Bar Hebraeus References Open this page in a new tab

Translations and Original Texts
Translations from Bar Hebraeus' abridged version in Arabic

Roger Pearse, citing Graf’s Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Litteratur, vol. 2, wrote the following about an abridged Arabic version of Bar Hebraeus' secular work

Graf states that Barhebraeus only composed two works in Arabic. The first is a work on the Soul. The second is the History of the Dynasties.
The crowning achievement of Barhebraeus’s life’s work is his Arabic history entitled the “History of the Dynasties”, which he wrote at the request of Muslim friends and completed shortly before his death. It is a partly abridged, partly expanded adaptation of his secular history (chronography), which he had previously written in Syriac, and which was accompanied by a church history in the same language. The additions to the Arabic abstract include, above all, valuable information about scientific and literary figures, including older Arabic sources. He reports events based on the ruling personalities, which are arranged in groups of 10 “dynasties”, these are the (Old Testament) patriarchs (al-auliya’), the judges, the Israelite and Chaldean kings, the kings of the Magi (Medes ), the. the pagan Greeks (Alexander to Cleopatra), the Franks (in the sense of Westerners: Augustus to Justinian II), the Christian Greeks (Tiberius II to Heraclius), the Muslim Arabs (Muhammed to al-Musta’sim) – by far the most extensive and most detailed part of the entire work – and the kings of the Mongols from Hulägu until the death of Ilkhan Argun in 1285.

Editions: Edvardus Pocockius, Specirnen historiae Arabum etc., Oxonii 1650, excerpts, beginning with the history of the Arabs before Islam, in Latin. Translation and notae. Complete: Historia compendiosa Dynastiarum, authore Gregorio Abul-Pharajio Malatiensi medico . .. Arabice edita, et latine versa, Oxonii 1663. Antun Salhani, Ta’rih muhtasar ad-duwal, Beirut 1890. German translation: Georg Lorenz Bauer, Des Gregorius Abulfaradsch kurze Geschichte der Dynastien, oder Auszug der allgemeinen Weltgeschichte (= Gregorius Abulfaradsch’s short history of the dynasties, or excerpt from general world history), 2 vols., Leipzig 1783 and 1785. Cf. J. H. Hottingeri Promtuarium; Sive, Bibliotheca orientalis, Heidelbergae 1658, pp. 80-82.

Manuscripts: Paris ar. 296 (15th century); 297 (1554 AD); Additions in the margins and on the endpaper: historical, geographical and chronological notes on the city of Amid, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, and lists of the Jacobite Primates up to 1493 and the Nestorian Catholicoi. Par. ar. 298 (1598 AD); 299 (1693 AD); 6501 (1355 AD). Leiden or. 759; 760. Vatican Borg. syr. 59 (Karshuni, 1688 AD, written in Rome by Athanasius Safar, Bishop of Mardin). Copenhagen or. 8 (1663/4 AD; see John Erichsen, Udsigt over den gamle Manuscript-Samling i det store Kongelige Bibliothek [= Overview of the old Manuscript Collection in the great Royal Library], Copenhagen 1768, p. 5). Petersb. Inst. or. 37 (1605/6 AD). Sbath 50 (Kars., 17th century), incomplete; Fihris 61.
The 1663 edition by Pococke is available online in many places. Here are a few:

Bauer’s 1783-5 German translation – printed in Fraktur -, the Des Gregorius Abulfaradsch kurze Geschichte der Dynastien, is also online:

Because of the awkward Fraktur text, this looks rather intimidating to the English reader, unless you view the copy in Google Books. There you can click on the “gearwheel” at top right, and select “plain text”. This will give you the text, already OCR’d into a Roman font. If you do this in Chrome, your browser will then automatically translate it into some sort of English. Curiously, if you copy the German plain text into Google Translate, you get a much better English translation!