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The name Batnaya is of Aramaic origin derived from either "Beth Tnyay" meaning "The House of Mud" or "Beth Tnaya" meaning "The House of Assiduity".
In the past Batnaya used to be famous for making matting from the reeds its people used to cultivate in the valley of al-Khoser river. Currently, some of its inhabitants are cultivating different kinds of crops while others are involved in non-agricultural trades.
Batnaya used to be called "Beth Madaye" meaning the "House of the Medes" where it's believed that a group of the Medes who followed the Median monk Oraham (Abraham) settled there around the seventh century. It's also believed that Christianity reached Batnaya around that time.
As all the other currently Chaldean Catholic villages, Batnaya used to follow the Assyrian Church of the East rite, referred to as Nestorian by the Catholic Church, till the sixteenth century when finally the efforts of the Catholic Church gained fruit and the Eastern Church was divided. However, again as is the case with all the other villages of the plain of Nineveh, Catholicism did not gain ground till around mid 18th century.
Batnaya was attacked by the army of Nader Shah in 1743 who destroyed the village extensively and is believed to have killed half of its inhabitants.
In 1944 the Mar Qeryaqos Church was built on the ruins of a monastery by the same name believed to have been built early 15th century. A second but smaller church Mart Maryam was built in 1866, while the church of Mar Gewargis was mentioned in an inscription dating 1745.
In Batnaya are several inscriptions, one dating to 1545 by Darweesh bin Yohanan from the village of Aqreen is entitled "Prayers for the Dead", another one is a complete bible inscribed in Syriac by the priest Ataya bin Faraj bin Marqos of Alqosh dating 1586.
- Originally based on an article by betnahrain.net , licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, used with permission.