276. The Patriarch Nimat Allah (1587)

Posted by on Apr 13, 2008 in Library, Scholars and Writers | Comments Off on 276. The Patriarch Nimat Allah (1587)

The Patriarch Nimat Allah

Nimat Allah is son of the Maqdisi Yuhanna Nur al-Din. He was born at Mardin and in 1535, while still young, he went to the Zafaran Monastery where he became a monk. He studied church sciences and Syriac literature and was ordained a priest. He also studied a little of history, logic, astronomy, geodesy, medicine and the art of drawing. He was ordained a maphrian of the East in 1555 and later elevated to the Patriarchal throne at the beginning of 1557 under the name Ignatius. He resided at Amid but also administered the dioceses of Edessa and Syria. In 1562 he went to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage. He became popular for his good conduct, impressive stature and pleasant company. After having ordained nineteen metropolitans and bishops he was afflicted by a misfortune on March 10, 1576, which forced him to relinquish his position and leave secretly for a monastery near Sivas. He composed an ode eulogizing himself and his misfortune and his separation from his relatives. He left the East helpless and broken-hearted because of injustice, and arrived in Rome in October, 1576. In Rome he became known for his knowledge. He assisted astronomers in amending the Gregorian calendar. But he spent his life in grief. He most likely adopted the Roman doctrine and having become a Roman Catholic, died shortly after 1587.613
Patriarch Nimat Allah’s prose is excellent although it is involved and intricate in some parts. One of his writings is a letter apologizing for himself614 and a tract he wrote in 1580 describing in detail the kingdoms of Europe, especially Italy,615 and a treatise on the Gregorian calendar.616 His Syriac poetry is clear and his rhymed ode in the twelve syllabic meter is a fine one. Only fifty lines of it have reached us.617 He also has some writings in Arabic which are not totally free from grammatical mistakes.618