John Damascene

Saint John of Damascus (Arabic: يوحنا الدمشقي Yuḥannā Al Demashqi; Greek: Ιωάννης Δαμασκήνος Iôannês Damaskênos; Latin: Iohannes Damascenus; also known as John Damascene, Χρυσορρόας/Chrysorrhoas, "streaming with gold"—i.e., "the golden speaker") (c. 676 – 4 December 749) was a Syrian Christian monk and priest. Born and raised in Damascus, he died at his monastery, Mar Saba, near Jerusalem.A polymath whose fields of interest and contribution included law, theology, philosophy, and music, before being ordained, he served as a Chief Administrator to the Muslim caliph of Damascus, wrote works expounding the Christian faith, and composed hymns which are still in everyday use in Eastern Christian monasteries throughout the world. The Catholic Church regards him as a Doctor of the Church, often referred to as the Doctor of the Assumption due to his writings on the Assumption of Mary.The most commonly used source for information on the life of John of Damascus is a work attributed to one John of Jerusalem, identified therein as the Patriarch of Jerusalem.[3] It is actually an excerpted translation into Greek of an earlier Arabic text. The Arabic original contains a prologue not found in most other translations that was written by an Arabic monk named Michael who relates his decision to write a biography of John of Damascus in 1084, noting that none was available in either Greek or Arabic at the time. The main text that follows in the original Arabic version seems to have been written by another, even earlier author, sometime between the early 9th and late 10th centuries AD. Written from a hagiographical point of view and prone to exaggeration, it is not the best historical source for his life, but is widely reproduced and considered to be of some value nonetheless. The hagiographic novel Barlaam and Josaphat, traditionally attributed to John, is in fact a work of the 10th century.John was born into a prominent Arab Christian family known as Mansour (Arabic: Mansǔr, "victorious one") in Damascus in the 7th century AD.He was named Mansur ibn Sarjun Al-Taghlibi (Arabic: منصور بن سرجون التغلبي‎) after his grandfather Mansur, who had been responsible for the taxes of the region under the Emperor Heraclius. When the region came under Arab Muslim rule in the late 7th century AD, the court at Damascus remained full of Christian civil servants, John's grandfather among them. John's father, Sarjun (Sergius) or Ibn Mansur, went on to serve the Umayyad caliphs, supervising taxes for the entire Middle East. After his father's death, John also served as a high official to the caliphate court before leaving to become a monk and adopting the monastic name John at Mar Saba, where he was ordained as a priest in 735.Until the age of 12, John apparently undertook a traditional Muslim education. One of the vitae describes his father's desire for him to, "learn not only the books of the Muslims, but those of the Greeks as well." John grew up bilingual and bicultural, living as he did at a time of transition from Late Antiquity to Early Islam.Other sources describes his education in Damascus as having been conducted in a traditional Hellenic way, termed "secular" by one source and "Classical Christian" by another. One account identifies his tutor as a monk by the name of Cosmas, who had been captured by Arabs from his home in Sicily, and for whom John's father paid a great price. Under the instruction of Cosmas, who also taught John's orphan friend (the future St. Cosmas of Maiuma), John is said to have made great advances in music, astronomy and theology, soon rivaling Pythagoras in arithmetic and Euclid in geometry.In the early 8th century AD, iconoclasm, a movement seeking to prohibit the veneration of the icons, gained some acceptance in the Byzantine court. In 726, despite the protests of St. Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople, Emperor Leo III issued his first

Books

fb2epub
Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)