This is the standard edition of the chronicle of Bar Hebraeus in Syriac and English translation. It gives the political history of the world from the creation to the. Preferred Citation., The Chronography of Bar Hebraeus Translated by Budge, E. A. Wallis, (London: Oxford Univ. Press, H. Milford, ). Gregory II Abu ‘l-Faraj bar Ahron (–86), also known as Bar Hebraeus [Bar E. A. W. Budge, Ed., The Chronography of Gregory Abû’l Faraj, the Son of.

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The Chronicle of Hegraeus of Edessa. University Press of America, And in the days of summer Tokuz Khatun, the believing queen, departed, and great sorrow came to all Christians throughout the world because of the departure of these two great lights, who made the Christian religion triumphant.

Yet he was ultimately able to place such atrocities into context and to perceive a reward for those years of hardship in the guise of the comparative equity evident bwr the reign of the early Mongol Il-Khans and their eastern overlords. The kingdom remained the peculiar possession of Kublai Khan, the just and wise king, and lover or, friend of the Christians; and he honoured the men of books, and the chrinography men, and the physicians of all nations.

Ernest Wallis Budge Oxford, Thomson, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 43 And from there the King of Kings [Hulegu] went against Harim, and he asked [the citizens] to surrender, and [said that] he would swear to them that he would not harm them.

By hebraeud are we to make thee swear? But if Fakhr ad-Din, the governor of the fortress of Aleppo, will swear to us that he will not harm us, we will come down. And they opened the gates of the fortress and came down. Frye Harvard University Press, London, Writing as early as the sixth century the chronicler, Joshua the Stylite, laments the curse of the nomad Arabs who under the banner of their Persian or Byzantine masters would launch continual raids hebaeus the cities and villages of northern Mesopotamia.

Bar Hebraeus’ Chronography | The American Foundation for Syriac Studies

The Bedouin Arabs, crossed the Tigris, and plundered and took captive and chronogeaphy all that they found And at that time [c. Brutal the Mongols might well have been but it was their might, cruel discipline and military prowess which differentiated the Chingizid hordes from the rude rabble armies and armed elements which had for so long preyed on these march lands. Massacres, looting and destruction had long been the norm and the expected behaviour of all armed bands and so often these elements appeared answerable to no one.

The arrival of an army however rapacious and ruthless which operated under a perceivable command structure would have to have held the potential for hope. Systematic oppression can better be countered than wanton depredation.

First among those rules of conduct, to be observed during initial contacts with 11 J.

Chronicles of Bar Hebraeus |

Oxford University Press An Account of Gregory Bar Hebraeus Abu al-Faraj their enemies, was the necessity of forewarning the victims of the consequences of resistance. When [the Mongols] have need to write any letter to the rebels, and they must send an envoy, let them not threaten them with the great size of their army and their numbers, but let them say only, If ye will submit yourselves obediently ye shall find good treatment and rest, but if ye resist-as for us what do we know?

And by that they have conquered and will conquer. Va agar digar kunad [kunid] ma chi danim khudai danad! But for an accident with their pack-mules whilst preparing to leave, the family of Aaron, a distinguished physician of Jewish descent, would also have joined the popular flight from Malatya c.

The mishap was to prove fortunate for when in the following year the Mongol general Shawer Noyen camped in the town after falling sick, Aaron was summoned to his side in order to minister to his medical needs. As a result of his services Aaron was retained by the Mongol though eventually along with his family he was able to move to Antioch.

So cordial were relations that it is said that Bohemond allowed the construction of an official residence and church with cells for the patriarch in the higher, more select area of the city.

By the eleventh century the Syrian Orthodox Church had instituted bishoprics throughout the east and south- eastern lands of Anatolia as far north as Erzindjan and were active in trade and commerce and had gained a reputation for their physicians. Gregorii Bar Hebraei Chronicon Ecclesiasticum, 3 vols.


Louvain,Vol. Persian text, London,p. The meaning behind the epithet is a mystery and whether it refers to the Bab al-Faraj of Aleppo, a city where the cleric dwelt or to his good works, or to his extensive writing remains open to conjecture. The confusion, it is claimed, was caused by the commonly Jewish name of Aaron which, being of biblical origin, was not uncommonly found among Christians. Teule, Encyclopedia Iranica, vol. While based in Antakya Antioch he received a visit from the Patriarch David Ignatius Saba, which is indicative of the social status the family had attained through their position with the Mongols.

Brill Leyden,Introduction, p. It is therefore our aim to give this sort of clear and simple instruction.

Bar Hebraeus’ Chronography

Many years later, approaching death, the then ageing Maphrian, saw great astrological significance in this date which along with his birth in CE, his appointment as Maphrian and his expected and actual death in CE he had found reflected in the stars.

And twenty years after, when they were in conjunction in the Zodiacal Sign of Libra, I was ordained bishop. And twenty years after, when they were in conjunction in the Zodiacal Sign of Gemini, I undertook the office of Maphrian.

And after another twenty years, when they will be again in conjunction in the Zodiacal Sign of Aquarius, I think that I shall go out of this world. After Dionysius whom Bar Hebraeus hwbraeus backed was installed, the Maphrian Salibha, 27 the one- time friend from Tripoli, arrived in Aleppo and began spreading gold and influencing people not only amongst the faithful bad in the circles of the then government of al-Malik al-Nasir Yusuf in Damascus.

And he [Salibha] made himself ready and went to Damascus, and he undertook to pay as much gold as Dionysius had undertaken to pay, and he obtained a patent i. He died in Hearing of the matter Maphrian Ignatius [Salibha] retired to Tripoli where he expressed his disillusionment with his ministry and his intention of devoting the rest of his life to the service of the sick. He died in CE, a time of great turmoil for the people of the whole region, and it would be six years before a successor was proclaimed.

The wasted Church of the East remained a widow for the space of six years. Moreover, for three years before the death of Salibha the Maphrian, the Church had been deprived of a Father-General. Therefore the Synod of the pious bishops having assembled in Cilicia, they appointed to be Patriarch Mar Ignatius or Rabban Isho, the Archimandrite of Gawikhath, and they also proceeded to the election of the Maphrian. And a few days after the consecration of the Patriarch the pious bishops and the Patriarch assembled in Sis of Cilicia, and they summoned Gregory, that is Abu al-Farag, the son of Aaron.

And on the first day of the week, on the 19th day of the month of the Later Kanon i. And the Patriarch with the Maphrian and the rest of the bishops made ready and went to tender homage to the 29 Bar Hebraeus, The Chronography, xx. Cyronography prodigious output of learned books, his very active life as a high ranking ecclesiastic, the universal reverence chronogrqphy toward him and his remarkable aptitude for languages and erudition have ensured his memory a fame far beyond the confines of the Eastern churches.

His Chronography alone should have put lie to the oft repeated claim that the literature of Syria is They shone neither in war, nor in the arts, nor in science. And he composed a marvellous work in Persian on the chronology of the kingdoms of the Saljuqs, and the Khwarazmians, and the Ishmaelites, and the Mongols; what we have introduced into our work on these matters we have derived from his book. In many of his more learned treatises he quotes extensively from Greek writers.

Though many of these classical works had been translated into Syriac and Aramaic hebrqeus is widely thought that Bar Hebraeus would have been acquainted with them in the original Greek.

His brother Bar Sawma listed some 32 books xhronography a variety of genres in the biography of his sibling. The subjects Abu al-Faraj tackled included books on theology, philosophy, history, medicine, mathematics, grammar, astrology, fables, stories and legends.

Marzolph, Oriens Christianus 69 In addition to composing these weighty tomes, Bar Hebraeus also gained great admiration among his fellow Syrian Orthodox believers for his poetry, and his marvellous collection of humorous tales compiled and written up in his later years.


These works reflect a more human, less serious side to hebrraeus complex personality.

For these reasons the later Arabic version cannot hebraeud dismissed as an abridged or glossed version of the Syriac chronicle. Much has been made of the differences between these two versions 36 F. AMS Press, In contrast to this explanation L. Conrad 40 advanced the theory that the Arabic version was written from a Christian point of view and that it was composed for the Christians of the time chornography majority of whom were unable to read liturgical Syriac and used Arabic for their everyday needs.

After careful hebraeue of the texts in particular with regard to those relating to the Crusades, Teule has shown that the two histories relied on different source materials and that the differences and omissions reflect these differing sources. For significant parts of his Syriac chronology Bar Hebraeus relied heavily on the histories of Michael the Syrian 42 39 A. What does become clear is that the hevraeus were not presented in a manner presumed pleasing to an anticipated audience but were reflective of the words and attitude of the original source.

Richard Pynson University of Toronto, His great tolerance of others, reflective of his introspective and mystical character, earned him friends and respect from all communities bsr much so that it was his Arab neighbours who beseeched him to translate his Syriac political history into Arabic for their appreciation. I hated other sorts of knowledge [other than his study of Greek wisdom and mysticism], though I had to occupy my thoughts superficially with some of them, not for my own sake, but for the sake of others who wished to profit by me.

During this space of time, many offenses made me miserable and caused me to stumble. An Account of Gregory Bar Hebraeus Abu al-Faraj and disquisition he was forced to engage in, chronogrzphy not only tiresome but insidiously detracting from the true expression of his church, divine love.

I became convinced, that these quarrels of Christians among themselves are not a matter of facts but of words and denominations. And I wholly eradicated the root of hatred from the depth of my heart and I absolutely forsook disputation with anyone concerning confession. As hunger is not satisfied by water, nor thirst by bread, so the Initiated, who wishes to look within the Sinaitic cloud [the Divine], gains small profit by hearing the Scriptures being read.

For many have laboured strenuously, but because they have not laboured with intelligence, they have not attained the way of truth, nor reached the harbour of life. I would ere long have despaired of psychical, if not of bodily life. Part of his annual dinar income was provided for by Maragha.

The annual procession had ceased to be held because of conflicts between the Muslims and Christians but the presence of one the royal family in person ensured the success of the revived festival. An Account of Gregory Bar Hebraeus Abu al-Faraj to their custom with crosses suspended from the heads of their spears. And having gone forth the Divine Grace visited them, and the strength of the cold diminished, and the grass prospered, and the winter possessed the characteristics [favourable] for herbage.

And the Mongols had joy in keeping their horses in condition, and the Christians in the triumph of their faith. He had been reluctant to leave Mosul for the Mongol capital knowing that the move might be his last.

So tranquil and conducive to intellectual hrbraeus was the Il-Khanid capital that the ageing cleric was able to complete not only his great chrnography, the Ethicon, but also a scientific work inspired and helped no doubt by the proximity of the Rasad-e Khan of Nasir al-Din Tusi, the Book of the Ascension of the Intellect.

This church on the western face of a hill overlooking the city would have been ideal for the ageing cleric whose great interest in the stars has already been noted. The entrance to the caves which formed the body of ba church lay only thirty or forty metres beneath the famous observatory of Maragha, the Rasad-e Khan, which Hulegu had had constructed for his greatly respected advisor 63 Bar Hebraeus, The Chronography, Brill Leiden, And let this book be a religious friend to the reader, whether he be Muslim, or Hebrew, or Aramean, or a man belonging to a foreign country.