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Ibn aṭ-Ṭaiyib

(152 words)

Author(s): Gerö, Stephen
[German Version] (died 1043 in Baghdad). The East Syrian Nestorian (Nestorianism) scholar Abū l-Farağ ʿAbdallāh ibn aṭ-Ṭaiyib was not only a trained physician but also a philosopher, theologian, and exegete. Of his Arabic writings, the following deserve particular mention: a compendium of canon law ( Fiqh an-naṣrānīya), a translation of the Diatessaron (from Syriac), essays on the doctrine of the Trinity, a commentary on Genesis belonging to his major work Firdaus an-naṣrānīya [The Paradise of Christendom], and a commentary on the Eisagoge by the Neo-Platonic scholar Porphyry. Stephen Gerö Bibliography G. Graf, Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur, vol. I, 1944, 152–154; vol. II, 1947, 160–176 W. Hoenerbach & O. Spies, Fiqh an-naṣrānīya. “Das Recht der Christenheit”, 2 vols., 1956 Ibn-aṭ-Ṭaiyib, Commentaire sur la Genèse, 2 vols., trans. & …

Severus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ

(193 words)

Author(s): Gerö, Stephen
[German Version] (10th cent. ce), initially a secretary ( kātib) in the Egyptian civil service in Cairo, later a monk and Coptic Orthodox bishop of al-Ashmūnain; pioneer and versatile exponent of Christian Arabic literature in Egypt. His many works include a History of the Councils, directed against the Melkite patriarch Eutychius of Alexandria, and a catechetical Book of the Statement ( Kitāb al-Īḍāḥ); both works were later translated into Ethiopic. Severus was also undoubtedly the author of The Book of the Precious Bead ( Kitāb ad-Durr at-ṯamīn), an anonymously transmitted cat…


(115 words)

Author(s): Gerö, Stephen
[German Version] (Giwargis, Bishop of the Arabs; c. 640 – 724), from 687 bishop of the Arab nomadic tribes in Mesopotamia, was a Syrian-Orthodox (“monophysite”) ¶ scholar and churchman. George translated several writings of Aristotle into Syriac and commented on them ( Organon, An. pr., Cat.) and authored (also in Syriac) treatises on liturgical themes, numerous letters, and a metrical homily on Severus of Antioch. Stephen Gerö Bibliography A. Baumstark, Geschichte der syrischen Literatur, 1922, 257–258 F. Rilliet, “Une homélie métrique sur la fê…

Eutychius of Alexandria

(189 words)

Author(s): Gerö, Stephen
[German Version] (Saʿīd ibn al-Biṭrīq; 877–940), initially a physician, he functioned as the Melkite patriarch of Alexandria from 933 to his death. Eutychius authored several medical, theological, and historical works in Arabic, of which several have been lost and others have not yet been edited. The most important of the preserved works is his chronocle of world history generally known under the name String of Pearls ( Naẓm al-ğawhar). The original 10th-century ¶ Alexandrian version is only transmitted in a few manuscripts (Sinai. arab. 582). The text was supplemented in the 11th century; this so-called Antiochene recension has been transmitted in many manuscripts and was used by later Christian and even Islamic authors (Al-Maqrīzī and Ibn Taimīya, among others; Arabic, Christian literature in). Stephen Gerö Bibliography G. Graf, Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur, vol. II, 1947, 32–38 M. Breydy, Etudes sur Saʿīd ibn Baṭtrīq et ses sources, 1983 idem, trans. and ed., Das Annalenwerk des Eutychios von Alexandrien, 2 vols., 1985 J. Nasrallah, Histoire du mouvement littéraire melchite du Ve au XXe siècle, vol. II, 1987, 23–34 B. Pirone, Eutichio, patriarca di Alessandria (877–940), Gli Annali 1987 (Ital.).

Elias of Nisibis

(178 words)

Author(s): Gerö, Stephen
[German Version] (975, Nisibis – c. 1049, Nisibis), eastern Syrian (“Nestorian”; Nestorianism, Syria) scholar and cleric; his ecclesiastical life included time as a monk, a priest, a bishop, and ultimately, from 1008 till his death, as the metropolitan of Nisibis. Elias's works in Syriac include a grammar, a compendium of church law…

Ibn al-ʿAssāl

(210 words)

Author(s): Gerö, Stephen
[German Version] Ibn al-ʿAssāl, family. Three brothers from the influential family of Aulād al-ʿAssāl played an important role in the Arabic literary renaissance of the Coptic Church in the 13th century. 1. Aṣ-Ṣafī Abū l Faḍāʾil ibn al-ʿAssāl (died c. 1265). Of aṣ-Ṣafī's works, the following deserve mention: liturgical homilies in rhymed prose ( sağʿ), an apologetic treatment of the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, and especially his Nomocanon, a compendium of canon law. 2. Al-Asʿad Abū l Farağ Hibatallāh ibn al-ʿAssāl. Among other works, Al-Asʿad prepared an eclectic translation of the Gospels from the Coptic, wrote a comprehensive commentary on the Pauline Epistl…

Theodore Abū Qurra

(266 words)

Author(s): Gerö, Stephen
[German Version] (c. 750 – c. 830), Melkite-Orthodox theologian and churchman in Syria and Palestine. Recent studies (Lamoreaux) have shown that the traditional belief that he was initially a monk of Sabas Monastery in Jerusalem can no longer be supported. In any case, he served for a time as bishop of Ḥarrān and later traveled through the Levant as a Christian commentator and preacher. His literary oeuvre has survived in Arabic and Greek; his Syriac works are lost. Later Georgian translations (f…

Arabian Peninsula

(2,427 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. | Gerö, Stephen | Nagel, Tilman
[German Version] I. Christianity – II. Islam I. Christianity 1. Southern Arabia. It is impossible to tell when the gospel was first preached in southern Arabia; probably Arabs from the region came into contact with Christianity in the course of their commercial travels or else Christians arrived in southern Arabia. Jewish and Christian missionaries probably paved the way for Southern Arabian monotheism, attested in inscriptions dating from 378 ce onward, which replaced the cult of astral deities with a single God. Around 342, the emperor Constantius II sent an embassy under Theophilus the Indian to the Homerites (Himyarites); its success is shown by the building of churches in the capital Ẓafār, in the trade center ʿAdan, and in a market town further east. In the history of Chr…


(3,500 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Lichtenberger, Hermann | Meßner, Reinhard | Gerö, Stephen | Nagel, Tilman | Et al.
[German Version] I. General – II. Jewish Calendar – III. Christian Calendar – IV. Islamic Calendar – V. Liturgical Calendar I. General 1. The term calendar derives from the Roman “calendae,” the day on which a new month was proclaimed. It designates the structuring and hence the consequent mediation of time, i.e. records in pictorial and literary media to communicate structures of time. Calendars are concrete translations of chronologies. The performance of activities to be collectiv…

Church History/Church Historiography

(14,105 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Plümacher, Eckhard | Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Beutel, Albrecht | Koschorke, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept, Presuppositions – II. Development – III. Middle Eastern Church History and Historiography – IV. Religious Education I. Concept, Presuppositions 1. Concept The concept of church history has not yet been studied sufficiently, but it is already clear that since antiquity extraordinarily different conceptions of Christian historiography have been in simultaneous competition over the interpretation of past, present, and future. Often the different methodological option…