252. The Monk Daniel of Mardin (1382)

Posted by on Aug 19, 2019 in Library, Scholars and Writers | Comments Off on 252. The Monk Daniel of Mardin (1382)

The Monk Daniel of Mardin

Daniel, who is also known as Ibn Isa, is an eminent learned man. He was born at Mardin in 1327, became a monk and then was ordained a priest at the Qatra Monastery. He studied and excelled in the Syriac language. Burned by desire to continue his studies, Daniel went to Egypt in 1356, where he spent seventeen years studying Arabic literature, dialectics and philosophy. Later he returned to his own country.509 He wrote in pleasant Arabic Kitab Usul al-Din (The Book of the Fundamentals of Religion) for which he was persecuted by the tyrant ruler, but the people ransomed him in 1382. In a tract written in Syriac he related his adversity.510 He also abridged Bar Hebraeus’s books Semhe (The Book of Lights), Ausar Roze (The Storehouse of Secrets) and the Ethikon, all of which are lost. He composed nine lines of verse rebuking a morally corrupt priest,511 and abridged in Arabic seventeen chapters of Bar Hebraeus’s book Hudoye (Nomocanon),512 and wrote Arabic comments on a Syriac version of the same book,513 as well as dialectical and philosophical comments on the margin of Bar Hebraeus’s The Cream of Wisdom.514 Furthermore, he wrote a book in Arabic entitled Usul al-Din wa Shifa Qulub al-Muminin (The Fundamentals of Religion and the Healing of the Hearts of Believers) of which five copies are extant.515 A commentary on the Nicene Creed has been ascribed to him.516 Some scribes, however, misidentified him with his namesake and master, Daniel ibn al-Hattab, a contemporary of Bar Hebraeus. It is also reported that he composed two lines of verse against Khamis Qirdahi, the Nestorian poet.517 The scribe who copied the letter of Yeshu bar Kilo in 1290 mentioned for him a book called The Verification of Our Belief which may be the same book written by Ibn al-Hattab.