264. Master Yeshu of Basibrina (d. 1492)

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Master Yeshu of Basibrina
(d. 1492)

Master Yeshu is son of the priest Isaiah of the Khughaym family. He studied the Syriac language and its literature under his father. He renounced worldly life and entered the Qartamin Monastery, where he led an ascetic life. He was ordained a priest before 1439 and for sometime he followed the life of a stylite. Under him studied a group of eminent church dignitaries as well as monks and priests from Tur Abdin. He lived much longer than his own colleagues and died at a very old age in 1492. He wrote the following:
1. Forty husoyos for the following: the Friday of Gold, the morning service of the Assumption of the Virgin, for the saints Philoxenus, Aaron, Barbara, Shimun Zaytuni, Shallita, Aho, Mary Magdalene, Simon and Quma the stylites, the Egyptian ascetics, Ibrahim the ascetic of the high mountain, Daniel, Malke, Demete, Addai, Sergius and Bachus and Jareth. He used Greek terms in the husoyo of Mar Aho and arranged it together with the husoyo of the evening of the festival of Mar Daniel according to the alphabet. We found these husoyos in Tur Abdin, particularly Basibrina. Yeshu’s prose is good but inferior to that of Abu Nasr of Bartulli.
2. A complete order for the feast of Mar Dodo (David).556
3. An ode in the twelve-syllabic meter, covering fifty-three pages in praise of Mar Dodo557 and another ode in the heptasyllabic meter lamenting himself.558
4. Organization of the twenty-four Sundays following Easter.559
Yeshu’s verse is mediocre but he has transcribed manuscripts which testify to his excellent calligraphy and punctuation of texts.