Yusab

YUSAB

The thirteenth-century bishop of Akhmim. No biographical note exists concerning this bishop. Information about him is scattered through various sources. His name appears for the first time in 1250 on the occasion of the consecration of ATHANASIUS III, the seventy-sixth patriarch. He was described on that occasion as the senior bishop of Upper Egypt, and he seems to have been the consecrating bishop.

In 1257 he was present at the consecration of the chrism performed by Athanasius III (cf. Munier, 1943, p. 35).

In 1260, or a little earlier, Yusab asked Butrus al-Sadamanti to compose a treatise of moral theology to complement that on faith. Butrus fulfilled his request, completing the treatise on 12 May 1260. In his preamble, Butrus calls Bishop Yusab “the sincere friend, brother and companion in divine service, partner in common life and spiritual formation.” This suggests that they lived in the same monastery. Thus Yusab must at first have been a monk in the Dayr Mar Jirjis of Sadamant (or Sidmant) in the Fayyum region (van den Akker, 1972, pp. 18 and 24-25).

In 1262, Yusab consecrated JOHN VII, the seventy-seventh patriarch. He no longer appears at the consecration of GABRIEL III, the seventy-eighth patriarch, in 1268; this may have been on account of internal conflicts in the community prompted by this election.

In 1294, Yusab was present at the consecration of THEODOSIOS II, the seventy-ninth patriarch. However, on this occasion the ordaining prelate was Anba Butrus Hasaballah, bishop of Shansha in Lower Egypt.

In 1299, no bishop of Akhmim took part in the consecration of the chrism on 12 April, which was described at length by Abu al- Barakat IBN KABAR in chapter 9 of his encyclopedia. Yusab was probably too aged to take part in so tiring a ceremony. The list of the twelve bishops present is given in Munier (1943, p. 36).

In 1300 he was again present at the consecration of JOHN VIII, the eightieth patriarch, with fourteen other bishops. On this occasion he signed himself “bishop of Akhmim and Abu Tij,” thus combining two sees (van Lantschoot, 1932, p. 229, no. 2). This combination of the sees was only provisional, as in 1257 Anba Yu’annis held the title of Abu Tij (Munier, 1943, p. 35); and in 1305 and 1320 Anba Marqus held the title of Abu Tij (Munier, 1943, pp. 38 and 39). Thus by 1305 Yusab was already dead.

Yusab may have been born around 1210, maybe in the Fayyum region. As an adult he became a monk at DAYR MAR JIRJIS in the mountains of Sadamant. Between 1240 and 1250, after the protracted vacancy of the patriarchal see that lasted from 1216 to 1235, during which period most of the bishops died, he was appointed as bishop of Akhmim in Upper Egypt. He died at an advanced age, soon after February 1300.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Akker, P. van den. Butrus as-Sadamanti, Introduction sur l’herméneutique. Beirut, 1972.
  • Graf, G. “Die Rangordnung der Bischöfe Ägyptens nach einem protokollarischen Bericht des Patriarchen Kyrillos ibn Laklak.” Oriens Christianus 24 (1927):306-337.
  • Lantschoot, A. van. “Le ms. Vatican copte 44 et le livre du chrême (ms. Paris arabe 100).” Le Muséon 45 (1932):181-234.
  • Misbah al-Zulmah fi Idah al-Khidmah. li-Shams al-Riyasah Abi al- Barakat al ma‘ruf bi-Ibn Kabar, ed. Khalil Samir, S.J., Cairo, 1971.
  • Munier, H. Recueil des listes épiscopales de l’église copte. Cairo, 1943.
  • Muyser, Jacob. “Contribution a l’étude des listes épiscopales de l’église copte.” Bulletin de la Société d’archéologie copte 10 (1944):115-76.

KHALIL SAMIR, S.J.

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