Abu al-Makarim

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Al-Mu'taman Abu al-Makarim Sa'd Allah Jirjis ibn Mas'ud was a priest of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt living in the thirteenth century. Abu al-Makarim is best known as the author of a famous work entitled History of Churches and Monasteries (Arabic: Tarikh al-Kana'is wa al-Adyirah). This was written in the late thirteenth century, and remains largely unpublished.

Abu al-Makarim's work is one of the most important sources on the Coptic Church's life during his period and is frequently referenced by scholars of Coptic history.[1]

The work first became known in the West when a manuscript of a portion of it was purchased in 1674 in Egypt for three piastres by Johann Michael Vansleb. The manuscript is now in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, ms. arabe 307.[2] A photographic copy of it is in the Coptic Museum in Cairo. A note in it indicates that the owner was Abu Salih the Armenian. This text was edited and published by B.T.A. Evetts, with an English translation, as if Abu Salih was the author.[3] Another manuscript has since been discovered in Munich; and a third in Egypt, which has been printed by the monk Samuel al-Suryānī in five parts. Clara Ten Hacken has made a translation of the portion of the full text which relates to ancient Antioch.


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