Abu’l Barakat’s catalogue of patristic books is underway!

This evening I received the first chunk of the English translation that I commissioned of the 13th century list of Christian books by the Arabic Christian writer Abu’l Barakat.  It’s all Greek fathers so far, starting with Clement of Rome and winding down to Cyril of Alexandria. 

The lists are fascinating, and cry out for cross-referencing against Quasten’s Patrology and Graf’s Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur, which I think we will do.  This will help everyone work out what exists in Arabic and so is potentially worth investigating for the tradition of the text.

Wonderful news!

6 thoughts on “Abu’l Barakat’s catalogue of patristic books is underway!”

  1. I think it will be! Christian Arabic is just another language like Armenian and Syriac into which Classical and Patristic Greek literature was transmitted. But it’s one of the least known, because it’s so hard to know what exists in it and where to find it. I hope that making Abu’l Barakat freely available online in English –which I will do as soon as the translation is completed — will help people to feel it’s a language they can deal with.

  2. Well, by next semester, I will now a bit more about christian arabic literature, after the seminar. Then I’ll know as well how important Abu’l Barakat is, but I suspect there will be definitely be a good use for it. Now I still have to learn Arabic…

  3. You’re fortunate to have the chance to learn it, tho. Most of us have to spend our days doing pointless tasks to earn enough money to live. Probably a pain to learn, but great to know.

  4. Thanks for the suggestion. But I will get a transcription as well as a translation, and everyone can compare them themselves! It will be public domain, so anyone can fix it if they choose. It’s being done by a real schoalr of Christian-Arabic, so it will be good.

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