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(pen name, Grigorii Ioann Bar-eb-Reii). Born 1226 in Malatya, Turkey; died June 30,1286, in Maraga, southern Azerbaijan. Syrian writer, scholar, and physician.
Born into the family of a physician, Abu al-Faraj was a leader of the Syrian Christian Monophysites and the author of works on medicine, astronomy, philosophy, theosophy, and rhetoric. His literary legacy is enormous. His most interesting work is entitled A Book of Entertaining Stories, in which sermons on humility, piety, and other Christian virtues are suddenly interrupted by caustic remarks about rulers and by anecdotes and stories of an atheistic nature. Abu al-Faraj severely criticized greed, envy, stupidity, and verbosity. He compiled a Syrian grammar, The Book of Rays, and wrote the three-part Universal History.
WORKSIn Russian translation:
Kniga zanimatel’nykh istorii. Edited with an introduction by N. Pigulevskia; afterword and commentary by A. Belov and L. Vil’sker. Moscow-Leningrad, 1961.