YUHANNA

The bishop of (c. 1240), one of the first four consecrated on 29 July 1235 by the patriarch Cyril (1235-1243) in the in . As bishop, he signed a new judicial code (3 September 1238) and was first signatory of a protocol on the ranking of bishops (28 June 1240) and on the closing of a meeting in the Cairo citadel (8 September 1240). He worked along with the monk Yusab for the reconciliation of the resisting monks of with the patriarch, and after the death of Cyril, he and Yusab, by then bishop of Fuwwah, took a decisive part in the disputed choice of the new patriarch, ibn Kalil.

He was still alive in 1257, and in the introduction to his dictionary Abu al-MUTAMAN mentioned him with high praise. Yuhanna was mostly occupied with the composition of aids to the understanding of the . The list of the extant transmitted material is long.

Yuhanna’s works include a grammar, Muqaddimat al- (Introduction to the Ladder), which presents an inventory of the elementary components of the Coptic language, chiefly the dialect. The articles, suffixes for nouns and verbs, prepositional and adverbial particles, and elements of conjugation are explained. An elaboration with similar treatment of the dialect is more likely the supplementary work of a later writer. The introduction was translated into Latin and Italian in the early seventeenth century by Obicini (A. van Lantschoot, 1948; Latin trans. Kircher, 1643).

AlSullam al-Kana’isi (The Ecclesiastical Ladder), the vocabulary for which the Muqaddimat is the grammatical introduction, takes the most important words from the books in use in the church and translates them into a sort of glossary, following the order of the texts themselves: , with , Matthew, Mark, Luke, Epistles, and Revelation; , with and extracts from Sirach and the other Wisdom books.

A separate history (Akhbar) of the who were killed in the city of Samannud appears under the name of the same Yuhanna.

A translation of a theological compendium from an undetermined Greek original is attributed to Yuhanna. It is in the popular form of questions from a student and answers from a teacher.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Lantschoot, A. van. Un précurseur d’Athanase Kircher, Thomas Obicini et la . Vatican Copte 71. Bibliothèque du Muséon 22. Louvain, 1948.
  • , M., and Y. ‘. Catalogue of the Coptic and Arabic Manuscripts in the , the Patriarchate, the Principal Churches of Cairo and the , Vol.2. Cairo, 1942.

FREDERICK

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