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The Mysterious Fate of the Great Library of Alexandria

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  • Thomas Daniel
    In the thirteenth century the great Jacobite Christian Bishop Gregory Bar Hebræus (died 1286), called Abû l Faraj in Arabic, fleshes the story out and
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 23, 2002
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      In the thirteenth century the great Jacobite Christian Bishop Gregory Bar
      Hebr�us (died 1286), called Ab� 'l Faraj in Arabic, fleshes the story out
      and includes the famous epigram about the Koran. Again there is no clue as
      to where he found the story but it seems to have been one doing the rounds
      among Christians living under the dominion of the Moslems. Gregory is happy
      to record plenty of far fetched tales about omens and monstrosities so we
      must treat this story with the greatest suspicion. As it is not even
      included in the original version of his history but only in the Arabic
      version that he translated and abridged himself very late in life, he may
      not have known the story when he first put pen to parchment. In The Vanished
      Library, Canfora mentions a Syriac manuscript published in Paris at the end
      of the nineteenth century by Fran�ois Nau. It was written by a Christian
      monk in the ninth century and details the conversation between John and
      Caliph Omar. After help from email correspondents, I have finally been able
      to find this elusive document in its French translation and ascertained that
      it makes no mention of any library and appears to be an example of a
      theological dialogue between two representative individuals. In other words
      it is not historical and has to pretensions to be��..
      To read more and find out what happened to the Grate Library of Alexandria
      http://www.bede.org.uk/library.htm




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