The statements of the Coptic Synaxarinm, occasionally quoted in the notes to the present edition of Abu Salih, are not guaranteed as being always historically accurate. For instance, the Emperor Diocletian is usually represented, without reference to his colleagues in viii PREFACE. Many of the Muslims, as well as the Christians, accepted the tradition that Moses was born there; see Yakut, Geogr.
8, accord- ing to the new or Arabic pagination, and fol. the Coptic number 31 ; and that the words at the beginning of fol. 751-755- 6 Our author is referring to the following passage in the biography of Michael, which narrates events that occurred shortly after the death of Marwan : • a£U! Afterwards Nimrod 3 the giant learnt from him, and composed books on the science of the sphere, and on reckoning it ; and men wondered at the wisdom which he showed in his books, and copied them after him, so that Ardashir envied him ; and Nimrod also served Satan, and fasted for him, and offered sacrifice to him, and burnt incense to him, and humbled himself before him.
9, 'This revenue/ &c, do not refer to the preceding estimate of the revenues of Egypt. seems to have supplied the first folio himself, and to have given a new pagination in Arabic figures to the remaining portion of the original book, so that folio 23 became folio 2, and so on. Therefore Satan appeared to him, and taught him magic 4 , and how to raise false phantoms ; and ijyj j\±)± call 1— fill b JU l^j JS ^J Xa- 5U JIU Oo O J! j dl) 3 Ax * The revenues of Egypt, after deducting the pay of the troops and the expenses of the governor's house and what was needed for the administration of the country, amounted to 200,000,000 dinars carried yearly to the public treasury/ MS.
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Nevertheless valuable traditions of early Church history, and in particular of the great persecution itself, are embodied both in the Synaxarium and in the Coptic Acts of the Martyrs, on which it is partly founded. The sole indication which we possess of the name of our author is to be found in the title inscribed on the first page of the MS.
This title, however, was supplied, as it has already been said, by a later hand ; and it is, moreover, obviously incomplete. The name J-oli», Kha'il, is an abbreviated form of J^ol£~% Mikha il or Michael. The biography of Michael, included in the history of the patriarchs compiled by Severus of Ushmunain, is one of the most important parts of that work, and is the contem- porary composition of John the Deacon, who was an eyewitness of many of the events which he relates.
In the transcription of the text the original has been closely followed, the diacritical points alone being added where they were wanting. As it is well known, the Arabs derived their first knowledge of astronomy from the Arabic translation, made by order of the caliph Ma'mun, of the Almagest of Ptolemy, and it is from that work that the term d JU = vfyaipa is borrowed. magic, which was taught to men there by the two evil angels Harut and Marut (see Surat al-Bakarah, 96), who still hang head downwards among the ruins of the great city. 2 Eutychius reports this legend, in speaking of the time of Abraham : Jjtfill ^ ^ J J^ «J &* \*&* ^ ^ c T* ^ J1 J 1 In his time lived Nimrod the giant, king of Babylon.
TRINITY COLLEGE, OXFORD WITH ADDED NOTES BY ALFRED J. The system adopted in the transcription of Arabic names is similar to that used in Mr. The vocalization of the Arabic forms of names of places is, where possible, that of Yakut, as being in use at the time of our author. On Mount Sinai God spoke with Moses; and Moses struck with his rod.
Slir Mjtota (Dxirnifttsta THE Churches and Monasteries of Egypt AND Some Neighbouring Countries ATTRIBUTED TO ABU SALIH, THE ARMENIAN A EDITED AND TRANSLATED BY B. The existence of the work has long been known to scholars through the references made to 'Abu Selah/ and the passages quoted from him by Eusebe Renaudot and Etienne Quatremere. Amelineau, in his Geographie de I ligypte a lepoqne copte^ has made some little use of the history of Abu Salih, although he has by no means extracted all the information which the book affords on the subject of Egyptian geography. Amelineau seems to be fully aware of the value of the work of Abu Salih, at least in certain portions. Haji Khalfah remarks upon the use made by Ptolemy in the Almagest of the work of Chaldaean astronomers; Lex. For this reason men said that a diadem descended upon him from heaven/ Eutychius, Annates (ed.
Some of the deviations, however, from classical ortho- graphy and grammar are indicated by foot-notes on the first few pages of the text. 3 The attribution of a knowledge of astronomy to Nimrod is based on a genuine tradition of the devotion of the ancient Babylonians to that science. 1 An idol of the ancient Arabs of Mecca ; see Koran, Surat al-Bakarah, 257, 259, where the religion of Taghut is placed in antithesis to the true religion of Islam. It is said that he was the first king who reigned in Babylon ; and he saw in the sky the likeness of a crown formed of clouds ; so he called a goldsmith, who fashioned a crown for him, and he put it upon his head.
Professor Margoliouth has also had the goodness to look through both the copy of the text and the translation, and to elucidate many points of difficulty. Alfred Butler, whose book on the Coptic Churches forms the only work of importance existing on that subject; has generously consented to aid in the interpretation of an obscure author by his knowledge of Coptic history and archaeology ; and his contributions to the work are by no means limited to the notes which bear his initials. and among other defects does not express the J of the article before the 'solar letters,' or the shortening of the long final vowel in y\ and other words before the article, or the Hamzah except in the middle of a word ; nor are the nuances in the pronunciation of the vowels indicated ; but perhaps no other system is preferable to this. Many legends are related of Nimrod, the 'Enemy of God/ by the Arab historians, and he is alluded to in the Koran, following Jewish tradition, as the persecutor of Abraham. Among the former were Moses and Aaron his brother, and Miriam their sister, who were born at Askar 3 , in the region of Egypt.