The twenty-sixth Biography of the Biographies of the Holy Church. Abba Christodoulus the Patriarch, and he is the sixty-sixth of (their) number.
When the father, Abba Senouti, went to his rest, it was the turn for the Alexandrians. The inhabitants of Alexandria and the priests and the archons assembled, and they took counsel together about whom they should seat on the Apostolic Throne. There were in it (Alexandria) two officials, one of the two of them (was) known as Fahd ibn Colluthus and the other was named ‘Alwan ibn Zacharias who was appointed by ‘Ali ibn Hadid administrator of the Rif, and they were both present at the council, and they mentioned (the name of) the hegoumenos of the Monastery of Saint Severus, the Enaton, west of Alexandria, in which there were at that time forty monks or more, virtuous scholars, among whom (was) a saintly elder named Theodore the eunuch.
I, the sinner, who composed this biography, saw him, and I received the Holy Communion from his hand many times. I inquired about the story of him from the monks, and they informed me that a body of chiefs of the neighbouring Arabs had lodged at the monastery,
--- 246 ---
and that one of their maids;ii had exposed herself to him and forced herself on him. Then he took a cutting knife and sharpened it on a whet-stone and cut off with it his testicles. Then he fell down as one dead, till Surur the monk, sacristan of the monastery, came and found him lying in this condition. He roasted some dried cheese and placed it upon it (the wound) till the blood ceased (to flow), and he (the monk) was healed, and he is alive till now.
As regards the hegoumenos whom they mentioned (as a candidate) for the patriarchate, he was a saintly elder whose name was John ibn Tirus, of the priests of Alexandria. He had a brother, an archdeacon, whose name was Theodore. When they (the two archons) determined to advance him (to the patriarchate), some of the priests of Alexandria went to an old man named Abu Yahya Zacharias, who used to accompany the most honorable general al-Mustansir, who was a favourite of the Sultan and of his wazir ‘Ali ibn Ahmad al-Girgani. This Abu Yahya had precedence and great dignity, and had been a representative of the late patriarch Abba Senouti. They (the priests of Alexandria) said that this hegoumenos John ibn Tirus, on whose consecration as patriarch they had decided, was a godfather of ‘Alwan ibn Zacharias the official, and that, when he (Yu'nis ibn Tirus) was seated on the Apostolic Throne, the aforesaid (‘Alwan ibn Zakariya) would dominate him, and affairs would become corrupted. After that, the affair of the hegoumenos came to nothing.
Then they assembled again and discussed until (the name) of Abba Christodoulus was mentioned to them. He was a priest from among the inhabitants of Burah, (and) since his youth, (had been) in the Monastery of the Romans (Baramus) in the Wadi Habib 5. He had a brother in the monastic life, whose name was Jacob,
5 i.e. the Wadi'n-Natrun.
--- 247 ---
who became hegoumenos of the Romans (Baramus), and he had (performed) many miracles, for he was a great saint. Christo-doulus departed from the Desert and went to a hermitage by the Salt Sea, at Nastaruh which is known as Nafuh, and shut himself up in it. His brother Jacob learned in the spirit that he (Christodoulus) would become patriarch, and he wept on his account, and he informed him concerning it. There was with him (Christodoulus) in the hermitage the body of Thecla the apostolic, the disciple of Paul the Apostle, of whom Luke the Evangelist bore witness in the book which he composed about her. He recorded in it what concerned her, and how she was thrown to lions and was cast into fire at the city of Antioch, and no harm at all happened to her through it. It is she whom Saint Gregory mentioned, and he said it was the virgin Saint Thecla who acquired two merits, the merit of the Three Children in the furnace of fire, and the merit of Daniel the prophet in the lions' den. Her body was in a coffer, and miracles were manifested from it, as the father, Abba Christodoulus, related to me, after (he became patriarch). Her body (is) to-day with the body of Philotheus the general, (and) martyr, in the hermitage of Singar in which (there was), at that time, Michael the hegoumenos, the hermit. I went up unto him, and I was blessed by him and the two aforesaid bodies, in the year eight hundred and three of the Martyrs [A.D. 1086-1087]. This Michael became patriarch after Abba Cyril (Anba Kirillus) the saint.
l'Ci i.e. A.D. 1086-1087.
--- 248 ---
As regards Abba Christodoulus, when he was
mentioned in the council, they agreed in their opinions to make him
(patriarch), and ten of the notables of Alexandria journeyed to him, and
a troop of people accompanied them, and among them (was) Abu'l-
Malih Mansur, the official of Alexandria, known as Ibn al-Ilami, and a
priest, whose name (was) Simon, in the church of the Evangelist,
my lord Mark 1, and he merited to be made bishop of
the city of Tinnis, and he continues in it (the See) until this day,
which is the year eight hundred of the Martyrs [A.D. 1083-1084]. A troop of people
(was) with them, and they went to him (Christodoulus) and they besought
that he should come down to them, but he refused, until they brought
to him a man (who) had been godfather to him, (who) was known as Ibn
Zikri ibn Mercurius. Then he (Ibn Zikri) went to him and
entreated him, and he did not leave him until he had obtained from him
the answer to what they wished from him. He (Ibn Zikri) said to them
that he (Christodoulus) had resolved to become (patriarch), but he would
not come away from the hermitage unless he were vested with the
(patriarchal) dress, lest something should occur, and he would become
a laughing-stock. So they clothed him with the (patriarchal) dress up
above 4, and he took the oath on that day, and he did not possess (anything),
except two and a half and a quarter dirhams 5. They journeyed with him
to Alexandria, and they consecrated him in (the month of) Kyahk in
the year seven hundred and sixty-three of the Martyrs [November-December, A.D. 1046].
The beginning of his reign (lit. affair) was good, and miracles were manifested through him, and the Holy Spirit was nigh to him. Then he journeyed to the Monastery of Abu Macarius, and he was consecrated there, and his consecration was through God.
1 i. e. in Alexandria.
4 i. e. in his cell.
5 i. e. 2.75 dirhams.
--- 249 ---
I, Mauhub the sinner, heard from the mouth of this father that, when he was in the hermitage, he saw in his sleep the Saints Peter and Mark, and they both delivered to him "a bunch of large keys fastened together, and at that very time the Alexandrians came to him and he put on the woollen robe, and they brought him down from the hermitage.
After his (Christodoulus') consecration, he consecrated in Alexandria six churches, (among which) a church under the name of John the Evangelist. I heard from his (Christodoulus') mouth, on the day of his consecrating this church, that he saw in his sleep John the Evangelist standing in this church, and in his hand a golden censer full of incense. Another man who was passing the night in this church, on that night, and it was the night of Sunday 1, informed me that he saw John, the archpriest of Alexandria, and in his hand a censer of gold and he was incensing the church from its front part to its door, both forwards and backwards; after all of it (the church) had been strewn with vine leaves and with green vine-branches. He who saw the vision said within himself: «This (is) John the Baptist, (who) has come to consecrate his church; because thus it is his custom to be present in the likeness of a man whose name (is) the same as his name». The visions of these two (men) were in agreement with regard to this dream on the same night.
He (Chrisdodoulus) consecrated a church under the name of Abba Mercurius the Martyr, and a church of Baphael the Angel, and a church of Abba Menas the Martyr, and a church of my lord George, and the restoration of the church of my lord Mark (was undertaken). He (Christodoulus) ordained on the day of the consecration of the church of Baphael the Angel, one priest and more than sixty deacons. He made it a
1 i. e. Saturday night.
condition to their fathers that they should have no claim to what belonged to the church. The reason for this was, that some of the priests said to him that these (the deacons) were only eager to have the diaconate on account of the rights which the priests had in the churches and of the taxes which were paid for them from its (the church's) money, and (this) would straiten the churches with regard to their upkeep. For this reason, he (Christodoulus) laid this condition on them (the fathers). On the aforesaid day which was the eighth of Misra (in) the year seven hundred and sixty-four of the Martyrs [August 8th, A. D. 1048], he (Christodoulus) wrote a Canon and in it he ordered that male and female shall not be baptized in the same front 3, and no one shall enter the church, unless bareheaded and barefooted. And none of the faithful shall cover his Eucharist with bread 4 before the dismissal. And that the faithful should be careful with the water with which they cover their Eucharist with three draughts, so that nothing of it (the water) fall on the ground, because it is equal to the Elements 6. And that they (the faithful) shall stand in the churches on Sundays and Feast Days with fear and trembling in the presence of (lit. between the hands of) God, His Name be exalted, with supplication, entreaty and petition for the remission of sins and delivery from the snares of the Enemy. And no one shall talk or converse at the time of the Prayers 7 and the Liturgy, except on these two subjects, and they are the subject of religion and of the readings, and the science and the interpretation thereof, wherein (is the) salvation of souls: and they shall give ear to hear the precepts of the Lord---praise be to Him!---until the Liturgy be finished. And, likewise, the women shall stand in their places with continence, and they shall not utter a word during the time of the Prayers and the Liturgies. And the women shall not
3 i. e. in the same baptismal water.
4 i. e. the Eulogia.
6 i. e. the Eucharist.
7 i. e. the Canonical Hours.
--- 251 ---
mix with the men. and they shall not sit in the passages of the men, so as to look at those who enter and those who go out. And they shall be submissive to their husbands, and attentive to their homes, so that they may be blessed with the blessing of their mother Sarah and Rebecca and Rachel. And the faithful shall practice asceticism and humility during the Fast of the Pure Forty (Days) 1, which our Lord and our God and our Saviour Jesus Christ---to Him be glory!---likewise fasted. And there shall not be during it (the Fast) any marriage at all. And in the Great Week 2 there shall not be any baptism or funeral riles, and during it they (the people) shall be assidious (in attending) the church and (practising) asceticism because it is a week of affliction and sadness. And after the completion of the Liturgy on the Sunday of Olives [Palm Sunday] there shall be read the Gospel of the Intercessions for the Dead after the Epistle of Paul which is appointed for the dead, and after this, there shall be read over the assembly of the people the Absolution, because in the Great Week there is not allowed either the Intercession or the Absolution or the funeral rites until the day of the Feast of Easter is completed. And the Liturgy of the Great Thursday 8 shall be (celebrated) in fear and awe and in silence, without the Kiss or hand-shaking, and there shall not be said «Offer»,
1 i.e. Lent.
2 i. e. Holy week.
8 i. e. Maundy Thursday.
--- 252 ---
but there shall be said in place of it «With fear» without the Absolution either at the beginning or at the end. And in the Liturgy of the Great Saturday there shall be read the Intercessions and the Absolution, but the Kiss (shall) not (be given). And there shall not be performed during the Fifty (Days) either Baptism or Ordination. And there shall not be allowed on Sundays weeping or lamentation or speeches, and it is not allowed to a Christian to do this or anything of it for the dead, except the Intercessions and the Eucharist and the Prayer for the dead and alms, in the measure of his (the Christian's) ability, that the Lord may have mercy upon the souls of your dead, and that He may bless (you) in your lives and in your means of subsistence and in your homes and your children, and that He may bring back your travellers who are absent, and may establish your time in peace. And none of the bishops or the priests or the deacons who are strangers shall, if he enter the city of Alexandria, celebrate the Liturgy in its churches or make the offering on its altars, and no one shall cause them to make the offering in them (the churches) or to minister at all. And the Fast of the Apostles, the Disciples, which is after Pentecost, is incumbent upon the Faithful, in thanksgiving to God, that He granted to us on it (Pentecost) the gift of the Holy Spirit, fasting uninterruptedly until the fifth day of Abib [29th June], and they shall celebrate the Feast on it, as is the custom. And if that day fall on a Wednesday, they shall
--- 253 ---
break (their) fast on it, before the time of the fast, but if it be (on) a Friday, they shall not break (their) fast on it before the time of the fast which is customary on it. Likewise, the Fast of the Holy Nativity shall be from the Feast of my lord Menas on the fifteenth day of Hatur [11th of November] to the twenty-ninth day of Khyahk [25th of December]. And if the day of the Feast of the Illustrious Nativity fall on a Wednesday or a Friday, let them break the fast on it, and they shall not fast at all. And likewise, if the Feast of the Holy Immersion [Epiphany] on the eleventh of Tubah fall on a Wednesday or a Friday, let them break (their) fast on it too, and they shall not fast. And if the tenth of Tubah on which is the Fast of the Immersion should be a Saturday or a Sunday, then there shall be no fast at all, but they shall fast on the Friday which is before it, instead of on the Eve of the Immersion. And it is not allowed to any of the faithful to fast on a Saturday, except on one Saturday in the whole year, and this is the Great Saturday which is the end of the Fast. The fast of Wednesday and Friday is always obligatory (during) the whole year, except (in) the Fifty Days only. And it is not allowed to a deacon to be remiss in the ministry of his church and he shall not be absent from it on the days on which the Liturgy is celebrated in it, except from necessity or bodily sickness or an imperial order. And it is not allowed to a priest, when he is not present at the Liturgy from its commencement to proceed to divide the Body or to touch it at all with his hands. And a priest shall not go out (with) the censer of incense, after the reading
--- 254 ---
of the Holy Gospel, the Gospel of the Liturgy, into the midst of the people, but he shall incense with it around the altar up to the time which is known. And when an infant is baptized, let him be fasting until he has communicated, if he be able, but if he has drunk the milk of his mother or of another woman of the faithful, then the Eucharist is not allowed to him, and Baptism is not allowed without the Eucharist. And it is not allowed that women pass the night in the church on the eve of a Feast or on the eve of Sundays, unless it be an elderly woman or a nun. And he who shall marry a Melkite woman, this is not possible for him, unless they be crowned with us, and they shall not baptize their children except with us. And if the senior deacons absent themselves from their churches, (but) are present on Feast Days, and desire to have precedence over them (and to perform) the ministry, this is not possible for them, but those who are assiduous in the ministry shall have precedence, even though they be their inferiors (in rank). And whatsoever deacon or layman has gainsaid a priest or disputed with him or anger has occurred between them, he shall not go to another priest to take the Communion from him, and if he has gone to another church, he shall not communicate (there), and if he has done this, let him who gives him the Communion and he himself both be interdicted. And whatsoever deacon or other person has decried a priest, and departed from the judgement of the Church and sought aid from the Sultan or the judge, and has turned away from the priests and the Church to other than they, and has claimed that which is not his by right, if he be a priest, let him be suspended from his office, and if he be a layman, let him be forbidden the Eucharist. And neither deacons nor those who are their inferiors (in rank) shall gainsay their priests, nor shall they depart from what they (the priests) enjoin on them, because they (the priests) are the trustees in the Church of God, and he who honours God and His priests and His Church, God shall honour him, and he who contemns them, God shall contemn him. And we have
--- 255 ---
allowed the faithful to make the Eucharistic loaves in their homes and to bear them to the church in the measure of their ability, and there shall be to them a reward and a recompense according to the measure of their faithfulness; and the making of it (the Eucharistic bread) shall be according to what custom admits, primarily because this (is) an assistance to the Church, so that there may not be an increase of expense for it.
After the consecration of the father, Abba Christodoulus, in the Monastery of Abba Macarius 1, after his departure from Alexandria, he came to Cairo (Misr). It was the usual custom of the patriarchs who were before him, that they should be consecrated in the church of my lord Sergius in the Kasr as-Sam‘, because (it was) the Catholic (church) in Cairo (Misr). When this father (Christodoulus) arrived at Fuslat Misr, the priests of the church of the Mistress in Cairo (Misr) in the Kasr as Sam‘, known as al-Mu‘allakah, assembled, and they said: «How is it that you abandon your church and go to the church of Abba Sergius which belongs to the bishop, to be consecrated in it?» A dispute and a quarrel occurred between the priests of these two churches, until they went with him (Christodoulus) to the church of the Mistress al-Mu‘allakah and consecrated him in it. There were with him on that day twenty-four bishops, saintly and distinguished elders, and Abba Philotheus, bishop of Cairo (Misr), celebrated the Liturgy with him on that day. And there was at the church of Abba Sergius, an archdeacon known as Abi'l-Farag at-Tirs, and when the patriarch abandoned his church in which it was the custom to consecrate the patriarchs, he cut out his (Christodoulus')
1 In the Wadi n-Natrun.
--- 256 ---
name, and he did not mention it in his sanctuary for the space of a week, until he (Christodoulus) came to it (the church) after a week and celebrated the Liturgy in it, and removed the trouble, and excused himself, (saying) that he had only gone to the church al-Mu‘allakah to stop the quarrel which had occurred between the priests of the two churches on his account, lest the matter should become serious between them.
The Holy Spirit was close to him (Christodoulus), and miracles and strength of soul, through God the Exalted, were manifested through him. Among them (was) that he interdicted a man known as al-Hawagibi, and he became paralysed in half of his body, and dumb, and he died immediately. Then the notables of Cairo (Misr) came together to him and asked him to absolve the son of the sister of the Saikh Abu Zikri Yahya ibn Macarius who, at that time, had high rank in the State and who was in charge of the Diwan (named) al-Barhagi, and the Diwan of Public Expenses, because he had been interdicted on account of a crime he had committed, but he (Christodoulus) would not absolve him. When they importuned him in their request concerning him, he said to them: «One word suffices the wise, but much speaking profits the ignorant nothing». When they heard from him this saying, they ceased to speak to him, and they did not dare after this to converse with him on such wise.
Afterwards, there occurred for him trouble with (some) Syrian people, while (he was) in the church of the martyr Abba Mercurius in Cairo (Misr), on account of the oil and the salt which they use in their oblation, and even a man among them, known as the Saikh Abu'1-Bisr, the physician of al-‘Azimiah, addressed him. Then he (Christodoulus) ordered (his) disciples to remove him (Abu'l-Bisr) from his presence, and they removed him and they took him up from his presence, and dragged him outside the church. He (Abu'l-Bisr) was a physician of the king, and he was a favourite of him. The aforesaid (Abu'1-Bisr) went to the wazir and complained to him about him
--- 257 ---
(Christodoulus), and he wrote to John, the patriarch of Antioch complaining about him (Christodoulus) also, but he (John) did not pay any attention to this, and he (Christodoulus) did many wondrous deeds in Cairo (Misr). the description of which would be lengthy.
There was a youth among the children of the Christians in Cairo (Misr), known as Phoebammon ibn Bakurah as-Sawwaf 1, (and) his age at that time (was) twenty-two years. He was the son of the sister of Abba George, bishop of Misarah. He had changed his religion, and his father and his mother had rejected him, and they had sent him away from them. He went to the church of Michael the Elect, and he remained at it for some days, and he determined to go to the Monastery of Abba Macarius in company with some of the monks who had counselled him (to do) this. But when they wished to set out, he said: «What is my gain if I go with you to that Desert, and I do not confess Christ in the place in which I denied Him?» Thereupon he left them and fastened on his girdle 4 and went out walking in the markets of Cairo (Misr). His father, Bakurah as-Sawwaf, was transacting business with the master ‘Iddat ad-Dawlah Rifk, who was, at that time, controller of the Turks, and he was in charge of the Castle (Kasr), and was a favourite of the king. When the Muslims saw the girdle round his (Phoebammon's) waist, after his having embraced al-Islam, they took him, and they congregated round him, and they went with him to the guards, and the wall imprisoned him and straitened him. His (Phoebammon's) father went to his friend ‘Iddat ad-Dawlah Rifk and promised him a large sum of money in order to save him. He (‘Iddat ad-Dawlah Rifk) said to him: «I am not able to do anything in this (matter), unless your son consents to feign that he is mad,
l i. e. seller of wool. 4 The girdle was a distinctive mark of a Copt. Its use by the Copts was re-enforced from time to time by the Muslim authorities.
-- 258 ---
and I will send witnesses to the prison to see him and to listen to his speech, and I will save him, though he is a Christian». There was with him (Phoebammon) in the prison a Syrian monk and he exhorted him and enlightened his heart and showed to him the road to martyrdom, and he made death for the Name of Christ (seem) to him (to be) sweeter than honey, so that he began to long for it and to prefer it to life. When the witnesses came in to him, he spoke to them reasonable words and he confessed the good Faith, as is proper, that he was a Christian. They said to him: «But it was told to us that you did this on account of a madness which came upon you». He said to them: «If I were mad, I should not keep my religion and my faith, but I am, praise be to God, sane (and) a believer in the Lord Christ, to Him (be) glory». The wali went with them to the wazir, so that they might explain to him what had happened, in the presence of ‘Iddat ad-Dawlah Rifk. Then the wazir ordered him (Phoebammon) to be put to death. The master of the curtain of the Sultan, namely Amir Gandar, went with the wali down to the soldiers of the guard, and they spoke to him (Phoebammon), and they treated him with kindness and they informed him that they had been ordered to put him to death, but he did not desist from confessing the Lord Jesus Christ. Then they brought him out from the prison of the soldiers of the guards, and there followed him a great multitude of Egyptians and soldiers and others besides them, in whose hands were sticks and instruments of torture, and the deputy of the wali of the garrison did not allow any of them to lay his hand upon him (Phoebammon) until they had brought him to the head of the bridge, and there he descended from his mule upon which there was a saddle and a bridle with heavy trappings, and he took off his burnished sword and placed it on the saddle, and he said to him (Phoebammon): «Take this mule and that which is on it, and I will inscribe your name in the Diwan of the Sultan, and I shall fix for you an allocation which you shalt receive every year, but desist from this opinion». He (Phoebammon) said to him: «If you were to give
--- 259 ---
to me the kingdom of Egypt (Misr), I would pay no attention to it». He (the deputy) lifted up his hand and buffeted him, and there was on his finger a large gold ring, so that his eye became swollen. Then he (the deputy) said to the executioner: «Draw the sword», and he drew it, and he said to the youth: «Observe it, for it is sharp». He (Phoebammon) said to him: «O my master, a palm-stalk also cuts». The foot-soldiers asked for (something) with which to bandage his eyes. He (Phoebammon) said to them: «We have no need (to do this)», and he tore from the sleeve of his under-garment a rag with which he bandaged his eyes with his own hand, and he knelt down on the ground, and he turned his face towards the east, and he made the sign of the cross on his forehead, and he stretched out his neck. The executioner thrust him with the hilt of (his) sword so that he should turn his face towards the south, but he would not do (so), and he asked for water, but he was not given (any) to drink. His neck was struck, and his trunk fell upon the earth, but his head and his face remained (erect) towards the east, so that all who were present marvelled. They placed four (men) to watch over him that night, and they (the men) saw at night a great and fearful light (which) descended upon him (Phoebammon), so that two of them became mad, and the other two departed from Cairo (Misr), and no news is known of them to (this) day.
When this news reached the king Ma‘ad al-Mustansir billah, Commander (Amir) of the Faithful, he commanded that he (Phoebammon) should be delivered to his family to bury him, where they wished. His father bore him to the church of Michael the Elect, and he buried him outside the door, and on the third day, the father, Abba Christodoulus arrived from the Monastery of the Beacon (as-Sam‘) at the said church, and he found that they had buried him outside the church. He disapproved of this, and he said to
--- 260 ---
them: «Is a martyr to be buried outside the church?» and he commanded the tomb to be demolished and he brought him (Phoebammon) into the church, and he unfolded the shroud from him, in order that he might kiss him and receive a blessing from him. He found on him fresh blood, as if it had come out of him at that hour, and he took of it, and he made the sign of the cross on his garments. He built an altar there in his (Phoebammon's) name and consecrated it, and he buried him in front of it on the level of the ground, and his body remains there till now, in the church of Michael the Elect.
After these days, the father, Abba Christodoulus consecrated his secretary, known as Abba Michael, bishop of the see of Tinnis. He was virtuous and learned, and he it was who wrote the biographies of ten patriarchs; the first of whom (was) Michael the third, and the last of whom (was) Senouti. When the patriarch (Christodoulus) decided to correspond with Abba John 4 patriarch of Antioch, he (Michael) presented himself to him on account of this, and he wrote on his behalf a Synodical Letter, and he travelled with it, he and Abba Gabriel, the saint, the bishop of Sa, and he (Gabriel) was an old man. I saw him, when he came to Alexandria at the consecration of Abba Christodoulus.
After this, a body of bishops assembled, and they were Abba John, bishop of Sakha, known as Ibn az-Zalim the scribe, before his episcopate, and Abba Michael, bishop of
4 i.e. John (IX), A. D. 1049-1058.
- 261 ---
Kutur and Abba Elijah, bishop of Tamwaih and Abba George, bishop of al-Khandak and Abba Mark, bishop of al-Balyana, and Abba Michael, bishop of Tinnis, the writer of the Synodical letter mentioned before, and a body of priests of Alexandria, and they came to Cairo (Misr), and they made an agreement to depose the father, Abba Christodoulus from the patriarchate. Ostensibly, they claimed against him that at his consecration there were not read over him the prayers which it is customary to read over the patriarchs; but, in reality, the reason for this was a quarrel (which) occurred between him (Christodoulus) and the aforesaid Abba John, bishop of Sakha. And he (John) excited these aforesaid bishops and priests against him, and he said to them: «If you are silent (and refrain) from helping me against him (Christodoulus), he will do with you more than what he did with me». Then they gave ear to him, and they rose up against the father, the patriarch. He (Christodoulus) did not pay any attention to them and he did not meet together with any of the archons in Cairo (Misr), until Abba John, bishop of Sakha humbled himself before him. Among these who lent their assistance in this (matter), besides others, was the Saikh Abu Zikri Yahya ibn Macarius, chief of the Diwan of the State. He brought to him (Christodoulus) the aforesaid bishop to the church, and he (Christodoulos) celebrated the Liturgy with him, and the affair between them was peacefully settled, and what they had determined (to do) against him (Christodoulus) was made void.
He (Christodoulus) journeyed on that night to Damanhur, and he set out for Damrua, early in the morning, whence he journeyed to
--- 262 ---
the Monastery of Abba Macarius in the Wadi Habib. The monks of the Monastery of Abba Macarius and the priests of Alexandria used to leave some of the Eucharist over and keep it covered up from the Sunday of Olives till Great Wednesday. There was Abba Michael, writer of the Synodical letter, bishop of Tinnis, there with him (Christodoulus). The father, the patriarch, expressed disapproval to them of what they did with regard to the Eucharist, and he mentioned to them what might happen to it in the way of decay, change, insects, and other things besides which it is not possible for me to describe. He commanded this (practice) to be abolished, and he anathematized him who should do it afterwards, in the presence of an assembly of the bishops in the Monastery of Abba Macarius, and in the presence of the vicar of Christ, Bukairah ar-Rasidi, the scribe, the owner of the Cross.
Then the monks rose up against the father, the patriarch, and they came to him with the iron keys, and they said to him: «You are no better than the fathers who preceded you». Then he (Christodoulus) arose, and he was angry, and he departed to his cell, and a great tumult ensued. Then the father, the patriarch, brought out from the library of the Monastery of Abba Macarius a homily in this sense, and Abba Michael, his secretary, read it to the assembly. The Lord Christ aided this father to suppress this custom, and he abolished it until now, and no one after that reverted to leaving over (some of) the Eucharist.
When all the chiefs of the kingdom, and the overseers in its diwans and in the direction of its affairs were all of them Christians, being authorities who executed their orders, they became gluttonous and they became arrogant and lived luxuriously, they and all the Christians
in land of Egypt (Misr), and they became proud and strong, and enmity and envy occurred between them and between their chiefs, and most of their concern (was) for worldly affairs, and for pomp, for display and for exalting themselves over one another. Punishment descended from heaven from the Lord Christ upon all the Christians, and it overtook even others besides them of the nations, in order to punish them for all their offences in this world, and to save them in the next life, before they came to Him, as says David, the blessed, in the psalm: «Blessed is the man whom the Lord shall punish; and shall teach him out of His Law, to give him rest from the evil day», that is to say, the day of the Resurrection. And (as) says Solomon, the Wise: «O my son, do not be discontented at the punishment of the Lord, for whom the Lord loves He punishes». And (as) says Paul the Apostle:«If you are neglected and are left without punishment and are not wounded by that with which the chosen of men are wounded, you are become strangers to God, not more preferable»; and as says John the Evangelist, beloved of our Lord Jesus Christ, in his Apocalypse: «Those whom I love, I reprove them and I punish them».
The first (trial) which came upon the father, the patriarch, (was) that a calumnious report was written about him to the wazir al-Yazuri that he (Christodoulus) had forbidden the King of Nubia to send the offering. Then the wazir executed an order against him for a hundred dinars. He sent (it) by a Turkish youth (who) belonged to ‘Adad ad-Dawlah, who was in charge of (mutawali) military affairs and travellers in the Rif. His name (was) Durri, and he journeyed to him (Christodoulus) and he seized him, and he journeyed
--- 264 ---
with him to Cairo (al-Kahirah) and he delivered him to ‘Adad ad-Dawlah (who) honoured him and lodged him in his house. He, namely, ‘Adad ad-Dawlah went to the wazir and with him (was) Abu'1-Bisr, the phvsician of al-‘Azamiah, mentioned before, and they both spoke with him (the wazir) about the affair of the patriarch Abba Christodoulus and (said) that (there was) no truth in what was related about him. Then he commanded him (Christodoulus) to be set free, and he (Christodoulus) returned to Damrua.
Abba Gabriel, bishop of Sa and Abba Michael bishop of Tinnis, related that, when the two of them came with the Synodical Letter to Abba John, patriarch of Antioch, he and his bishops and all his priests received both of them very well, and he read it (the Synodical Letter) in all his churches. He proclaimed the name of our father Abba Christodoulus in the sanctuaries of the churches of the See of Antioch. Abba Michael, bishop of Tinnis, narrated what he had witnessed and heard of the miracles of our father, Abba John, and we are dispensed from mentioning it by what Abba Michael has described in the biography which he recorded.
When the wazir ‘Ali ibn Ahmad al-Gargani died, Abu Nasr Sadakah ibn Yusuf al-Fallaht was put in charge of the wazirate after him, and after him, Abu'l-Barakat, son of the brother of al-Gargani, and after him, al-Yazuri who has been mentioned before.
Then the Enemy of good who hates righteousness, the Devil,
--- 265 ---
stirred up trouble for the Church, and this (was) that the head of Saint Mark the Evangelist was in the house of Abu Yahya Zakarya whom we have previously mentioned. When he (Abu Yahya Zakarya) fell sick, and his pain became intense there came to my father ten of the Christians, they being Gabriel ibn Cosmas, and Simon the priest who became bishop of Tinnis and his brother Hassun the deacon, and Abu'l-Khair Matruh and Surur ibn Matruh who (was) with them, and they said to him: «The Shaikh Abu Yahya Zakarya (is sick) and his pain has become intense, and he is (still) attached to the service of the most honourable general ‘Iz ad-Dawlah Mi‘dad al-Ustadh, and we fear that he may die, and that his house will be seized, and we do not vouch for the head of the Saint which is with him». He (my father) went with them to the man, and he found him in the throes of death. Then they took the box in which (was) the head, and they carried it to the house of Gabriel ibn Cosmas, since his house was near to the house of Abu Yahya. When it was night, they carried it (the head) to the house of my father in which we were living, and they said to him: «We feared to deposit it there, whither we had transferred it, on account of its proximity to the house of the Saikh Abu Yahya Zakharya, because he has just died. Deposit it in your house. My father stood in the corridor, and he swore that it (the head) should not enter his house, for fear of the Sultan, because he had already before that experienced confiscation, and fine(s) and difficult matters. Then Surur ibn Matruh took it (the head) and went with it to his house, and it (his house) was opposite to the aforesaid house. Then the priest Simon who is now bishop of Tinnis said to him: «I will transfer it (the head) from your house to my house, and I and my brother will serve it», and they went and took it.
There was in Alexandria a man from the city of Barca called ‘Ali ibn Basir, and he wrote to the most honourable general Mi‘dad ad-Dawlah concerning the particulars of the case. And the order came to
;1) Cf. E. Amelineau, op. cit., p. 607.
;2) A city in Cyrenaica.
[3> This name is here written without any diacritical points but cf. p. 266 line 1 1.
- 266 ---
seize my father and a multitude of those who were with him. The wali of Alexandria was, at that time, Kawkab ad-Dawlah al-Bistali. He caused them to be brought (to him), and he said to them. «I desire the head of Mark and the ten thousand dinars (which) were with it. This is the letter of the Sultan (which) has reached me to request you for this». Hassun the deacon went forward, and he (the wali) said to him: «Do you want me to strike you with the lash, till you bring this?» He said: «Nay, I do not wish (it)». Then he (the wali) derided him, and he left him; and my father was carried to Cairo (Misr) without the multitude. Mi‘dad ad-Dawlah demanded from him the ten thousand dinars, and he said: «I desire the head of Mark», because Ibn Basir the aforesaid had written to him that the Greeks (ar-Rum) would pay to him ten thousand dinars for it (the head). My father said to him: «I have not seen it, neither have I received it. Lo, I am in your presence. Then he imprisoned him, and my father and the multitude knew that this had happened to him for the reason that he had not taken it (the head), and that he had sent it away from the door of his house. He (my father) remained imprisoned for thirty-seven days. There was a gaoler of the prison, a man, a Muslim, whose name (was) Barakat, and (he said) to my father: «The morrow (will be) the thirty-seventh day, O Shaikh Abu'1-Fath. I saw just now a young man with a black beard, (and) a wound on his forehead, and he stood at this door, and was saying: 'O Abu'l-Fath ibn Mufarrag, I am Mark, the Evangelist: you have gained profit through your endurance, and a speech other than this which I did not understand; and take this, (and) you shall be delivered', and he threw to you from his right hand a stone which had three heads, and he said: 'Within three days you shalt be delivered'». My father said to him: «O Barakat; bring to me a light, so that I may have a look at what you have said». Then he (Barakat) brought to him a light, since the prison was dark, and he (my father) found the stone thrown down in front of him. Then
--- 267 ---
he took it, and looked at it attentively and he kissed it and fastened it to his arm. I and my brothers saw it, after he had been delivered and it remained in the handkerchief of his sleeve up to the time of his death, (but) when he died, we did not find it. Three days after the gaoler had seen this vision, Mi‘dad ad-Dawlah sent for (and) caused my father to be brought (to him). He arranged for his release at five hundred dinars, besides another hundred dinars for his companions, so that the total (was) six hundred dinars. He (my father) paid it, and he was released, and he came to us in Alexandria, and he took the head and kissed it, as though nothing had befallen him.
There was among the number of trustworthy witnesses in Cairo (Misr) a man who (was) prominent among them, (who was) known as the judge Abu'l-Husain ‘Abd al-Wahhab ibn ‘Ali as-Sinraki. He had left a service of which he had been in charge in Cairo (Misr), and had been employed as a judge (kadi) and inspector at the city of Alexandria. He had left it, and he was employed in several services in the Rif. He used to detest the Christians, and he went on a certain day to Damrua, and the patriarch did not pay him his due in full. Then the Devil---may God confound him---entered into him, and made it seem good to him to write to the wazir al-Yazuri, and he said to him many things against the patriarch, and that this Damrua was a second Constantinople, and (that there were) in it seventeen churches, most of which were restored, and that many churches had been restored in other districts, and that he (Christodoulus) had established in this place (Damrua) a place for his dwelling and had engraved over its door a blasphemy, and (that) he had insulted al-Islam and its people. He advised him to close all the churches,
--- 268 ---
and to demolish those of them that had been restored and to impose upon them (a fine in) money. The wazir answered it (the letter), and he wrote to him that he should make clear what was contained in his letter by means of trustworthy witnesses. Then he (the man) rode in the company of witnesses in his service, and he came to Damrua, and he entered the residence of the patriarch Abba Christodoulus and he found engraved above it: «In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, One God». He erased it from the door. Then the patriarch said to him: «If you have erased it from above the door, can you erase it from my heart?», and those who were present marvelled at his strength of soul and at the excellence of his words. After this, the wazir al-Yazuri commanded that the churches should be closed in all the land of Egypt (Misr). The wazir al-Yazuri had an assistant in this, a man known as Abu'l-Farag al-Babili, (one) of the chiefs of the State and the heads of the Diwans, and Nasr ad-Dawlah ibn Hamdan was in charge of the two caravans in the Eastern and Western Rifs. He closed the churches, and he took the patriarch and the bishops, and he demanded money from them. This (was) in the year seven hundred and seventy-three of the Martyrs [A. D. 1056-1057.].
When Abba Christodoulus became patriarch, he used to say to him whom he appointed bishop: «These Sees belong to Mark (the Evangelist), and this See to which I appoint you bishop, the half of it shall be for my lord Mark the Evangelist and the half for you. Lend to me so and so much from the half which belongs to my lord Mark, the Evangelist, and do you collect (money) until you have received your due in full, and after this, whatsoever is collected in the See, convey the half which belongs to
7 i. e. half of the revenue of the See.
- 269 -
my lord Mark to the Cell». He (Christodoulus) collected for himself from all whom he appointed bishops much money. Among their company (was) Mark the scribe (who was) known as Ibn az-Zalim. He (Christodoulus) took from him one thousand dinars as a loan on the half of the See, and he appointed him bishop of the See of Samannud. He (Christodoulus) used to do this, so that it should not be said that he practised simony, and he firmly believed that he was absolved by God.
When Nasr ad-Dawlah arrested him (Christodoulus), as we said at the beginning, and fixed (the sum to be paid) by him and by the bishops and by all the Christians at seventy thousand dinars, the Christians experienced from this and from the closing of their churches great affliction and great difficulty.
Then, after this, a man known as Ibn al-Kayid ar-Rahim went out to the Rif with a decree to Nasr ad-Dawlah ibn Hamdan that he had been appointed to collect the taxes of al-Gawali in the Rif. He was an evil man of exceedingly great wickedness who detested the Christians, and they experienced through him great shame and hardship. When it happened on a certain day that he rode on an unruly colt, and when his foot was in the stirrup and he was (still) standing, he fell on the ground, and his foot remained in the stirrup, and it (the colt) did not stop running, and it kicked him until he was dead. When he was buried, his tomb was pelted with bricks for a number of days until it became a mound.
Afterwards, al-Mustansir billah was angered with al-Yazuri, and he
9 i.e the poll-tax imposed on Christians and Jews.
- 270 -
commanded that he should be banished to Tinnis. Then he commanded that he should be put to death there. A mad man ruled over his body, dragging it by its heels, and he took it down into the sewer of the bath of the Bath of D n surah 5 at Tinnis, carrying it about during the day several times and going round the streets with it.
Afterwards, a wonder was shown forth in as-Sinraki, and he saw in himself a great example, (for) a disease attacked him in his lower parts and worms crawled in him. They used to put under him every day a number of ratls of tender meat, and worms used to eat it, but they did not cease from eating his body. This (was) a reward in the present world, and he experienced great difficulty until he died an evil death.
Then seventy days after the arrest of al-Yazuri, al-Babili was arrested and he was imprisoned in the Treasury of the Flags, and Nasr ad-Dawlah used to say: «This (was) one of the miracles of the Christians what had befallen Ibn al-Kayid ar-Rahim first, then al-Yazuri and the death of as-Sinraki, and the imprisonment of al-Babili. Each one of them was smitten on a Friday, the same day as that on which the churches were closed. Thus Sinan ad-Dawlah ibn Kabir, the wali of Cairo (Misr), used to say also, for he was a man of Kitam (who) loved the Christians. Thus, the amir al-Mu'yid Hisn ad-Dawlah Abu Tirab Hidarah ibn Miruwa of Kitam of Damascus, the wali of Alexandria---May God have mercy upon him and forgive him (his sins)!---(who) was a lover of the Christians
5 Reading according to Ms. M. Ms. A gives the word without diacritical points.
8 Weight of 2,564 grams.
--- 271 ---
and had regard for their churches, so that, when al-Yazuri 1 commanded the closing of the churches, he (the wali) caused me. the sinner, to be brought, and (also) my maternal uncle Sadakah ibn Surur, since we used to work for him in his important affairs, and he said to us: «This (is) the letter of the wazir al-Yazuri which has arrived concerning the closing of the churches and the seizure of all their property and a demand for ten thousand dinars from all the Christians of Alexandria. It is necessary that you should go at once and remove all that is in your churches in the way of vessels and vestments and such like things, so that you may behold afterwards what I shall do to-morrow, and this affair shall be kept secret». This we did, and when it was early on the morrow, he (the wali) took his seat, and he caused to be brought the judge and the witnesses and the person in charge of order, and he showed the letter, and he commanded them to go to the churches and to record what was in them and to take care of it. Then they went, and they returned to him with the inventory of what they had found, and it was reed-mats and a rat-trap in the Church of the Soter, known as the Saviour. He (the wali) said: «If this is (what) is found in their churches and their large churches, then what will be the condition of these Christians, and from whence will they have this money which is demanded of them? Indeed, for me it is true that they are a hidden people, feeble ones, without standing. Then he commanded that our churches and the churches of the Melkites should be closed, and he wrote to the wazir about this, and he (the wazir) continued to send back his messengers to him, until the affair was settled at two thousand dinars. He (the wali) caused us to be brought and he acquainted us with the letter, and we thanked him, and we invoked a blessing upon him. Afterwards, we complained to him about our condition on account of the closing of the churches and the interruption of the prayers for him at the time of the Prayers and the
1 MS. M reads «al-Bazuri» and MS. A has the reading «al-Baruzi».
- 272 ---
Liturgies. Then he gave to us the key of the Church of my lord George which was formerly the house of Annianus, the first patriarch; it was the house into which my lord Mark the Evangelist entered on the first day he entered Alexandria, when the awl pierced the palm of Annianus (who) was at that time a cobbler, and my lord Mark healed it, and was hospitably received in the house. He (the wali) said to us: «Go, open this church and pray in it secretly and pray for me». Then we invoked a blessing upon him, and we took the key, and we went altogether to the church, and we continued to attempt (to open) the door from the third hour of the day till the ninth. Then we wept and made supplication and said: «O Lord, we acknowledge indeed that You have closed it on account of our sins and our transgressions. Have mercy upon us and forgive us». Then the door was opened for us, and we entered, and we celebrated the Liturgy and we communicated, and we remained thus until there was apportioned to us a thousand dinars, and to the Melkites a thousand dinars, and we conveyed them to him (the wali). After some days, he (the wali) caused me to be brought, I and my brother and my maternal uncle and a friend of his whose name was Abu Ghalib ibn Sulaiman, who was also in his (the wali's) service for the merchandise coming to him from Syria, and he (the wali) said to us: «How much did you weigh out of what was your share in the amount?)) We said to him: «Two hundred dinars». Then he paid to us from his purse two hundred dinars, and he said: «These I took for you from the Christians of Rasid, Atkua, al-Gudaiyidah and Mahallat al-Amir. Take you them in place of what you have paid». We invoked a blessing upon him, and we thanked him, and we said to him: «O Master, this is not lawful for us, because the share was weighed out by the hidden, the widow and everyone. How shall we take back what we have
--- 273 ---
paid without them"?» Then he said: «These dinars (are) for you, do with them what you wish». We invoked a blessing upon him, and we thanked him. and we took them, and we bought with them garments of Aleppo and wheat and distributed it among the infirm of the Christians. (News of) this reached him (the wali), and he agreed to it and rejoiced at it.
It was a custom of the Christians of Alexandria to go out with olive branches on the day of the Feast of Branches, on the eve, and to pass with them through the main street and the market from the Church of Saint Abba Sergius to the Church of the Saviour with intercession and reading, until there occurred something on the part of the Muslims which obliged them (the Christians) to remain fifteen years without going in procession with them (the branches). When we mentioned this to the Amir Hisn ad-Dawlah ibn Mirua, he ordered (us) to go out with them (the olive-branches) according to the usual custom, and he sent with us his companions and instructed them to do what he told them. From whatsoever house a stone was thrown a seal should be placed on its door, and he should be informed about it, and whatsoever man of the Muslims who should speak (against us), should be taken to the prison, and his (the wall's) public crier proclaimed this in the city. Then we took them (the olive-branches) out that night, and we went in procession with them through the city with reading and laudation, and crosses and incense, as it had been the usual custom before. It was for us a good night, and this was in the year four hundred and four of the Khiragyah. There was in that year a great dearth, so that wheat was sold on the eve of (the Feast of) Olive-branches for a dinar and a half a waibah, and it used not
--- 274 ---
to be sold, except for an-nizari dinars, and its value at that time was thirtv-five and a half dirhams for a dinar, and the value of the dinar in the currency of the country which the people used was twenty-six dirhams, and the dinar an-nizari became one dinar, one fourth and one eighth in the currency of the country. When we went out with the olive-branches on that eve, it happened that fresh barley arrived early in the morning from al-Buhairah, and wheat was (sold) at a dinar for a waibah and a half. On the next day, two waibahs (were sold) for a dinar, and after ten days, more than one ardab was (sold) for a dinar. Abundance increased, and God in His mercy and His compassion removed the dearth. The Muslims inhabitants of Alexandria were certain that this (was) through the blessing of the bringing out of the olive-branches and the going with them in procession through the city, and they used to rejoice at the going out with them (the olive-branches) every year on the eve of the Feast of Olive-branches up till now.
Afterwards, the Devil, the hater of good, raised up another trouble, and he put into the heart of a monk called Colluthus, to solicit a bishopric from the father Abba Christodoulus, but he would not do (this). Then he (the monk) presented calumnious reports about him (Christodoulus) to the Sultan, but some of the archons of Cairo (Misr), and they (were) Abu'l-Yumn ibn Makrawah ibn Zanbur and Abu 't-Tayyib ar-Rarawi and Abu's-Surur abu John ibn Joseph al-Abah, prevented him, and they caused him to renounce (this), and they turned him away from it, and he turned away from it for a time. Afterwards, the trouble between him and the patriarch was renewed, and he reverted to sending in calumnious reports about him (Christodoulus) to the Sultan, until he
--- 275 ---
(Christodoulus) was arrested, and they found that he (Christodoulus) had in his dwelling-place at Damrua a basin in which (were) six thousand dinars tied up in a red cloak. They took them and brought them with him to Cairo (Misr). The archons assembled and they occupied themselves with his case until the order against him had been removed. The aforesaid money was carried to the Treasury, and the patriarch returned to Damrua, after the illness of gout had attacked him in Cairo (Misr).
He used to repay to the Alexandrians what they spent on the building of their churches and on their Eucharists, (namely), three hundred and fifty dinars every year, out of the tax fixed for them and (payable) to the patriarchs, and he used to carry it to them, before they asked for it from him (Christodoulus).
When the aforesaid Hisn ad-Dawlah ibn Mirua was dismissed from the governorship of Alexandria, al-Muntakhab Nasr al-Malak abi ‘Ali Mulhim was appointed governor of it after him. He was a wise man, but he erred against himself and did something which was the cause of his death. This (was) that he passed the night in the Church of the Saint, my lord George the martyr, at Lydda, inside the sanctuary beneath which (the altar) is his tomb, with a beardless youth of his 6. A horseman, and he was the Martyr, my lord George, appeared to him, and he continued to strike him with his lance, while he implored help, saying: «O workers, I am crying out. Can you not save me from this horseman, so that he may not kill me? Lo, he is continuing to chastise me with his lance!» They said to him: «O master, may God preserve you! The doors are closed, and no one has entered in here with us». Then he died immediately.
There were manifested to us by the head of Saint Mark, when I took it to my house, great miracles, among which (was) that my brother
6 i. e. he committed sodomy.
--- 276 ---
Abu'l-‘Ala---may God give rest to his soul!---had had doubts about it, and had said in his heart: «Can this be the head of the Saint, my lord Mark, or not?» No (one) knew this except God the Exalted. When I was asleep that night, the Saint, my lord Mark, appeared to me, and he said to me: «Your brother Fahd has doubts about me». When it was morning, I informed my brother of this, while we were in the Church of Abba Sergius, I and he and my maternal uncle Sadakah ibn Surur and the monk Abu Jacob. When he heard my words, he marvelled and was frightened, and he confessed what was hidden in his heart, and informed us about what it was, and he went to where the head of the Saint (was), and he prayed and he wept and besought pardon from him (Saint Mark).
It was in Baramudah [April-May] (in the) year four hundred and fifty-three of al-Khiragyah that there appeared two great stars with manes 2. One of the two was called Safud, and the other, Fanus. The former of the two appeared at the end of the night between the East and the South, and the latter appeared at the end of the day between the West and the North, there where the sun used to set during that month. It was a great star resembling the moon on the night of its fulness. It appeared also on the next day there where the sun was at the eighth hour of the day [2pm], and its mane blazed, so that it became like a lantern, when a light is lit in it. It appeared on the third day and it lowered (its) great mane, which I saw with my (own) eyes, towards the East and the South, there where the former star had risen, because the mane of the former was blazing; and it was spread out towards (the place) where the latter had risen, and the mane of the latter was towards (the place) where the former had risen. After the appearance of these two stars, our sins and our transgressions were multiplied, and our gluttony and our pride increased, so that a number of trustworthy (people) among the Muslims and the Christians saw with their (own) eyes tears flowing from the eyes of some of the pictures which (were) in the churches, among which was the picture of my lord George in the church of
2 i. e. comets.
a village called Dimul, one of the villages of Abwan, and the picture of the Mistress and the picture of the Angel Michael in the church of Thunah. Macarius the monk, a disciple of the saintly Bessus of the Monastery of Abba Kame 4, renowned for his sanctity and beautiful manner of life, informed me about this.
The habitations of Egypt (Misr) were smitten with exceedingly great and hard punishments. The first of these was the occurrence of a great earthquake in the forenoon 5 of Tuesday, the second (day after) Easter, such that it overthrew a number of places at ar-Ramlah and Tinnis and elsewhere, but it did not have any effect at Alexandria. There was after it, much plague, so that there did not remain in Tinnis of the thousands who were in it, except some hundred people. There was a house in it, and all who were found in it were lying on their mattresses, and their money and everything which they possessed (was) in it. Then there were carried out from their houses the bedsteads, the domed canopies, the benches, mattresses and money, and ar-Ramlah became deserted, and no one remained in it. Then affairs became serious, until (at length) war was waged by the Easterns and the Turks who were masters of Cairo (Misr), against Nasr ad-Dawlah ibn Hamdan, and they applauded the Sultan that he had caused to be brought out a red tent which was pitched outside the gate of the Castle at the place known as the Golden Gate, and (that) he had manifested his anger against the Bani Hamdan and those who (were) with them. There was among them in Cairo (al-Kahirah) and Cairo (Misr) a party of Kurds, some five thousand men. On that day a crier cried among them and among
4 i. e. one of the monasteries of the Wadi'n-Natrun.
5 Daha is the period in the morning, one hour after sunrise up to about 10 a.in.
--- 278 ---
the Bani Hamdan and those who (were) with them, so that there did not remain of them in Cairo (Misr) and Cairo (al-Kahirah) except a few of them who cut their hair and their ear-locks and hid themselves. There was assassinated on that (day) the grand wazir Ibn al-Muwaffak fi'd-Din, known as Ibn al-‘Agami and Galal ad-Dawlah, son of the King of Baghdad, and he was a friend of the Bani Hamdan. Nasr ad-Dawlah ibn Hamdan and those who (were) with him reached Alexandria after having been routed, and he made an alliance with Kais and his Lewatis, but he displayed hypocrisy, and troops came out from Cairo (Misr) to seek him, and the chiefs of them (the troops) were Amin al-Umana abu'l-Yamin Sawaris ibn Makrawah ibn Zunbur, and he was invested with a robe of honour and was girt with a sword with golden ornamentation above the hilt, and he was surnamed «Master of the chiefs of the sword and the pen», and the Ustadh ‘Aziz ad-Dawlah, the Superintendent of the slaves (Zimam al-‘Abid), and Nagah ad-Dawlah Baghra, and Nasr al-Guyus ibn Asad ad-Dawlah Baldakus, and they arrived at Mahallat al-Amir. On account of these many chiefs in this army, they differed and their views did not agree, and none of them followed the opinion of the other, even if it were right, and so they did not succeed, and did not reach anything on account of their disagreement. Men separated from them on account of their bad advice and their corrupt management and their lack of agreement. The Bani Hamdan and those who (were) with them overcame them, and they routed them and made them prisoners, and they were in possession of all the lands of the Rif both the Eastern and the Western, and they pillaged them and they devastated them and they slew their inhabitants. They violated women, and they slaughtered children (carried) on the bellies of their mothers and on the backs of their fathers, and they pillaged the churches and ruined
._ 279 ---
them, and they erased the faces of the pictures which remained in them. The Lewatis took the father, the patriarch, Abba Christodoulus from his dwelling-place, and they plundered all that was in it, and they took very much money which he had. He (Christodoulus) said that it (the money) belonged to my lord Mark the Evangelist and to Saint Abba Macarius, but this did not satisfy them, until they had chastised him and suspended him by his testicles so that they became the size of a large jar. Nasr ad-Dawlah ibn Hamdan, at the request of his scribe Abu't-Tayyib Bisudah ibn John ar-Rawawi did not cease from acting kindly towards the Lewatis until he had bought him (Christodoulus) from them for three thousand dinars. Abu't-Tayyib weighed out of it (the sum), on behalf of himself and on behalf of others, one thousand dinars; and he (Ibn Hamdan) sent him (Christodoulus) to Alexandria, keeping guard over him until he had discharged the remaining two thousand dinars. When he (Christodoulus) reached it (Alexandria), he lodged at the Church of Abba Sergius, and he spoke with his sons concerning his affair. Some of them excused themselves on account of the dearth and of what the people (endured) on account of it. Then he (Christodoulus) arose in anger, and he said: «If you refrain (from helping) me, I shall go to the Kadi Sadakah, and to the Nubian, and to Bani Harisah and to the Muslims, and I shall borrow from them, and I shall ask for alms». Then they laid hold on him, and some of his sons took upon themselves his affair, and they discharged for him that which remained of his debt and it was two thousand dinars. When he (Christodoulus) had been liberated and was freed from the fear of claims, he repaid them for that with his utmost love, for during his sojourn at Alexandria he consecrated a number of bishops, and he took from them that with which he repaid what he owed. It was I, Mawhub the sinner, (who) discharged for him the dinars arranged for
- 280 ---
him (to be paid) to the churches on account of what had befallen him and I bore instead of him the burden of it.
After this, affairs became difficult, and the Lewatis were in possession of the lands, and they slew Sarim ad-Dawlah, the brother of the Amir Sinan ad-Dawlah ibn Gabir al-Kitami who was wali of Egypt at Tantana. Abu't-Tayyib az-Zarawai heard of this, and it was difficult for him to bear, for he had been formerly scribe to his brother in Cairo (Misr). He came to Tantana, and he reviled the Lewatis who had slain him (Sarim ad-Dawlah). One of them, Musa ibn al-Karn, leaped upon him and smote him with his sword, and the rest of them (the Lewatis) rushed upon him, and they cut him down with their swords and cast him into a trench.
Then the dearth and fear increased, and wheat was lacking, until the people ate dead bodies. Afterwards, they ate one another, and some of them ate their children, and the people perished from the plague, the dearth and the sword, so that there remained of them but few. The people of Cairo (Misr) and its districts experienced adversities, difficulties and afflictions, which would lengthen the biography by describing (even) part of them.
Then there came to the father, Abba Christodoulus while he was in Alexandria, a man from the inhabitants of al-Balyana, a goldsmith, whose name was Poimen with a letter from the Amir ‘Iddat ad-Dawlah Mikarrib ibn Madi, the governor of the oases, asking him (Christodoulus) to appoint him (Poimen) bishop, and announcing the death of Abba Basil, bishop of Armant. The father, the patriarch, appointed the aforesaid Poimen bishop of the See of Armant in the place of him (Basil), and he consecrated a man whose name was Phoebammon bishop of
- 281 ---
the Oases, and this (was) in Tut (of the) year seven hundred
and eighty-seven of the Martyrs [A. D. 1070]. He (Christodoulus) sent them both
away in company with Abba George, bishop of Batu,
that he might enthrone both of them, and (then) go on with his letter to
the king of Nubia, entreating in it for something with which
to assist him (Christodoulus), so that he might spend it on what was
arranged for him (to pay) to the Lewatis, and informing
him (the king) about what had befallen him. When they reached
Armant, they found its bishop alive (and that) he had not died, namely
Abba Basil. He was a spiritual saint. One of his sons who
is now a priest, whose name (is) Menas, related that in the time
of the dearth he (Basil) used not to keep in his house bread except for
giving in charity, and that on a certain night a hidden man came to
him and knocked at the door of his dwelling. He said to his son, this
Menas: «Give to him bread», but there did not remain (anything)
in his house except two loaves, and he gave to him one of the two loaves.
Afterwards, another (person) knocked at the door, and he (Menas)
gave to him one part of the other loaf, and the (other) part of it remained.
While they were breaking their fast on it, another (person) knocked at
the door, and his (Basil's) aforementioned son became annoyed as he
himself said, but he (Basil) obliged him to give the remainder of the loaf
to him who had knocked at the door, and he gave it to him, and he
remained without anything on which to break his fast. It was some time
after nightfall, (when) there was a knock at the door, and he (Basil)
said to his son: «Answer him who knocks at the door». But he (Menas)
being annoyed (and) angry said: «Is there anything left with us to give
to him who knocks? How shall I speak to him and we have nothing to
give to him?» But he (Basil) obliged him to answer him (the person who
--- 282 ---
knocked), and he went down to him, and he opened the door. A person whom he did not know nor whose face he saw, gave to him food in a napkin and went away, and he did not return until now, nor ask for the napkin. When they found the bishop alive, (and that) he had not died, Poimen journeyed with Abba George, bishop of Batu, to the king of Nubia. When the two of them reached him, he honoured them both, and Abba George consecrated for the king a new church which he had built. The Holy Spirit descended upon one of the vessels in which (was) the water for the consecration. The king took it (the vessel) in his hand, and he went with it to his dwelling. He (George) consecrated in this church four sanctuaries on that day, and the king gave to him that which brought him back to the patriarch Abba Christodoulus in Alexandria, and Poimen (was) with him. After this, Poimen returned to the districts of Armant and abode in [a village known as al-Dimikrat, south of Armant] 5, until Abba Basil went to his rest, and then he entered Armant, and was consecrated in it on the second day of Tut (of the) year seven hundred and ninety-seven of the Martyrs [A.D. 1080]. After this, a dispute occurred between him and the bishop of Kus, Abba Apater, and Abba Apater went to Abba Anthony, bishop of Asyut and Abba Matthew, bishop of Fau, and he obtained the signature of both of them that he (had) precedence over Abba Poimen
5 Text in the square brackets supplied from MS. Hist. 11 of the Coptic Patriarchal Library, fol. 29 r°. For al-Dimikrat cf. M. Simaika, Guide to the Coptic Museum (Arabic edition) Cairo 1930-1932, p. 266, line 3.
i.e. A.D. 1080.
--- 283 -
on the ground that Abba Apater was consecrated after the falling asleep of Abba Basil who was before him, and they argued that he who consecrates is higher than he who is consecrated. This was after the death of Abba Christodoulus and (during) the sitting (on the throne) of Abba Cyril the saint. The case of the two of them came to the knowledge of the aforementioned father, and he adjudged that the precedence (should be) to Abba Poimen, bishop of Armant, on the ground that the father Abba Christodoulus had laid his hand upon him before Abba Apater, and that his name was inscribed in the register of the bishops, and that the delay of his consecration in his see did not set him back in his rank, on account of the date on which he was consecrated, and (that) he should take precedence of him who was consecrated after him, were it but by one day, and (that) the rank was adjudged to Abba Poimen, bishop of Armant, the aforementioned, who was consecrated bishop before him, and (that) it was not incumbent upon Apater to take precedence of him (Poimen). He protested against this with valid arguments, among which, that John the Baptist laid his hand upon the head of our Master Jesus Christ---to Him be glory---of Whom he (John) said that He (Jesus) did not cease (to be) before him, and that He (Jesus) was prior to him (John). And again, that the bishops lay their hands upon the patriarch at the time of his consecration, and do they, on this account, take precedence of him? He (Cyril) made peace between them, and the dispute between the two of them ended.
Luke, a deacon of the Church of the Mistress at Armant, related to me that he saw him (Poemen), and he was consecrating an altar in the aforementioned church, in the year eight hundred and one of the Martyrs [1084-1085 A. D.], and when he had finished, he took the shards of the vessels in which was the consecrated water, and he cast them with his hand into a well which (was) in this church, and the water rose so that it reached to the middle of the well, and the mark of it remains until now. A number
- 284 ---
of the inhabitants of Upper Egypt related that, when the church of Peter, head of the Apostles, at al-Khazarah near Armant, was consecrated, the water overflowed from the earthenware pots so that it flowed into the nave of the church.
As regards the father Christodoulus, there appeared in his days many wonders and miracles, and there was in his time a number of saintly lathers and monks. Lo, I shall record (only) a few of them, lest the biography be lengthened by a description of all of them.
It happened that Abba Elijah, bishop of Tammuh came to Alexandria, and he was an exceedingly old man, and he told us about many miracles which I had heard about from another beside him who had been present and witnessed them. It was the deacon Abu Habib Michael ibn Apater (who was) my assistant in transcribing the biographies and rendering them from the Coptic into the Arabic (language). Among them (the miracles) (was) that he, namely, the aforementioned father, the bishop, celebrated the Liturgy on the day of the feast of my lord Victor, the illustrious martyr, in his church which (is) at al-Gizah, and when the middle of the Liturgy was reached, he saw a great light upon the picture of the Mistress, the Lady, my Lady Mary, the Pure Virgin, which (is) in the niche of the Sanctuary, and the light remained upon it for a long while, and all the people present at the feast witnessed it. The priest John, head of the Monastery of Nahya, related to me that he was present on that day, and he observed the light. I, the sinner, went and
I received the blessing of the holy picture. John ibn Sa‘id ibn Yahya, known as Ibn al-Kulzumi, the copyist of this biography, said in the biography which I, the wretched one, George ibn Madkur, copied from the copy in the hand-writing of the aforementioned, that he went to the aforementioned church on the day of the feast of the Saint, my lord Victor at al-Gizah, and its bishop at that time (was) Abba Hezekiah, the excellent Saint, and a number of the people who were present on that day told him (John) thus about the descent of the light on the picture of the Pure Lady which is painted in the niche of the Sanctuary, and that he (John) gazed attentively upon the picture, and that he saw that the colours which were upon it were stripped off. He inquired about the reason for this, and a certain priest informed him that when the light descended upon it (the picture), and the Liturgy was finished, the priests crowded around it with wax in order to seal it (the light) upon the body of the picture, that its blessing might be with them in their houses, and the colours were stripped off by the wax which was impressed upon it (the picture). The compiler of this biography stated, and the priest John, head of the Monastery of Nahya, the aforementioned, related to me that a youth known as Ibn Halumah, was among the number of those present on that day, and he observed the light, and that after this, he began to frequent the place, and he observed the light another time on that holy picture. There was near to the church a mosque and in it a muezzin (who) used to harm the door-keeper, and was hostile towards him. And the son of the door-keeper went for a brick (and) he rubbed with it the picture of the martyr, my lord Victor and said to him: «Can't you deliver us from this muezzin?» A shaking sickness attacked him (the muezzin)
- 286 ---
all the days of his life, and most of his time he used to cry out, saying: «Lo, he came to punish me!». Then he asked help of Abba Hezekiah bishop of al-Gizah (2), and he besought him until he came to the picture and prayed before it, and besought the martyr on behalf of him (the muezzin), and his condition improved a little, and he died.
There was in the desert in the Wadi Habib, at the Monastery of Abba Kame, a saintly monk whose name (was) Bessus upon whom (was) great grace, and the gift of the Holy Spirit had descended upon him. I witnessed and heard of many miracles (performed) by him. Among them (the following one). When we heard the reports of him (Bessus), while we were at Alexandria, from a monk (who was) a priest, known as Abba Jacob, a man who had given much money in alms, and had become a monk, we went out in a body to the monasteries in (the month of) Tubah of the year seven hundred and seventy-eight of the Martyrs [A. D. 1062] and we received the blessing of a saintly monk whose name (was) Jacob also, the hegoumenos of the Monastery of the Romans (Baramus), and he (was) a brother in monasticism of the father, Abba Christodoulus, the patriarch, and he also performed miracles and many things. We departed to the Monastery of Abba Kame, and we passed the night with the saintly Bessus, and we ate what he presented to us, and we were eleven men; and he brought to us a small jar and he blessed it, and we all drank of it until we were near to being intoxicated, and the jar was not diminished except by half its amount. When it was
--- 287 ---
morning, he (Bessus) besought us not to allow any of the archons of Cairo (Misr) who were coming out to that desert for the Immersion to come to him. and he said: «If anyone of them come to me, I shall go out to the Caves of Abba Moses and I shall leave the Monastery». Then we took leave of him (Bessus) and we departed to the Monastery of Abba Macarius, and we found a large body of the archons who possessed rank from Cairo (Misr), who had come out to the monasteries that year. Among them (was) the Shaikh Abu'1-Badr ibn Menas ar-Rawawi (who was) director of the Diwan of al-Rahagi. He begged earnestly to go out to him (Bessus), but we made known to him what he (Bessus) had said to us. Then he said to me: «It is necessary for me to meet him and to lay bare to him my transgressions. Had it not been for my earnest desire (to receive) the blessing from him, I should not have come here. Many important affairs had occurred on account of this, (which) made it necessary that I and the son of his uncle Thikat ath-Thikat Abu't-Tayyib Bisuih ibn John should journey to the Monastery of Abba John for the sake of a vow he had taken, its amount (being) five hundred dinars». Then I left him at the Monastery of Abba John, and I departed to the Monastery of Abba Kame and I met the saintly Bessus, and I made known to him what had happened, and I continued with him until it was settled that he should journey to him to the Monastery of Abba Macarius. Then he went forth from the monastery an hour after sunset,
--- 288 ---
and I departed to the Monastery of Abba John (1) and spent the night in it with the Saikh Abu't-Fayyib. When it was morning. I departed to the Monastery of Abba Kame to ask about him (Bessus). Then the monk (who was) door-keeper said to me: «At midnight he came and struck the semantron here to arouse the monks for the Psalmody according to the custom». I suspected that he had not gone to the Monastery of Abba Macarius, because from the Monastery of Abba Macarius to the Monastery of Abba Kame the journey is more than four hours. Then I went in unto him (Bessus) smiling, and he knew that I had suspected that he had not gone to the Monastery of Abba Macarius. When I had greeted him and had received his blessing, he said to me: «I went and I met the man». Then I asked him: «At what time did you reach him, and at what time did you return, since it is not possible for anyone to go to the Monastery of Abba Macarius and to return in a night?» He said to me: «You have no need (to know) this. I went unto him, as it was agreed with you». I said to him: «What (are) his characteristics?» He said: «He is a short man with dark blue eyes, and I found with him your brother, Abu'l-‘Ala Fahd and Damian your kinsman with dark blue eyes also, and I conversed with him in Coptic». When he had said this to me, I went forth from his presence at sunrise, and I mounted my beast and I hastened on (my) journey, and I reached the Monastery of Abba Macarius at the fourth hour of the day, since it was in the month of Tubah. Then I went in with the Saikh Abu't-Tayyib to the presence of the Saikh Abu'1-Badr mentioned before, and he said to us: «Did you not have news of us from the saintly Bessus (Bisus), for he came to us?» I said to him: «What time did he come to you?» He said: «He came to us at darkness». I said to him: «It (was) the time at which he went forth from the Monastery of Abba Kame, and I separated from him there, and he went on to you». He and all those who were present marvelled. Then he said to me: «We continued conversing with
--- 289 ---
him, and if I addressed a hundred words to him, he would reply to me with regard to them in two or three words (which gave) a decisive answer, until your brother. Abu'l-‘Ala went outside and observed the time, and he said to us: 'Midnight has already come'. Then the saintly Bessus said: 'I desire to go to the monastery'. Then we made obeisances to him that he should remain with us for the rest of the night and the following day. Then he continued with us till he requested to be left alone for the Prayer. Then we shut him up in this store-room, and we fastened the door behind him, and we spent the night at the door of it (the store-room), so that we might be blessed by him through (our) proximity to him, and that we might hear the sound of his prayer, and that we might pray with him, but we did not hear a sound of him. When it was morning we opened the store-room and I went in to receive his blessing, but I did not find him. We have remained amazed (and) astonished up to (this) hour, and we do not understand what has become of him». I said to them: «The time at which he entered the storeroom and you fastened the door of it behind him (was) the time at which he struck the semantron for the monks of the Monastery of Abba Kame, and aroused in it the monks of it for the Psalmody. I came to him at day-break, and the door-keeper informed me about this, and I came from him to you». Then the astonishment of us all increased, and we understood that the marvels of God (are) in His Saints.
Also the Amir al-Guyus had chastised my brother Abu'l-‘Ala---may God give rest to his soul---in the middle of (the month of) Kyahk in the aforesaid year, until he wrote his signature for six thousand dinars. In the aforesaid month, the pillars of the Monastery of Saint Abba Moses
--- 290 ---
sweated. Also, a number of pictures in the Church of Saint Theodore, the illustrious martyr, in Cairo (Misr) at Bani Wayil sweated so that their Sweat flowed like water, and lo, its trace and its course remain until to-day upon its walls.
In that year, small-pox broke out, and there died of it in Cairo (Misr) twenty-one thousand young people within less than a month.
I wrote a letter to the aforesaid saintly Bessus and to the father Macarius, the door-keeper at the Monastery of Abba Macarius, who, when he was asked to be patriarch, after the father Abba Christodoulus, fled and concealed himself in one of the towns until Abba Cyril wrote a letter, and he asked them both in it to pray for deliverance from what had befallen us, and to beg the whole body of the fathers, the monks, that they should grant unto us one night in which they would pray on our behalf, and there were in the monasteries seven hundred monks. I despatched the letter with a monk from the Monastery of Nahya(7', (av!io was) called Abu'l-‘Ala, and he was the brother of the priest John knoAvn as-Zakir, the head of the aforesaid monastery. This deacon, AbiVPAla the monk, was saintly also, and the father Bessus had desired that he should be with him in his monastery, for he said: «I saw (that) his deeds were agreeable to me». When my letter reached him, he sent to all the monks of the monasteries, and he besought them on account of what I had asked him in it (the letter). He did not wish to assemble them (the monks) in one place for fear of evil report, slander and misinterpretation of (the action of) the monks, together with the hot temper, great violence and power of authority of the Amir al-Guyus. Then he (Bessus)
--- 291 ---
took a burning coal and stood upon it and prayed for us. It was the morning of the first day of the Nativity 1 which is the twenty-eighth of (the month of) Kyahk [December 24th, A. D. 1062], and it was a Saturday, and Abu'l-‘Ala, the monk, said to him (Bessus): «Give me the answer, and let me return to my monastery on account of the feast». The saintly Bessus said to him: «The answer is that they are already delivered and that the Lord Christ has been gracious unto them». Abu'l-‘Ala, the monk, said to him «I wish for a proof of this». He said to him: «Go to Macarius, the door-keeper, and he will explain to you». He came to him, and he (Abu'l-‘Ala) informed him of what Bessus had said. Macarius said to him: «That which he said to you is true. Go you and do not mistrust his words». He said to both of them: «I am not going, save with the answer from you both». Bessus said to a monk whose name was Cosmas (who) had been a scribe of a Diwan: «Write you a letter from us that the Lord Christ has delivered them on this day». And he went up to a relative of ours, whose name was Hibat Allah ibn Mansur (who) was hiding there, to write for us a letter from both of them on account of this. Abu'l-‘Ala took the two letters 5 in the hand-writings which he 6 knew, and they were dated on the morning of Saturday, in which (the letters) there was the message of Bessus to him in the monasteries, and in which there was (the announcement of) our deliverance. It happened that I celebrated the Liturgy on the aforesaid Saturday at daybreak in the Church of the Mistress
1 Formerly, the Feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ was celebrated in the Coptic Church on the 24th and 25th of December. Cf. Rene Basset, 'Le Synaxaire Arabe Jacobite' in P. O. tome III, fasc. 3, pp. -[465.]
5 There is an omission here due to dittography. MS. Hist. 11 of the Coptic Patriarchal Library reads, fol. 35r°: 'and returned to his monastery at Nahya. Two days after the Nativity he reached us having the two letters etc.'
6 MS. Hist. 11 of the Coptic Patriarchal Library has, fol. 35 r°: 'we' which is certainly the correct reading.
--- 292 ---
al-Mu‘allakah at Kasr as-Sam‘. The Turks who were appointed over us, thrust us forward on the journey, as we carried our clothes and the clothes of those appointed (over us) to the ship; and we determined to go down on that day to the Rif to ask the people for an aid whereby we (could) meet some of the obligations which were imposed on us under penalty. We went down from the aforesaid Church, going towards the ship, and before we had gone out of the gate of it (the church), a messenger of the Amir Gamal al-Mulk, the master of the door 3, came to us and said to us: «The Amir Gamal al-Mulk sends you greeting and congratulates you on your deliverance, and he says to you that at this hour his Lord al-Awhad went in to his father, the Amir al-Guyus, and he asked from him relief for you, and he ordered me to set you free. Go, then, unto him and thank him». Then the messenger said to those appointed (over us): «Release them, and do not oppose them», and they went away from us. When the two letters reached us, and. the monk, Abu'l-‘Ala, acquainted us with what had happened, we knew that that hour in which we had been delivered was that in which the saintly Bessus had said: «They have been delivered». We marvelled at this, and we glorified God---Whose Name is great---and we gave thanks unto him. Al-Awhad set out for the city of Alexandria, and he was kind to us, and he took us with him, because it (the city) had been assigned to him for administration and revenue, and we served him in it (the city). The deacon, Abu Habib Michael ibn Badir ad-Damanhuri, related to me that he was in hiding with him (Bessus) in the monastery at a certain time, and (there was) in hiding with him a body of the Christian brethren, and he saw him (Bessus), and he put oil in a lamp and blessed it and lighted it for them, and that he, namely Michael, remained for fifteen nights copying books and reading with the aforesaid (Christian brethren) every night until midnight. He
3 Cf. S. Lane-Poole, op. cit., p. 155; 'The lord of the door' or high chamberlain who stood next to the wazir.
--- 293 ---
was looking after the lamp, and he watched it, and it (the oil) was not exhausted, and it was not diminished as regards its quantity.
He related also that two monks arrived from the Monastery of Abba Psoi, and they were disputing, and he (Bessus) endeavoured to reconcile (them). One of the two of them consented (to be reconciled), but the other refused, and he went away and did not obey him (Bessus). Then he returned to him (Bessus) after three days, and he had become a leper, and he besought him and entreated him until he took off the thorakion which was upon him, and clothed him with it. He (the monk) went away, but he returned with it on the next day, and he was cleansed.
The deacon John, the monk, one of the sons of the saintly Bessus, related to me that he was present on a certain day, (when) he (Bessus) (was) on the top of the keep praying, and eighteen Sudanese men entered the monastery and took possession of it, and seized one of the monks and tortured him. The father Bessus came down from the keep to them, and he grasped with his hand the neck of their leader and cast him out from the door of the monastery. He continued to seize them one by one by the neck until he had cast them all out, and they (the monks) fastened the door. These Sudanese swore that their eyesight had been blinded and that his (Bessus') hand upon their necks was like a heavy stone.
The deacon, the aforesaid John, related to me that in a hard year the monastery was much frequented by the Arabs and others besides them. It (the monastery) used to supply biscuits and wheat to everyone who knocked at (its door), until nothing remained
--- 294 ---
with the monks, save food for one day only. They (the monks) were
determined to eat it, and when it was morning, to go forth from the
monastery (and) to wander aimlessly. Then some people visited them
(and) asked them (for) something to eat. He (Bessus) said to them (the
monks): «Give to them what you have». The monks murmured and
became furious on account of this, but he (Bessus) said to them in
calmness and tranquillity: «At the end of the day there will reach you
from Christ what will be sufficient for you for (many) days. Let not your
breasts be straitened». Then they gave to the people the wheat which they
had. They (the people) said to him (Bessus): «O monk, we have no mill».
There was in the monastery no other, save one mill, but he (Bessus) gave
it to them. The monks murmured and said to him; «You have said
to us that wheat will come to us in the evening, and you have
taken the only mill which we had, and you have given it to these people.
If the wheat comes, shall we crunch it or boil it?» He said to them:
«Do not despair, for the Lord will bring us what we need, for His Name
is great (and) He knows everything. Comfort yourselves». This
John swore that he ascended the keep at the time
at which he (Bessus) had said (this) to him, and he saw two camels
laden with wheat, and they reached him from the north with a missive.
On the back of one of the two camels there was a sound, new, Persian
mill larger than that mill which he had given (away). We praised
God and glorified Him Who revealed to this Saint what was hidden
from others, and for what He had manifested unto us in the way of his
(Bessus') sanctity and miracles.
He (John) related also that he ascended with him (Bessus) to the keep of the Monastery of Abba Kame to recite the
--- 295 ---
Hour of Terce, and they took up with them a basket full of biscuits. When they had ascended, some people visited them and asked them (for) something to eat. The saintly Bessus said to him (John): «Give to them the biscuits, and he let down to them all what was in the basket, and the empty basket remained thrown down at the end of the cell. When he (Bessus) had finished the Prayer, other people visited them, asking for food. Then he (Bessus) turned his face to him (John) and said to him: «Give to these who are clamouring of those biscuits. The aforesaid John said: «I told him (Bessus) what I had given to those who had come before them». Then he said to me: «I myself have filled it (the basket) up again». I said to him: «Since you have ascended hither, you are standing praying in your place, and you have not left (it). When did you fill it (the basket)?» He said to me: «Certainly, I filled it, and lo, it is full of biscuits. Give to them of them (the biscuits)». I went to it (the basket) according to his command, and I found it full of biscuits. Then I let down some of them to those (people). John swore and took God to witness against himself, (saying): «The saintly Bessus did not hold it (the basket) in his hand from the time that I emptied it and placed it in front of me empty (and) thrown down on the ground, until he had prayed and I had prayed with him the Hour of Terce, while he was in his place, and he did not leave it».
It is known (and) celebrated how Justus, the monk, became blind (in) both his eyes, and how the saintly Bessus had remained a whole month praying for him until his eyes were opened.
Sanhut the deacon, monk of the Monastery of Abba Psoi, related to me concerning this saintly Bessus many miracles of which the explanation would be long. Among which, how he had
--- 296 ---
prophesied concerning Mark his son in monasticism, who (was) the brother of Victor, that he (Bessus) would close his (Mark's) eyes with his (own) hand in that desert. He (Mark) was sojourning in a village called Azra, and he came to him (Bessus). and at the time of his death, he (Bessus) closed his eyes.
The saintly Macarius, the doorkeeper, and the priest Zakir, head of the Monastery of Nahya, and the deacon Abu Habib ad-Damanhuri related to me that the saintly Bessus---may God grant to us his blessing---said to them and to the congregation of the monks, before the coming of the Amir al-Guyus to Alexandria to make war against his son al-Awhad, that Fahd, my brother, would become a martyr at Alexandria. I was glad for him on account of this, and the affair happened, as he had said, after a while.
A congregation of his (Bessus') sons, the monks, at the Monastery of Abba Khame, among whom (was) Macarius the Nubian, related to me that he had informed them about the killing of my brother Fahd two days before the news that he had been killed reached him; and that they had made inquiries respecting the time at which he had been killed, and they found it (was that) at which he (Bessus) had announced to them the news that he had been killed.
There was in the days of the father, Abba Christodoulus an anchorite in the hermitage of Singar, whose name was Peter, to whom many miracles (were accounted), among which, that his finger was dyed from the holy chalice, and it (the finger) remained fifteen years bound up with a rag. Justus as-Singari, the priest at the Church of Abba Mercurius, the illustrious martyr, at Cairo (Misr), who went up after him (Peter) to the aforesaid hermitage, narrated to me that he saw him, and his finger was bound up, and he had not unbound it, nor did he show it to anyone, and that he (Justus) was
--- 297 ---
with him when he became ill three days before his death; and that he had asked him to show it (the finger), and had not ceased to humour him and to make obeisance to him, until he uncovered it for him. Then he saw it, (and it was) red, as if he had dipped it at that hour in blood. The priest Kiyil as-Singari related to me in the Church of the Pure Mistress which is in the village called al-Gudidiyah that he used to celebrate the Liturgy in the aforesaid hermitage at Singar for this saintly Peter, the anchorite in it, on feast days and other (days), and that he said to him (Peter): «O my holy father, I am as the least of your disciples. Why do you not call me that I should celebrate the Liturgy for you, and (why) do you not celebrate the Liturgy for yourself?» He (Peter) said to him: «Do not interest yourself in my affairs». The aforesaid Kiyil said to me: «I said to him (Peter): «If you do not make known to me the reason, I shall go away from you and I shall cease from celebrating the Liturgy for you». And I made an obeisance to him, and he said to me: «Is it really necessary for you (to know this)?» I said to him: «Certainly». Then be said to me: «I celebrated the Liturgy once in the Church of Damrua al-Khammarah, before I went up to this hermitage. When I placed my finger on the rim of the chalice and said: «May this become the Blood of Christ», the chalice flooded so that it filled to its edge, and my finger was dyed, and I fainted, and great fear came upon me; and since that day I have bound up my finger so that no one may see it, and I have not celebrated the Liturgy up to this day, and I shall never again celebrate the Liturgy».
--- 298 ---
There was at Nusa an elder, a deaf (and) saintly anchorite in a hermitage, whose name (was) Senouti. I sent to him and asked him to pray for me and for my brother Fahd for (our) deliverance, because we were at that time in the hand of the Amir al-Guyus under arrest. The answer from him came back to me on the morning of Friday, saying: «The Lord Christ hath delivered you to-day». When the next day came a letter reached me from my brother from Cairo (Misr), in which he mentioned his arrival there, and that he had entered in unto the Amir al-Guyus on the morning of Friday, with money from the sale of properties which I possessed in Alexandria; and that he (the Amir) had taken it from him, and had excused him what remained according to the document which I had been forced to write for five thousand dinars, and it (the sum from the sale of the properties) (was) two thousand dinars, and he (the Amir) released him from the sentence. He (my brother) said in it (the letter): «God was so gracious as to deliver us at that hour», and it was the hour which Senouti, the saintly anchorite, mentioned.
My maternal uncle, Sadakah ibn Surur---may God give rest to his soul---related to me a story of Mercurius, the deacon, son of the priest Wazir al-Fuwi, that there was in the Monastery of Abba John a saintly monk, called Kil ibn al-Guindi, and that he (Mercurius) went to him with a letter from Abu'1-Badr ibn Sakil ar-Rasidi, the brother of Theodore, bishop of Rosetta. Both these (were) two maternal uncles of my uncle, the aforesaid Sadakah ibn Surur. There was in the company of this Mercurius al-Fuwi, a Christian man from among the inhabitants of Fuwah. Mercurius said: «When we knocked at the door
--- 299 ---
of the dwelling-place of Kil ibn al-Gundi, he came out and opened the door to us, and he said to that man: 'O So and So', and he called him by his name, did you not fear the Master Christ our Lord, when you did violate by force the youth, on the night of Sunday in the mill?' The man fell upon the ground and clung to the feet of Kil, and wept and entreated him to forgive him. He (Kil) assured him and said to him: 'If you repent I will be guarantee to you for forgiveness', and he repented immediately. Then he (Kil), said to him: 'Comfort yourself, for the Lord hath forgiven thee'. Then he (Kil) said to me: «Welcome, deacon Mercurius, son of Wazir the priest. You have brought to me a letter from Abu'1-Badr ibn Sakil. Say to him from me: 'You are a good man, except that, when you pray, you cry aloud much. Lower your voice a little, when you pray'». Then he told me the answer to the letter, without my saying anything to him. We marvelled at his sanctity, and we returned, praising God.
The father of this Kil, the monk, was a soldier serving with the Sullan, and he (was) of his religion and in his service, at Cairo (al-Kahirah). Kil prayed to the Lord Christ for him that He would bring him to Him, and lead him to be baptized. While he himself (was) one day in his dwelling-place, his father knocked at the door, and he went out to him, and he found him mounted on his horse, with his bow and his arrow and his quiver and his sabre. He received him with joy and he caused him to enter into bis dwelling-place, and he asked him for the reason of his coming. He said to him: «A person whom I do not know led me from Cairo (al-Kahirah) hither, without my wishing it». He (Kil) rejoiced with him, and he exhorted him and made known to him the dignity of the religion of Christ and its merits. He called him to him and he answered him, and he was baptized, and he remained with him for a time. His equipment was hung in his (Kil's) dwelling-place for a long time, and the monks and others besides them observed it.
Abba Jacob, the monk, informed me that the aforesaid Kil stood praying before the picture of the Lady, the Mistress, my Lady
--- 300 ---
Mary, the Virgin, (from) the night of Sunday until the morning. The devil---may God confound him!---spoke with him from behind the picture and said to him: «You are weary, O Kil. It is sufficient for you». Kil rebuked him according to his custom with him, and said to him: «Have you come also?» He made the sign of the Cross over him, and he (the Devil) became a black whirlwind and he departed from him, whirling round. After this, he said to a company of the monks: «When it is Friday, at the time of the ninth hour, come to me that I may take leave of you, for I am departing from you on that day». When it was Friday, they (the monks) came to him, and he stood ministering unto them, going in (and) coming out, in perfect health. He conversed with them until the sixth hour, and he arose (and went) to the bath and he poured over himself hot water, and he put on clean clothes (which) he had made ready for himself, and he laid down before them, and he said: «Read over me the psalms», and he was conversing with me until the ninth hour, and then he took leave of them and went to his rest. There had arrived at Alexandria from Spain a man from among the chiefs of Spain, known as Abba John, and he was a relative of the chief of the city of Almeira 5. There was a friendship between me and him on account of his lodging in the hotel which I owned. I had already heard from a company of merchants from Spain, elders, that (there is) in Spain at a church of the Pure Mistress, my Lady Mary an olive-tree (which) puts forth leaves and yields fruit on the night of the feast of that church every year. All of them agreed unanimously on the correctness of this account.
5 Almeira, a sea-port and the capital of the province of Almeira in the south-east of Spain. It was a flourishing town under the Moors.
--- 301 ---
When the aforesaid Spaniard arrived, I asked him about the correctness of this, and he sent for his boy whose name (was) Rasid, and he was an intelligent lad (who) had charge of all his money. He said to him: «O Rasid, this elder has enquired of me about the case of the olive-tree which (is) at the church. You wast with me when I went to it. Sit down while I speak with him, lest something be forgotten bv me, and you shaft remind me of it». He turned round and said: «I revealed the case of this olive-tree, because I considered him who related about it a liar. I journeyed to the place of this tree, and it (is) at a church known as «Mary». Between it and between the city of Almeira (there is a journey of) three days, and the place is called «See and Marvel». I pitched my tent under the tree (which) is at the door of the church, and there was not on it at that time a green leaf. There were with me forty horsemen (who were) my friends, and it was the night of the feast of that church. People from every place had come on pilgrimage to it, and we spend the night there till the morning.
When the sun rose, on the day of the feast, the tree became green, while all the people were looking at it. Its branches opened up and its leaves unfolded. Then the leaves multiplied and the fruit appeared and the olives formed and increased and multiplied until midday, and there were on it (the tree) countless olives. Thereupon, the sacristan of the church went out and took (some) of the olives which he pressed out, and lighted with it (the extracted oil) the icon-lamps of the church. They prayed and finished their Liturgy, and they communicated. Then they departed (and) returned to their homes. I learned that the sacristan and the servants of the church, after the feast was over, gathered those olives and pressed them out to light (with the extracted oil) the icon-lamps and the lamps of the church, and (to obtain) what they required (in the way of oil) for food
--- 302 ---
for the whole year. I and the company of the people who were present took of those olives for the purpose of obtaining a blessing from them, and I returned to Almeira. Then he said to his boy: «O Rasid, was it not thus?» He said to him: «Certainly, O my lord, it was thus, but you are too great to take as a witness your servants).
Many miracles were manifested in the day of Abba Christodoulus, among which (was) that the picture of my lord Menas the martyr, which is in the Skene of Abba Macarius, exuded from it blood, and lo, its mark remains till now. The congregation of the fathers, the saintly monks, witnessed this, among whom (was) the saintly Macarius, the door-keeper, who fled from (election to) the patriarchate. He said to me with his pure mouth that there was in the Skene a saintly door-keeper whose name (was) Apa Hor to whom many miracles were manifested, and he (was) the father of Bessus, son of the door-keeper, and that (with regard to) the picture of the illustrious martyr, my lord Menas which (is) in the Skene, a nail had come out of the icon, and (that) he had gone up to nail it, and (that) blood had come forth from under the nail, (and had flowed) from the top of the picture to the bottom. Macarius said to me that he doubted concerning the blood which had come forth from this picture, because of his youth at that time. He said: «I went up to cover up the sanctuary, and there was there a congregation of monks, Copts and Syrians. One of the Syrians adjured me to go forward to the picture to see the blood. I went forward to it, and I (was) doubtful concerning it, and my heart said to me that people tell lies concerning God. When I saw it, lo, it (was) blood in truth, (and there was) no doubt about it. Thereupon, I saw the ground rising above me and the timber supports coming down
- 303 ---
to the ground and the walls meeting together, and the people who were standing below me being above me, and I fell down (and) fainted, and I became as if the weight of the whole church (was) upon me, and I said: 'O my lord, save me, for God is able to manifest His miracles in His Saints', and that if I were saved, I would hang over his face, namely, (that of) the Saint, my lord Menas a goodly cloth. Then I opened my eyes and I saw myself resting, and (that) the walls had gone back as they were (before). I heard the monks crying out 'The lad is dead'. I made a sign to them with my hand (to indicate) 'keep silent, and I was not able to speak. I sat for a while, till my spirit returned to me and I recovered myself. I informed them of what had happened to me, and that I had seen the blood, and (that) it (was) in truth blood, (and there was) no doubt about it».
I was informed about a Christian man was always asking for the intercession of Saint Mercurius, the martyr, and he (St. Mercurius) used to satisfy his wants, and he (the man) (was) undertaking also to serve him; and that, at a time of great chastisement by the Lord of His creation, he (the man) asked for the intercession (of St. Mercurius), according to his custom, but he (St. Mercurius) did not satisfy his wants, and he doubted concerning him. He (St. Mercurius) appeared to him on that night, and he brought him forth to a vast place, and caused him to stand over a pit in which (there were) horses and arms, and he said to him: «Do you know me? I am Abba Mercurius. Be not doubtful concerning me, and know that I and my brethren, the martyrs, and others besides us, have been ordered not to make intercession for anyone at this time, because it is a time of chastisement. There (are) our horses and our arms (which) we have left here.
The closing of the churches (was) in the time of the wazir al-Yazuri,
--- 304 ---
on Friday, the fifth of (the month of) Bau'unah (in the) Tax Year four hundred and forty-six, and their opening (was) on Sunday, the twenty-second of (the month of) Babah (in the) Tax Year four hundred and forty-seven.
The father Christodoulus and the bishops were arrested and were asked to pay money. Three bishops among them were punished and they died. One of them (was) Abba Isaac, bishop of Masil, and (the other two were) Theodore, bishop of Samannud, son of the sister of the father Abba Senouti, the patriarch, who had gone to his rest, and Abba George, bishop of al-Khandak.
Likewise, our brethren, the Syrians, the faithful, at the city of Antioch were in great difficulty and affliction, because the Melchites had pounced upon their churches and had burned them with fire together with all their books, on account of their having sovereign power, and they (the Syrians) suffered, from them a great expulsion, and this (was) in the year seven hundred and eighty-three of the Martyrs [AD 1076-1077]. Their sighing and their clamours and their weeping multiplied, and a party of them followed the opinion of the Melchites at Antioch.
In the year six thousand, five hundred and sixty-four of (the Creation of) the world, which (corresponds) to the year seven hundred and eighty-eight of the Martyrs [A. D. 1071-1072], al-Malik al-‘Adil Alp Arslan 10 arrived from the East with a great force, the number of
10 Alp Arslan, nephew of Togrul, succeeded to the title and prerogatives of Sultan, on the death of Togrul. Reigned from 1063-1072 A. D. Cf. E. Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (ed. J. B. Bury), London, 1938. Vol. VII, pp. 235-236.
--- 305 ---
which (was) six hundred thousand horsemen, warriors, not counting their attendants. The lands were thrown into confusion and the kingdom of Egypt (Misr) was troubled. He (al-‘Adil) conquered in Upper Syria many lands, and (also) in the lands of the Greeks (ar-Rum), until his friends suggested to him to conquer the magnificent city of Edessa.
There was in it (Edessa), at that time, a duke (who) was called Basil (Basil), son of Asar, son of the king of the Ghuzz 1 (appointed) by Diogenes the king 2. There were at Edessa, at that time, eight thousand Armenians and twenty thousand Syrians and six thousand Greeks (Rumi) and one thousand Latins. He (al-‘Adil) descended upon them with six hundred thousand warriors, and he pitched his tent and sent (a message) to its (the city's) inhabitants, deceiving them by saying: «It is not my aim to conquer your country, but to fix a sum of money (to be paid) to me by you, and I shall depart from you». When they (the inhabitants) heard this, they began to collect money, and, (in the meanwhile), he (al-‘Adil) (was) digging beneath the fortress of the city. After seven days, a Syrian youth (who) was in his army, wrote a note in which he said to the inhabitants of Edessa: «He (al-‘Adil) is deceiving you, and he has already dug beneath such and such a tower and (in) such and such a place», and in this way he described to them about eleven places in which the sappers were digging, and they had already arrived beneath the fortress, and had gone beyond it. He (the youth) placed the note in his arrow, and he shot it into the city. They (the inhabitants) took it and they learned about it 4, and they dug opposite to those places. The aforesaid governor (wali) used to take a trumpet and place its head
1 The Uzi of the Greeks. A name which seems to have been extended to the whole Turkman race, cf. E. Gibbon, op. cit., p. 2 38, note 36. The Seljuks were possibly Christians before they were converted to al-Islam. The Christian names which they bore, such as Michael, etc. seem to point to this, cf. E. Gibbon, op. cit., p. 232, note 19.
2 i.e. Romanus IV, Diogenes, A. D. 1068-1071.
4 i. e. what was mentioned in the note.
--- 306 ---
on the ground (at those places) which were near the exterior of the city and its tip to his ear, and he used to hear the sound of the digging. Then the sappers met all of a sudden in the tunnels, and there were killed three of the sappers of Edessa , and of the sappers of Alp Arslan, son of David, who was known as al-‘Adil, twenty men. They captured nine and killed them, and they hurled their heads to him by ballistas and (?) catapults. They possessed ninety ballistas and (?) catapults. They reviled him (al-‘Adil), and they shouted at him: «O treacherous one, O crafty one, O faithless one», and they multiplied (their) insults to him with every abuse. He (al-‘Adil) subjected them to severe fighting for thirty-eight days, and he fought against them with elephants upon which (were) men clad in armour. Whenever they approached to come near to the fortress, they (the inhabitants) hurled upon them huge rocks so that they killed (some) of them. They overcame him through the power of the Lord Christ, because it is a city for which and for Abgar its king, Thaddaeus, the disciple, prayed. Then he marched on it with seven huge dabbabat 3, and they (the inhabitants) used against them (the dabbabat) long poles and fat and pitch and naphta, and they hurled upon them (the dabbabat) rocks and fire, and they set them (the dabbabat) on fire and killed all who were in them. Then the king al-‘Adil ordered trees and wood to be cut, and he threw them into the moat which (was) at the fortress, so that the cavalry and infantry might walk over them to the fortress. They (the inhabitants) reached them (the trees and the timber in the moat) from the interior of the city through the tunnels, and they set them on fire, and the fire blazed so that the moat became a raging fire, and there arose shouting against him (al-‘Adil) and against his troops with jeering
3 An engine of war, a wooden tower, filled with armed men. It was brought up against the walls of a besieged city.
--- 307 ---
and insults from above the fortress. He sent to them (the inhabitants) a messenger to say to them: «It would not be good for me to depart from you. after I have fought against you, and all the lands have yielded to me, unless a small sum of money is fixed for me (to be paid) by you. And (then) I shall depart from you lest disgrace befall me».
The governor (wali) caused his messenger to lodge in a house, and he honoured him. When it was morning. he selected ten thousand young men, warriors, from the city, and he clothed them all in armour so that nothing remained (visible) of them except their eyelids. He posted them in two lines in the place through which the messenger would pass to the gate of Edessa , and he said to the messenger: «Ride back to your master». He rode off and continued to pass between those young men, while they shouted and cried out, till he came to the gate of the city. Basil (Basil), the governor (wali), said to him: «Say to this treacherous dog who sent you: 'We thought that your word was trustworthy, but you are treacherous, lying and faithless. We have nothing (for you) but a sword, because we know your falsehood and your faithlessness. There is no need for tunnels and dabbabat. Lo the gate of the city is open, and, by the truth of my Lord Jesus Christ, I will not close the gate of this city this day, except after sunset. If you want to fight, advance». The gate of the city continued to be open, and those young men (were) standing (ready), and the fortress was occupied by men till after sunset, and then he shut the gate, and they (the inhabitants) cried out against him (al-‘Adil) from the top of the wall.
That night, he (al-‘Adil) departed from them, after he had remained forty-five days, and he went to the city of Serug and to Aleppo, and he besieged it, and they (the inhabitants) were taunting him with what he had experienced from the inhabitants of Edessa. After this, Mahmud ibn Salih went forth to him at night in the guise of the Ghuzz, till he reached his tent, and he threw himself down before him (al-‘Adil), and he accepted him and he dealt kindly with him, and he bestowed upon him a robe of honour, and he sent him back to his city.
--- 308 ---
Then he (al-‘Adil) returned again to Edessa in the month of Basans 1, and he remained four days without fighting. Nasr ibn Nasr ad-Dawlah wrote to him, saying to him: «You are come down to Edessa and you are not able to conquer it. Diogenes, the King of the Greeks (ar-Rum), had laid waste the land of Islam till he drew nigh to the lands of Khorasan 3».
Then he departed at night, and he journeyed till he reached Khilat in the neighbourhood of Manzikert 5 (in) the land of the Armenians. Between the two cities there is a great river. Diogenes, the King of the Greeks, was coming down to the river of Manzikert with his troops, (having) also six hundred thousand horsemen, warriors 6. The two kings met together on a day of (the month of) Bau'unah 7. The leaders of the troops of Diogenes the Greekwere engaged in conspiracy against him 8 (Diogenes) through a plot by Michael, son of Maria 9, who was king before him, after his uncle Caesar. When the king Diogenes charged the army of the Ghuzz, and he was in their midst, thinking that his companions 10 and his troops were charging with him and (that)
1 = April-May, Julian Calendar.
3 A north-eastern province of Iran.
5 The defeat of the Byzantine army by the Seljuks at Manzikert in Armenia in A. D. 1071 was a disaster from which the Empire never recovered.
6 Gibbon, op. cit., p. 238 gives the number of Romanus' army at, at the least, one hundred thousand men.
7 May-June, Julian Calendar.
8 Lit. laid a trap for him. Gibbon, op. cit., p. 239, note 38, says: «Moreover there was treachery in his camp».
9 Sic. Michael VII Doukas who reigned after Diogenes, certainly had a wife named Maria, but his mother was called Eudocia. [Communication by Dr. Th. D. Moschonas].
10 i. e. the hetairia or body guard of the Emperor.
- 309 ---
(they were) obeying him and (were) good counsellors. When they deserted him and forsook him 1, he killed with his (own) hand a multitude of the Ghuzz. He continued killing and defending himself until they seized him prisoner, and his troops were dispersed, after a number of them had been captured and some of them had entered Manzikert (Mazikard).
The king al-‘Adil caused him (Diogenes) to be brought into his presence, and he said to him: «Do you wish that I should sell you 4, or that I should kill you, or that I should set you free?» Diogenes said to him: «You did not overcome me by fighting, only my soldiers deserted me, and forsook me, and were not good counsellors. Now, if you are a butcher 5 kill me, and if you are a moneychanger, sell me, and if you are a king, set me free». He (al-‘Adil) went up to him and embraced him, and seated him with him on his dais. He (al-‘Adil) remained with him alone for three days 6, eating and drinking and conversing with him, and shewing affection for him, and arranging with him alliances and offering to him presents, and he despatched with him three thousand horsemen so that they might accompany him to al-Massisah, and (then) they returned. When he (Diogenes) reached it (al-Massisah) news came to him that Michael already sat (on the throne) as king at Constantinople. This (was) in the year seven hundred and eighty-four of the Martyrs 9. Michael made ready the troops, and Diogenes, while at al-Massisah, assembled many troops, and he demanded the
1 «They deserted him and forsook him». Gibbon, op. cit., p. 239 mentions the desertion of the Uzi.
4 i. e. as a slave.
5 «If you are a butcher, etc..» Gibbon, op. cit., p. 2/11, gives this story, but with other expressions.
6 Gibbon, op. cit., p. 241, gives the period as eight days.
9 i.e. A. D. 1067-1068, but this date is incorrect, since the Battle of Manzikert occurred in A. D. 1071.
- 310 ---
kingdom. The leaders of the Greeks were divided into two (parts): one part (was) with Diogenes; and one part (was) with Michael. Michael despatched the Domesticus 1, the son of his paternal uncle, to Diogenes with a great army, and he met him at Adana 2. Diogenes triumphed and defeated him, and he (the Domesticus) returned to Constantinople routed.
Then Diogenes endeavoured (to persuade) the Antiochians to open Antioch for him, but they did not (do so), and he remained living with his troops, going from al-Massisah to Adana (and) to Tarsus. Then Michael despatched other troops with the Domesticus, the son of his paternal uncle, until he met Diogenes, at Adana. The Domesticus put him (Diogenes) to flight and defeated him, and he (Diogenes) entered Adana in a rout, and he (the Domesticus) took captive the al-B h t, and (it was) he who used to support Diogenes. Diogenes and those with him remained besieged in the fortress of Adana for many days, then he (Diogenes) said to the chiefs of the city: «How long will this state in which we are (last)? We have already destroyed (enough) Christians between us. I am not in need of the kingdom in these circumstances». Then he sent to the Domesticus saying to him: «This night I shall cut off my hair and I shall become a monk and I shall put on woollen (garments), and God shall bless your kingdom for you. The time of meeting between us (shall be), when I shall go out to you to-morrow, wearing black woollen garments, and my hair carried before me on a salver».
1 The Domesticus was a commander of the scholarii of the Byzantine army, cf. S. Runciman, Byzantine Civilisation, London, 1933, pp. 141-142.
2 Adana, capital of the vilayet Adana in Turkey.
--- 311 ---
When the morrow came, the Domesticus rode to meet him, and he (Diogenes) came out to him (wearing) monastic garments, and his shorn hair (carried) before him. When the Domesticus and all his army saw him (Diogenes), they dismounted from their horses and prostrated themselves before him, and they wept. The Domesticus embraced him and wept, and they all journeyed to Har-samuli, the coast of Constantinople; and he went up to a monastery there 5, and the Domesticus sent to Michael, the king, and to the son of his paternal uncle Caesar, and he informed both of them about this.
When Alp Arslan, king of the Ghuzz of Khorasan came to Ispahan, he found (that) the son of his paternal uncle, Farud, had acted hypocritically towards him, and he (Farud) was driven before him until beyond the river. A youth of Daylam (belonging) to him 6 remained behind in a fortified castle, and Alp Arslan came down to it and besieged it. When he (the youth) saw that he was conquered, he asked him (Alp Arslan) for a safe-conduct, and he (Alp Arslan) assured him (of it), and he came down to him. When three days had passed, after he had come down to him, (while yet) he (was) under arrest in a tent, Alp Arslan, king of the Ghuzz, sent (a message) to him saying: «Your death is inevitable; choose (by) what (manner of) death you shall die». He said to the messenger of Alp Arslan : «My
5 The blinded emperor was conveyed to Prote (one of the Princes Islands) and imprisoned in the monastery there which he had founded. He survived his imprisonment only a few days. Cf. Gustaye Schlumberger, Les Iles des Princes, pp. 50-51, and 62-63.
6 «A youth (belonging) to him etc.» Gibbon, op.cit., p. 242-243 gives this story, but with other details. The fortress was defended by Joseph the Carizmian. His attack on Alp Arslan is not by craft, but in a headlong rush.
- 312 ---
lord, I was in this fortress on behalf of the son of his paternal uncle and if he has the intention to kill me, the money which the son of his paternal uncle has, (is) all with me concealed in this fortress. I wish to present myself before him and to inform him of the place (in which is) the money and its amount, and he may do with me after this what he wishes». The messenger went to Alp Arslan , and he informed him about this, and he (Alp Arslan) ordered that he should be brought. When he (the youth) was present, he kissed the ground and went forward so that he might draw nigh to the couch of the king Alp Arslan . They said to him: «Tell the king the place where the money is». Then he said: «The king is my lord, and I am his servant. I shall not say anything except between ourselves». Then he (Alp Arslan) ordered that he (the youth) should draw nigh to him, and he (the youth) bent down as if to kiss the ground, and he drew out a knife which he had between the socket of his thigh bone and (his) boot, and he threw himself upon the king and struck him with the knife in his breast once and twice. The pages leaped upon him with clubs and beat him till they killed him, and they dragged him along by his heels. Alp Arslan survived one hour after him, and he charged his wazir and his nobles, and said to them: «My second son (is) he who is worthy to be the king after me». When he was dead, they seated his aforesaid son (on the throne), and he despatched his brother Yanis to Syria, and with him (there were) many men. He conquered it and remained in it and dwelt at Damascus. Many calamities had befallen the father, Abba Christodoulus, the patriarch, through the priest Abba Jacob, the monk, who has been mentioned previously, till finally, he coveted the patriarchate, and his mind suggested to him that he should take it through Nasr ad-Dawlah ibn Hamdan his friend, and he departed to the aforesaid and settled with him this (matter), and he returned
- 313 -
to Alexandria to await the arrival of Ibn Hamdan at it, so that he might do for him what he promised him (to do). Then Abba Jacob, the monk, fell ill and died, and we buried him in the Church of Abba Menas, the glorious martyr, which is outside the fortress. On his death, a priest, a monk, whom he had made his son in monasticism, whose name (was) Sulaiman---he was deaf and saintly and wise---said to us: «Know that the Lord Christ shielded this priest Abba Jacob, and he preserved the Law by his death. I shall not say to you more than this».
After this, Ibn Hamdan arrived at Alexandria, and his position became so great that he was addressed as our lord an-Nasr. When he learned about the death of Abba Jacob, it grieved him, because he had a preference for him, and he said: «By God, if he had remained alive until I arrived, I would have satisfied (his) desire, and I would have made him patriarch». We learned from his words and from the words of Sulaiman the deaf, that Abba Jacob had wished to take by force the patriarchate for himself through Hamadan, his friend. We gave thanks to God, since He had shortened his life, and that he did not reach his aim by rending the Christian Faith and the noble Apostolic Law.
At the time of his illness, I used to visit him, because he was god-father to my son John, and I heard him saying: «O Lord, I have sinned; grant unto me a delay of one year so that I may repent and weep over my sin». Then he said: «Grant unto me a delay of six months)). Then he said: «One month», till his tongue became tied and he died. What was previously mentioned of his act in seeking to take by force the patriarchate was disclosed after his death, and there was fulfilled in him the reward of prompt retribution in this world, and the patriarch was saved from his plan.
--- 314 ---
When the Lewatis were in possession of all the Lower Land---they were about forty thousand horsemen besides their attendants---and the lands of Egypt (Misr) were under their rule, they used to sow as they wished, without (paying) any tax (and) without land-survey, until they considered and took evil counsel not to make embankments in the Rif and not to dig canals, so that the water might not rise over the lands, and that no one might sow anything, that they (the Lewatis) might sell their crops which they had obtained, as they wished, and that they might destroy what remained of the people. But God sent in that year which (was) the year four hundred and sixty-two of the Tax Year, a very high Nile, so that it suddenly covered all the lands, and the people sowed in all the lands.
As regards the father Christodoulus, he went after the death of Abba Jacob, the monk, to Cairo (Misr), and he remained in it a long time until the honoured Amir al-Guyus arrived in Egypt (Misr) from Acre. He (al-Guyus) killed those who were in it (Egypt), of them who practised duplicity, and this (was) in the year four hundred and sixty-three of the Tax Year which (is) the year seven hundred and ninety of the Pure Martyrs [A.D. 1073], and all the lands improved under him.
He went out against the Lewatis, and he defeated them and slew all of them, and he exterminated them from the districts of the Rif, and was master over them. He also journeyed to Upper Egypt (as-Said) and he conquered it, and he exterminated those who were in it of them who practised insubordination, and he ruled over it, and he returned to Cairo (Misr) and remained in it. He set in order affairs according to their former arrangement and brought them back to their (proper) state, praise (be) to God and thanks (be) to Him!
- 315 ---
The Lewatis had since then stretched out their hands over the monasteries in the Wadi Habib, and had pillaged them and slain the monks in them, and those who remained of them (the monks) escaped to the Rif and elsewhere, and they (the Lewatis) wrecked them (the monasteries).
Great grief befell the people of Alexandria and Cairo (Misr), together with what befell them in the way of the great hardships in the days of Ibn Hamdan and his companions, in that he made the Lewatis masters of the Rif and they ruled over it, and no one was able to sow in it crops except them. They stored the crops and refused to sell them until they (the crops) disappeared from the land of Egypt (Misr). A small sack of wheat reached eighty dinars, and (then) it (wheat) disappeared, so that it was not found (anywhere), and people ate dead mules and donkeys and other things besides them until they were exhausted. Then some of them (the people) ate one another, and a number (of them) ate their children, and a number (of them) used to eat kundur which (is) the powder of the wood of the palm-tree. The people continued under this affliction until God destroyed Nasr ad-Dawlah Ibn Hamdan and his brothers and his companions. He was killed in (one of) the residences of the Ghuzz in Cairo (Misr) by the hand of Baldakur, his son in law, and those who were with him of the (?) bearded Turks, and this (was) in the year four hundred and sixty-five of the Lunar Year (which) corresponds to the Tax Year four hundred and sixty-two.
One year after he (Ibn Hamadan) had been killed, the Amir al-Guyus arrived in Egypt (Misr), and God set free the people through the
--- 316 ---
conquest of the Rif and Upper Egypt and all the lands. The price of food was relaxed and became cheap in his days so that wheat used to be sold at a quarter of a dinar for a small sack, and thanks (be) to God for ever and ever.
It happened (when) the Amir al-Guyus (was) on his journey to Upper Egypt to (fight) until he conquered it, (that) a man whose name (was) ‘Ali al-Kifti falsely accused to him the patriarch, and said to him: «A metropolitan whose name (was) Victor who had been (appointed) by Christodoulus, the patriarch, had demolished a mosque in the lands of Nubia, and that in the lands of Abyssinia (there is) a metropolitan whose name (is) Cyril, and he has respect for the Muslims and loves them and honours them».
The Amir al-Guyus despatched from Upper Egypt a letter to his son al-Awhad in which he ordered him to arrest the patriarch. He arrested him and kept him prisoner with him, until a messenger whom the Amir al-Guyus had sent to the king of Nubia, known as Hisam ad-Dawlah Gawamird, arrived and made known to him the contrary of what ‘Ali al-Kifti had related to him. When he (the Amir al-Guyus) returned to Cairo (al-Kahirah), he caused the father, Abba Christodoulus, the patriarch, to be brought to his council in honour and with respect, and he caused to be brought Hisam ad-Dawlah Gawamird and ‘Ali al-Kifti the aforesaid. Hisam ad-Dawlah accused him (‘Ali al-Kifti) of falsehood with regard to what he had related to him (the Amir al-Guyus). He confessed and acknowledged his falsehood. The Amir al-Guyus caused to be brought the kadis and witnesses and those learned in jurisprudence, and he said to them: «What should be done with this liar Kifti who has created a falsehood between two kings?» Those learned in jurisprudence gave a decision that he should be put to death. Then the Amir
--- 317 ---
al-Guyus said to the patriarch: «What do you say concerning him?» He said to him: «We have not (the right) according to our religion to kill nor to render evil for evil, but you (are) the sultan, and authority (belongs) to God and to you». He (al-Guyus) commanded that he (‘Ali al-Kifti) should he put to death, and he was put to death, and God saved the patriarch from his (‘Ali al-Kifti's) plan. The arrival of Hisam ad-Dawlah Gawamird at that time was (one of) the wondrous miracles (of God). A long conversation took place between the Amir al-Guyus and the father, the patriarch, Abba Christodoulus at this council-meeting in which the father, the patriarch, displayed virtue, understanding and leadership, so that his worth was magnified in the eyes of those present. Then he (Christodoulus) said to the Amir al-Guyus: «Cyril who is called ‘Abdun (is) a pretender to the priesthood, and he has taken by force the archiepiscopate, because I have not consecrated him, nor have I prayed over him, nor have I made him what he claims for himself, nor have I written to him a letter at all».
It happened before this, that there had been arranged the journey of Abba Mercurius, bishop of Wisim, to the lands of Abyssinia with a letter from the patriarch and one of his vestments (with which) to clothe the aforesaid Cyril and to make him metropolitan, and the father, the patriarch, had wept when he was obliged (to do) this. And when the falsehood of al-Kifti had been exposed, and he had been put to death, and the patriarch had spoken in the council-meeting of the Amir al-Guyus, as we have previously mentioned, the affair of Cyril was cancelled. There was arranged a journey of Mercurius, the aforesaid bishop, known as al-Wa‘wa‘, to the lands of Nubia, as a messenger to the king from the patriarch, and (there was) with him a messenger from the Amir al-Guyus to him (the king). He (the Amir's messenger) (was) a noble man, surnamed Saif ad-Dawlah, and he was known as as-Sarif ar-Radi‘, to summon an amir, known as Kanz ad-Dawlah. He (Kanz ad-Dawlah)
--- 318 -
had acted with duplicity in the lands of the Upper Egypt and had spoiled them and plundered them, and he had ruled over them before the arrival of the Amir al-Guyus in Egypt (Misr).
When he (Kanz ad-Dawlah) was informed of his (Saif ad-Dawlah's) journey to Upper Egypt, as we have said at the beginning, he fled from him to the land of Nubia. When the aforesaid bishop and the messenger who was with him had journeyed to the lands of Nubia with the letter from the patriarch, the king delivered him (Kanz ad-Dawlah) to them, and they escorted him back to Egypt (Misr), and the Amir al-Guyus put him to death, and crucified him at the Iron Gate 1 (which is) between Cairo (al-Kahirah) and (Misr).
The Amir al-Guyus honoured still more the father, Abba Christodoulus 3, the patriarch, and (showed) attention to him. Abundance followed in the days of the Amir al-Guyus and the routes were put in a good state, and the arrival of the caravans in Egypt (Misr) from the East and the West and from all lands was without interruption.
It was at the end of the days of Abba Christodoulus, the patriarch, that John became patriarch of Antioch 4. He was the son of the sister of Abba John its (Antioch's) patriarch (who was) known as Ibn ‘Abdun whose miracles have been mentioned.
When he (Ibn ‘Abdun) went to his rest, he appointed this father in his stead, and they called him according to his name John, and he was a saintly (man).
The father Abba Christodoulus wrote to him
1 The Iron Gate is also called the River Gate, cf. S. Lane-Poole, op. cit., p. 189 and p. 202 (Plan).
3 From the spelling of the name Akhristudulu instead of the previous Akhristudulus which is used from this point onward to the end of the biography, we may suppose that the compiler was using another document for his history.
4 John XI.
--- 319 ---
(John) a letter complaining to him of what had befallen him in the way of pillage, captivity and chastisement, and that he had come out from his possessions, even as a hair (which) is extracted from dough. There was taken from him above one hundred thousand dinars and other things besides, which he explained in his letter. He wrote to him an answer through a man, a Syrian priest, called Samuel, of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He (Samuel) became a saintly anchorite in a hermitage in the Rif called Azra---may God grant unto us the blessing of his prayers! He (John) set forth in it (the letter) beautiful words, manifesting his desire (to see) him and to explain to him the loyalty, love and Christian unity which pertain to the patriarchs of these two Sees. Then he said to him in it (the letter): «As to what the saintly brother, our partner in the ministry, has mentioned with regard to his departure from his possessions, even as a hair (which) is extracted from dough, and to what has befallen him, which he has explained in his letter, I, the sinner, revere his worth, his leadership and his sanctity beyond this saying. 'What wealth do we possess, we who have come to this exalted leadership of which we are not worthy, beyond the riches of the Lord Christ, our God, Who was upon the earth, before Whom His disciples were wont to eat the bread of charity'. He (is) Omnipotent, Who satisfied the thousands with five barley loaves, and there was taken up from the remains, double this (amount). In like manner, Peter, head of the Apostles, and all the holy disciples of whom we (are) the vicars, did not, any of them, lay up treasures, nor did any of them have but one garment (and) nothing besides it.
- 320 ---
Even so, the great Saint beloved of the Lord Christ, John, son of Zebedee, the Evangelist, used to work in the refuse of the Baths at Ephesus with a Greek man, and he used to eat the bread of his toil at the furnace of the Bath 1. How (then) shall we who are abject have money?» He mentioned to him in this letter of his many things, and they (were) a consolation, a reproof and a solace.
After this, the aforesaid father Abba John went to his rest and Abba Basil, the patriarch, sat (on the throne) after him. He remained one year and a half, and he went to his rest, and there did not arrive from him a Synodical Letter, nor was his name mentioned in the churches of the lands of Egypt (Misr), nor in a Liturgy, nor in a prayer, and the name of the saintly John continued to be mentioned according to the custom. The See of Antioch remained vacant for a long time because of the occupation of the Ghuzz of these lands, and (on account of) what had happened in them in the way of disorders, captivity and assassinations; until thirty-four men, metropolitans and bishops, assembled in the Monastery of Barsum and set a patriarch on the Throne of Antioch, whose name was Lazarus, and they named him Dionysius. He wrote a Synodical Letter through a Syrian priest whose name (was) Thomas. He has become now bishop of Baghdad. His arrival with it (the letter) was in the days of the saintly Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria---God grant unto us the blessing of his prayer. We shall mention this in his biography.
The saintly father, Abba Christodoulus, the patriarch, went to his rest on Saturday, the fourteenth of (the month of) Kyahk (in the) year seven hundred and ninety-four of the Pure Martyrs [December 10th, 1077 A. D.].
l This fact is not mentioned in the Acts of John, Cf. M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament, Oxford, 1926, pp. 228-270, but it is mentioned in A. S. Lewis, Acta Mythologica Apostolorum, London, 1904, pp. 40-45, Arabic text with translation in English.
--- 321 ---
He was buried in the Church of the Pure Mistress known as the Mu‘allakah in the Kasr as-Sama‘. The duration of his occupation of the Throne of the Evangelist was thirty years. After a time, his holy body was carried to the Monastery of Abba Makarius in the Wadi Habib---God grant unto us the blessing of his prayers. Amen.
The Father Cyril the Patriarch, and he is the Sixty-Seventh of (their) number.
When the father Abba Christodoulus, the patriarch, went to his rest in the forty-first year of the reign of al-Mustansir billah, Amir of the Faithful, in the days of Amir al-Guyus (who has been) previously mentioned, it was the turn of the priests and the archons of Cairo (al-Misriyun) and the monks of the Monastery of Abba Macarius to appoint the patriarch. A body of the bishops, and they (were) Abba Cosmas, bishop of Nusa, and Abba John, bishop of Sakha, known as Ibn az-Zalim, and Abba Mark, bishop of Abusir, and Abba Mercurius, bishop of Misil, and Abba Gabriel, bishop of Busaiah, and it is the See of
- 322 ---
al-Khandak, and Abba Khael, bishop of Kutur, and Abba Theodore, bishop of Kharbitta, and Abba George, bishop of Ibtu, and Abba John, bishop of Atrib and Abba Mark, bishop of al-Balyana, and Abba Peter, bishop of al-Bahnasa, and Abba Macarius, bishop of al-Kis and Abba Menas, bishop of al-Banawanain and others besides them from among the bishops and the priests, and a number of priests of Alexandria and a body of the Cairenes (al-Misriyin) went to the Monastery of Abba Macarius, and they remained for the space of two months seeking for him who was fit for the patriarchate, but they did not succeed. Then some of the bishops and with them Sarut the monk, the archdeacon in the Monastery of Abba Macarius arose, and they went to the Monastery of Abba Kame in order to take the Saint of God, Bessus, the monk in truth, whose virtues and miracles have been previously mentioned. When they started to take hold of him, he cried out against them, and he took stones with which he smote his breast so that he almost killed himself. Then he said to them: «I am the son of a slave. Will you make me patriarch? Do not seek me nor Macarius the door-keeper who has already fled from you and hidden himself. Do not weary yourselves, for, lo, your patriarch is with them in the Skene of the Monastery of Abba Macarius.
--- 323 -
Abba Christodoulus---God give rest to his soul---had conversed with a priest (who was) with us at Alexandria, (who was) blind, at the Church of the Mistress 1, whose name (was) Raga. The aforesaid priest said to the father, Abba Christodoulus: «Alas for you, O our saintly, virtuous father! How shall this people be deprived of you? Whence shall they find such as you?» He (Christodoulus) said to him: «There shall sit on this Throne after me a good monk whose name (is) George. He (is) a thresher in a village of the districts of al-Buhairah, called Iflakah».
Abu'l-Barakat ibn Zuwain who copied this biography from the Cell of the patriarchate for himself and for his son Abu'l-Yumn ibn Banub who (was) at that time a scribe at the aforesaid Cell, in the patriarchate of the saintly father Abba John 7, the patriarch, in the year eight hundred and sixty-six of the Martyrs [1149-1150 A. D.], related to me (a statement) by his son Banub (who) was formerly scribe at the Cell of Abba Cyril, the patriarch, that the father Abba Christodoulus, the patriarch, placed his thumb on the mouth of the vase of Chrism, and the priest who was fit to be patriarch, and he (was) Abba Cyril, was beside him (Christodoulus), because he (Cyril), (was) one of the priests of the Skene, and he (Christodoulus) made the sign
1 Perhaps the Church of the Virgin Mary which was eventually converted into a mosque and known as the Mosque of the Thousand Columns, cf. E. Breccia, Alexandrea ad Aegyptum, Bergamo, 1914, p. 45.
7 John V, 11Z16-1166 A.D.
--- 324 ---
of the Cross on his forehead, and he said to him: «I have anointed you», and the explanation of it is «I have anointed you». The marvels of God (are) in His Saints Who manifests to them the hidden things. When Abba Christodoulus died, it was spread abroad in Alexandria that the opinion of the body (of the electors) was unanimous to make Macarius, the door-keeper, (patriarch). They all journeyed to the monastery to take him. Marga the aforesaid priest spoke, and he said to me: «Not thus did my father, Abba Christodoulus say to me». When they did not find him (Macarius), and the exact information reached him with regard to him who was made (patriarch), he said: «In truth, thus he (Christodoulus) said to me».
As for the bishops and the archdeacon who went to the Monastery of Abba Kame, they returned the same day to their monastery, and they informed the body (of the electors) about what had happened to them with Saint Bessus and what he had said to them. Then they prayed and they multiplied (their) supplications to God---Praise (be) to Him!---to direct them to him whom He had chosen for this affair. They mentioned a number (of monks), but they did not agree upon any one of them, until a monk, a priest of the Monastery of Abba Macarius (who was) middle-aged (and) whose name (was) George entered unto them. When they saw him, God, Whose Name (is) exalted, put it into the hearts of all of them to agree
--- 325 ---
on making him (patriarch). All of them arose, (and they went) to him, and they took him by force, and they clothed him with the robe, and they named him Cyril (Kirillus), while he wept and said: «I am the son of a second (wife). I am not fit for this state», but they did not relinquish him.
This was on the Sunday before Lent, and they journeyed with him to Alexandria, and they consecrated (him) in it on the twenty-second of (the month of) Baramhat (in the) year seven hundred and ninety-four of the Martyrs [March 18th, 1078 A. D.]. Then he (Cyril) journeyed to Cairo (Misr), and Abba Jacob, bishop of Cairo (Misr), sent to the Saikh Abu'1-Fadl Yahya ibn Ibrahim who (was) at that time mutawali of the Diwan of the Gates in Cairo (Misr) and mutawali of the Diwan of Industry, and he informed him of his (Cyril's) arrival at the Church of Michael the Elect on the Island of Cairo (Misr). He (Abu'1-Fadl) sent to him (Cyril) a royal processional barge, and he sailed in it, he and those with him, and he crossed over to Cairo (Misr). Many people of the masses assembled on the shore, and he went up to Cairo (al-Kahirah), and before him they (chanted) until he reached the Castle. He and those with him entered by the River Gate, (and they walked) until they reached the door of the Audience Chamber. Mamun ad-Dawlah ‘Anbar al-Harrani al-Ustadh who (was) at that time Master of the Correspondence (ar-Rasalah) came out to him and said to him: «The Amir of the Faithful sends greetings to you». Then he bowed close to the ground, and he took him (Cyril), and he entered with him alone unto our lord al-Mustansir billah, Amir of the Faithful, and with him there were sitting his mother and his sister, and before them (there was) much perfume, and they offered him of
--- 326 ---
this perfume, and they said: «Bless us and our Castle», and he blessed them and prayed for them, and they rejoiced with him, and they said to him: «May God grant unto us and our dynasty your blessing»''. Then he (Cyril) went out and stood at the door of the Audience Chamber, and he commanded Peter, bishop of Dakmirah to read the prayer, and he read it, and he (Cyril) again blessed and prayed and went out, and they chanted before him up to the house of the illustrious Amir al-Guyus. He met with a most excellent reception from him, and he caused him to be seated, and he caused him to come close to him, and he honoured him, and he cheered him. He (Cyril) prayed many prayers for him, and he commanded Peter, the aforesaid bishop, to read the prayer there also at the door of the Council (chamber). The wali of Cairo (Misr) was standing before his lord, Amir al-Guyus, and he (the Amir) commanded him to go forth and to ride with him (Cyril), when he should go down to Cairo (Misr) and to wheresoever he wished, and to watch over him, and to serve him, and to satisfy his needs as long as (he was) in Cairo (Misr).
He (Cyril) went forth honoured and respected, and he went down to the Church of the Mistress the Mu‘allakah in Cairo (Misr) at Kasr as-Sam‘, and he was consecrated in it. Then he went up, after some days, to the Church of the Mistress in Cairo (al-Kahirah) in the Harat ar-Rum, and he was consecrated in it.
When he went out in Lent to the Monastery of Abba Macarius, those of the bishops who were with him there, related to me that, when he elevated the vessel of the Holy Chrism
--- 327 ---
in the Skene of Abba Macarius (Abu. Makar) on Maundy Thursday, the vessel flowed over his hands at the altar, so that those who were present marvelled and glorified God Whose Name is exalted.
After this, the priest Thomas who has been mentioned before, arrived in (the month of) Hatur (in the) year seven hundred and ninety-five of the Martyrs [A. D. 1078], and with him (there was) the Synodical Letter from Abba Dionysius, patriarch of Antioch, and from his metropolitans, his bishops and his priests. He found that the father Abba Christodoulus had gone to his rest, and that there sat (on the Throne) after him the father Abba Cyril. He altered the address of the Synodical (Letter) to his (Cyril's) name, and he delivered it to him (Cyril), and it was read in the churches of Egypt (Misr), and his (Dionysius') name was recited in their sanctuaries, and prayers were said for him in them at the time of the Prayers and the Liturgies, as was the custom, and he (Cyril) wrote to him (Dionysius) a Synodical Letter in answer to his Letter.
Abba Cyril, the patriarch, was most of his time at the Church of Michael on the Island of Cairo (Misr), in the place known as the Elect, abiding in the Keep which was in it. He used to long to live in the Rif, but he was not able (to do so) on account of the many messengers arriving from the lands of Abyssinia and Nubia and returning to them,
--- 328 ---
and of the requirement of the Sultan that he (Cyril) should present himself to him at all times.
Solomon, king of Nubia, relinquished the kingdom and retired from it. and he delivered it up to George, the son of his sister, and he withdrew to worship and (to lead) the ascetic life. It was in the second year of the patriarchate of Abba Cyril that Solomon, the aforesaid, went to a valley (wadi) known as Saint Onuphrius to worship there in a church (dedicated) to his name. Between it and the borders of Nubia (it is) a journey of three days, and between it and Aswan (it is) a journey of ten days. The wali of Aswan at that time was As‘ad ad-Dawlah Sardakin al-Kawwasi. One of the brothers of Kanz ad-Dawlah came to him and said to him: «My lord, do you wish me to go to seize Solomon who was king of Nubia and to bring him to you?» He said: «Certainly». He took with him twenty men, and they rode good camels and they journeyed in secret until they reached the church in the valley (wadi) of Abba Onuphrius, and they made an attack on it suddenly, and they seized the aforesaid Solomon (Salamun) and they brought him to As‘ad ad-Dawlah, and he despatched him to Cairo (al-Kahirah). When he reached it, all who (were) in it from among the amirs and eminent people, met him with drums and flags and trumpets. When he entered Cairo (al-Kahirah), Amir al-Guyus honoured him and caused him to lodge in a beautiful mansion. He bore to him robes and furniture and vessels, and he (Solomon) remained in this condition for the space of a year, and then he went to his rest, and he was buried in the Monastery of the Saint, my lord George at al-Khandak.
--- 329 ---
The father Abba Cyril consecrated a metropolitan for Abyssinia. He was a learned young man whose name (was) Severus, the son of the sister of Victor, the deceased metropolitan. He had been brought up there with his aforesaid uncle. He (Severus) made many promises to Amir al-Guyus so that he approached Abba Cyril (and asked him) to advance him, and he (Cyril) consecrated him. He (Severus) said that he would continue (to supply) him (Amir al-Guyus) with presents from there, and would allow the kings to obey him. When he (Severus) had journeyed and had arrived in the lands of Abyssinia, Cyril whom we have mentioned before, opposed him.
The father Christodoulus had said to Amir al-Guyus that he had not consecrated him (Cyril) and that he (was) an usurper of the priesthood, and that he had quarrelled with him and had opposed him.
Then this Cyril collected his wealth and journeyed to Dahlak, and there was with him much money. The chief of Dahlak arrested him, and he took his money and he despatched him to Amir al-Guyus. When he reached Cairo (al-Kahirah), he (Amir al-Guyus) caused him to be brought to his Council. Then he enquired concerning him, and he was informed of the correctness of what had been said about him, and he imprisoned him in the Treasury of Flags for a time. Then he beheaded him in the year eight hundred and sixty of the Martyrs [1143-1144 A. D].
Then letters arrived from Severus, the metropolitan, (in which) he informed him (the patriarch) that the lands of Abyssinia were in order, and what there was in them in the way of
--- 330 ---
corruption had been suppressed, and that the king, and his wazirs, and the inhabitants of his kingdom, and his friends, and all his subjects had each one of them many wives, and that he (Severus) did not cease (to speak) with the king to make him desist from this, humouring him and exhorting him until he removed from him all his wives, and (that) there remained with him only one wife in addition to the mother of his children. He tried (to make him) give up the wife, and to remain only with the mother of his children, but he was not able (to do this), and he (the king) said to him: «I have given up all my wives, but as regards this (one), I am not able to give her up, and I cannot separate from her on account of my great love for her». He (Severus) dispensed him (the king) with regard to this, and he pretended to overlook it, for fear lest the affair might turn against him. He (Severus) did in like manner with the inhabitants of his (the King's) kingdom, and the principal men of his State, and the rest of his subjects; and all of them gave up what they used to practise in the way of taking many wives. He asked in his letter that the patriarch should write a letter to the king and to the inhabitants of his kingdom and wazirs and the men of his State, exhorting them in it, and instructing them that this was the correct (thing), and forbidding them to observe the customs of the Old (Testament), and mentioning to them the spiritual instructions from the holy books of the Old and New (Testaments), and explaining in it what might support the correctness of his (Severus') words to them, and strengthen his injunction concerning them, that they might profit thereby in this world and in the next. He (the patriarch) answered his (Severus') request, and he wrote a letter as was requisite, even more precisely than what he (Severus) wished, and he sent it to him with the messengers who had reached him with his (Severus') letters.
When a number of Sees became vacant (through the death) of their bishops, he consecrated for them new bishops, and he did not practise simony at all. He abolished it altogether, and he made
--- 331 ---
an agreement with everyone whom he consecrated that half of what he should receive from the see should be for the bishop and half for the Cell of my lord Mark the Evangelist, according to the ancient rule. He dedicated what he was wont to receive from certain sees to the Monastery of the Saint Abba Macarius, and they (were): Damirah, Abusir, Bana;, and Damanhur and al-Ihnasiah. He wrote documents for this, and he laid down conditions in them to confirm it, and he delivered them to the monks, the stewards, of the aforesaid monastery.
He dedicated also half (of the revenues) from the See of Rosetta and half (of the revenues) from the See of Malig to the Church of the Saint, my lord Mark the Evangelist. He sent the money which he received from the half (of the revenues) of the two sees
..........16 at Alexandria known as al-Kamha by Poemen,
the hegoumenos, because he was a man in whom (there was) goodness and he was of his (Cyril's) relatives, and he built many churches.
16 Arabic text not clear.
--- 332 ---
It was in the year eight hundred and two of the Martyrs [1086 A. D.] that the bishops from Lower Egypt and the archons of Cairo (Misr) assembled, and they said to the saintly father, Abba Cyril: «You, O our saintly father, are spiritual, but lo, they are your companions who corrupt the state of the people, and it is not right that such as these should be your companions, because they disparage you». He said to them: «And who (are) these whose companionship to me you detest?» They said to him: «George, bishop of Ibtua and Abraham, bishop of Dibkua) and Pistos who was a monk who had cast aside the skhema and had married a woman, and Banub, the scribe, and Abu'1-Karam the monk. These five ought not to be attendants to you». Matters between them and him (Cyril) became serious about this, till they wrote a scroll in which they laid down that he should dismiss these from him, and they obtained his signature on it, consenting to what it contained. And when they had departed from him, he did not consider (that it was right) to approve of their opinion on this (matter), otherwise, it would be as if he were under their order(s), and as if they were judges over him, and also he was ashamed to dismiss the aforesaid, (as) they had served him and had been his companions, and he was dependent upon them for his service; and he left them in their position, except Abu'l-Karam the monk whom he dismissed on account of the blameworthiness of his manner (of life).
Some of the bishops of Lower Egypt, at the consecration of this father Cyril (Kirillus), firmly believed that he would be governed by
- 333 ---
their opinions, and that they would have the mastery over him in all affairs, because he was, at the beginning, of little learning, like Demetrius the former father 2, but he was a good priest, because he was a priest of the Skene of the Monastery of Abba Macarius. When he became patriarch, what they supposed was not realized for them, and he applied himself assiduously to the reading of the Scriptures and to their interpretation, so that, (when) I, the sinner, went in to him, I found an interpretation of the four Gospels before him, and I questioned him concerning many words of the holy Gospels, and he gave the best interpretation of them, which the knowledge of most of the bishops and the priests did not reach.
Among all his blessings and grace(s) and his sanctity, and what God the Exalted has granted to His creatures in answer to his prayers for them (is) that the water of the blessed Nile, since he has become patriarch up till now, rises to the limit of (its) increase, and abundance increases, and security prevails over all these lands and all their ways and their fields, day and night.
Satan---may God confound him!---troubled certain of the bishops of Lower Egypt, and they (were) the sons of the oppressor (Bani az-Zalim) and others besides them, and they assembled with Joseph, superintendent of the gardens of the illustrious Amir al-Guyus, and he was his (Amir al-Guyus') own particular (superintendent), and they calumniated the father, the patriarch, in his presence, because he had annulled what they had decided upon with him, and they presented letters through him (Joseph) to Amir al-Guyus concerning the patriarch
2 The twelfth patriarch of Alexandria A. D. 2 30.
--- 334 ---
about matters upon which they had decided between themselves and Joseph, by reason of his knowledge of the things with which Amir al-Guyus would agree and which he would be inclined to accept.
The father, the patriarch, had journeyed to Damirah, after having taken permission from the Sultan, and he consecrated churches in the Rif, and he remained there a number of months.
When the aforesaid (bishops) presented (the letters) to Amir al-Guyus, he sent to him (Cyril), commanding him to enter (Cairo), and that all his bishops should accompany him, on entering Cairo (Misr). He (Cyril) summoned those of the bishops whose presence was possible, and there assembled with him from among them, at Cairo (Misr), forty-seven bishops. From among them the bishops of Lower Egypt, twenty-two bishops, and the bishop of Cairo (Misr) and the bishop of al-Gizah and the bishop of al-Khandak, and twenty-two bishops of Upper Egypt. These are their names: Abba Jacob, bishop of Cairo (Misr), and Abba Gabriel, bishop of al-Khandak, and Abba Hezekiah, bishop of Wasim and al-Gizah. The bishops of Lower Egypt: John, bishop of Sakha, Mark, his brother, bishop of Samannud, Samuel, bishop of Tinnis, Misael, bishop of Damietta, Theodore, bishop of Tilbanah, John,
--- 335 -
bishop of Damirah, Khael, bishop of Abusir, Justus, bishop of Sahragt, Michael, bishop of Minuf, John, bishop of Tandata, Michael, bishop of Nawasa, Michael, bishop of al-Burlus, Gabriel, bishop of Nastarawah, Macarius, bishop of Sa, Macarius, bishop of Bana, Theodore, bishop of Kharbita, Gabriel, bishop of Damanhur, Mercurius, bishop of Masil, Raphael, bishop of Sirsana, Justus, bishop of Rosetta, Theodore, bishop of Atrib, Menas, bishop of al-Banawanain, and there remained of those who were not present on account of illness, Khael, bishop of Kutur, Theodore, bishop of Singar, Peter, bishop of Dukmirah, Phoebamon and Cosmas, bishops of the Oases. The bishops of Upper Egypt
--- 336 ---
and of that which adjoins it: Jacob, bishop of Itfih, Daniel, bishop of Tammuh, Samuel, bishop of Annas, Matthew, bishop of al-Fayyum, Macarius bishop of al-Kis, Peter, bishop of al-Bahnasa, Paphnutius, bishop of Taha, Michael, bishop of Al-Ashmunain, Isaac, bishop of Ansina, Mercurius, bishop of Kuskam, Antony, bishop of Asyut, Ephraim, bishop of Sutb, Matthew, bishop of Kau, Claudius, bishop of Akhmim, Mark, bishop of al-Balyana, Colluthus, bishop of Huw, Mercurius, bishop of al-Aksurain, Poemen, bishop of Armant, Theodore, bishop of Asna, Phoebamon, bishop of Aswan, John,, bishop of Dandara, Apatir, bishop of Kus.
When Amir al-Guyus learned of their assembly, he caused them to come to his large garden outside Cairo (al-Kahirah) on Saturday, the twenty-third of (the month of) Misra (of the) year eight hundred and two of the Martyrs [1086 A. D.] which corresponds to the Tax-Year four hundred and seventy-five, and he addressed to them a severe speech which God pronounced through him, and he commanded them to draw up for him a collection of Canons of religion, and to present it to him. He showed kindness towards the patriarch, and he honoured him, and he revered him and he extolled his rank and his case before them, and he ordered him to depart to his church.
When they had gone out from before him, those of them who had written letters to Amir al-Guyus concerning the patriarch, separated from them, and they (were) five persons: John and Mark, the sons of the oppressor, John, bishop of Damirah, and Khael , bishop of Abusir and Macarius, bishop of al-Kis, and they assembled with the deacon Abu Ghalib Poemen ibn Tayadr ibn Mercurius of Singar to compile Canons, most of which they made up from the ancient (Canons), and they prolonged them and multiplied them. The father, Abba Cyril and the bishops who (were) with him compiled an epitome of the Canons.
Joseph, the superintendent of the gardens of the Sultan, who has been mentioned before, took the part of the adversaries of the patriarch, on the day of their arrival in the garden to (meet) Amir al-Guyus, and he showed solicitude for them by reason of his nearness to the Sultan, and he (it was) who presented their letters to him. Peter, one of the disciples of the patriarch, reprimanded him for this,
--- 338 ---
and caused him to dread the iniquity of it. Then there was inflicted on the disciple by Joseph what he abhorred, and he addressed him (the disciple) in abusive language.
Abba Simon 1, bishop of Tinnis, said to me that he treated Joseph gently in order to calm his anger, but he (Joseph) did not do (so), and the matter between him and the disciple became serious, until our father, the patriarch, went out from the garden to hear what had happened, and he spoke to Joseph with soft words, but he (Joseph) did not repent, and a discussion took place between him and the patriarch, until the patriarch said to him: «O Joseph, if you have a sovereign of the earth, I have Christ the sovereign of heaven and earth», and he descended from his beast, and he made an obeisance to Joseph in the alley of the garden. A body of Christians who were there wept when they saw the saintly patriarch making an obeisance to Joseph the superintendent, and (that) he (Joseph) did not resent this, and did not ask to be spared it; and the father Cyril went down with those of the bishops who (were) with him, to the church of the illustrious martyr Abba Mercurius in Cairo (Misr).
When it was Saturday, the end (of the month) of Misra, the same as (the day) on which the father, the patriarch, had made an obeisance to Joseph the superintendent, information came to Amir al-Guyus about Joseph the superintendent, which changed him and angered him and enraged him against him (Joseph), and he rode at once to the garden, and he commanded Joseph the
1 In the list of bishops given on page 334 the occupant of the See of Tinnis is called Samuel.
--- 339 ---
superintendent to be beheaded at the place in which the saintly father had made an obeisance to him, and at the very same hour. All the people marvelled at this, and the majesty and the greatness of the father Cyril increased with them. And the news reached the illustrious Amir al-Guyus, and he said: «Truly, he (Joseph) used to reproach the patriarch and his people in my presence and to assist his adversaries, and he did not incline my heart to accept his (the patriarch's) works».
This affair became well known so that the illustrious al-Afdal1, the son of Amir al-Guyus, to whom dealers in the village known as al-Bayahu owed something and denied his (Al-Afdal's) right to it and did not pay it, said: «Take them to the patriarch (that) they may take hold of the hem of his garment and his cross, and take an oath and depart: I do not wish from them anything other than this, because in the past he (the patriarch) excommunicated Joseph, the superintendent, and my lord became enraged against him and slew him».
Then the illustrious Amir al-Guyus commanded the patriarch and the assembly of his bishops to be present at his Council, after they had remained in Cairo (Misr) for more than twenty days. When they were before him, he spoke kind words to them, and he honoured them and said to them: «Be all of you of one law, and do not disagree, and obey your chief, and be like him. Lay not up treasures of silver and gold. Give alms from all what you acquire, even as Christ commanded you. These Canons which you have compiled 7, I have no need of them, but I demanded them of you in order that the observance of them may
1 On the death of his father, Al-Afdal Sahansah also became wazir.
7 For the Arabic text and English translation of these Canons: cf. O. H. E. Khs-Burmester 'The Canons of Cyril II, LXVII Patriarch of Alexandria', in Le Museon t. 40, pp. 245-288.
--- 340 ---
be renewed among you, since it came to my knowledge that you were far from keeping to them and (from) reading them. He spoke to them (through) the inspiration of God the Exalted, for He---praised be He!----caused him to speak, because he (was) king, even as Solomon the Wise said: «The heart of the king (is) in the hands of God». Then he said: «Go and pray for me», and he commanded one of the heads of his Diwans, and he (was) Abu'l-Fadail ibn al-'Ubaidi, and he said to him: «Go out with them and write a list of what each one of them needs in order that letters patent may be written for them for all what they need». They went out delighted from his presence, and all of them went down to the aforesaid Church of Saint Abba Mercurius, and they celebrated the Liturgy on that Saturday and on the following Sunday. They had two magnificent days, the like of which had not been heard of, and they departed to their sees after this, being delighted.
After this, a monk called Farag wrote a letter to Amir al-Guyus in which he said that Abu as-Surur ibn al-Abah had money deposited with the bishop of al-Khandak during his lifetime, and that of all the bishops, there was none who did not have a deposit belonging to one of the hypocrites. (He said): «If you will command me to be empowered, I shall extract this from them, and I shall bear it to you». He (Amir al-Guyus) commanded him to be empowered and to use force to bring the bishops. He (Farag) went forth and seized whomsoever of them (the bishops) he found, and he brought them; and letters did not cease to be exchanged between them, until four thousand dinars had been fixed (to be paid) by all the bishops of the southern and northern districts: from the bishops of Lower Egypt, two thousand dinars, and from the bishops of Upper Egypt, two thousand dinars.
--- 341 ---
Amir al-Guyus issued a decree to Farag the monk, in which he granted him (to collect) five dinars from each one of the bishops of Lower Egypt, every year, and he took them from them that year, and they paid the taxation one by one, and a loss of five hundred and fifty dinars in dues was suffered by the bishops of the southern district, and all were saved after great difficulties had befallen them.
Al-Awhad, the son of Amir al-Guyus, was staying at Alexandria, as we have said at the beginning, and there was among the company of those who accompanied him a man of the army, known as Gamal ad-Dawlah Ta‘an, son-in-law of Tag al-‘Arab, and his brother ‘Alain ad-Dawlah, sons of Bagbalin al-Gamali, both of whom Amir al-Guyus put to death. This man corrupted the mind of al-Awhad with regard to his father, and he encouraged him to disobey him and to act hypocritically towards him. He did this, and he revealed his hypocrisy and made it public. He (Amir al-Guyus) sent Abu'l-Farag ibn al-Mu‘azzi to him to restrain him from this, but he (al-Awhad) did not pay attention to him. Then his brother al-Afdal journeyed to him also, and he spoke with him and. treated him courteously, and he condemned his action, and he informed him of the evil report resulting from it, but the talk was of no avail with him, and he returned to Cairo (al-Kahirah) without reaching his purpose.
Amir al-Guyus journeyed to him with a great army, and he descended upon Alexandria and besieged it, and war continued between them for nearly two months. Then peace was restored between the two of them, and al-Awhad went out to his father, and they both entered together into Alexandria. Then al-Awhad departed from it, and he went down
--- 342 ---
to......, and Amir al-Guyus remained in Alexandria, and he summoned the witnesses of the city and its chief men, and he said to them: «You helped my son to disobey the Sultan and encouraged him in this, and you killed the men of the Sultan and his troops, and you caused him to lose money». Numerous calamities occurred among them, and they feared for their lives. They did not cease negotiating their affair with him until (a fine) of a hundred and twenty thousand dinars had been imposed on all the inhabitants of Alexandria, and had been brought to him, besides what was brought to him from another district.
He (Amir al-Guyus) departed from it (Alexandria) in the month of Abib 4, and he and his son al-Awhad returned to Cairo (al-Kahirah). He remained in it, and he (al-Awhad) (was) as one estranged from his father until the month of Baramhat 5 (in the) year eight hundred and two of the Martyrs [1086 A. D], and he was accused to his father, Amir al-Guyus, and it was said to him (Amir al-Guyus): «He (al-Awhad) determined with a number of the amirs to kill you. Among them (the amirs) were Suga‘ ad-Dawlah Saf, surnamed the master of Babil, and Murhif ad-Dawlah Suwar al-Milihi, and Husn ad-Dawlah Saf al-Husni, and a body of others besides them». Amir al-Guyus seized them all and put them to death, and he seized his son al-Awhad, and he put him under arrest in a strongroom in his mansion, and he put irons on his feet. This was on Friday, the tenth of Baramhat [March 6th, 1086 A. D] the aforesaid, and in this year died the wazir Abu'l-Farag Muhammad ibn Ga‘far al-Mu‘azzi, (a few) months before the arrest of al-Awhad.
Al-Awhad remained under arrest for a year and a half, until a matter about which we did not know came to the knowledge of Amir al-Guyus, his father, concerning him while he (Al-Awhad) (was) under arrest, at
4 June-July (Julian Style).
5 February-March (Julian Style).
--- 343 ---
the end of (the month of) Misra [August 23rd] (in the) year eight hundred and three of the Martyrs [1087 A. D.]. He (Amir al-Guyus) cut off food and water from him during the five days of (the month of) Nasi 3. Then he gave an order to him who went in unto him in the place, where he was under arrest, and he strangled him until he died. This (was) on the eve of New Year's day[August 29th, 1087 A. D.].
The father Abba Cyril had written canons and had sent them to Upper Egypt, and they were read in the churches in Cairo (Misr) and in all the districts, but the inhabitants of Upper Egypt did not accept them, and they did not abandon their canons. His companions said to him: «You have warned them, and you are free from sin», and he (Cyril) did not pay attention to them.
In the year eight hundred and two of the Martyrs [1085-1086 A.D.], a decree was written and read in the Great Hall at the Castle that all the Christians should fasten round them black girdles, and, in like manner, the Jews, but that the edges of them (the girdles) should be yellow, that they might be distinguished from the Christians, and that the full poll-tax should be for all, a dinar and a third and a fourth of a dinar [1 and 7/12 of a dinar], and the cause of this was a Kadi known as Ibn al-Kahhal, and he (was) at that time the assessor of the poll-tax.
Amir al-Guyus was strong in the wars, until the Ghuzz, in the year four hundred and sixty-six of the Tax-Year (al-Khiragiyah), reached
3 The Coptic month Nasi is the last of the year. It has five days, or six in leap-years. In A. D. 1087 this date would be August 26th-28th inclusive.
--- 344 ---
Sahragt with two thousand warrior horsemen, and took possession of (the province of) as-Sarkiyah. Some of them crossed over to al-Mahallah and plundered it and killed the majority of its inhabitants, and they took possession of (the province of) al-Gharbiyah and they reached as far as Birma. Their chief was Silar whose name (was) Atsiz and (he was) known as al-Aksis, and (there were) with him his brothers around him, and al-Mamul, and with them Nasr al-Guyus ibn Baldkus. Amir al-Guyus went out against them, and he overcame them, and he slaughtered them, and Atsiz was routed, (and he fled) with a small company (of soldiers who fled) to Syria, and he (Amir al-Guyus) put to death his (Atsrz') two aforesaid brothers and Nasr al-Guyus. Amir al-Guyus returned to Cairo (al-Kahirah) with his army, powerful, victorious, joyful (and) happy.
The greater part of the army of Amir al-Guyus was Armenians. When it was Abib [June-July] (in the) year eight hundred and three of the Martyrs [1087 A. D.], there arrived at Alexandria from Constantinople a ship on which there was a young man (who came) with pomp and companions and pages. It was said concerning him that he (was) the patriarch of the Armenians, and his name (was) Gregory, and that he (was) the son of the sister of their former patriarch, and that he (was) from the sons of Sennacherib the king, and that his maternal uncle had committed to him
- 345 -
the patriarchate and had sent him to the lands of Egypt (Misr), and had given to him important relics from the relics of the Saints and crosses of gold and other things besides.
There had already reached these lands before him a saintly Armenian monk known as al-Manakis, and he had entered the desert of Abba Macarius and had associated with Bessus the saintly monk, and he rejoiced at what he saw in the way of his sanctity. Then he arrived in Alexandria and we disputed with him concerning religion, and we recognized the soundness of his Orthodox Faith and the uprightness of his Christian religion. He used to wear iron on his body and over it a hair-shirt. I saw him, one day, and they had brought to him a young man (who was) tormented by a devil every day, and he (Gregory) caused to be brought two Armenian priests, and they read over him the Books and the Gospel of John, over a pot in which (there was) water, and he emptied it over him, and Satan went forth from him, and he was healed. I saw him, after that, with him (the young man) in Cairo (al-Kahirah), and he was studying and writing on a tablet, sane and sound.
Then the patriarch of the Armenians arrived in Cairo (Misr), and he was received by Amir al-Guyus graciously, and he lodged at the Church of the Mistress, my Lady Mary which belongs to the Melkites in the demesne of az-Zuhra at the side of the Church of Abba Cosmas, the illustrious martyr, which belongs to the Jacobites at the bridge which is between Cairo (al-kahirah) and Cairo (Misr), and he dwelt in it and remained in it until now. Then he met the father, Abba Cyril, the patriarch, and he honoured him and rejoiced with him, and he (Gregory) confessed to him the Orthodox upright
--- 346 ---
Faith which is our Faith, (we) the company of the Jacobites, in the presence of the great multitude which was at the Cell of our father, Abba Cyril the patriarch on that day, and there was made known amongst all the people the genuineness of the agreement of the Copts and the Armenians and the Syrians and the Abyssinians and the Nubians on the Orthodox, upright Faith on which the saintly, virtuous fathers agreed, and with which Nestorius and Leo and the Council of Chalcedon disagreed.
On the fifth of an-Nasi [August 28th], (in the) year eight hundred and four of the Martyrs [1088 A.D], Abba Jacob, bishop of Cairo (Misr) died. The duration of his occupation of the throne was twenty-four years, and he was before his episcopate an archdeacon at the Monastery of Abba John in the Wadi Habib, and he was buried at al-Hibs in Cairo (Misr).
The prominent men of the people assembled to make a choice from a number of the monks of the monasteries, till (at length) their choice fell upon two, either Sanhut the deacon at the Monastery of Abba Psoi or Poemen the archdeacon at the Monastery of Abba John. They despatched a man known as Abu Sahl as-Sahragti to both of them. Sanhut hid himself from him, and he (Abu Sahl) went to the Monastery of Abba John to take Poemen, and he found Sanhut hidden there. He (Abu Sahl) and those who were despatched with him to take him, took him (Sanhut), and they arrived with him at the Church of Michael the Elect, which (is) on the Island of Cairo (Misr), and Abba Cyril was, at that time, living in it. The priests and the archons
--- 347 ---
and the people assembled, and they consecrated him (bishop) oh Sunday, the twelfth of (the month of) Babah [October 10th] (in the) year eight hundred and four of the Martyrs [1088 A. D.] and it is the Tax-Year four hundred and seventy-seven, and he was proclaimed in the Church of Saint Sergius (Sargius) in Kasr as-Sam‘ on Sunday, the nineteenth of (the month of) Babah [October 17th] the aforesaid. He was excellent in his faith, learned, chaste, virtuous, humble (and) comely in priesthood.
It was in (the) Tax-Year four hundred and seventy-eight (that) the brother of the Metropolitan of Abyssinia arrived with a gift (which) did not make a good impression upon Amir al-Guyus and did not please him. It was Friday, the twenty-second of it (the month of Babah) [October 19th], and he (Amir al-Guyus) summoned Abba Cyril the patriarch, and he came, and (there were) with him ten bishops and Abu Malih Menas ibn Zacharias, the master of the Diwan of the Gates in Cairo (Misr). His surname was as-Saikh al-Athir Nagib ad-Dawlah wa-Makiniha.
When they entered in unto the illustrious Amir al-Guyus, they found the brother of the Metropolitan of Abyssinia standing there. When they were seated, Amir al-Guyus said to them: «You made the brother of this (man) Metropolitan of Abyssinia, and we have money due to us from him, and instead of building mosques in the lands of Abyssinia and bearing gifts and settling many things, he has not done (anything), and he sent (only) something similar to it 7.»
There was among the body of the bishops who were present, Abraham, bishop of Dibkua, known as the Sa‘idian, who (was)
7 i. e. the stipulated gift.
--- 348 ---
the cause of every trouble, since the patriarch had consecrated him (bishop) of Dibkua. He had not entered it. (namely) the See, nor had he beheld it, nor had he ordained in it, nor had he celebrated the Liturgy at a sanctuary of it at all, as is obligatory according to the Canons. He became his (Cyril's) scribe, and on account of this, he was detested by the hierarchy, and (it was) he against whom the bishops rose up, being indignant at him, and they wrote a scroll that he was not fit for this (post), and that he and two others should not remain in the fellowship of the patriarch on account of what had been disclosed in the way of their evil manner of life, and they obtained his (Cyril's) signature, as we have said in what goes before. This Abraham reversed his (Cyril's) opinion and said to him: «How (is it) that you consent that the bishops should rule over you?» so that strife occurred between the patriarch and the bishops, and they wrote the calumnious letters about him. He (Abraham) was the cause of the assembling of the bishops and of what befell them: and until now he is upsetting all the affairs of the patriarch, because he (the patriarch) is a saintly monk. All what befell them in the way of dissension and disputes (resulted] from this Abraham---may God reform him!
The aforesaid Abraham said to the illustrious Amir al-Guyus: «O my lord, this Metropolitan was not appointed except at your command». He said to him: «You and this Shaikh, namely, the patriarch, are lying», and the multitude kept silent. Then Amir al-Guyus said: «It is requisite that two bishops should journey (to Abyssinia), so that the mosques in the lands of Abyssinia may be built, and (that) the claim may be established, and (that) the gift may be brought, and the gift shall be settled according to this for fifty years, and they shall not settle (it), therefore, according to their choice.
--- 349 ---
They have begun in those lands to waylay the Muslim merchants and others than them. Let the patriarch forbid them (to do) this, otherwise, I know what I shall do». The father, the patriarch, said: «O my lord, what have I to do with waylaying? Am I a watchman?» He (Amir al-Guyus) commanded that he (the patriarch) and the bishops should be put forth, and they were put forth from the Council in a most disgraceful manner: and he commanded that the brother of Metropolitan should be imprisoned, and they put him under arrest in the Treasury of Flags, and he (Amir al-Guyus) commanded that the names of the bishops who were present should be written down. When their names had been written down, there went out to them two chamberlains who were put in charge of them at two dinars a day, until they should write to the king of Abyssinia, and should decide to send two bishops from among them. They went down, and the guardians with them, to the Church of the Mistress al-Mu‘allakah in Cairo (Misr). The father, the patriarch, used to give to them (the bishops) every day the agreed wage that they might pay it to the guardians, and he did not let them suffer the loss of anything. They wrote the letters, and they decided on sending Mark, bishop of Wasim and al-Gizah and Theodore, bishop of Singar.
The children of Baptism 7 experienced great fear on account of the domineering nature of Amir al-Guyus and of what happened through him to the bishops, until God---praised be He!---was gracious (to us) through the arrival of a fine gift from Basil, king of Nubia, and with it the son of the king who was before him (Basil),
7 i. e. the Christians.
- 350 -
and (who had) died, in order that the patriarch might make him (the son) bishop, for (it is) their custom, when the king dies, that his son is not made king in his stead, but the son of his (the king's) sister is made (king).
The illustrious Amir al-Guyus summoned the father, the patriarch, the saintly Abba Cyril and the aforesaid ten bishops on Wednesday, the twenty-seventh of (the month of) Amsir [February 21st]. They entered in unto him, being afraid, and he commanded them to be seated, and he honoured them, and he honoured the patriarch, and he caused him to come near to him, and he reassured him, and he talked with him courteously, and he caused the brother of the Metropolitan to be brought.
It happened that, at that time, a Muslim merchant presented a letter to him (Amir al-Guyus), complaining in it that he (the brother of the Metropolitan) had waylaid him in the lands of Abyssinia, and had taken his money. He (Amir al-Guyus) caused him to be brought into their presence, and he inquired of him concerning the affair of his case. God the Exalted caused him to speak (and) to say: «He (the brother of the Metropolitan) took my money in the lands of Abyssinia, and the king arrested Severus before he gave me my rights». Amir al-Guyus said to him: If the Metropolitan was arrested, how was he able to give to you your rights? Nevertheless, the king is (?) supreme lord in his lands». Then he turned to Rigal, the brother of the Metropolitan and he said to him: «Your brother accepted our conditions that he should build in the lands of Abyssinia four mosques, and he has not done (so)». Rigal said to him: «O my lord, he built seven mosques in the places, where it was possible to build (them), and their case is well known, namely, (how) the Abyssinians demolished them and wished to kill him (the Metropolitan), and that, when the news of this reached the king, he arrested the Metropolitan and imprisoned him».
--- 351 ---
The illustrious Amir al-Guyus said «Blessed!». Then he said to the patriarch and to the bishops: «What have you done?» They said: «We have written the letters in Coptic and (Arabic). Command him whom you desire to read them and to interpret them before you». He said: «I consider that you (are) trustworthy, and I esteem you, and I trust you more than all the Christians. Who of you will journey with these letters together with my letter and my messenger?» They said: «These two bishops», and they pointed to both of them. He looked at both of them and he said: «Blessed», and he commanded the two chamberlains who were in charge of the bishops to retire from them and not to hinder them, and he reassured them, and he honoured them, and they went forth from his presence happy, giving thanks to God the Exalted.
A certain good, trustworthy (person) related to me that the illustrious Amir al-Guyus said in his letter to the king of Abyssinia: «If you do not do thus and thus, I shall demolish the churches which (are) in the land of Egypt (Misr)». He (the king) wrote to him a reply, saying: «If you demolish a single stone of the churches, I shall carry to you all the bricks and the stones of Mecca, and I shall deliver all of them to you, and if a single brick of it (Mecca) is missing, I shall send to you its weight in gold».
As regards the case of Abu‘t-Tayyib Sahlun ibn Kil az-Zalim, (in the way) of his oppressing the people and harassing them and placing them under arrest in the Treasury of Flags, and of giving Abu'l-Harith, scribe of the Treasury, power
--- 352 ---
over them, and of urging him to punish them with various ways of punishment, it is notorious and well-known. He was, at that time, in charge of the Diwan of the Council, and he used to sit under the Dome of the Tax in the Kasr as-Sa‘id.
Abu'l-Harith brought me out of confinement one day, and he caused me to stand before him, and he said to me: «I was annoyed at what the Saikh Abu't-Tayyib ibn az-Zalim said to me, «Punish Mawhub ibn Muffarig al-Iskandarani, and his son and his wife and Abu'l-Khair, the son of Abu's-Surur ibn al-Abah, until they undertake to pay to the Sultan the money for which they wrote their signatures»; and he swore to me a great oath concerning this, (saying) that the aforesaid had urged him (to do) this many times. Then Abu'l-Harith swore, saying to me: «If you do not bring, up to the evening of this day, thus and thus», and he mentioned many dinars which it was impossible for me (to pay), «I shall punish your son before you, this evening», and I said to him: «O my lord, he is prostrate and already near to death through the violence of what he received from you in the way of punishment, and if you summon him, he will die». He (Abu'l-Harith) repeated the oath, and whenever he took an oath, he was accustomed to perform what he swore, and I knew that what he said concerning Ibn az-Zalim (was) correct, from what was known of his evil deeds against me and against others than me. This pronouncement (was made) on the morning of Monday, the twenty-ninth of (the month of) Baramhat [March 25th] (in the) Tax-Year four hundred and eighty. Then he (Abu'l-Harith) sent out with me two men to go round and to collect the dinars for which he asked. I went down to Cairo (Misr) and I repaired to the Church of the Mistress, the Lady, al-Mu‘allakah at Kasr as-Sam‘, and I went up to where her picture (is), and I found there Abu'l-Futuh ibn Raphael the scribe, and he also was asked
- 353 ---
(to pay), as I was. We both wept before her, and we said: «On the same day as this, the Angel Gabriel (Ghabryal) announced to you the salvation of the race of men, and on this same day, we beseech you, do not forget us». There was much (supplication) on account of this Ibn az-Zalim in Cairo (Misr) and (in) Cairo (al-Kahirah). and (in) the Rif, and (in) all places, on account of what he did against the Children of Baptism and others besides them, and in like manner, Abu'l-Harith also. Immediately, God manifested a miracle with regard to both of them, for, while we (were) in the aforesaid Church, news arrived from Cairo (al-Kahirah) of the arrest of Ibn az-Zalim and Abu'l-Harith, and of their imprisonment in the mansion of Sams ad-Dawlah Kams. Great joy came upon us and (upon) all the people. When it was the morning (ghaddah) of Wednesday, they were both led forth on two camels to without the Bab an-Nasr, and they were both crucified on two masts, and arrows were shot at them until they died.
His (Ibn az-Zalim's) two brothers, the bishops John and Mark were arrested, and they bound them for punishing (them) until they wrote their signatures for two thousand dinars. They went out, and with both of them (there were) two tax-officials, at five dinars a day, and they remained (collecting money) for a while, but they did not bring to Amir al-Guyus beyond five hundred dinars, after the tax-officials had taken from them a tax of six hundred dinars. When the business of both of them was ended, and they had entered into Cairo (Misr), the illustrious Amir al-Guyus commanded that both of them should be put under arrest in
--- 354 ---
the Prison of the Guard in Cairo (al-Kahirah), and they continued in it for a long while, until intercession was made for them. He (Amir al-Guyus) released both of them, and they both went forth to their sees, according to their custom.
Information reached me of what had occurred formerly 1 which makes it necessary that I should mention it. It (is) that a letter arrived from the Caliph at Baghdad for the master Kafur al-Ikhsid, and he (was), at that time, wali of Egypt (Misr) for War and Taxation. He (the Caliph) ordered him to make an estimate of the revenue of Egypt (Misr) and of what belonged to it and of all its expenditure for one year. He did (this), and its amount comprised in the aggregate three thousand thousand and two hundred thousand and an excess of seventy thousand dinars 3. He made (an estimate) for the expenditure and the robes and coverings, and it was higher than the revenue by two hundred thousand dinars. Kafur caused to be brought in his wazir who (was) Ibn Kala, and he said to him: «What must we do with regard to this deficit?» He advised him to decrease the allowances of those who had salaries by one hundred thousand dinars, and to make an increase in the taxes of the Customs (to produce) one hundred thousand dinars in order that the revenue of the year might be equal (to the expenditure). When he went out from his presence, Kafur caused to be brought in the Shaikh Abu'1-Yumn Cosmas ibn Menas the faithful Christian, overseer of the districts of Cairo (Misr), who (was) mentioned before in the biography of the father Ephraem, the patriarch, and he said to him: «Consider this affair, and advise me about what I shall do in the way of what is right and just on behalf of the Sultan towards the people». He said: «I heard news of it, and I understood it, but it is not lawful for
1 This account goes back to A. D. 957, cf. H.P.E.C. Vol. II, Part II, pp. 128-130.
3 i.e. 3,270,000 dinars. Cf. the revenues given by S. Lane-Poole, op. cit., pp. 151-152.
--- 355 ---
me to speak about it». Then he constrained him and adjured him to say what the wazir Ibn Kala had advised him. He said: «As for me, you have constrained me and adjured me to mention what I have (in my mind), and I speak according to what is necessary for me in the way of advising you, (namely), that he who advised you to reduce the allowances of those who have salaries, who have the support of God---Praised be He!---and your support, deceived you and wished (to bring) you into disrepute; for God appointed (to them) their allowances through you, and if you do this to them, He will deprive you (of your). As for what was advised to you by him in the way of increasing the taxes of fixed Customs, he who established the root and the branch of this, let him know that his seat (shall be) in Gehenna, for the creation of taxes separates from God». His speech caused him to admire him and to understand his advice to him, and he was favourable to him.
When the wazir Ibn Kala came to him on the next day, he ordered the chief chamberlain to arrest him and to punish him until he should make up the deficit from his (own) money, and he said to him: «You did
wish to harm the reputation of..... and to disgrace his conduct in
the service of his lord». Then he put his signature (to a decree) that a third of the Customs-(tax) should be deducted from the source of the taxes, and he commanded the Saikh Abu'l-Yumn Cosmas ibn Menas to promulgate this (decree) in all the habitations of Egypt (Misr). He did this, and he wrote letters to this effect and he sent them to all the lands. The revenue increased in that year by four hundred thousand dinars, and prayers were said against the wazir Ibn Kala in Mecca, and prayers were said for the Saikh Abu'l-Yumn Cosmas ibn Menas, and a curse against the aforesaid wazir was written on the walls.
There was in Cairo (al-Kahirah) a Syrian known as Ibn al-Tawil, and he and a number of the Syrians with him were
--- 356 ---
dwelling in al-Hasaniyah which (is) on the outskirts of Cairo (al-Kahirah) which (is) appointed as the dwelling-place for the Armenian (al-Arman) troops. Amir al-Guyus ordered that no one should dwell in al-Hasaniyah except the Armenians only, and. he expelled from it Ibn at-Tawil, the Syrian and the Syrians who (were) with him. He (Ibn at-Tawil) presented himself to Amir al-Guyus with a letter, asking in it that there should be granted to him a church in the Monastery of al-Khandak from among the empty churches which (are) there, that he and the Syrians who (were) with him, might lodge in it. He (Amir al-Guyus) granted his request, and he commanded Abba Gabriel, bishop of al-Khandak to grant to him (Ibn al-Tawil) what he requested. He (Abba Gabriel) gave to him a church there (dedicated) to the name of Paul, son of Justus, the martyr, and his body (is) in it. There was in this monastery a church (dedicated) to the name of Abba Macarius, and the aforesaid bishop had put in it trefoil for his beast. A body of the Armenians went and presented themselves to the illustrious Amir al-Guyus with a letter, and they said in it: «We have no church in which we may pray, and in the Monastery of al-Khandak (there are) several churches for our companions, the Jacobites, and they (are) closed, and they (the Jacobites) are not in need of them, nor do they pray in them, and their bishop has made one of them a store-house for trefoil. Amir al-Guyus sent and examined this, and he found it (to be) true, as they had said. Then he ordered the bishop to remove the trefoil and to give it (the church) to them, so that they might restore it and might pray in it. They took it, and it remains (till) now in the hands of the Armenians
--- 357 -
who serve in it and pray in it; and God manifested in it many miracles through His martyr, my lord George, and in other churches besides it which (are dedicated) to his (St. George's) name. Among them (the miracles), it is said concerning a Beduin man of the Children of Ghalaf, that he entered his (St. George's) Church at Damallu and that he stood fighting against his (St. George's) picture, and he (St. George) slew him immediately, and he died.
In his (St. George's) Church at the Monastery of Abba John in the Wadi Habib his (St. George's) picture vanished from it, on account of a youth whom John, the monk, sold for ten dinars, until the deacon returned them (the dinars) to the monk and took the youth, and it (the picture) returned to its place.
At his (St. George's) Church at the Monastery of Honey, many miracles were manifested in it which Bani Khasib related to me, the explanation of which would be long. A light appeared in it (St. George's Church) on the second day of (the month of) Hatur, while I was passing by it; and at his (St. George's) Church in Nabal (a town) of the districts of Ibwan, the many miracles (which occurred) in it (are) famous.
At his (St. George's) Church at Kutur the miracles (are) many, and ‘Abd al-Masih, the priest of Dahshur related to me that he
--- 358 ---
went to it, and he went up to the picture of my lord George (Mart Girgis), and he cut off the top of the wick of the icon-lamp, and he stood waiting for the sacristan to bring to him a lamp in order that he might light it (the wick), and that there descended upon the church a white light in three places, and it (the light) lighted the wick.
His (St. George's) very many miracles are countless, and no one can explain them according to their nature on account of their abundance. God grant unto us (the acceptation) of his intercession and the blessings of his prayer, for they (are) great and acceptable.
I shall mention what I saw in Jerusalem and elsewhere; namely, the Sepulchre and Calvary at Jerusalem the protected, and the head of the illustrious Saint, my lord Mark, the Evangelist, at Alexandria, and the body of Saint Severus at the Monastery of Glass, and the body of the Saint, my lord George, in his church which (is) at Ludd (a town) of the districts of Palestine, under the altar. In the Monasteries of the Wadi Habib (there are) the three Abba Macarius, and the Forty-Nine, and in Arabic, and Zeno the king and his son, and Abba
--- 359 ---
John, and Abba Pisoi and Abba Kame, and Abba Moses (Bu Miisa). and Jacob the Persian) the Sawn-asunder, and the sepulchre of Hilaria and Paule of Tamwiah. In the Monastery of the Romans (is) the finger of my lord Severus, and at Alexandria also (are) the sepulchres of Elisha the prophet and Jeremiah the prophet, and Peter the Confessor, and the blood of the Patriarch of Alexandria, Peter the Martyr, and the traces of my lord Mark, the Evangelist, and the sepulchres of a number of martyrs. In the Monastery of Singar (is) the body of Thecla the apostolic, the virgin, and the body of Philotheus the martyr. In Cairo (Misr) the body of Saint Apa Hor and his sister Mahrayil, and the body of Abba John of Sanhut, the
--- 360 ---
martyr, and Barbara the Saint. In the Monastery of al-Khandak (is) the body of Abba Paul, son of Justus. In the Monastery of Abba Senouti (at) Akhmim (are) the bodies of the two Disciples Bartholomew and Simon the Canaanite of the company of the twelve Apostles and of Abba Senouti the saintly father. In the Monastery of the Beacon (is) the body of Paphnutius, the illustrious martyr. At Asyut (is) the body of Claudius the martyr in the church of my lord Victor, and the sepulchre of Abba John the Short, and the body of Phoebammon. In the Monastery of Abu as-Sari which (is) at Sutb (is) the body of the Martyr Theodore the amir, the slayer of the serpent, and of Harufus the bishop with him on a bench in the sanctuary. In Tambadi (is)
- 361 -
the body of the Martyr Apa Apima in his monastery. In the Monastery of Apa Anub (are the relics of) over sixty monks, martyrs. Traces of our Lord Christ and of His Holy Mother in the lands of Egypt (Misr) in many places, among which, the Church al-Mu‘allakah in Cairo (Misr), and her Church known as «At the Steps» in Cairo (Misr) at Bani Wayil, and at Bastah and Minyat Tanah, and Samusah, and the Mountain of Al-Kaff, and the Monastery of Bessus, and al-Ashmunain, and Filis, and Kuskam, and the Mountain of Isnin, and al-Muharrakah, and from it (al-Muharra-kah) He returned to Cairo (Misr). In Kift (are the relics of) Abu Amsah, and in al-Khusus (is) the Monastery of my lord Victor, the martyr. In Ansina (is) the body of Saint Abba
--- 362 ---
Colluthus and many martyrs. In Samasta (are the relics of) Abu Harudah the martyr. At the south of Abutig (is) the body of Abba Psoi the martyr in his church, and with him the body of Bisisaih the martyr, and they are both in two chests. In Almas (are the relics of) Abu Halya the martyr. In Kuskam (are the relics of) Abu Halis the martyr. In a monastery to the west of Kus (are the relics of) Abba Pisentius, and at the west of the monastery (there is) a source of water. In Difra (are the relics of) Abba Isaac the martyr. In al-Banawanin (are the relics of) Apa Kragon. This is what I saw and from which I received a blessing, I, the sinner, the compiler of this biography. (There are) other relics besides, which I did not see, the enumeration of which would be long.
Abu'l-Badr Peter ibn Macarius related to me that a youth, a monk, met with an accident in the marsh in the desert of Abba Macarius, which paralyzed him and made him
--- 363 ---
dumb. They bore him to Saint Bessus at the Monastery of Abba Kame. He (Bessus) placed him in the Church of the Mistress, which (is) in the keep, and he remained with him for three days. The youth mentioned that he saw three persons coming out from the door of the sanctuary, and two of them said to the other who (was) their leader: «Accomplish the desire of Bessus with regard to this youth». and he (the leader) pushed him (the youth) with his foot and said to him: «Arise», and the youth arose sound, upright, (and) with the use of his speech. Immediately, Bessus called to him from below, before he had seen him, saying: «O come down», and the youth came down, walking to him, and he was whole, and he prostrated himself at his (Bessus') feet, and he recounted what he had seen and heard.
David ibn ‘Ubaid related to me that a man found in Mahallat Abu ‘Ali a Christian man dumb (and) paralyzed, and he bore him on a beast to Saint Bessus at the Monastery of Abba Kame, and that he (Bessus) prayed over him for three days and nights, and he (the man) came out from his presence, walking on his feet (and) speaking, and he returned to Mahallat Abu ‘Ali glorifying God, and the people witnessed him sound and with the use of his speech.
On Sunday, the eighth (of the month) of Babah (in the) year eight hundred and eight of the Martyrs [October 6th, 1091 A. D.], a great earthquake occurred at Antioch (which), at that time, (was) under the rule of the Ghuzz, and thirty-two towers of it fell down, from the Sea
--- 364 ---
Gate to the Persian Gate. Some (parts) of it (the city) were swallowed up, and the great river known as the Orontes entered it and broke through the middle of it.
People related that a man composed a scientific work in a book, and a number of the people read it. He mentioned in it that (in the) Lunar Year four hundred and eighty-five [1092-1093 A. D.] a great affair would happen, and the water (of the Nile) would decrease, and the lands would be ruined. God brought to nothing his wisdom and what he had said, and the contrary to it happened. The water (of the Nile) rose and flowed over the land, and it increased beyond the limit, until it covered the lands over which the water had not risen for years. The lands were sown, and abundance flourished, so that wheat was sold in the Rif at one dinar for ten ardabs by the current measure, and at more than this in the districts remote from the river (Nile), and to God (be) thanks for ever.
The Ghuzz had taken possession of the city of Jerusalem the protected, and they had denied the descent of the light in the Church of the Holy Resurrection over the Noble Sepulchre, but, when they learned the verity of its (the light's) descent every year, they had consideration for the Christians who were living in it, and they employed for the administration of the country a Christian man, a Jacobite, a lover of Christ, known as Mansur al-Balbayi, and he had a wife like himself, and he was of assistance to everyone who arrived in Jerusalem from among the Christians of Egypt (Misr) and of other countries besides it. He endeavoured to rebuild the church of the Jacobite Orthodox in Jerusalem, and he wrote to the father, the patriarch, asking him to send (a bishop) who should consecrate it,
--- 365 ---
and it was decided that one of the bishops should go to consecrate it, and he went in (the month of) Baramhat (in the) year eight hundred and eight of the Martyrs [February-March, 1092 A. D.]. In this year Mark. bishop of al-Balyana, went to his rest, and be (was) the senior of all the bishops.
The father, the patriarch, Abba Cyril had delayed to enter the desert of Abba Macarius this year, and he moved from the Monastery of the Beacon, (to) the west of Tammuh, to the keep of the Church of Michael the Elect on the Island of Cairo (Misr), (and thence) to the Church al-Mu‘allakah at Kasr as-Sam‘. He did not relax his efforts in reading the Holy Scriptures, and the greatest part of his reading (was) in the explanation of the four Holy Gospels in Coptic, so that he understood many passages of them, and spoke about them.
I, the wretched John ibn Sa‘id al-Kulzumi, the copyist of this biography, know the truth of what this section contains. It (is) that I went to him (Cyril) in the Church of Michael the Elect, on Sunday, to receive a blessing from him and to communicate in it, and I found that he had already come down from the keep and was sitting in the church. I greeted him and I received his blessing. He rejoiced in me and blessed me and honoured me, and it was that God granted to me the blessing of his prayers. He (was) a saintly monk, spiritual, lowly, meek, very ascetic, a hater of possessions, (and) giving alms of all that was brought to him from the Sees, to the weak, and spending part of it on the building of churches and monasteries, and with part of it fashioning silver vessels for use in the holy sanctuaries, and with part of it assisting the Christians who were arrested,
--- 366 ---
and redeeming them from punishment, so that, when he went to his rest, there was not found on him either a dinar or a dirham. All his deeds (were) good and beautiful, and he was agreeable in speaking (and) of pleasant appearance, fasting continually (and) plentiful in prayer. He used not to eat from that which was prepared in his Cell for his disciples, anything of the dishes, except one dish (which) used to be presented to him in a bowl, whether of cereals or of vegetables, and he ate of it a small (quantity) from the evening meal to the evening meal. I sat before him and I discoursed with him till the priests assembled and asked him, and I asked him (also) with an obeisance, to celebrate the Liturgy, and we all communicated from his pure hands, and he prayed in Coptic for everyone who approached the Eucharist, and he blessed them. When he had dismissed the people, and they had gone out, I started to go out, and Peter, the chief of his disciples, came out to me, and he said to me: «Our father says to you with an obeisance: «Sit down until I come out from the sanctuary», and I sat down until he came out. He said to me with an obeisance. «Come up to me, and I will discourse with you to-day, and I will entertain you». I said: «At your service», and I went up with him to the keep, and Abba Abraham, his scribe (also), and it was after noon. The disciples presented the repast, and I and Abba Abraham ate. They brought wine, and I declined to drink it, because it was the season of the summer, and I dislike to partake of it in the summer. Then I sat before him (Cyril) to discourse with him. Abba Abraham informed him that I had not drunk anything, and he (Cyril) blamed me on account of this. I informed him that I dislike drinking it (wine) in the summer. He said to me: «Three glasses will not harm
--- 367 ---
you». I said: «O my master, if it (the wine) (is) from your holy hand, it will not harm me, but it will benefit me very much». He made a sign to the disciple, and he handed to him a glass (of wine), and he (Cyril) blessed it, and I took it from him, and I drank it, and, in like manner, the second and the third (glass). Then we began to discourse about the legal science and the honour of our Faith, and its sublimity, and the beauty of its qualities, and its Canons, and what (there is) in it in the way of the types of humility and magnanimity and love.
Our discourse was conducted in this manner until we mentioned what God the Exalted had vouchsafed (to us), and what was manifested in the way of His great love for the race of men, so that He, Whose Name is great, sent His Only Son, Eternal with Him, the Word, the Creator, and He became one with our nature, and He took from it a body, and He made it one with Him, and He came forth from a woman, a pure Virgin, without the seed of man, and He was born of her perfect God and perfect Man, and the seals of her immaculate virginity were not loosed, but she remained a virgin-maid, as she has not ceased (to be). His holy birth was at a determined time, and (in) a known month, (and on) a certain day, and it (the time) was known and understood. He sucked from her milk in His Humanity, Who nourishes all creation in His Divinity, and He was advancing in stature and wisdom, as says Luke the Evangelist. He accepted the sufferings in His Humanity, Who brings into being the seen and the unseen things of Creation in His Divinity. Then we mentioned the magnitude of His kindness towards us, in what He endured for our sake in His body taken from us, and His endurance of what He received in it (the flesh) on the part of the lawless Jews, in the way of insults and sufferings and crucifixion and the nailing upon the Wood, and other things besides this, of which the Holy Gospels bear witness, up to the death and burial in the Holy Sepulchre; and how God the Word suffered these qualities and all the defects in His
--- 368 ---
body which He took from our nature, and became one with it, and was not separated from it for the twinkling of an eye, from the time of His descent into the womb of the Virgin up to the time of His Ascension into Heaven, and for ever and ever.
I said: «O our saintly father---may God prolong your life!---this body which was taken from our nature, from the flesh and the blood of my lady Mary, the Holy Virgin, which she carried in her womb for nine months, and with which God the Word became one, and made it one with Himself, and was not separated from it, and never shall be separated from it; and she gave birth to Him in Bethlehem in the time of Augustus, King of the Romans (ar-Rum), and (under the) rule of Herod, in the land of Syria, five thousand and five hundred years after the creation of our father Adam (Adam) 1, and men saw Him, and the hands of men touched Him, and He received sufferings and blows and insults and crucifixion and the nailing on the Wood, and death and burial in the Sepulchre, and all the defects of which the Holy Gospels bear witness; how (is it) that anyone who has understanding and reason (can) say concerning Him that which causes separation or creates doubts?» He said: «No». I rejoiced at what I heard from him, and knew that he had read the Divine Scriptures and their commentaries and had understood them. I have introduced this (anecdote) into this biography, only (because) it confirms what the compiler of it said about the father Abba Cyril, the aforesaid, that he read the commentaries and understood them and spoke about them.
The compiler of this biography said: «The saintly father, Abba Cyril, the aforesaid, went to his rest---may God give rest to his soul and grant to us (the acceptation of) the blessing of his prayer!---on Sunday, the twelfth (of the month) of Bauunah (in the) year eight
1 The year 5500 of the Era of the World, called Alexandrian, corresponds to the year 1 of the Coptic and Ethiopic Era of the Incarnation, but = A. D. 8, cf. M. Chaine, La Chronologie des Temps Chretiens de l'Egypte et de l'Ethiopie, Paris, 1925, p. 134.
--- 369 ---
hundred and eight of the Martyrs [June 6th, 1092 A. D.], which (is) the Lunar Year four hundred and eighty-one, after he had received the Holy Eucharist. The duration of his patriarchate, from the time of the laying-on of hands upon him in the Monastery of Abba Macarius, was fourteen years and three months and a half, and he was buried in the Church of Michael the Elect on the Island of Cairo (Misr). May his prayers be with us. Amen. His body was borne afterwards to the Monastery of Abba Macarius in the holy Wadi Habib, and glory (be) to God for ever and ever».
In Your Name, O Merciful One, I begin 5.
John ibn Sa‘id ibn Yahya ibn Menas, known as Ibn al-Kulzumi, the scribe, said: «When I had completed copying out all that was composed by the saintly forefathers, of the biographies of the Holy Church, and they (are) twenty-six biographies, and what happened in them to the fathers, the patriarchs of Alexandria, and they (are) sixty-seven patriarchs, the first of whom (is) Mark the Evangelist, and the last of whom (is) Abba Cyril the Second, the spiritual saint, I arranged this in three parts. The first part (contains) seventeen biographies of forty-six patriarchs, the first of whom (is) Mark the Evangelist, and the last of whom (is) Abba Khael the First. The second part (contains) five biographies, the first of which (is) the eighteenth (biography), and the last of which (is) the twenty-second (biography), and (it contains) the notices of nine patriarchs, the first of whom (is) Abba Menas, and the last of whom (is) Athanasius. The third part in which (is) this quire, from among the twenty-two quires, and what precedes them up to the last quires, (contains) four biographies and the notices of twelve patriarchs of whom the first (is) Khael the Third,
5 This line is written in red ink.
--- 370 ---
and of whom the last (is) Abba Cyril, the Second, the spiritual saint, the patriarch, and he (is) the last of the sixty-seven patriarchs, and, of them, I saw him (Cyril) and I heard his speech, and I was present at his Liturgies, and I conversed with two patriarchs, and they (were) Abba Christodoulus and Abba Cyril ---may God give rest to their souls and grant to me (the acceptation of) the blessing of their prayers! I gave thanks to God the Exalted in that He vouchsafed to me to find these biographies, and assisted me---may His Name be magnified!---in copying out all of them. It was incumbent upon me to write and to explain the biographies of them whom I saw after Abba Cyril, the patriarch---may God give rest to his pure soul!---up to the time (when) these lines were written, and he (is) Abba Macarius. I took refuge in His mercy---may He be exalted!---and in His assistance and His co-operation, even as I wrote by His benevolence, and I arranged it in conformity with the biographies which precede it. From God we ask assistance».
The Twenty-Seventh Biography 6 of the Biographies of the Holy Church. Abba Michael the patriarch, and he is the Sixty-eighth OF (THEIR) NUMBER 7.
When the father, the spiritual saint, Abba Cyril the Second, went to his rest---may God hallow his pure soul and grant to us
6 A marginal note in red states: «Abba Macarius (is) after Abba Michael, and he (? the copyist) saw the (lit. their) time of the two of them».
7 Another marginal note states: «This father sat on the Throne of the Patriarchate in the reign of al-Mustansir, and seven months after his enthronement, al-Mustansir died, and his son al-Musta‘li reigned after him, and (MS. A adds: al-Afdal, the son of Amir al-Guyus was his wazir).
--- 371 -
(the acceptation of) the blessing of his prayers!---it was the turn of the Alexandrians to choose him whom they would set on the Apostolic Throne in place of him (Cyril). Their archons and their senior priests assembled to examine this (matter) and to choose him who should be fit for this illustrious presidentship, and they tarried some days, and they did not decide about anything, and they went out to the Rif, and they assembled with the bishops, and they discussed with them about this (matter). The conversations continued to be repeated between them for a long while, but they did not have a settled opinion as to him whom they should set up over them. The archons and a body of the bishops came into Cairo (Misr), and they lodged in the Church of the Martyr Abba Mercurius , and they assembled with a body of the bishops of the Sa‘id who had come to Cairo (Misr) on account of this affair. They put forward the names of a number of monks and others besides them, but they did not settle in their minds to promote any one of them, and they decided to journey to the holy monasteries in the Wadi Habib, and to assemble with the fathers, the monks, to pray and to choose him who should be worthy of the Apostolic Throne. They journeyed thither, and they assembled in the Church of the Saint Abba Macarius, and they mentioned the names of a number of the monks who (were) in those holy monasteries, and they remained, for some days, examining this (matter), and their opinions vacillated, and they did not agree about him whom they should promote as chief over them, until some of the bishops mentioned
--- 372 ---
Samuel, the anchorite, who (was) in the Cell of Arari 2, and he was a Syrian. They consented to make him patriarch, and they agreed in their opinion to accept him. Then the bishops departed, and among them (were) Abba Sanhut, bishop of Cairo (Misr), the pure (and) the virtuous one. and the Alexandrians, and the virtuous deacon, Abu Ghalib Poemen ibn Theodore ibn Mercurius of Singar. They set out from the Monastery of Abba Macarius for Arari, but, before their arrival there, one presented himself to them, (and) he mentioned to them that the belief of Samuel, the anchorite, the aforesaid Syrian (was) unsound, and that he believed with regard to the body of our Lord Christ taken from the Immaculate Virgin, the Saint Mary, which He took from her flesh and her blood and made it one with Himself, in which He endured the life-giving sufferings and the crucifixion and the death and the burial and
2 MS. A reads «Azari», and H. G. Evelyn White, op. cit., Part II, p. 87 1 gives the form Adari. He is using B. T. A. Evetts' manuscript translation of MS. 302 Fonds arabe, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. The locality of Azari, is definitely established by a reference to it in the biography of Macarius, 69th patriarch of Alexandria. On folio 187 r° of MS. M we read:
«And the saintly father Abba Macarius, the patriarch, was absent at his cell which (was) at Azari on the Island of Bani Nasr». Just above this island the Nile separates into two branches, cf. E. Amelineau, op. cit., p. 9.83. Further confirmation of the identification of the locality of Azari is furnished by a note in a Syrian MS. from the Syrian Monastery Dair as-Suryan, which stales that in 1102 he was a priest and stylite at Nikiu, cf. H. G. Evelyn White, op. cit., Part. II, p. 37 1, n. 1. Nikiu was in close proximity to the island of Bani Nasr.
--- 373 ---
other things besides this, in the way of human affairs proper to His Humanity, in which He wrought the amazing wonders and divine miraculous marvels proper to His Divinity, all of which (are ascribed) to Christ the One, that is to say, uncreated, namely the body, that it (the body) (is) equal to His creating Divinity, and that our Lord Christ on Maundy Thursday did not celebrate the Passover with His disciples with a lamb, nor did He eat of it (the lamb), and (do) the other things besides this, which are said concerning Him.
When they heard this, they refrained from going to him, and they turned away from their idea of making him (patriarch); and the Alexandrians became impatient of their long tarrying and their absence from their relatives and their children, and of their being away from their dwelling-places and their homes; and since winter was upon them, they resolved to return to Alexandria without a patriarch, and to postpone this (matter) for another time. The bishops prevented them from (doing) this, and they advised them to have patience and to remain with them, if but for another week, as, perhaps, that upon which they relied would come to them; but it did not please them to remain, and they determined to journey to their city.
Abba Sanhut, bishop of Cairo (Misr), said to them: «O blessed brethren, you know that our assembling with you, from the time that you arrived in our city until now, was according to what you wish, and we have not done anything, unless by agreement with you, in the way of journeying to the Monastery of Abba Macarius, and of coming hither, and of consenting to make this anchorite patriarch over you and over us; all this was (done) with the agreement of us all. Now you have heard from him from his words the unsoundness of the belief of this man (Samuel) to whose (election) the assent of us and of you was
--- 374 ---
obtained, and that he has no knowledge or understanding, neither has he read anything of the Scriptures of God, for if he had read the Holy Scriptures, he would have known from them the unsoundness of what he believed. For the opening (chapter) of the Gospel of John says: «In the beginning was the Word, and the Word did not cease (to be) with God, and God (is) the Word». It was clearly shewn by this saying that He (is) God in truth. Then the saying of Christ from His pure mouth, in the Gospel of John, when addressing the Jews: «a man speaks to you the truth which I heard from God» By this saying of His, He clearly showed that He (is) man, and it was clearly shewn to us from His saying that He (is) God and man together, one Christ, not two.
As regards his (Samuel's) words about the body of our Saviour which He took from the Virgin Mary, daughter of David and Abraham (Ibrahim) who were created, that it (the body) (is) uncreated; this (is) the belief of him who professes (the doctrine) of the Phantasia and of the spectre and of the spirit 5; it is not the belief of one who professes (the religion) of God and who professes Christianity.
The Holy Scriptures of God bear witness to the fact that the Word of God created for Himself a body in the womb of the Virgin, my Lady Mary without the seed of man, and (that) He made it one with Himself, and men saw Him and touched Him and felt Him, and He ate with them in verity, and He drank, and He walked among them, and He toiled and He hungered and He thirsted, and He watched and He suffered, and He was crucified and He died, and He was buried, and He performed all the actions of men, of which the Holy Gospels bear witness, save sin;
5 This refers to the heresy of the Phantasiasts or Gaianites.
--- 375 ---
and He rose from the dead and He appeared to His disciples, and He showed to them the print of the nails in His hands and His feet and the wound with the lance in His side, and they touched His body and they felt (it), as He said to them: «Touch and feel, for a spirit hath not bones and flesh, as you see me having». And He ate with them and drank, after the Resurrection, that He might confirm in them the verity of His. Resurrection and the truth of His Humanity, and that after the Resurrection, it (His Humanity) remained in its state and was not changed into the Divinity.
The testimonies to the soundness of this (are) very many, and among them, the Gospel of Matthew the Evangelist, (where it is stated) that the angel said to Joseph: «Fear not, O Joseph to accept your betrothed Mary , for He Whom she shall bear (is) of the Holy Spirit»; and Saint John Chrysostom explained it and said that the Holy Spirit (is) He Who created the body in the womb of Mary, (and) the body of the Word (is) through the effect of the Holy Spirit. Saint Severus, patriarch of Antioch, in a Commentary on the Gospel of John (says) also, with regard to the garment without seam (woven) from the top, thus: «that the garment woven from the top without seam points to the body of Jesus Christ, that it (was) created through the Holy Spirit from above, without the seed of man». Paul the Apostle said in his Epistle to the Ephesians: «Be renewed in the spirit of your hearts, and put on the new man who hath been created after God in righteousness and truth and purity». And he said in his Epistle to the Colossians: «Put off the old man with all his doings, and put on the new man who is being renewed through knowledge in the likeness of his Creator. Gregory the Wonderworker who is assimilated to the Apostles, said in the
--- 376 ---
twelfth anathema 1: «He who has said that the body of Christ (is) uncreated, and does not acknowledge and confess that God the Word, the Uncreated, accepted created Humanity and became incarnate and became one (with it), as it is written, let him be anathematized 2. And his Commentary on his saying: «How do they say that the body of Christ (is) uncreated, is impassible, His side unpierced by the lance, and is intangible», (since), when Christ rose from the dead, He showed to His disciples the traces of the nails, and they were witnesses of the wound and the body which they touched. He entered in unto them, the doors (being) closed, in order that He might manifest to them the power of His Divinity and the truth of His Humanity». And Saint Julius, patriarch of Rome said in his Epistle to Dionysius: «We confess the created in union with the Creator, when one constant nature arising from both sides, is united with what we know of our creation, of us men, and that from both sides, from the soul and the body, (there is) one nature, (and) hence, one individual called man». And he also said in his Epistle to Prosdocius: «Let all who say that the body of our Saviour is not from Mary, and (who) say that it (is) from heaven, and that it (is) non-existent, be anathematized». John Chrysostom said in a homily
1 Sic. Read «Twelve Anathemas». The quotation is from the 1st. Anathema.
2 Cf. S. Gregorii Thaumaturgii, 'De Fide', P. G. 10, Col. 1127
--- 377 ---
which he delivered on the (Feast of the) Nativity, the beginning of which (is) 'A wondrous Mystery' 3 «even as a skilful artificer, if he find a good thing, fashions from it a good vessel, so likewise, when our Lord found the body of the Holy Virgin and her holy soul, He created for Himself from her a temple having a soul, (forming), in the manner which He wished, a human body from the Virgin which He wore, and He appeared to-day, and he did not abhor the imperfection of nature, and it was not for Him despicable, when He became united with the garment of our nature; and the created gained great glory, when it became a temple for the Creator. Even as (it was) impossible, at the beginning, that man should rise before He took dust with His hand, (so) in like manner, it was not possible to fashion a second time the vessel which had perished, unless it became a garment for its Creator. On account of this, He did not fashion for Himself a temple from anything else, and He did not create another body to wear, so that it should not be thought that He had made an imperfection in the creation of Adam». Saint Gregory the Theologian, bishop of Nyssa, said in a homily which he delivered on the Holy Nativity, the beginning of which (is) 'Christ was born to us to-day', «O this new
3 Cf. S. Ioannis Chrysostomi: In Natalem Christi Diem, P. G. 56, Col. 388
--- 378 ---
prodigality of God! O this unmixed, wondrous, eternal unity in every place! The Uncreated was created 1, as it (is) written: 'Consider My Apostle and My priest Who is confessed, (even) Jesus "Who is faithful to Him Who created Him'». And he said also in his homily on the Faith: «He who has said that He came forth from the Virgin, as (water) passes through a conduit only, and does not confess that He created His body and united it from her with His Divinity, because it (the body) was created without (the insertion of) a penis, according to the law of creation, shall be anathematized». Proclus, bishop of Cyzicus, in his homily on the Nativity 5, in the presence of Nestorius, at Constantinople, said: «O womb in which the death-resisting weapon was created for our sake» 6. Epiphanius, bishop of Cyprus, in his great book called the 'Anchor' said 7: «He took a body from Mary the Virgin, without the seed of man, and He created this holy body, as He (God) said: 'He came (forth) from a woman and took that which we have'. Saint Cyril the First, patriarch of
1 A very free rendering, it would seem, of S. Gregorii Theologi, 'Oratio XXXVIII', P. G. 36, Col. 325.
5 Proclus, patriarch of Constantinople, 434-446 A. D. For his writings, cf. Georg Graf, Geschichle der Christlichen Arabischen Literatur, Erster Band, Die Uberzetzungen, Citta del Vaticano, 1944, pp. 365-366.
6 Cf. S. Proclii Orationes. 'Oratio I', P. G. 65, Col. 684.
7 Cf. Epiphanii, 'Ancoratus', P.G. 43, Col. 72.
--- 379 ---
Alexandria in his Epistle to Sergius (Sargis) said: «It is not orthodox
to say that the body was transferred to the nature of the Divinity, or that
the Word was transferred to the nature of the Humanity; and, as this
(the former) (is) impossible, since He (the Word) is non-transferable
and does not change, so likewise, the latter, (for) it is impossible that a
created thing be transferred to the substance of the nature of the
Divinity, because the body, (namely) the body of Christ is created; and it
is said concerning it, that is became the body of God». Severus
the Champion, patriarch of Antioch , said in the Letter
which he wrote to Anastasius, the righteous king, the King of
Constantinople, when he excommunicated Macedonius:
«When sin increased on earth, God the Word descended
from heaven and dwelt in the belly of Mary the Virgin, and He
fashioned for Himself in her a human body by an incomprehensible
Mystery which reason cannot understand, and He remained in her womb
for nine months, and He took a body from her and created for Himself
a body. The Father was not in her womb, in case someone should say that
the Father was transferred to the Sonship, but it (was) the Son
through the will of the Father and the will of the Spirit, One Holy
Trinity, so that no one may say that other than He (the Son) created it
(the body), nor may it be said that He altered it (the body) through the
Divinity, but (it is) He alone Who became incarnate, and He endured
all what happened to Him, not with the form of a spirit, nor did the body
descend with Him from heaven, but He created it from the Virgin without
seed, and He made it one with Himself, without separation, or confusion
or mingling». Saint Jacob, bishop of the city of Sarug,
said in his homilyon the Life-giving Sufferings, the beginning
--- 380 ---
of which (is) 'O son of God, Who did become a sacrifice on our behalf, «He created for Himself two arms to stretch out upon the Cross, and He created for Himself a brow to wear thorns»; and he said in his homily on the Holy Nativity, (where) he explains what the angel said to the Virgin, «He Who fashions the little children (is) He Who fashions for Himself a similar body, and puts it on; and the Lord of children shall be in your womb, and you shall conceive. He has clothed Himself with a garment in your pure belly, and He has prepared for Himself the garment of the enveloping body from the loom of your womb». He said also in it: «The Creator of little children was growing in the womb and He was creating perfect persons in women. When the fulness of the crown of His body was completed, and the crown of the members of His majesty was finished, and when the body had assembled its senses through His knowledge, and He had completed the natures of the seal which completed His body with the whole of His Person together, and when He had created His Person in her (the Virgin's) senses, and had fashioned the image of the perfect man from our nature, He completed His body». Hippolytus, patriarch of Rome, in his Epistle to Saint Severianus, bishop of Gabala, said: «But He (it is) Who fashioned His body in the belly of the Virgin, and no one shared with Him in the creation of His body». «If, O my brethren, this anchorite had read these books, or something of them, he would not have believed his unsound faith; and him who has not read (the Scriptures) and who is without knowledge we do not
--- 381 ---
accept to be a patriarch for us, nor a chief over us, because the holy canons forbid him who is without knowledge, to hold any rank of the priesthood, and, for this reason, they state: «The reader shall be learned in the Scriptures, adapting the Old to the New (Testaments)».
The compiler of this biography stated (that) the bishops and the Alexandrians said: «We do not promote over us (anyone), save him whom we know for the abundance of his knowledge, and for the integrity of his life, and for his purity, and for his asceticism, and for the soundness of his belief, and him who submits to the conditions which we impose upon him, and for which we require his signature. They remained some days searching for and making enquiries after him who should be fit for the patriarchate.
There came one who mentioned to them that (there was) in the Cell at Singar an anchorite, a monk, a priest whose name (was) Michael, and that he (was) learned, virtuous, (and) had read and understood (the Scriptures), and that his belief (was) sound. He (was) middle-aged among men, and fit for this presidentship. Then they journeyed all together to Singar, and they assembled with a body of its inhabitants, and they asked them about the state of his condition; and of those whom they asked concerning him, (there was) none but gave an excellent description (about him). When they were assured of this, their opinion was settled to make (him patriarch. Then they journeyed to his Cell, and Abba Sanhut, bishop of Cairo (Misr) and certain of the bishops and the deacon Abu Ghalib ibn Mercurius of Singar went up to him, and they conversed with him, and they discussed with him about the Faith and the teachings
--- 382 ---
of the law. He answered them in a manner whereby they were informed by him of his knowledge and the strength of his faith. Thereupon, they apprised him of what (was) in their minds, in the way of promoting him as president over them, and they said to him: «You are a learned (and) wise man, and the rank to which we have called you is not beyond you, and it is an excellent rank and an eminent presidentship and a lofty (and) noble service; and you have the ability for it through your knowledge and your priesthood and your asceticism and your policy, and it (is) not (one) of those matters which such a one as you refuses, and is prevented (from undertaking). We beseech you to accept our endeavours on your behalf, and to assent to what we have determined for you, in the way of the conditions which we shall mention to you which we know are incumbent upon your holiness». Then they made an obeisance to him, and they said to him: «We wish you to accept from us this obeisance and to assent to what we have besought of you, through the goodness of your heart, without compulsion, and not to compel us to take you by force or by violence, for this does not become you». He assented to what they desired, and he said to them: «What (are) the conditions which you stipulate?» They said: «You must write out for us in your handwriting, before everything, concerning your belief, in conformity with what we agreed upon and heard from you». He said: «Certainly». They said to him: «And you must mention in it (the writing), that it is incumbent upon you to furnish the priests of Alexandria with what it was the custom of those who were before you in this See (to do), (namely), to furnish them every year with what to expend on the building 5 of the churches which (are) in it (Alexandria), and for the Eucharists which are offered up in its sanctuaries, and on what is necessary for their weak ones 6, in the way of (the payment) of the taxes and other things besides them». He said: «Certainly, and
5 i. e. building repairs.
6 i. e. the poor.
--- 383 ---
if I am able (to do) more than what was the custom of those who were
before me (to do), I shall do (it) for them, since the writing and......1
(are) in this». They said to him: «And you must mention in it (the writing) that you will not practise simony with anyone of those whom you must place in a rank of the episcopate or in other (rank) besides it of the rest of the ranks of the priesthood, because the holy Canons forbid this, and they order to be excommunicated him who practises it, for he who receives (the money) and he who pays it (are) both of them anathematized (and) excommunicated; and you must return to the bishops of the Sees that which those who were before you, forcibly took from among their churches and their monasteries, and became sharers with them in their Sees. For you knowest that the patriarch (is) but the bishop of Alexandria, and he has the presidentship over the bishops of the Sees of Egypt, (but) he is not a sharer with them in their Sees; and even as it is not permitted to him who has a wife to be a sharer with another in his wife, so likewise, it is not permitted to a bishop to be a sharer with another bishop in his See which (is) his bride; and you must return to them (the bishops) what was taken from their Sees by those who were before you, and was taken forcibly through greed and the quest of empty glory and worldly vanity of which neither God nor man approves, and which is unbecoming to archbishops». He said to them: «Which (are) the churches and the monasteries which the patriarchs have taken from the Sees of the bishops?» They said to him: «Those which were taken from the See of Cairo (Misr) (are): the Church of the Mistress al-Mu‘allakah at Kasr as-Sam‘, and the Church of Abba Mercurius at Sahil as-Sa‘ir (the Barley-shore) and the Church of the Mistress also at the Harat ar-Rum, and these two churches, namely, Abba Mercurius and the Mistress
l The Arabic is not clear here.
--- 386 ---
at Cairo (al-Kahirah), Christodoulus took after the death of Philotheus, bishop of Cairo (Misr), and he fixed for Abba Gabriel who became bishop after him, dues, (which) he should receive from them (the churches) every year, and (stipends) (from) the specified Liturgies which he should celebrate in them at any time, and it is recorded in the perpetual register (manzarah) of the See of Cairo (Misr). From the See of Wasim and al-Gizah, the Church of Michael on the Island of Cairo (Misr), known as the Elect. From the See of Tammuh, the Monastery of the Beacon (as-Sam‘), and the Monastery of the Pottery (al-Fakhkhar) which (is) also (dedicated) to the name of the Martyr Abba Mercurius, and others besides these, of which the perpetual register in the Patriarchal Cell bears witness (together with) the date of his (the patriarch's) taking of them from the Sees which (are) in their own right». He assented to all this, and he said to them: «All that you have solicited and imposed as conditions (is) an obligation, and (it is) right and true», and he wrote for them a document concerning all (this), and he anathematized in it him who should take away anything of it, or turn away from it, and he took as witnesses against him in it, all those who were present of the bishops and the priests of the Alexandrians who had gone up to his hermitage, and those who were down below, and they asked him to descend with them. He said to them:
--- 385 ---
«I shall not come down until after you have clothed me in the garment 1 and have prayed over me, if all of you have agreed about this matter». Then they clothed him in the garment and they consecrated him patriarch, and he descended with them, and they journeyed with him to Alexandria, and they consecrated him on the twelfth day of (the month of) Babah (in the) year eight hundred and nine of the Martyrs [October 9th, 1092 A. D.] which (is) the Tax-Year four hundred and eighty-two. He journeyed from it (Alexandria) to the Monastery of Abba Macarius in the Wadi Habib, and they consecrated him (also) in the Church al-Mu‘allakah in Cairo (Misr). When he had remained at it (al-Mu‘allakah) for some days, Abba Sanhut besought him to keep his promise to him which he had written in his handwriting for him, in the way of returning to him the aforesaid churches, (but) he did not do (so). There occurred between them quarrels which (are too) long to explain. He (Michael) refused to acknowledge the document, and he said that it (was) not his writing, and he anathematized him who should witness against him with regard to what (was) in it. He did not return to anyone of the bishops (either) a church or a monastery. And of the document which it was said that he wrote, there was a number of copies, and of it (there was) that which was in his hand, and of it (there was) that which was in the hand(s) of the priests of Alexandria, and of it (there was) that which was with Abba John, bishop of Sakha,
1 i. e. the patriarchal robe.
--- 386 ---
because (he was) the eldest of the bishops, and of it (there was) that which was with Abba Sanhut, bishop of Cairo (Misr).
And when there happened through him (Michael) what has been mentioned before, he (Michael) sent to the priests of Alexandria a document by which he required from them in particular the dues which they received every year, requesting them (also) to return the copy (of the document) in which (were) these conditions, and he threatened them with anathema and excommunication if they did not return it to him; and they sent it to him. He threatened the bishop of Sakha in the same way, and he returned to him the copy which was deposited with him, out of fear of him, because, when he (Michael) had become strong in his position, and his feet were established in the patriarchate, there was manifested in the hearts of the bishops and others besides them the awe and fear caused by him, on account of his authority and his awe and his rule, similar to what (was the case) with the father Christodoulus ---God give rest to his soul! None of the bishops or the archons was able to resist him in speech or to oppose him, and he humiliated the bishops and treated them with contempt, so that they became for him as the earth upon (which) he trod.
He requested Abba Sanhut to return to him the document which he had, (but) he (Abba Sanhut) did not do (so), and he said: «You have denied it and have said that it (is) not your writing. What then (is) your need of it, that you askest for it?» Then he (Michael) made promises to him, and he threatened him, and he treated him kindly and he menaced him. (but) he did not listen to him, and he did not deliver it to him. So he (Michael) prevented him from acting freely in his churches and from (celebrating) the Liturgy, (but) this did not trouble him. He (Michael) sent to the priests of all the churches in Cairo (al-Kahirah)
--- 387 ---
and Cairo (Misr), and he ordered them not to mention his name 1 in a
Liturgy or in a service, (but) this did not profit him (Michael).
Then news reached the aforesaid bishop 3 that he (Michael) wished to
appoint his disciples to bring him to him to make (matters) difficult for
him, and to excommunicate him entirely, and not to appoint for the See
a bishop other than him at all during his lifetime. When he (Sanhut)
learned of this, he concealed himself from him, and he went to the
Monastery of Kalamon, of the districts of the Fayyum,
and he concealed himself in it, and the See of Cairo (Misr)
remained abandoned, and its bishop absent from it, and its churches
deprived of him, and the judgements for its people were suspended until
the archons assembled, and they went to Abba Michael,
the patriarch, and he (was), at that time, residing in the keep
of the Church of Michael the Elect on the Island of
Cairo (Misr), and they said to him: «Our affairs are at a standstill,
and our churches are abandoned on account of the absence of our bishop,
and we do not know the reason which, according to the Canons,
makes necessary what you have done with the bishop, in the way of
suspension. He (is) now absent and we (are) present, and we wish that
you make known to us the reason for his suspension. If it has been
proved against him that he has committed an offence for which the
Canons require that which you have done with him, ask us about
1 i. e. the commemoration of the bishop of the diocese in the Liturgy.
3 i. e. Abba Sanhut.
--- 388 ---
him, and make known to us that he has committed against himself that which has necessitated his suspension, if his offence be without forgiveness or his guilt be without pardon. (But) if nothing has been proved against him, and he has not committed an offence for which the Canons require that which you have done with him, it is not permitted to you to despise us and to wrong our bishop, and to remove him from us in spite of what you knowest of his purity and his good ways and the soundness of his belief, and we shall not tolerate this, nor shall we submit to it. Lo, we have come to you with an obeisance, do not make it necessary for us to complain of you to others than you 2. Then he became agitated and troubled, and discussions (which are too) long to explain happened to them, until he absolved him (Abba Sanhut) and allowed him to act freely in his See and (to exercise) his priesthood. He sent to the priests of the churches that they should mention his (Sanhut's) name, and to restore him to his rank. The archons wrote to him (Abba Sanhut) concerning this, (and they despatched a letter) with a delegated messenger, and they asked him to come. He arrived in Cairo (Misr), and the priests and the archons and the people rejoiced with him, and they went with him to the patriarch Abba Michael, so that he might greet him, and they thanked him (Michael) for the return of their bishop to them.
In the second year of the reign of the aforesaid patriarch, the lord, the illustrious Amir al-Guyus became ill and was paralysed owing to his great age, and before his death, the lord, the illustrious al-Afdal, his son, took charge of affair(s), in the last decade of the month of Rabi‘ the First, in (the) year four hundred and eighty-seven [April, 1094 A. D.] which corresponds to (the month of) Baramudah of (the) Tax-Year four hundred and eighty-three.
2 A veiled threat to apply for redress to the Muslim authorities.
- 389 -
The Imam al-Mustansir bi'llah, Amir of the Faithful, wrote a decree investing him (al-Afdal) with the affairs of the kingdom, and with the supervision of all the affairs of the State, and its decrees, and its laws, and its judgments. He bestowed upon him a robe of honour, and his decree was read on the aforesaid day in the Great Hall (Iwan) at the Castle. The notables and the commoners rejoiced for him, and he acted well in his conduct at all times towards the notables and the commoners. He was free from injustice, and he closed its gates and effaced its traces, and he did not wish for abundant money in which he saw the least doubt, and he relieved the oppressed of their oppression, and he avenged them of their adversaries. He restored much valuable and excellent property to its owners, and he set himself to spread justice and generosity and kindness. He performed all pleasing deeds and (walked in) praiseworthy and beautiful ways in which none of those who were before him, from among the preceding kings and former emperors (Kai/sares), surpassed him.
Nine months after his (al-Afdal's) appointment to supervise the kingdom, the Caliph Ma‘ad Abu Tamim al-Mustansir bi'llah, Amir of the Faithful, died, on the eve of Thursday, the eighteenth of (the month of) Dhu al-Higgah of the Lunar Year four hundred and eighty-seven [December 29th, 1094 A. D.] which (is) the second of (the month of) Tubah [December 29th] of the Tax-Year four hundred and eighty-four, and his age, at that time, (was) sixty-seven lunar years and four months and two days. During his illness he had charged his sister, the noble lady, and the lord, the illustrious al-Afdal on that night, that his young son Abu'l-Kasim Ahmad should sit (on the throne) in the kingdom in his stead.
When he died, the lord, the illustrious al-Afdal rode that night straight-
--- 390 ---
way to the Castle, and he clothed the aforesaid youth with the robes of the Caliphate, and the pearl on his forehead.
He (Abu'l-kasim Ahmad) sat on the throne of his father, and he was surnamed al-Musta‘li bi'llah, Amir of the Faithful. His age, at that time, (was) seventeen years, and his paternal aunt, the noble lady, sent to the elder son of her brother, and they (were) Nizar and ‘Abdallah and Isma‘il, and she informed them of the death of their father. When they were come, and they saw their young brother sitting with the insignia of the Caliphate, they were vexed, and they refused to acknowledge this. The lord al-Afdal said to them: «Kiss the ground before our master al-Musta‘1i bi'allah, Amir of the Faithful, and instal him as Caliph, for he (it is) whom our master al-Mustansir bi'llah, before his death, charged that he (should be) the Caliph after him»; but they refused to instal him as Caliph. Each one of them said that his father had promised him that he (should be) the Caliph after him. Then Nizar who (was) the eldest said: «By God, if my head were to be cut off, I would not instal him in the Caliphate who (is) younger than I am, nor would I consent to his priority over me, because our master said to me many times that I (should be) the Caliph after him, and I have his written statement for this. Lo, I shall bring it to you straightway»; and he went out quickly to bring the document to them. But when he was (back) in his house, he rode (away) straightway, and he took with him, at that time, those of his pages who (were) present, and he journeyed through the night.
The news reached the lord al-Afdal, and he sent to the House of the State the high chamberlain and with him a large body of horsemen to seize him (Nizar) and to bring him back. They followed in his traces, but they did not overtake him, nor did they know which way he had taken.
When the lord, the illustrious al-Afdal learned of the departure of Nizar, he seized his brothers ‘Abdallah and Isma‘il, and he placed with
--- 391 ---
each one of them ten (men) to guard him. hen the next morning came, our master al-Musta‘li bi'llah sat upon the throne in the Great Hall, and the lord al-Afdal (was) before him, and there were present the Kadi ‘Ali ibn Waki‘ ibn al-Kahhal surnamed al-Muaid Thikat al-Imam Fakhr al-Hukkam, and the witnesses of Cairo (al-Kahirah) and Cairo (Misr), and they recognized him (al-Musta‘li bi'llah) as chief of the State and of its heads. The Master of the Correspondence went to ‘Abdallah and Isma‘il, while they (were) both in the mosque which (is) in the Castle, and with them (there were) the decree-bearers, and he said to both of them: «The Kadi and the witnesses are present and they have taken him (al-Musta‘li bi'llah) as chief over all the men of the State. Our master presents to both of you the greeting, and he says to you both: «Will you come to recognize me as chief or not*?» They said: «We hear and we obey, and we shall recognize him as chief, because God has chosen him rather than us for this matter. We do not resist the order of God». Then they both rose up (to go) with him, and when they were before our master al-Musta‘li bi'llah, they kissed the ground, and they greeted him with (the salutation due to) the Caliphate, and they recognized him as chief, and the Kadi administered to both of them the oath of recognition. Then he caused to be brought out the coffin through the Gate of the Kingdom, and in it (was) al-Mustansir bi'llah, and all his sons walked barefooted around it, and his son al-Musta‘li bi'llah prayed over him, and he was buried in the tomb at the Castle.
After some days, it was manifest that Nizar had gone to the city of Alexandria. He associated with its wali, Nasr ad-Dawlah Afikin, one of the pages of Amir al-Guyus, and he came to a decision with him to undertake to help him. He (Nizar) swore to him that he would make him governor (mudir) of the Kingdom and the overseer in it, in place of the lord, the
--- 392 ---
illustrious al-Afdal. He accepted this, and they both swore and made a contract.
When it was the first of (the month of) al-Muharram, (in the) year four hundred and eighty-eight [January 11th, 1095 A. D.], our master al-Mustacll rode in Cairo (al-Kahirah) with the umbrella (3i and a fine dress and much adornment, the like of which has not been seen; and Nizar rode in Alexandria with the umbrella (3) also, and was surnamed al-Mustafa li-dini'llah.
When the lord al-Afdal learned of this, he assembled the troops and the soldiers and he journeyed to Alexandria, and he besieged it and waged war against it, and he endeavoured to fight against those who (were) in it by himself and (with) his money, and he met with great difficulties and severe hardships in this. He took out from his treasury much money and garments and robes of honour and many weapons and military equipment and instruments.
Fighting continued uninterruptedly between them from (the month of) Safar (of the) year four hundred and eighty-eight until (the month of) Dhu'l-Ka‘dah of the same year [February 10th to November 1096 A. D.]. When provisions and wood and food were exhausted, and the inhabitants of Alexandria and those who (were) in it saw that they were defeated, Nasr ad-Dawlah Afikin asked his master, the lord, the illustrious al-Afdal for a safe-conduct for himself and for Nizar and for the inhabitants of the city, and he (al-Afdal) accorded to them a safe-conduct; and they opened the city to him, and Nizar and Afikin went out to him. He commanded them to journey to Cairo (al-Kahirah), and he ordered that they should remain outside of it until he reached it, and he had asked our master al-Musta‘li bi'llah to pardon them. Then he entered the city and arranged its affairs and appointed for it a wali and a kadi.
He seized a man of the inhabitants of the city 5 (who), at the time of the fighting, used to revile him every day from the top of the fortress.
5 i. e. Alexandria.
--- 393 ---
When he (the man) was standing before him, he (al-Afdal) commanded that punishment should be inflicted upon him until he died. When they prepared him for the punishment, one of those who (were) present said to the lord, the illustrious al-Afdal: «O my master, pay attention to his money before you kill him, for he has assets of more than twenty thousand dinars». When the lord, the illustrious al-Afdal heard these words, he commanded that he should be released and set free, and he said to him: «Go, and I have granted (you your life) on account of your money, lest men should think that I killed you in my desire to take your money». Such (things) as this (were) many in the way of his good deeds which I am not able to enumerate or to explain as to their form.
Then he (al-Afdal) journeyed from Alexandria to Cairo (Misr), and our master, al-Musta‘li, rode to meet him. When the morrow was come, he (al-Musta‘li) sat in the Gate of the Kingdom, and the lord al-Afdal and Nizar and Afikin entered in unto him. When our master, al-Musta‘li bi'llah saw Nizar, his brother, as he entered in to see him, he cried out against him, and he rebuked him, and he said: «Take him (away)!» The high chamberlain and the Master of the Correspondence and a number of the Sicilian equerries leaped upon him, and they seized him together with Afikin. Nizar was placed under arrest in a place in the Castle, and Afikin was placed under arrest in a place in the house of his master, al-Afdal, and he treated both of them harshly until they both died.
The death of the lord, the illustrious Amir al-Guyus was in (the month of) Muharram, (in the) year four hundred and eighty-eight [January-February, 1095 A. D.], before the journey of his son, the lord, the illustrious al-Afdal to Alexandria.
Affairs went well for our master, al-Musta‘li bi'llah, after his victory
--- 394 ---
over his brother Nizar, and he inspired awe and possessed courage, till, (at length), he fell ill in the tenth year of the reign of Abba Michael, the patriarch, and he died on Tuesday, the seventeenth of (the month of) Safar of the Lunar Year four hundred and ninety-five [December 11th, 1101 A. D.] which corresponds to the eleventh of (the month of) Kiyakh [December 7th] of the Tax-Year four hundred and ninety-one, and it (is) the year eight hundred and eighteen of the Pure Martyrs [1101 A. D.]. The duration of his Caliphate (was) seven years and two months, lunar (reckoning), and his son al-Mansur Abu ‘Ali sat (on the throne), and his age, at that time, (was) six years.
In this year [1101 A. D.], a messenger from the king of Abyssinia reached the lord, the illustrious al-Afdal, requesting that a metropolitan should be appointed for them and for his lands, and that he should send him to him with his messenger. He (al-Afdal) caused Abba Michael, the patriarch, to be brought and he proposed to him that he should appoint a metropolitan for Abyssinia , and should hasten to send him with the messenger. The patriarch came forth from his presence, and he sought for him who should be fit for this affair, (but) he did not find (anyone). When he was constrained in this (matter), he sent to the Monastery of Abba Macarius, and he took a monk whose name (was) George, and he consecrated him metropolitan of Abyssinia , and he sent him to them. He (George) stayed with them for a short time, (but) he did not succeed, nor did he know how to manage his affair(s) with them. It is said concerning him that he transgressed there in infamous affairs and in vile deeds (which) did not become his rank. The king seized him and took all that he had acquired
--- 395 ---
for himself there, and he sent him back to Egypt (Misr), and he wrote to the lord, the illustrious al-Afdal, complaining of what he had done in those lands. He (al-Afdal) commanded him to be seized and to be put under arrest in the Prison of the Guard in Cairo (Misr). He remained in it under arrest for a number of years with Farag the monk, who, in the days of Amir al-Guyus, used to importune the bishops and the monks. He has been previously mentioned in the biography of the father the saintly Abba Cyril ---may God give rest to his soul!
As for Abba Sanhut, bishop of Cairo (Misr), he passed the duration of the patriarchate of Abba Michael in a troubled life; and he (Michael) was at all times suspending him for offences which he devised falsely against him, and he used to cause him to flee from his See, and to banish him from his churches.
When it was (the month of) Basans in the tenth year of his (Michael's) reign as patriarch, he (Michael) held a Council against the aforesaid Abba Sanhut, and there was assembled at it a body of the bishops. He (Michael) claimed against him that, in tbe days of Cyril the patriarch,---may God give rest to his soul!---he (Abba Sanhut) had celebrated on one day two Liturgies, (one) in al-Mu‘allakah and (the other) in Abba Sergius, and that Abba Cyril had excommunicated him, and (that) he had gone to his rest and had not absolved him, and that through this judgment his (Abba Sanhut's) bishopric had been made null and void, and (that) there did not remain to him his priesthood. He wrote this on a paper, and he compelled them (the bishops) to write their signatures to it, without their option, through their fear of his authority over them. When he had their signatures, he sent some of his disciples to Abba
--- 396 ---
Sanhut, the bishop, to bring him into that place, that he might excommunicate him, as he had determined in his mind. The news had already come before to him (Abba Sanhut), and he went forth in haste from his Cell, and he went to Cairo (al-Kahirah), and he concealed himself with certain of his sons, the priests, and he journeyed at night to the Monastery of Saint Severus in the mountain of Asyut, and he remained in it for some days. The patriarch was abiding at the Church of the Mistress al-Mu‘allakah at Kasr as-Sam‘, in the house which he had ordered to be constructed at the top of it. He remained for some days seeking for the bishop, (but) he had no power over him, and he did not find him.
When it was Friday, the twenty-eighth of the aforesaid (month of) Basans, the sacristan of the Church of the illustrious Martyr Sergius at Kasr as-Sam‘, informed me that Abba Michael had given him much flour, and he had ordered him to make it into eucharistic bread on the morning of Sunday, and that he should make known to the priests that he would celebrate the Liturgy in it on that day; and he (the sacristan) mentioned that he (Michael) had determined that he would make it (the Church) patriarchal, and (that) he would say to the archons and to the people: «I (am) your bishop, and I shall not depart from your presence», according to what his mind had suggested to him. I 11 said: «This (is) what shall
11 i. e. the compiler of this biography.
--- 397 ---
not be fulfilled with regard to us, nor will we accept it, and we are not resigned with regard to our bishop, except for an obvious offence, for which the Canons make judgement against him necessary».
When it was the morning of Saturday, Abba Michael, the aforesaid, rode on his beast, and he and all the distinguished people went forth to meet al-Afdal, on his returning from Tinnis. He (Michael) met him at Damanhur, and he greeted him, and he returned. The plague attacked him on his way, and he said to his disciples: «I have caught the plague». He was about to fall from his beast, and his tongue became tied straightway, and his disciples held him upon his beast until they brought him to the Church al-Mu‘allakah. He remained for the rest of the day and the night and no word was heard from him, and he died on the morning of Sunday, the last (day) of (the month of) Basans (in the) year eight hundred and eighteen of the Pure Martyrs [May 2 5th, 1102 A. D.], and it (was) the day of the Holy Pentecost. The duration of his patriarchate was nine years and eight months. Abba Sanhut returned to his See, and the people rejoiced for him, and they gave glory to God---praised be He!
In the days of Abba Michael, the aforesaid, there was in Cairo (Misr) at the Khalig Bant Wayil which leads to the Birkat alHabas, on the edge of the Birkat Abu Kudamah, a church known as Abu Kudamah. There were in it three altars, the first of them (under) the name of Saint Abba Pachomius, the second, (under) the name of Saint Mahrayil, the martyr (and) virgin, and the third,
--- 398 -
(under) the name of Saint Severus, the patriarch. Its walls had become weak, and they were about to fall down. The Shaikh Abu'l-Yumn Wazir ibn ‘Abd al-Masih,mutawali of the Diwan of Lower Egypt, demolished them, and he rebuilt them without the signature of the Sultan, or without asking for the authorization 3. A certain one of his enemies calumniated him to the lord al-Afdal, and he said: «He has demolished the church and (re)built it without your order, and there was at the side of it a ruined mosque, and he demolished it together with it, and he added it to it (the church), and (there was) besides it a courtyard belonging to the Diwan of Endowments of Mosques, and he took it, and he made it into a garden». He said many things against him by which he defamed him. The Sultan was enraged, and he seized him, and he imposed upon him severe conditions, and he rode with his army, and with him (there was) the Kadi and the witnesses, to the church. Muslim Shaikhs were present, and they testified to this. He (Abu'1-Yumn) continued to be under charge until he had built a mosque in (the month) of Rasans (of the) year four hundred and ninety [April 26th-May 25th, 1097 A. D.]. In the days of Abba Michael, the aforesaid patriarch, armies of the Romans (ar-Rum) and the Franks (al-Afrang) arrived from Rome and from the Frankish lands, in Syria in great multitudes, and they gained possession of Antioch and its district and most of Upper Syria. It (Syria) was at that time in the hands of the Khorassan Ghuzz, and nothing remained of it (Syria) in the hands of the Ghuzz except Damascus and its district. Then they gained possession of the noble city of Jerusalem and its district in the month of Ramadan (of the) Lunar Year four
3 Churches were not allowed to be built or rebuilt without permission from the government.
--- 399 ---
hundred and ninety two [July 23rd-August 21st, 1099 A. D.]. We, the Community of the Christians, the Jacobites, the Copts did not join in the pilgrimage to it (Jerusalem), nor were we able to approach it (Jerusalem), on account of what is known of their (the Franks') hatred of us, as also, their false belief concerning us and their charge against us of impiety.
They (the Crusaders) gained possession, afterwards, of all the fortresses of Syria, except Tyre and Ascalon, and these two fortresses remain in the hands of the walls, the attendants of the lord, the illustrious al-Afdal. They (the Crusaders) besieged them (the fortresses) a number of times, and the lord, the illustrious al-Afdal, went forth against them, and he contended in war, and he strove, and he expended money, (but) the judgments of God were not set aside. May He Whose Name is exalted protect us and defend us through His mercy!