255. The Priest Isaiah of Basibrina (d. 1425)

Posted by on Aug 23, 2019 in Library, Scholars and Writers | Comments Off on 255. The Priest Isaiah of Basibrina (d. 1425)

The Priest Isaiah of Basibrina
(d. 1425)

The priest Isaiah is the son of the deacon Denha, son of Tuma (Thomas) Kughaym of Basibrina. He was a good writer and poet whose poetry is clear and natural. He flourished in the last two decades of the fourteenth and the first quarter of the fifteenth centuries. He travelled to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage, an unusual accomplishment in those times, in 1417 and died in 1425.522 He was the master of language in his time. He established a school in his town which was the center of the Syriac language. Many studied language and religious sciences under him. For generations his family inherited and preserved these sciences. He composed two odes in the twelve-syllabic meter describing the calamities inflicted by Timur Lang (Tamerlane) upon the Middle East in general and Tur Abdin in particular. In one of these odes he criticized those who are not qualified and yet fight for offices of the priesthood. The first one begins thus, “O God who art incomprehensible by mind.”523 It was published by Qirdahi.524 The second one begins thus: “Hear my brethren and marvel.”525 He also wrote a song beginning thus: “I am drunk with sorrow and torment.” He drew up a husoyo for the festival of the martyrs Addai the Apostle, Abhai and Mama in 1391 beginning with: “Praise be to the shining sun,”526 and finally he organized the order for the marriage of widows and wrote an introduction for it.527