Abulfaraj, Gregory

Abul-faraj, Gregory (ABUL-PHARAGIUS, or ABULFARADASCH), (called also Bar-Hebraeus, from his father having been originally a Jew), was the son of Aaron, a physician of Malatia, in Armenia, and was born in 1226, and, like his father, was a Jacobite. He applied himself to the study of the Syriac and Arabic languages, philosophy, theology, and medicine: in the latter he became a great proficient, and acquired a high reputation among the Moslems. When only twenty-one years of age he was made bishop of Guba by the Jacobite patriarch Ignatius; and in 1247 he was made bishop of Aleppo. About 1266 he was made Maphrian, or primate of the Jacobites in the East, which dignity he retained till his death, in 1286. His works are very numerous; the best known is the Syriac Chronicle, which is largely cited by Gibbon, and is, in fact, a repository of Eastern history. It consists of two parts:

1. The Dynasties — a Civil Chronicle from Adam to A.D. 1286;

2. An Ecclesiastical History, which again falls into two divisions:

(1.) A Catalogue and Chronicle of the Patriarchs of Antioch, called by this author the Pontiffs of the West;

(2.) A Catalogue and Chronicle of the Primates, Patriarchs, and Maphrians of the East.

The Civil Chronicle is published in Syriac and Latin, from the Bodleian MS., under the title Chronicon Syriacum, ed. P. J. Bruns and G. G. Kirsch (Lips. 1788, 2 vols. 4to); an abridgment of the whole chronicle made in Arabic by Abul-faraj, in Arabic and Latin by Pococke, under the title Historia Compendiosa Danastiarum, ab Ed. Pocockio interprete (Oxon. 1663, 2 vols. 4to). A complete edition was proposed in Germany by Bernstein, in 1847, but nothing beyond the prospectus has yet appeared. The "Ecclesiastical History" exists in MS. in the Vatican and Bodleian (?) libraries. The autobiography of Abul-faraj is given by Assemanni,

Bibliotheca Orientalis, tom. 2, See Cave, Hist. Lit. Ann. 1284; Christian Remembrancer, vol. 30, p. 300.

 
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