Ibn al-Ṭayyib (d. 1043) [Ch. of E.]

Priest, theologian, exegete, physician, translator, and philosopher. His full name is Abū al-Faraj ʿAbd Allāh Ibn al‑Ṭayyib al-ʿIrāqī. He worked at the ʿAḍūdiyya Hospital in Baghdad and served as secretary to both Cath. Yūḥannā b. Nāzūk (r. 1012–22) and Cath. Eliya I (r.  1028–49). He was a student of al-Ḥasan b. Suwār b. al-Khammār (d. after 1017), who himself was a student of Yaḥyā b. ʿAdī (d. 974). Ibn al-Ṭayyib’s students include ʿAlī b. ʿĪsā al-kaḥḥāl (d. after 1010), Abū al-Ḥusayn al-Baṣrī (d. 1044), and Ibn Buṭlān (d. 1066). He was also a contemporary of Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna).

Ibn al-Ṭayyib’s oeuvre includes more than forty items, all in Arabic, that span the fields of philosophy, medicine, theology, exegesis, and canon law. In philosophy, he wrote commentaries on the ‘Isagoge’ of Porphyry (ed. Gyekye) and on several works by Aristotle, including the ‘Categories’(ed. Ferrari; ed. ʿAlī Ḥusayn al-Jābirī et al.). In medicine, he wrote several treatises in addition to commentaries on Hippocrates and Galen. Among Ibn al-Ṭayyib’s most significant works in theology is his biblical commentary entitled Firdaws al-naṣrāniyya ‘The Paradise of Christianity’ (Gen. ed. with FT Sanders). This exegetical work draws upon various Syriac sources, including the Scholion of Theodoros bar Koni (fl. end of the 8th cent.), the ‘Selected Questions’ of Ishoʿ bar Nun (d. 828), and the commentaries of Ishoʿdad of Merv (fl. ca. 850), and it served as one of the primary bridges by which E.-Syr. biblical exegesis reached Coptic Christianity and Ethiopic Christianity. In addition to the Firdaws al-naṣrāniyya, Ibn al-Ṭayyib wrote separate commentaries on the Psalms (ed. Manquriyūs and Jirjis) and the Gospels (ed. Manquriyūs; cf. Faultless) as well as (probably) translated the Diatessaron into Arabic (see Baarda). He also authored a number of theological treatises. Finally, mention should be made of his Fiqh al-naṣrāniyya ‘The law of Christianity’, which is a compilation of juridical literature of the Ch. of E. (ed. Hoenerbach and Spies).

    Primary Sources

    • C.  Ferrari, Der Kategorienkommentar von Abū l-Farağ ʿAbdallāh ibn aṭ-Ṭayyib. Text und Untersuchungen (2006). (Arabic with GT)
    • K.  Gyekye, Ibn al-Tayyib’s Commentary on Porphyry’s Eisagoge. Arabic text edited with introduction and a glossary of Greek-Arabic logical terms (1975). (Arabic)
    • K.  Gyekye, Arabic Logic. Ibn al-Ṭayyib’s Commentary on Porphyry’s Eisagoge (1979). (ET)
    • W.  Hoenerbach and O. Spies, Ibn aṭ-Ṭayyib. Fiqh al-naṣrānīya (CSCO 161–2, 167–8; 1956–57). (Arabic with GT)
    • ʿAlī Ḥusayn al-Jābirī et al., al-Šarḥ al-kabīr li-maqūlāt Arisṭū (2002). (Arabic)
    • M.  Kellermann, Ein pseudoaristotelischer Traktat über die Tugend (Ph.D. Diss., Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg; 1965). (Arabic with GT)
    • Y. T.  Langermann, ‘Abū al-Faraj ibn al-Ṭayyib on spirit and soul’, LM 122 (2009), 149–58. (Arabic with ET)
    • Y. Manquriyūs, Tafsīr al-mašriqī (1908–10). (Arabic)
    • Y.  Manquriyūs and Ḥ.  Jirjis, al-Rawḍ al-nadīr fī tafsīr al-mazāmīr (1902). (Arabic)
    • F. Rosenthal, ‘The symbolism of the Tabula Cebetis according to Abû l-Faraj Ibn aṭ-Ṭayyib’, in Recherches d’Islamologie (1977), 273–83. (Arabic with ET)
    • Kh. Samir, ‘Nécessité de la science. Texte de ʿAbdallāh Ibn aṭ-Ṭayyib (m. 1043)’, ParOr 3 (1972), 241–59. (Arabic with FT)
    • Kh. Samir, ‘Nécessité de l’exégèse scientifique. Texte de ʿAbdallāh Ibn aṭ-Ṭayyib’, ParOr 5 (1974), 243–79. (Arabic with FT)
    • J. C. J.  Sanders, Commentaire sur la Genèse (CSCO 274–5; 1967). (Arabic with FT)
    • P. P.  Sbath, Vingt traités philosophiques et apologétiques d’auteurs arabes chrétiens du IXe au XIXe siècles (1929), 179–80. (Arabic)
    • G.  Troupeau, ‘Le traité sur l’unité et la Trinité de ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Ṭayyib’, ParOr 2 (1971), 71–89. (Arabic with FT)
    • G.  Troupeau, ‘Le traité sur l’union de ʿAbd Allāh Ibn aṭ-Ṭayyib’, ParOr 8 (1977–78), 141–50. (Arabic with FT)
    • G.  Troupeau, ‘Le traité sur les hypostases et la substance de ʿAbd Allāh Ibn al-Ṭayyib’, Orientalia Hispanica, ed. J. M. Barral (1974), 640–4. (Arabic with FT)
    • G.  Troupeau, ‘Le traité sur la Trinité et l’unité de ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Ṭayyib’, Bulletin d’études orientales 25 (1972), 105–23. (Arabic with FT)
    • G.  Troupeau, ‘Traité sur la science et le miracle et fragments du Traité sur les fondements de la religion de ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Ṭayyib’, in Études de civilisation médiévale, IXe–XIIe siècles (1985), 177–84. (FT of texts in Sbath)
    • G.  Troupeau, Études sur le christianisme arabe au Moyen Âge (1995). (incl. reprints of previous items)
    • H. Z.  Ülken, Ibn Sina Risâleleri (1953), vol. 1, 57–65. (Arabic)

    Secondary Sources

    • T.  Baarda, ‘The author of the Arabic Diatessaron’, in Miscellanea Neotestamentica, ed. T.  Baarda, A. F. J.  Klijn, W. C.  van Unnik, vol. 1 (1978), 61–103. (repr. in T. Baarda, Early transmission of words of Jesus [1983], 207–49)
    • J.  Faultless, ‘The two recensions of the Prologue to John in Ibn al-Ṭayyib’s Commentary on the Gospels’, in Christians at the heart of Islamic rule. Church life and scholarship in ʿAbbasid Iraq, ed. D. R. Thomas (The History of Christian-Muslim Relations 1; 2003), 177–98.
    • P. Féghali, ‘Ibn aṭ-Ṭayyib et son commentaire sur la Genèse’, ParOr 16 (1990–91), 149–62.
    • Graf, GCAL, vol. 1 (1944), 152–5; vol. 2 (1947), 160–77.
    • Kh.  Samir, ‘La place d’Ibn aṭ-Ṭayyib dans la pensée arabe’, JEastCS 58 (2006), 177–93.
    • J. C. J.  Sanders, Inleiding op het Genesiskommentaar van de Nestoriaan Ibn aṭ-Ṭaiyib (1963).
    • M.  Ullmann, Die Medizin im Islam (1970), 156–7.
    • J.  Vernet, ‘Ibn al-Ṭayyib’, in EI 2, vol. 3, 955.


How to Cite This Entry

Aaron M. Butts, “Ibn al-Ṭayyib,” in Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay, https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Ibn-al-Tayyib.

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

Aaron M. Butts, “Ibn al-Ṭayyib,” in Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay (Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018), https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Ibn-al-Tayyib.

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Butts, Aaron M. “Ibn al-Ṭayyib.” In Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition. Edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay. Digital edition prepared by David Michelson, Ute Possekel, and Daniel L. Schwartz. Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018. https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Ibn-al-Tayyib.

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