Update on Abu’l Barakat

There is a 13th century list of works that exist in Arabic Christian literature by a certain Abu’l Barakat.  It was published long ago by Riedel, with a German translation, but has never found an English translator.

Such a list is a “road-map” of the unexplored land, a guide to the wayfarer as to what might exist.  It includes works translated into Arabic, such a material by the Cappadocian fathers, plus original compositions.  The translations may be interesting — because material does exist in Arabic now lost in Greek and Syriac.  The original compositions should help us to get an idea of what there is in the language.

I commissioned a translation of this back in the summer, which I intend to give away online.  It’s been delayed because the same translator was working for me on the Syriac fragments of Eusebius.  But today I heard back.

Riedel is about 25 pages, so the idea is that we’ll do it in 5-page chunks.  That’s less intimidating for him, and easier on my pocket!


2 thoughts on “Update on Abu’l Barakat

  1. Good news, Roger.

    There are two famous individuals in the Middle Ages of the Middle East who carry the name of Abu’l Barakat:

    – the first is Hibat Allah Abu’l-Barakat al-Baghdaadi (c. 1080-1165), a scholar in Iraq who was a Jewish convert to Islam

    – the other is the Coptic Abū al-Barakāt, who is also known as Ibn Kabar [al-Shaykh al-Mu’taman Shams al-Riyāsah ibn al-Shaykh al-As’ad Abū al-Barakāt ibn Kabar], who was born toward the end of the 13th century and wrote several books in the 14th century. He died in 1324 AD.

    He was encyclopaedic in his knowledge and multi-lingual, fluent in Coptic, Arabic, Greek, Hebrew and most probably Syriac.

    I think you mean this Coptic one when you mention “a certain Abu’l Barakat”. Your readers can find his entry (by Aziz Atiya in the 4th Volume of the Coptic Encyclopaedia) here: http://www.dacb.org/stories/egypt/ibn_kabar.html

    Dioscorus Boles

  2. Dioscorus, thank you very much for this clarification. Like most people I find Arabic names confusing. But it is certainly the second of the two who is in question here.

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