268. The Priest Addai of Basibrina (d. 1502)

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The Priest Addai of Basibrina
(d. 1502)

Addai is son of the priest Malke, son of the priest Addai. He was born at Basibrina and studied Syriac under his uncles, Master Gurgis and the monk Yeshu. He was ordained a priest in 1464 and for a time taught at the school of his town which had more than three hundred pupils.583 He became reputed for his learning and many students were graduated under him. He was also known for his neat thick handwriting.584 In 1490 he went to Jerusalem to perform the pilgrimage and died shortly after 1502. Some of his sons became priests.

In correct but unsophisticated style, he wrote some husoyos, two of which are for the morning service of the Saturday of Lazarus,585 one for the festival of Mar Azazel, and eight for the festivals of the Saints Awgen and Basus, Thaddaeus, i.e. Addai of Basibrina.586 I have come to believe that he is the anonymous writer who continued the history of Bar Hebraeus. He is also to be commended for writing the history of a period when historical facts were rare.587 He wrote the biographies, which have been published, of patriarchs and maphrians from 1285 to 1496. Furthermore, He wrote three short tracts which have been appended to Bar Hebraeus’s Chronicle. They are as follows:
1. The invasion of the (Huns) Moguls of Diyarbakr.
2. On the destruction of Tur Abdin by Timur Lang (Tamerlane).
3. A historical tract in thirty-seven pages covering the period from 1394 to 1492. These three tracts have two copies588 and were published by Burns in 1790. The third tract, which is the longest, was re-published by Behns in 1838. The correction of the relapses we found in his edition compared with the manuscripts we have come across are slight.589