudius (r.winged figure of Victory standing), Nero (r.a cereal wreath), Nero (r.sacerdotal objects), and Trajan (r.seated female figure). The Iyyal hoard consists of the following coins: Republican period (126-86 B. C.) 4 denarii Octavian (44-31 B.C.) 12 " Octavian from Gaul (29-27 B. C.) 1 " Augusts (Rome 17, Gaul 15, 36 " Ephesus 1, Pergamum 3) Tiberius 6 " 8 aureii Claudius (A.D.41-54) 4 " 1 " Nero (A.D.54-68) 5 " 2 " Trajan (A. d. 98-117) 1 " Like the silver punch marked coins of the hoard the Roman denarii are extremely worn; while the Roman aureii are in preserved condition. The aureus of Trajan is almost fresh. On the strength of the aureus of Trajan, and because later coins are not to be found in the hoard, the date of deposit of the hoard may be placed convincingly in circa 100 A. D. The fact that Roman coins of the first century B. C.-A.D. have been discovered in places near Palayur and parur, two of the seven St. Thomas churches indicate the contacts these areas had with Rome and how they were important in Apostolic times. The annual report of the Archaeological Department, Cochin State, Trichur, for the year 1123 M. E. (1947-48 A.d.) by P. Anujan Achan, Government Archaeologist, published from Ernakulam has reproduced the report prepared in collaboration with the Archaeological Survey Department of the Government of India of the excavation of a capstone flush monument at Porkalam in cochin State. Similar reports have been published in the other issues of the Report for other years concerning similar or other ancient mouments of prehistoric times. Reports from the Archaeological and Museum Departments of Travancore and Madras also are very helpful to study the situation and status of Kodungallur and its environs in the earliest historical times. Among the megalithic cultural vestiges of the area we come across Dolmenoid Cists, Capstone Flush, Stone Circles, Umbrella Stones, Hood-Stones, Merhirs and Burial Urns. (P. K. Gopalakrishnan, Keralathinte Samskarika Charithram has many useful pages for the study of these.) Ancient India, No. 8, 1952, article on megalithic Urn-Burial (Cochin State), p.5, by B.K. Thapar has the following: "The technique and fabric of the pottery recovered from this (Porkalam, Cochin State) monument are absolutely identical with the megalithic ware of Brahmagiri and other sites in South India....One phase of this culture has been dated at Brhmagiri tperiodbetween circa 200 B. C.and the middle of the First CenturY A.D." Also cosult Wheeler, Ancient India, No.4194748, pp. 2002, well a Appendix C, p.300. In this connection vide Plates for Roman Silver Coins and Pottery from Iyyal, which is only 6 KM from Porkalam.

Notes :

1. J. Talboys Wheeler, History of India, especially in the Preface and Appendices in Volume II (1874). Wheeler has been constrained to describe his first two volumes as ‘so called History of India’ in this preface, cf. p. VIII. The early translations of the edicts by Wilson and Prinsep printed in parallel columns in Appendix I (pp.458-471 and the two following pages) and the discussion of the Buddhist Chronicles in Appendix II (p.474 ff.) are very revealing. Ignorance concerning the actual life, times, and mission of Asoka can be perceived in practically all accounts of the monarch, Western or Eastern, before the second half of he 19th Century. The qualitative difference in our knowledge of Indian History before and after the archaeological and other advances pioneered by the western scholars and officials may be contrasted with that of Babylonian and Assyrian religion before the excavations conducted in Nineve, Asshur, Babylon, Nippur, Lagash, kish, khorsbad, & c. since 1842. (cf. Rev. A. Condamin, S.J., Babylon and Assyria, London, p.2 ff). Also with our Egyptian knowledge before the discovery in 1799 of the Rosseta Stone and the work of Champollion (and Young) and others (cf. Donald A. Mackenzie, Egyptian Myth and legend, pp.XVII to XXI of the introduction).

2. "The question appears to have been a party one among Romanists in India, in connection with other differences, and I see that the authorities now ruling the Catholics at Madras are strong in their disparagement of the special sanctity of the localities and of the whole story connecting St. Thomas with Mailapur" (Footnote 4 to the Chapter "Discoursing of the place where lieth the body of St. Thomas Apostle and of the Miracles thereof" in Travels of Marco Polo, II Yule, ed. Cordier, London, 1926. The chapter and footnotes are reproduced by the present writer in STCEI, II, 1973 p.12-14.)

3. A.E. Medlycott, Vicar Apostolic of Trichur (1887-96), India and the Apostle Thomas, London, 1905 p.20.

4. The variation of this story given by Sanjayan in the Kerala Patrika about the country of Bamkras,where all people were blind, is even more appropriate in the present context. The blind citizens asked four of their delegates to find out the truth about the elephant and got divergent reports from them. Then they began to dispute more fiercely than before, and those who had doubted the existence of the elephant, began to laugh at those who believed that the elephant existed.

5. A dozen or so questions are enumerated in: "Thoma, India’s Apostle", Malayalam article, appearing in: Pallikalakalum Mattum, Trichur, 1984 by the present writer.

6. Medlycott, op.cit, p.20. Allegations are made by the different schools even against some of the best scholars, both Western and Eastern, that they have been writing under different influences of a political, regional, religious, racial, linguistic or other nature.

7. Phrase from Jacob of Sarung, Palace the Apostle built in India, Vatican Syriac Codex CXVIII, quoted by Medlycott, op.cit., p.249.

8. The 1964 stamp shows the Ortona Silver bust and the 1973 stamp depicts the "bleeding" granite cross of St. Thomas Mount. Read more about the Relics elsewhere in this book and more about its history in Chapter IV.

9. The four areas in India well-frequented by foreign traders in I C. B.C. and I.C.A.D. were: one, Pattala/Taxila in the North-West of pre-independence India, (today’s Pakistan) connected with King Gondophares; two, Muziris or Kodungallur of the Chera Emperors; three, East Coast of India, including Mylapore; four, Barygaza (Broach)in Gujarat. It is strange that H. Comes, (Menachery, STCEI II p. 23 col.2) quotes Origen as denying the spread of the Gospel in Ariake, supposedly near Barygaza, to show that St. Thomas did not come to India. If anything, Origen’s statement proves that except the Gujarat area all other Indian provinces in contact with the West had already received the Good News viz, Taxila, Muziris and Mylapore, all three places associated with Apostle Thomas.

10. Farquhar p.3 Photographs of the coins of King Gudnaphar appear in Medlycott facing p.6; Menachery II, montage inside front cover, Sir John Marshall, A Guide to Taxila, 4th Edn, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1960, Plate III (18). Sir John writes on p. 27/28: ‘Long before any coins or inscriptions of Gondophares had been discovered, the name was known to the Western world in connexion with the mission of St. Thomas in India. The story, as told in the Alpocryphal Acts of the Apostles...Christ...sold him (Thomas) to a certain merchant named Habban, who had been commissioned by King Gondophares to procure for him a capable builder from Syria".

11. Cambridge History of India, I, p.577, quoted by Marshall, Taxila p.28.

12. Michael Edwards, A History of India, New York, 1961, p.64.

13. Id., ibid.

14. Id., ibid.

15. Marshall, Taxila, p.30

16. Id., p.27

17. Farquhar, p.31

18. Medlycott, p.248. "The Latin Passio make Caesarea the scene of the preliminary negotiation".

19. Robert L. Hohifelder, "Caesarea Maritima, Herod the Great’s City on the Sea". The National Geographic, 171/2, Feb., 1987, pp.260-279. 2000 years ago, Caesarea Maritima welcomed ships to its harbour called Sebastos. Featuring innovative design and hydraulic concrete, this building feat set a standard for harbours to come. A monumental work, city and harbour were constructed on an unstable storm-battered shore, at a site lacking a protective cape or bay. The project challenged Rome’s most skilled engineers. Hydraulic concrete blocks, some weighing 50 tons anchored the north breakwater of the artificial harbour...Caesarea Maritima, rival to Alexandria in the Eastern trade, a city worthy to be named for Herod’s patron, Caesar Augustus, master of the Roman world, in view of its opulence and magnificence.

20. ‘‘The misfortune of the Sakas was that they possessed little artistic ability of their own....At Taxila, the native art, which had blossomed for a while...had been almost entirely ousted by the Greek and when the Sakas came on the scene, Greek art itself was already in a moribund state, nor was there any prospect of its being resuscitated so long as communications with the West were cut off by the hostile Parthian empire...Not long after A.D. 19 the power of the Sakas was broken by the Parthians under Gondophares and Taxila was incorporated in an empire..." Marshall, Taxila, p.27. "As to the houses, their peculiar design was due to a violent earthquake which had devastated Taxila in the early part of the Century. The scare caused among the populace by that catastrophe led to momentous changes in the city’s architecture". Ibid p.29, "New Methods of Building".

21. Article, "Faith and Character of St. Thomas" by M. Vellanickal, in Menachery II, p.20. Also cfr. Farquhar on Judas Thomas.

22. D. Ferroli, The Jesuits in Malabar, I, Bangalore, 1939, p.58.

23. Id. Introductory, p.11

24. Id. p.58

25. From the History of India, quoted by Nagam Aiya in the Travancore State Manual, Vol. II, Trivandrum, 1906, p.115.

26. Vol. II, p.122-123. See ref. in note 4 above.

27. See A. M. Mundadan, Sixteenth Century Traditions of St. Thomas Christians, Bangalore, 1970, p.38-67.

28. All Syrian, Latin, Anglican or other Christian, native or foreign, and all secular historians speak only of Kodungallur as the port of disembarkation of the Apostle in Kerala. And naturally so, as will be evident to anyone, who has carefully considered the facts given in chapter 1 of the present volume.

29. J. Panjikaran, Christianity in Malabar w.s.r to the St. Thomas Christians, Orientalia Christiana, VI, 2, Num. 23, April 1926, Roma, p.97.

30. See Thomas Puthiakunnel, Jewish Colonies of India paved the way for St. Thomas, STCEI, II. p.26-27, alias The Malabar Church, ed. J. Vellian, Orientalia Christiana Analecta, 186, Roma, 1970, p.187 ff. But also see A.M. Mundadan, History of Christianity in India, I, 1984, pp.19-20.

31. Claudius Buchanan, London, 1814, p.126, quoted by J. Panjikaran, op. cit. pp.98-99.

32. Quoted by W.S. Hunt, op. cit. Addenda to Ch.II, p.47.

33. See quotation from the letter of St. Gregory to Augustine of England in STCEI II p. 180. "Do not pull down the fanes; destroy the idols, purify the temples with holy water, set relics there and let them become temples of the true God. So the people will have no need to change their place of concourse..." Also see Menachery, Mathrubhoomi Weekly, March 28, 1978, alias Menachery Pallikkalakalum Mattum, 1984, p.14.

34. Bernard TOCD, A Brief sketch of the History of the Thomas Christians, Trichinopoly, 1924.

35. Podipara, STCEI II, p.10.

36. Comes, STCEI II, 23.

37. J. Panjikaran, (quoting Fortescue’s The Lesser Eastern Churches, 1913, p.356) in op. cit. p.98.

38. Cyril Bruce Firth, An Introduction to Indian Church History, C.L.S. for Serampore, Madras, 1976, p.28-29.

39. Placid Podipara, loc. cit, in note 35 above.

40. See articles and papers collected in Pallikalakalum Mattum Trichur 1984. The so-called Pahlavi crosses have been discussed by a number of archaeologists, philologists and historians from different countries.

41. S.S. Koder, History of Jews in Kerala, STCEI II, pp.183-185. Also sections on Cranganore in the Cochin State Archaeological Reports, reproduced in STCEI, II, 153-159.

42. Placid, op.cit., loc cit.

43. Id. ibid.

44. T. Yeats, Indian Church History, London,1818, p.134-136.