286. The Chorepiscopus Yaqub (Jacob) of Qutrubul (d. 1783)

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The Chorepiscopus Yaqub (Jacob) of Qutrubul
(d. 1783)

The Chorepiscopus Yaqub is son of the Deacon Tuma (Thomas) known as Ibn al-Khawaja. He was born at Qutrubul, a village of Amid. He studied Syriac under masters of his time and mastered its fundamentals and literature. He was ordained a deacon and later an archdeacon. About 1771 he was ordained a priest and eight years later he became a chorepiscopus. He died in 1783. In 1764 he wrote a book on Syriac etymology, entitled The Rose of Learning. It consists of three hundred seventy-eight large size pages, divided into twenty-three parts, which in turn are subdivided into one hundred sixty-three chapters. It was studied by both students and teachers. Its original copy in his own handwriting is at Diyarbakr.649 From it he abridged a book on conjugation.650 Furthermore, he composed three fine rhymed odes, one of them in the heptasyllabic meter on the Trinity and the unity of God, arranged according to the alphabet. The second covered five pages on divine wisdom in the dodecasyllabic meter. It contains some good verse, and is appended to the book of his work.651 The third consists of eighteen lines in which he laments the decline of learning among the later Syrians.652 In 1766 he composed the obligatory prayer and five husoyos for the festival of Mar Malke, written in his very beautiful handwriting. They are extant at the Church of Diyarbakr. His composition is efficient but it is marred by complexity and his frequent use of Greek terms, which appear incongruous.