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attributed to Sawirus ibn al-Muqaffa' (fl. 955-987), but actually the work of Mawhub, who lived a century later. The second part, covering the period from 1047 to 1216, consists of contemporary lives of the individual patriarchs, which were very well documented. The third part from 1216 contains a series ofbrief notices with the exception of a detailed and original life of Patriarch Cyril III

In contrast to these thoroughly partisan histories it would be difficult to distinguish many of the Arab chronicles written by Christian authors from those written by Muslim authors, were it not for a special emphasis on events involving Christians. These were histories, which had assimilated the themes and methodology of Arabo-Muslim historiography. They were very largely the work of Copts, such as al-Makin ibn al- Amid61 and Ibn al-Rahib,62 both authors in the thirteenth century of universal histories. The former would find a continuator in the fourteenth century in the person of al-Mufaddal ibn Abi'l-Fada'il.63 At the same time Ibn al-iSuqa'i64 was compiling a biographical dictionary, the only Christian author to do so. These historians were members of the cultured urban elite of Egypt. Belonging to a minority religious community did not prevent them adopting the vocabulary, the thought patterns and the outlook of the ruling class.

The sciences - medicine in particular - belong to this common cultural sphere, where religious differences give way to the development and transmission of shared knowledge. Medicine was a profession largely dominated by Christians. At Baghdad the tradition of influential Christian doctors in the service of the caliphs still continued. So because of his influence at court the Nestorian doctor-priest Ibn al-Wasid was able to obtain the appointment of a patriarch in 1092 and then in 1105 the lifting of anti-Christian measures. A few days before he died in 1132 he was himself elected patriarch. Another Baghdad personality was Ibn al-Tilmidh, a priest and a doctor who died in 1165. He was very popular with his contemporaries and enjoyed the favour of the caliphs. His main contribution was to the training of new doctors, many of whom then went to Syria and Egypt. Along with Jewish physicians there were numerous

61 Trans. A.-M. Eddé and F. Micheau, Chronique des Ayyoubides (602-658=1205/6-1259/60) [Documents relatifs al'histoire des croisades 16] (Paris: Belles Lettres, 1994).

62 A. Sidarus, Ibn ar-Rahibs Leben und Werk: ein koptisch-arabischer Encyclopadist des 7/13 Jahrhunderts [Islamkundliche Untersuchungen 36] (FreiburgimBreisgau: Klaus Schwarz, 1975).

63 Al-Mufaddal ibn Abl'l-Fada'il, Histoire des sultans mamlouks, ed. and trans. E. Blochet (jusqu'en 716/1316) in PatrologĂ­a Orientalis 12 (1919), 345-550; 14 (1920), 375-672; 20 (1929),

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