Bar Hebraeus, Chronicon Ecclesiasticum vol. 1 now online

Thanks to Stephen C. Carlson, I learned a few days ago that volume 1 of Bar Hebraeus Chronicon Ecclesiasticum was online in PDF form at Google Books here.  Unfortunately this 1872 book is  kept behind their “US-only” firewall, although it is out of copyright everywhere in the world. 

I’ve placed an ILL for volume 2, which I will scan if it arrives and place online at 

In preparation for this, I’ve also put the volume 1 PDF on where non-US viewers can see it.  It’s here.  I suggest US viewers use the Google books link, which is faster.

The work itself consists of short entries on figures in the Syriac church from the beginning down to the author’s own time.  A parallel Latin translation is provided.  The first volume is the important people in the West Syriac church; the second is their opposite numbers in the East Syriac church.  I don’t know what volume 3 is, tho!


6 thoughts on “Bar Hebraeus, Chronicon Ecclesiasticum vol. 1 now online

  1. I really don’t understand the google books US-firewall thingy. It’s so frustrating to find books on there that would be out of copyright *everywhere* in the world, only to be unable to access them because one is not in the usa.

  2. Agreed. But I don’t think it’s Google’s fault. When Google Books began, all the little publishers started screaming that their rights might possibly be infringed, and pointing to the absurd EU copyright laws. Google, a US company, sensibly, said “OK, you want to disadvantage the EU and UK and its people, we’ll just block access.” Who can blame them? It’s not their problem, after all; it’s down to the bad law in the EU and UK.

    I think some US institutions have also played along — some universities made their stuff harder to access. But this will disappear over time, as the absurdity becomes obvious.

  3. Thanks for the clarifying insight, Roger. The truly tragic thing is that works that are well past the point of anyone profiting from them are caught up in a void and people simply can’t benefit from them at all. The continual proposals to extend copyright terms are truly baffling.

  4. And some more good news. UK government is today opposing EU proposals to exempt mashups from some copyright controls. The exemption is needed because a mashup by definition uses stuff from all over the place. If they have to approach loads of greedy little companies for permission – loads of people who can all say no, and no single person who can say yes — then no-one will bother to produce them.

    That should ensure that no applications like Google Maps are used in the EU, then, or only very expensive corporately produced ones.

  5. I just downloaded Pt. 1 via archive, thanks for uploading it there. Any progress with scanning Pt. 2 and, perhaps, Pt. 3?

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