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Document Details :
Title: Zur Originalität der Yūsāb von Fūwah zugeschriebenen Patriarchengeschichte
Author(s): MOAWAD, S.
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 119 Issue: 3-4 Date: 2006
A History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria, attributed to Bishop Yūsāb of Fūwah (who died between 1257 and 1271), is preserved in a single manuscript in the Syrian Monastery in Wadi Natrun. A copy of this manuscript is preserved in the Coptic Museum in Cairo. This manuscript contains the History of the Patriarchs from Mark to John XVI (1676–1718). Georg Graf and others attributed this work to Yūsāb of Fūwah and believed that he wrote the biographies of the patriarchs up until his contemporary patriarch, Cyril III (1235–1243), while the biographies up until John XVI were written by an anonymous writer.
But there are some remarks in this History which make its attribution to Yūsāb of Fūwah doubtful, so that one is inclined rather to treat it as completely anonymous. The manuscript itself does not mention Yūsāb of Fūwah as the author, neither at the beginning nor at the end. In some passages, Yūsāb is mentioned in the third person, which would be strange if he were the author.
The biography of Cyril III is in fact a copy of the biography of the same patriarch in the well known History of the Patriarchs, which mentions Yūḥannā ibn Wahb ibn Yūḥannā ibn Yaḥyā ibn Būlus as the author of this biography. In the case of our anonymous History of the Patriarchs, the author copied out the biography of Cyril III from Yūḥannā ibn Wahb and deleted all the information which indicates the real author. This History does not mention many events in which Yūsāb of Fūwah is known to have been involved.
With respect to its relationship to the well known History of the Patriarchs of the Alexandrian deacon Mawhūb ibn Manṣūr ibn Mufarriğ and others, we can divide this anonymous History according to three categories. The first category consists of biographies which were copied verbatim from Mawhūb’s History, such as the biography of John II (503–515). The second category consists of biographies which were copied from Mawhūb’s History, but for which the author also used additional sources, such as the biography of Peter II (373–380). The third category includes the biographies which were written independently from Mawhūb’s History, such as the biography of Dioscorus I (444–454), which is based on the panegyric on Macarius of Tkōou and the writings of Sāwīrus of Ašmūnīn concerning the Church councils.