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The clement tolerance of Arab rule did not last forever. Two main circumstances contributed to the imminent change in their dealings with the Christian communities in their dominions. First, the continuous growth in the education of the Muslim rendered the caliphate less and less dependent on Christian functionaries. Thus we find increasing instances of wholesale Christian dismissals from office by the caliphs and sultans, sometimes with and often without any conceivable pretext beyond religion. Secondly, the decline of the pure Arab and the steady weakness of the caliphate against the rise in influence of non-Arab elements became over powering in the Islamic polity.

The origins of this state of things may be traced back to the reign of Caliph al-Mu’tasim (833-42), Harun al-Rashid’s son from a Turkish slave. In order to relieve himself of the influence of the Arab soldiers of Khurasan to whom the Abbasids owed the caliphate, al-Mu’tasim founded a new bodyguard of four thousand Turks and Turcomans from Central Asia. The caliph miscalculated the outcome of his decision. Even in his own lifetime they became so aggressive in the capital that he found it necessary to remove the seat of government north to Samarra,1 on the Tigris. In the following century their influence kept growing until they literally seized most of the power and wrested the title of sultan from the caliphs, who became figureheads by the end of the eleventh century.

Like the Barbarians before the fall of the Roman Empire, they barbarized the caliphate with their ignorance and bigotry. Their treatment of the Christians and their behaviour in the holy places helped to precipitate the Crusades. They formed their own dynasties, of which the Saljuq was the most redoubtable, and their unbridled oppression directly affected the life of the Jacobite church in upper Mesopotamia. Legal restrictions, overlooked in the early centuries, were frequently enforced from the tenth century onwards. 2 In reality, the tenth, eleventh and twelfth centuries might aptly be described as the age of decline of Syrian Christianity and the fall of Syriac literature.

We look in vain for a great name in the Jacobite church during the tenth century. A certain John son of Maron (d. 1003), a monk of the convent of Gubos near Melitene (Malatiya), described as an ‘ocean of wisdom’, compares badly with the older masters of Syriac learning. He wrote an unimportant treatise on Solomon’s Proverbs, and his real contribution was more as a copyist than an author. Still more insignificant and pitiful was the story of Mark bar Kiki, who was elevated to the maphrianate of Tekrit under the name of Ignatius in 991. His diocesans drove him out of that dignity owing to his abusive character, and he apostatized to Islam in 1016. Later, however, he recanted and wrote a poem in debased Syriac on his downfall. 3 Nor did the eleventh century yield any great names.
The historians of Syriac literature quote two modest names – Yeshu’ bar Shushan (or Jesus bar Susanna) and Ignatius, monk of the convent of Mar Aaron. The first became patriarch in 1058 under the name of John X, was forced to abdicate in the interest of a rival in 1064, but he was re-elected in the same year. He died at Amid in 1072 after a troubled reign which was symptomatic of the times. He engaged himself in a discussion with the Armenians over the use of yeast, oil and salt in the bread prepared for holy communion, wrote some liturgical texts and composed four Syriac poems on the pillage of Melitene by the Turks. Ignatius became bishop of Melitene in 1061 and died in 1095 after writing an obscure chronicle based on Jacob of Edessa and Dionysius of Tellmahre (known only to Michael the Syrian). One year after his death the city was sacked by the Turks, and his successor, Bishop John (original name, Saeid bar Sabhuni), was massacred along with other Jacobites. 4

The sterility of the Jacobite church and of Jacobite Syriac literature continued until the middle of the twelfth century, when suddenly a revival took place with the appearance of three names of universal fame, indeed the last great names to be encountered in their annals. These were Dionysius Bar Salibi, Michael the Syrian and Gregorius Bar Hebraeus – the most illustrious in later medieval Jacobite history.

Dionysius bar Salibi, 5 a native of Melitene, was enthroned as bishop of Mareash (Germanicia), to which the Jacobite Patriarch Athanasius VIII annexed Mabbog in 1154. Then he was transferred in 1166 by Michael I to the more substantial diocese of Amid (Diyarbekr), where he remained until his decease in 1171. His works embrace a wide variety of subjects and he wrote at very great length. They include vast commentaries on the Old and New Testaments, 6 and others on the Centuries of Evagrius and on Fathers and Doctors of the church. He compiled a Compendium of Theology, wrote a treatise on the providence of God, and a multitude of tracts on the Nicene Creed, the Jacobite confession and many other topics. He left a copious treatise against heresies including the faiths of Muhammadans, Jews, Nestorians and Chalcedonian Diophysites. Apparently, he stabilized the Syriac liturgy with an interpretation, two more anaphorae and several pre-anaphoral prayers, known as sedras. His homilies are quite numerous. In the field of philosophy he was chiefly occupied with a number of books from Aristotle. He composed several poems dealing with the Muslim capture of Edessa by Zangi in 1144, the fall of Mar’ash to the Armenians (who seized him therewith as a prisoner of war) in 1156, and on the maphrian who fell and married a Muslim woman. He is said to have written a chronicle of his own times. No wonder he has been described as the star of the twelfth century in Jacobite history. 7

His other remarkable contemporary was Michael the Syrian, surnamed the Great.8 Born at Melitene in 1126, he embraced monasticism at an early age in the renowned convent of Barsuama in the neighbourhood of his native town. At the age of thirty he became an archimandrite. Then he resisted the temptation of preferment to the bishopric of Amid (Diyarbekr) in 1165 for fear of losing the solitude of contemplation and the freedom to follow his literary pursuits. But destiny had a heavier burden and a greater career in store for him. On the decease of the Jacobite Patriarch Athanasius VIII in the following year, Michael was elected to succeed him at the unusually early age of thirty-one. He remained at the helm until his death in 1199, during a period in which the Middle East was the scene of momentous events. It was the age of Saladin and the Third Crusade (1189-92). Michael appears to have been in amicable relationship with the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Crusaders; but, unlike the Armenians and the Maronites, he remained impervious to the hazards of proselytizing Rome and of submission to the papacy.

The patriarch’s life had, however, been embittered by the treacherous behaviour of his own disciple Theodore bar Wahbun9 in regard to the relations between the Jacobite and Byzantine churches. In 1170 the Emperor Manuel despatched a certain Theorianus with special letters to the Armenian catholicos and the Jacobite patriarch for the reunion of the Eastern churches with Constantinople. Michael objected to granting audience to the imperial emissary and sent John of Kaisun to confer with him in a preliminary way at Qal ‘at al-Ram in Cilicia. Apparently it was agreed to hold a conference10 in which the representatives of the churches might have the opportunity to discuss the problems at issue, and Michael appointed Theodore as the Jacobite delegate. Later, Theodore accused the patriarch of Chalcedonian leanings and ultimately got himself elected anti-patriarch at Amid (Diyarbekr) in 1180. Michael, who happened to be in Antioch at the time, acted swiftly by seizing his opponent, whom he deposed and imprisoned at the convent of Barsauma. Theodore managed to flee to Damascus in the hope of placing the case before Saladin. Doubting the sultan’s reactions, he decided to change his course to Cilicia, where he joined the Armenian catholicos Gregorios Degha and King Leo, who reinstated him as patriarch of the Jacobites within their realm. Michael’s tribulations came to an end only with the death of Bar Wahban in 1193. Michael was indeed a fine scholar and a great linguist. He was conversant with Greek, Armenian and Arabic in addition to his own native Syriac. On the authority of Bar Hebrxus, he wrote his case against his adversaries in the Arabic tongue.
In spite of all those vexatious occurrences and the weight of his patriarchal duties, Michael must have laboured day and night in writing the admirable works he left to the church. 11 His most valuable and most formidable literary contribution is, of course, his Chronicle, long famous in Europe through an abridged Armenian version12 until the discovery of the complete Syriac text, now in print with a French rendering. 13 The Chronicle begins with the Creation and ends with the year 1195. Approximately half of his material was compiled from sources and documents mostly lost. The author cites many of those sources both in his preface and in the course of his text. 14 He intended to follow the example of Eusebius in the original plan of the book by dividing his material into three categories: sacerdotal, temporal and miscellaneous – each in a special column from right to left. But he had to discard that system at a later date in favour of a unique and continuous text where his Syrian and ecclesiastical interests were apparent. In using the sources, his primary task was one of co-ordination rather than critical selection. But he undoubtedly succeeded in handling the material at his disposal with integrity, though it would be unfair to expect of him the critical method of another age. The work ends with a number of appendices15 in which Michael compiled data pertaining to the Eastern churches and extensive lists of the Jacobite patriarchs, including a note on each of them since Severus of Antioch (512) as well as the bishops consecrated by them since Kyriakos (792).

Apart from the Chroncle, Michael wrote numerous other books, mainly of an ecclesiastical character. He prepared a liturgy in which prayers were arranged in alphabetical order, and he revised the Pontifical and ritual of ordinations. He also brought together the scattered and disjointed accounts of the life of Mar Abhai, a legendary fourth-century Nicean bishop, and re-edited the whole in consecutive form. His aim was probably the defense of the cult of sacred relics. It must be remembered that Michael remained an inveterate enemy of iconoclasm and extolled the reverence of Christians towards icons and relics alike. In common with most notable Jacobite writers, he also left several prayers, (or sedras), of which some appear under his name in prayer-books. Among his homilies, one is devoted to John of Mardin and another to St Barsauma. He refers in his Chronicle to other works, including a Profession of the Faith addressed to Emperor Manuel, a Refutation of the Errors of Mark ibn Qunbar (a schismatic Coptic priest who is presumed to have fallen under the spell of the Msallian movement). He also wrote a treatise against the Albigenses on the occasion of an invitation to the third Lateran Council held in 1179, as well as a panegyric of Dionysius bar Salibi, and a poem on the constancy of a Christian young woman whom the Muslims failed to convert to their religion. 16

As a historian Michael had a thirteenth-century successor who continued his good work. The unique manuscript of that valuable continuation, found in private hands at Constantinople, happened to be a mutilated fourteenth-century copy of a lost original reaching back to 1234. The author was probably a monk of the convent of Barsauma, still the seat of the Jacobite patriarchate at that date. He planned his chronicle in two separate sections both as a secular and as an ecclesiastical history. 17

With the coming of the thirteenth century, it will be noted, the process of Arabicizing the Jacobite people had made such progress that only few felt the need or urge to use Syriac any more as a vehicle for literary writing. Arabic, hitherto confined to official state proceedings, now made its incursions into the fields of the intellect and of literature.

The last of the great Jacobite writers, Gregory Abul-Faraj, surnamed Bar Hebraeus, 18 wrote both in Syriac and in Arabic with equal facility and felicity. His command of the Arabic tongue was at the opposite pole from his surprising ignorance of Greek. 19 In subsequent ages Syriac was restricted to its present function as the liturgical language of the Church, and its long-standing impact on creative thought faded away.

In conclusion, however, we must outline the life and work of Bar Hebraeus, a great Jacobite churchman and the last entitled to claim a lofty place in Syriac science and letters.

Born of in 1226 at Melitene (Malatiya), he died at Maraghah in Azerbaijan in the summer of 1286. As a youth he must have witnessed the horrors of the invasions of Hulagu Khan’s Mongol hordes, since his family fled from its native citv in 1243, shortly after the fall of Melitene (Malatiya). They settled down at Antioch, still in the bands of the Franks during the Crusade period. It was there that he took holy orders and went to Tripoli to study philosophy and medicine. Then the Jacobite Patriarch Ignatius II consecrated him as bishop of Gubos (near his old home town Melitene) in 1246. He was only twenty years old.

In the following year he was transferred to the adjoining see of Lacabane (Laqabhin), also in the Malatiya district. In 1252, he became involved in one of the recurring Jacobite schisms: Ignatius II died in that year, and the patriarchate was claimed bv two rivals – Dionysius (Aaron Anjur) and John bar Madani. 20 Bar Hebraeus espoused the cause of the first, who transferred him to the diocese of Aleppo in the hope that he might gain its congregation for his cause. But apparently their loyalty to Bar Madani was too great, and they drove Bar Hebraeus out of their city, whereupon he retired to the convent of Barsauma near his chosen patriarch. Ultimately, however, he returned to Aleppo in 1258, where he stayed until the next patriarch, Ignatius III, elevated him to the maphrianate of the Orient in 1264. This he retained until his death in 1286.

For the last twenty years of his life, he dedicated himself with unflinching assiduity to a double cause.
In the first place, he committed himself not only to the service of his own community but also to all Christians, irrespective of their profession or their creed.
In the second place, he devoted a great deal of his energy to the fulfillment of a literary and scientific project with few equivalents in the history of authorship. His decease was an occasion of public mourning, and we are told that even Greeks, Armenians and Nestorians marched side by side with the Jacobites at his funeral. His remains were later transferred to the monastery of Mar Mattai near Mosul, where they rest to the present day.21

As to his literary output, even a brief survey would leave the mind wondering how a man could cover such a wide range in the span of threescore years of a troubled existence. Bar Hebraeus was a man of many-sided interest and encyclopedic knowledge. Historian, Biblical exegete, theologian, canonical jurist, philosopher, grammarian, poet, man of letters and science, astronomer, physician and encyclopedist – he was a true forerunner of the nomo universale of the Renaissance. It may be hazardous to contend that he had his own system of philosophy based on the universality of knowledge and, like Ramon Lull and Roger Bacon in medieval Europe, set himself the task of covering its first and last principles in Syriac and Arabic. But the proposition is nevertheless worthy of consideration.

In the world of scholarship Bar Hebraeus’ fame chiefly rests on his contribution to historical studies. He attempted the compilation of universal history in three chronicles: the Chronicon syriacum22 and the Chronicon ecciesiasticum23 written in Syriac, and what may be described as the Chronicon arabicum, which he composed towards the end of his life in forceful Arabic style under the title Epitome of the History of Dynasties24 (Mukhtasar Tarikh al-Duwal). He must have availed himself of a multitude of Syriac, Arabic and Persian sources already assembled by his predecessor Michael the Great, to which he added many acquisitions. The author covered the whole history of mankind from the Creation, and, for all the early annals, he summed up Michael the Syrian’s Chronicle. The secular history from the Creation to his day is somewhat general in character, and the ecclesiastical history from Aaron to the post-apostolic age is brief, but then it becomes the story of the patriarchate of Antioch up to Severus, being narrowed down to the Monophysite and Jacobite offshoot to the year 1285-86.

It ends with an account of the maphrianate and maphrians of Tekrit, with careful notices on the Nestorian patriarchs. 25 The chronicle was continued to 1288 by his own brother Barsauma, who had succeeded him as maphrian and who compiled a list of thirty monumental works bearing Bar Hebraeus’ name. An anonymous author of less distinction made a second continuation of the same chronicle to 1496. In the Arabic compendium Bar Hebraeus enriched the work with additional data on Islamic dynasties in response to a request from his Muslim friends.26

As a Biblical exegete, he compiled a voluminous repertory of glosses and commentaries on the Scriptural texts of the Peshitta, Hexapla and Harklean versions with innumerable quotations from Athanasius, Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, Gregory of Nyssa, Hippolytus, Origen, Philoxenus, Severus of Antioch, Jacob of Edessa, Moses bar Kepha and Yeshudad of Marw the Nestorian. He used all those ecclesiastical sources in Syriac or Arabic, and his erudition was phenomenal. Owing to the decline in the knowledge of Syriac, he enriched the work with many remarks on Syriac grammar and lexicography together with the precise pronunciation of words and dialectic differences between Nestorian and Jacobite. He gave his study the title Storehouse of Secret27 (Horreum mysteriorum) which betrays, like most of the titles of his other books, the influence of the system of Arab authors. 28 He dealt with Monophysite theology at great length in two other books: Lamp of the Sanctuory and Book if Rays, 29 the latter summing up the basic arguments for popular use. His Book of the Dove 30 is an ascetical work intended for the guidance of monks and recluses and is based on his own experience, which he detailed in an autobiography at the end.
Canon law claimed his attention, too, since the church under the caliphate handled the affairs of its own members. Hence the bishops were the sole judges of their congregations in all ecclesiastical matters and to a great extent in cases of civil law. He thus compiled what was invaluable to the clergy – the Book of Directions, commonly called Nomcanon, which comprised a practical guide for all manner of legal usage. 31

In the field of philosophy he read the Arabs voraciously and translated into Syriac numerous philosophical treatises, including ibn Sina’s (Avicenna) Book of Directions and Notifications. 32 On logic and dialectics, Bar Hebraeus wrote a Book of the Pupils of Eyes. His compendium entitled, Book of Speech and Wisdom is a survey of dialectics, physics and metaphysics (which stands for theology). He confided the completest Syriac Aristotelian discipline to a monumental encyclopedic work called the Cream of Science, 33 in which he presented the sum of knowledge from Arab sources in three large parts. The first contained a study of logic, dialectic, rhetoric, art and poetry and all allied subjects. The second dealt with physics, the sky and the universe, meteors, generation and corruption, minerals, plants, animals, and the soul. The third is subdivided into one section devoted to metaphysics (or theology) according to Syrians and another comprising ethics, economic and political sciences. Owing to the vast nature of the work, he composed an abridgement of it called Trade if Trades (Mercatura mercaturarum).

His knowledge of mathematics and astronomy must have been very considerable. He lectured on Euclid at the school of the Maraghah Convent in 1272. He drew up the Zij, or astronomical tables, much used by the Arabs. Then he wrote his definitive treatise on astronomy and cosmography under the title Ascent of the Mind, 34 which he adorned with mathematical figures and numerous illustrations.

We must, however, remember that the original vocation of Bar Hebraeus was medicine, which he apparently continued to practice even as a prelate. He tells us in his ecclesiastical history that he treated in 1263 the Tartar ‘King of Kings’. He wrote and translated into Syriac and Arabic many books on medicine and materia medica. Into Syriac, too, he made an abridged rendering of Dioscorides’ famous treatise De medicamentis simplicibus. He summarized in the same language al Ghafiqi’s Arabic Book of Simples (Kitab al-Adwiyah al-Mufidah). He commented in Arabic on Galen’s De elementis and De temperamentis as well as Hippocrates’ Aphorisms. He also published a Syriac abridgement and commentary on Hunayn ibn Ishaq’s Arabic Questiones medica. He translated into his native tongue most of ibn Sina’s al-Qanum fi al-Tibb and wrote a comprehensive medical treatise without a special title, also in Syriac. 35

As a grammarian, his works have long served many generations of Orientalists in the study of the Syriac Language. The most elaborate of his grammatical compendia, entitled Book of Splendours, was compiled on the model of extensive Arabic 36 works in the field; and he made a rhymed synopsis of it, possibly in imitation of the famous Arabic Alfiyat ibn Malik. His poetry, too, has attracted much attention for centuries. The Carmina de divina sapientia was edited with a Latin rendering as early as the seventeenth century. 37 He tried his pen at all manner of projects, such as the Interpretation of Dreams which he composed in his youth and a collection of tales of wit and wisdom. 38 All this together with a complete liturgy and a Profession of the Faith 39 among the long list of his works were accomplished in times of political, ecclesiastical and international unsettlement; and before the age of sixty, Bar Hebraeus achieved a glorious finale to the long annals of Syriac letters and learning.

1. This is an old Assyrian name which was transformed in Arabic to Sura man ra’a, that is, “Pleased is he who sees it’. The contemporary twisted the sense by diverting the pleasure to him who sees Baghdad well rid of the Turke ( Hitti Arabe p.66).
2. See note from Brown (pp. 46-7) and al-Mawardi (Les Statuis Gouvernmentaux, tr. Fagnan) quoted on Nestorians.

3. Chabot, p. 115; baumstark, p. 291; Wright, pp. 222-5; Duval, pp. 396-7.

4. Baumstark, pp. 291-3; Chabot, pp. 120-1; Wright, pp. 225-7; Duval, pp. 296-7.

5. His original name was george bar Salibi , and the new name of Dionysius was given to him when he became bishop.

6. Wrigt, pp. 246-7; Chabot, pp. 123-4. The order in the O.T. is: pentateuch, Job, Joshua, Judges, samuel and Kings, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Lamentations, Ezckiel, daniel, the Twelve Minor Prophets, and Ecclesiasticus. The order of the N.T. is thus: the four Gospels, St.John’s Revelation, Acts of the Apostles, the seven Apostolic Epistles, and St.Paul’s fourteen Epistles. The O.T. books usually have two commentaries: the one material of corporal, and the other spiritual or mystic, otherwise allegorical or symbolic.

7. Baumstark, pp. 295-8; Wright, pp. 246-50; Chabot, pp.123-5; Duval, pp. 399-400.

8. Also known as Michael the Elder, son of the priest Elias, to distinguish him from his nephew Michael the Younger; Wright, p. 250, n. 3.

9. Baumstark, pp.300-1; Chabot, pp. 127-8; Wright, pp.253-4;Duval, p.401.

10.The Greek Acts of this Conference have been found and published in Migne, P.G.,CXXXIII; cf.Chabot, p.128.

11. According to the testimony of Bar Hebrzus;cf.Chabot, p.125.

12.The armenian version, begun by the Vartabed david, was completed by the priest Isaac in 1248. Sections of it were published by delaurier in Journal Asiatique(1848), pp. 281 et.seq., and (1849), pp. 315 st.seq. Afterwards the whole translation was made by V.Langlois, Chronique de michel Le Syrien (Paris, 1868). Michael’s works were popular in Armenia from an early date, and a third person, the Vartabed Vartan, attempted to translate the rest of his works into Armenian. Cf. Wright, p.252.

13. The unique Syriac text, dated 1598, was discovered by Mgr. Rahmani at Urfa(Edessa). Edited with a french tr. By J. B. Chabot, Chronique de Michel le Syrien, Patriarche jacobite d’Antioche, 1166-99, 4 vols. (Paris, 1899-1925).
14. In the first six books, Michael relied on Eusebius for history from the Creation to Constantine. Then he used Socrates and theodoret for the years 325-431 A.D., Zaccharias Rhetor for 431-505, Cyrus of Batna for 565-82, John of Asia for 325-582, jacob of Edessa and John of Litharba for 325-726, Dionysius of Tellmahre for 582-842, Ignatius of Melitene for 325-1118, basil of edessa for 1118-43, and finally John of Kaisun and Dionysius bar Salibi for his contemporary hitory. The whole work comprises thirty-one books divided into many chapters.

15. A total of six appendices(Chronique, IV, 427-524). The episcopal lists contain 950 names, mostly unknown (Chabot, Litt. Syr., pp. 126-7). These lists have been extensively by Honigmann in his two books (Eveques et Eveches and Couvent de Barsauma.

16. Chabot, Litt. Syr., p. 127.
17. Chabot, Litt. Syr., pp.129-30. Both text ad French translation of the Chronique Anonyme de 1234 have been published by Chabot (paris 1916-20).

18. The Syriac Bar Iibraya and Arabic Ibn al-Ibri, that is, son of the Hebrew, thus denoting his ancestry. His Father, a certain Aaron, was a converted jew who became established as a physician in Melitene.

19. Wright, p. 266, says that Bar Hebrzus devoted his boyhood to learning Greek and Arabic; but Chabot, Litt. Syr., p. 133, wigtly noted that all his eferences to the Greek authors were made second-hand because he did not know any Greek at all. It would appear that by that time, most of The hellenic heritage had found its way into Arabic.

20. Bar Madani was maphrian of Tekrit. Owing to his unattractive personality, he was forced by the people of Mosul to leave the city. He retired to Baghdad, where he was in favour with three jacobite brothers, Shams-al-Dahlah, Fakhr-al-Daulah and Taj-al-Daulah, the sons of a certain Thomas-all physicians of influence at the court of Caliph-al-Mustansir. He returned on his election to the patrirchate, but was never able to reigh freely until the Anti-Patriarch Dionysius was assasinated at the Convent of Barsauma in 1261. He died in 1263. Details of thoses scandalous events are given by Bar hebrzus; cf. R. Duval, op. Cit., p. 407.

21. Assemani, Bibl. Orient., II, 244 et. Seq; duval, pp. 408-11; Wright, pp. 265-81; Baumstark, pp. 312-20; Chabot, Litt. Syr., pp. 131-7.

22. Inadequatley edited with a Latin translation for the first time by P. J. Bruns and G. G. Kirsch, bar Hebrai Chron. Syr., 2 vols. (Leipzing, 1789). Syrian text more satisfactorily re-edited by P. bedjan (Paris, 1890), but without translation.

23. Edited with latin translation and noted by J. B. Abbeloos and Th. J. Lamy, Chron eccles., 2 vols. In 3 (Louvain, 1872-7).

24. Arabic text without trans. Ed. A. Salhani (beruit, 1890). Earliar edn. With Latin tr. E. Pocoke, Historia compendiosa Dynastiarum (Oxford , 1663). See also E.A Wallis Budge, The Cbronography Of Bar Hebraus, 2 vols. (London, 1932).

25. Chabot, Litt. Syr., p.132, states that for his material on the Nestorian patriarchs he used freely a week in Arabic by a twelfth-century Nestorian writer called Mari ibn Sulaiman. This word, Kitab al-Majdal (Book of the Tower), extent in two vols. In the Vatican collection, is often wrongly ascribed to Ame ibn Matta of Tirhan. The MS is a copy dated 1401 and is theological, dramatical and historical; Wright , pp. 255-6.

26. Bar Hebracus knew the oldre outstanding Arab historians such as al-Waqidi (d.ca.823), al-Baladhuri (d.892), al-Tabari (d.923), al-Masudi (d.c. 956), al-Kindi (d.961), al-Qudai (d.1062), and probably ibn al-Athir (d.1234) who had written in the early decades of the same century.

27. Preface of work published by Cardinal Wieseman (Rome, 1828), and numerous sections produced as doctoral these in Germany; see lists in Baumstark, pp. 314-15. Definitive ed. And English tr. By M. Sprengling and W.S Graham, Bar Hebraus Scholia on the Old Testament (Chicago, 1931), based mainly on the oldest text in Florence dated 1278. Cf. Chabot. Litt. Syr., pp. 133-4.

28. The Arabic system of using flowery rhymed titles without donating the nature of contents. Another influence of Arabic is the use of the lengthy gloss (Ar. Hasbiya,Hawdabi) so common in Quranic commentaries and jurisprudence(Fiqb).

29. Chabot, Litt. Syr., i34.

30. La Livre de la Colombe, ed. P. bedjian(Paris, 1898); English tr. A. J. Wensinck, Book of the Dove (Leiden, 1919); cf.Chabot, op. Cit., p. 135.

31. Chabot, Litt Syr., p. 134; Wright, pp. 276-8.

32. Kitab al-Isharat wal-Tanbidat; Wright, p. 270. See also A. Baumstark, Geschicht Syrischen literature (Bonn, 1922), p. 317.

33. Chabot, op. Cit., p.135; Wright, pp. 269-70.

34. Pub. By F. nau, livre de l’espril( paris, 1899); cf. Chabot, op. Cit. Pp. 135-6. The work is divided in two books; one on heavenly bodies and another on earth and the relations between the heavenly and earthly bodies, astrnomy and astrology being interwoven.

35. Wright, pp. 271-3; Baumstark, p. 318; H. F. Wustenfeld, Geschichte der arabischen Arzte und Naturforscher (Gottingen, 1840), pp. 145-6 (no.240)

36. Pauline martin, Euvres grammaticales d’ Abou’l-Faraj, dit Bar hebreus (Paris, 1872); Axel Moberg made a german version of the bigger grammar with critical notices (Leipzing, 1907; 1913); cf. Wrigt, p. 273, and Chabot, op., p. 136. Apparently Bar hebrzus left a third grammar unfinished.

37. By Gabriel Sionita, De sapientia divina poema anigmaticym (paris, 1638); re-issued by Yohanna Notayn al-Dar’uni, Carmen de divina sapientia (Rome, 1880); cf. Chabot, p. 136, and Wright, p. 280.

38. Published in Syriac and Eglish by E.W.Wallis, Laughable Stories (London, 1896); cf. Chabot, p. 136.

39. Translated into latin by E. Renaudot, Liturgiarum orientalium collectio, 2 vols. (Paris, 1716), II, 455 ff., Duval, p. 410.
* Excerpts from : A History of Eastern Christianity. By: Dr. Aziz S. Atiya. Copyright @, 1968 .Reprinted by permission of Methuen & Co Ltd.