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Lebanon

(1,209 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
[German Version] The name “Lebanon,” if from the Semitic, could be translated as “white” mountain, but it may also be of pre-Semitic origin. The Lebanon Mountains, together with the coastal plain and the Bekaa Valley, constitute the heartland of the modern state of Lebanon. The crest of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains is the border with Syria, which also constitutes the northern boundary. In the south, Israel is the border. With a length of 220 km and a width of 40–70 km, the state of Lebanon has a surface area of 10,400 km2. The highest peak rises to 3,088 m. The majority of the populati…

Apocalypse of Ps.-Methodius,

(187 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
[German Version] composed c. 691 in northern Mesopotamia (Syria), recounts the history of the world from Adam to the Islamic conquests in the author's own day, which signal the beginning of the eschaton. The text focuses on the last Roman emperor, the Antichrist, and victory over the Antichrist with the ascendancy of cross and crown. The Apocalypse is ascribed to Bishop Methodius of Olympus. It draws on Syriac sources such as the Treasure Cave, the Julian Romance, and the History of Alexander. At a very early date, it was translated into Greek and…

 Title and beginning of text missing.

(352 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
The Panegyric of the three holy children of Babylon Unknown author Date: Unknown, perhaps shortly after 640 Original Language: Coptic Description The text is of a homily that treats a variety of subjects: humanity's fall into sin and refusal to listen to the prophets, necessitating the sending of the Son of God, who became the first martyr; the story of the three holy children of Babylon and of the prophet Daniel; a defense of miaphysite Christology.    In a brief passage in the second part of the homily, the author mentions the Saracens as oppressors who pursue prostitu…

Unknown author

(65 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
The Disputation of Patriarch John Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography -- Primary Sources of Information -- Secondary Sources of Information -- Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Coptic title: not preserved. Arabic: Sharḥ mujādalat abīnā l-ab al-baṭriyark anbā Yuʾannis baṭriyark Iskandariyya maʿa l-Yahūdī wa-l-Malikī ʿalā ayyām ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-malik bi-Miṣr Harald Suermann

 Phbios mpinishti mpatriarchēs ethouab ouoh piarchēepiskopos nte tinishti mpolis Rakoti abba Isaak eafhistorin mmof ndje phē ethouab abba Mēna piociōtatos nepiskopos nte tipolis Pshati

(583 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
The Life of the great and holy patriarch and archbishop of the great city of Rakoti (Alexandria), Abba Isaac, related by saint Abba Mēna, the most reverend archbishop of the city of Pshati, The Life of Abba Isaac Mēna of Nikiou Date: Around 700 Original Language: Coptic Description The text relates the life of Isaac: his childhood and desire for the monastic life; his embrace of that life in Scetis; his service as secretary to the Coptic Patriarch John of Samannūd (680-690); and finally his own election to the patriarchate (in which he served…

John the Stylite of Mār Zʿurā at Sarug

(564 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
Biography Nothing is known about Mār John, stylite of Mār Zʿurā in Sarug, except his authorship of two works, a grammatical treatise and the disputation discussed below. His name does not feature in other sources, and while Michael the Syrian mentions a monastery with this name in Sarug, where the Patriarch Cyriacus ordained the monk Addai as bishop of Karma, nothing more is known about it. Several scholars have suggested that he may be equated with John the Stylite of Litarb (al-Athārib, near An…

Unknown author

(52 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
The panegyric of the three holy children of Babylon Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography -- Primary Sources of Information -- Secondary Sources of Information -- Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Title and beginning of text missing. Harald Suermann

Mēna of Nikiou

(126 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
Biography Nothing is known about Mēna's life other than that he was from the monastery of St Macarius, and that he became bishop of Nikiou after John of Nikiou was deposed. Primary Sources of Information Sāwīrūs ibn al-Muqaffaʿ, History of the patriarchs of the Coptic Church of Alexandria, ed. and trans. B. Evetts, 3 vols, Paris, 1904-14, iii ( Agathon to Michael I (796)) (PO 5), p. 34 Secondary Sources of Information D.N. Bell, Mena of Nikiou. The life of Isaac of Alexandria, The martyrdom of Saint Macrobius, Kalamazoo, MI, 1988, pp. 26-30 Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Phbi…

 Mēmrā d-qāddishā mār(y) Aprēm, malpānā sūryāyā, ʿal ḥartā w-shullāmā w-dīnā w-tbaʿt w-ʿal Bēt Agōg w-Magōg w-ʿal Mshiḥā daggālā

(744 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
The Sermon of the holy lord Ephrem, the Syrian teacher, on the end and completion, the judgment and exaction, on Gog and Magog and on the false MessiahThe Apocalypse of Pseudo-Ephrem Unknown author Date: Between 640 and 692 Original Language: Syriac Description The apocalypse stems from the time before the Muslim invasion, but a chapter concerning the Arabs was added to the original text (in the modern edition about 11 pages, of which the addition is about 2 pages). Reinink argues that the entire text was reworked by a later redactor. The chapter on the Arabs can be summarized as foll…

 Qallīl men mamllā d-mār(y) Yūḥannā estọnāyā d-bēt mār(y) Zʿurā qaddishā d-ba-Srug

(472 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
Part of the discourse of Mār John the Stylite of Mār Zʿurā in Sarug John the Stylite of Mār Zʿurā at Sarug Date: Unknown, maybe mid-8th c. Original Language: Syriac Description This text contains a disputation between John and an anonymous antagonist on Christology and God's foreknowledge. Although the antagonist is not explicitly identified as a Muslim, it is suggested indirectly, since he addresses the Jews in the third person.   The first part deals with the doctrines of the Incarnation and the Trinity, which are explained on the basis of biblical arguments. The…

Unknown author

(204 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
The Apocalypse of Pseudo-Ephrem Date of Birth: Unknown, probably early 7th c. Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, probably late 7th c. Place of Death: Unknown Biography Virtually nothing is known about the author of this memrā that is incorrectly ascribed to Ephrem the Syrian (d. 373). He was writing between 640 and 680 and was probably a Jacobite (Reinink), although his ecclesiastical affiliation cannot be determined with absolute certainty. Primary Sources of Information -- Secondary Sources of Information P.J. Alexander, The Byzantine apocalyptic tradition, Lo…

 Coptic title: not preserved. Arabic: Sharḥ mujādalat abīnā l-ab al-baṭriyark anbā Yuʾannis baṭriyark Iskandariyya maʿa l-Yahūdī wa-l-Malikī ʿalā ayyām ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-malik bi-Miṣr

(786 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
Explanation of the disputation of our father Patriarch John, patriarch of Alexandria, with the Jew and the Melkite in the days of ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz the king in EgyptThe Disputation of Patriarch John Unknown author Date: Unknown, possibly late 7th or 8th c. Original Language: Coptic Description This text, which survives in a number of fragments in Bohairic (without traces of Sahidic) as well as in Arabic, reports a discussion between the Coptic Patriarch John, a Jew and a Chalcedonian Christian in the presence of ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, the governor of E…

An anonymous Jacobite author

(89 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography The author of this fragment is unknown, although from the arguments he chooses in the debate with his Muslim opponent he was evidently a Jacobite. While the manuscript stems from the 17th century, the author could have lived much earlier.   Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Fragment of a controversial dialogue between an anonymous Jacobite and a Muslim Harald Suermann

 Fragment of a controversial dialogue between an anonymous Jacobite and a Muslim

(301 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
- An anonymous Jacobite author Date: Unknown Original Language: Arabic Description MS Gotha ar. 2882 contains a fragment of a controversy between an anonymous Jacobite and a Muslim. The manuscript, which is a collection of several pieces, was written at the end of the 17th century in an unknown place. It contains stories treating very different subjects, mainly legends of biblical figures and saints, but also disputes and a homily. Most of them can be dated to the 14th century, but the period covered ranges from the 12th to the 17th century. The provenance of the manuscript collectio…