Honain, Ibn-isaac

Honain, Ibn-Isaac An Arabic-Nestorian philosopher and physician of the Abadite tribe, was born near Hirah in A.D. 809. He went to Greece, and there studied the Greek language and philosophy, and returned to Baghdad with a large collection of Greek books, part of which he translated into the Arabic and Syriac. He was assisted in this work by his son Isaac Ibn-Honain and his grandson Hobaish, who likewise distinguished themselves as philosophers. In this manner many works of the Greeks became accessible to the Arabians and the Syrians, and promoted among them more especially the study of Greek philosophy. It is to be regretted that after the completion of the translations the original works were burned, according, it is said, to a command of the caliph Al Mammun. Besides these translations, Honain wrote largely on medicine, philosophy, theology, and philology. He left also a Syriac grammar and a Syriac-Arabic dictionary, the first dictionary of the kind ever prepared. He died in 877. — Herbelot, Biblioth. Orientale, p. 423; Assemani, Bibl. Orientale, 2, 270, 438; 3, pt. 2, p. 168; Krug, Philosoph. Lex. 2, 455 sq.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, 15, 75.

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