Eutychius of Alexandria

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[pp. 107-110]

SA’ĪD IBN BIṬRĪQ (BAṬRĪQ) / EUTYCHIUS OF ALEXANDRIA

(d. 940 A.D.)

Born in Cairo he was at first a physician. In 933 A.D. he was elected patriarch of the Melkite Church in Alexandria.

Main work: Nazm al-gauhar

Graf 2, 32-35; EI (s.v.); Brockelmann 1, 148.

Ed.: J. Selden, Contextio Gemmarum, 2 vols. Oxford 1858/9 (the text of Selden from 1642; the Latin version of Pocock from 1658/9); Cheikho a.o., CSCO. Scriptores arabici III, 6/7, 1906-1909.

T.: MC 566-567 r (Selden) L:1


[The Descendants of Ḥām:]

Later on, Ḥām stole all the musical instruments for games and for this reason too, he received a curse. He [p. 108] and his offspring viz. Qibṭ (the Copts), the Blacks (sūdān), the Ḥabasha, and according to what some people say, also the Barbar, became the slaves of his brothers (Selden I, p. 43).

... Descendants of Kana'ān are: The Canaanites, the Philistines, the inhabitants of Miṣr: i.e. the Qibṭ, the Marīs, the various races of Blacks (as-Sūdān), the Ḥabasha, the Nūba, the Beja, the Zanj, the Zuṭṭ, the Qarrān, the Samaritans, (as-Sāmirah), the Zabayy, the Maghribis and the Barbar. They possess twenty-six islands, among which Sardinia, Malta, Crete and a part of Cyprus are found. They have six alphabets; Egyptian, Nubian, Ethiopian, Faranj [sic! for frījī], Punic and Kankalī (Colchian?)<ref>Cf. al-Makin.</ref>

... God ordered Joshua, son of Nūn, to make knives of flint-stone (sawān) to circumcise the Children of Israel.<ref>Jos. 5:2.</ref> He did so; then a race of Ḥabasha, called al-bujah, began doing the same (and they continue to do so up to the present time). (Selden I, p. 54).

... Against him [Asa, King of Judah] marched Zārakh, king of the Kushites (al-kūsh), who are Blacks (Sūdān). He moved with one million warriors. Asa, king of Judah, rose to fight him with 300,000 warriors from Judah and 52,000 from Benjamin. The Blacks (Sūdān) were routed and many [of them] were slain.<ref>2. Chron. 14: 8-13.</ref> (ibid. I, p. 110).

[p. 109] [The Wall of the Old Lady:]

Cleopatra was informed about (the coming of) Awghustus Qaisar. As she feared his might she put her kingdom in a state of defence. She built a wall extending from the country of Nubia to Faramā (Pelusium) on the eastern bank of the Nile, and another on the west bank, from Nubia to Alexandria; this wall is called: "The Wall of the Old Lady" (hā'it al-Άjūz). (ibid. I, pp. 301 - 302).

[Patriarch Theodosius of Alexandria:]

King Justinian, in the first year of his reign, [527 A.D.], sent a messenger to Alexandria to [seize] Theodosius, the Patriarch, and take him to Constantinople. The king ordered him to abandon the Jacobite doctrine and to come back to the truth, but he refused. Justinian decided to kill him, but Theodora, Justinian's Wife, asked for mercy for Theodosius and the king released him. Theodosius, then returned to Egypt and hid himself in a place called Masīl and al-Lamīdas, one of the western districts of Egypt, persisting in the Jacobite doctrine, (ibid. II, pp. 151 - 152).

A great number of them [Jacobites] fled to the monastery of Abū Maqār in the valley of Habīb (Wādī Habīb). Then, the Melkite [confession] prevailed; they [Melkites] took over the churches which had previously belonged to the Jacobites. Peace was restored in the city [Alexandria]. This happened in the fifteenth year of the reign of Justinian. Since that time to the present, the seat of the Jacobites has been in the monastery of Abū Maqār. (ibid. II, p. 157).

As the monks of Tūr Sinā were told about Justinian's desire to build churches and monasteries, they went to him. They complained to him that the Ismaelite nomads [p. 110] (al-a'rāb banī Isma'īl) attacked them, ate their food, destroyed their dwellings (mawāḍiʿ), entered their churches and carried off all they found. [They also said that the Ismaelites] entered the churches and ate the offerings ... He [Justinian] gave orders to the delegate [of the monks] that a church be built at Qulzum and a monastery at Rāya (dayr R.) and also another fortified monastery be built on the Sinai Mountain (Tūr Sinā). No monastery in the entire world is better fortified than the one of Tūr Sinā. (ibid. II, pp. 161 - 162).

From the time when Girgis, the [Melkite] patriarch<ref>George, the Melkite Patriarch of Alexandria [621-631 A.D.] was succeeded by Cyrus [631-641 A.D.] who held both, ecclesiastical and political jurisdiction.</ref>, fled from Alexandria to Constantinople in the third year of the caliphate of 'Umar b. al-Khaṭṭāb, [634-644 A.D.] until [the time when] Cosmas became patriarch in the seventh year of the caliphate of Ḥishām [724-743 A.D.], the see of Alexandria had had no Melkite patriarch, i.e. for 97 years. During that time, the Jacobites had the upper hand in all the churches [of Egypt] and in Alexandria. As the Nubians (an-Nūbah) were in need of bishops, the patriarch of the Jacobites ordained bishops for them; and they, as a result, became Jacobites. The whole of Egypt, both the upper and the lower districts, also became Jacobites, with the exception of the church of Michael in Qaṣr ash-Shamʿ. (ibid. II, p. 386).

Khumarawaih came back to Miṣr: he reigned over [all the country] from Euphrates to Nubia. (ibid. II, p.477).

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