|THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.
was mistaken in calling him a Jew,1 and citing the authority of Abul Faraj and Ibn Abi Oseiba for regarding him as a Mussulman, he mentions three considerations which might be urged against this view. First: In the catalogue of his writings there is none relating to the Coran or to Islam. Second: Al Kindy was one of the translators of Aristotle, familiar with Greek and Syriac; and men of that stamp were mostly Christians. Third: In the "Bibliothèque Impériale" there is a MS. (257), entitled, "A Defence of the Christian Religion" (apparently identical with our Apology), written in Syriac characters, but in the Arabic language, the author of which is named Yácub Kindi.
Of these objections (continues de Sacy) the last alone merits attention; but it may be met by these counter-considerations. In the preface the author is not named. The work is only said to have been written by a person attached to the court of Al Mâmûn, a Christian of Kindian descent. It is called "The Treatise of Al Kendy, the Jacobite."2 It is most likely by a misunderstanding, or with the view of increasing thereby the value of the work, that it has been ascribed to the authorship of Yácûb Kindy. This suspicion acquires greater force, as in the catalogue of Syrian writers, written by Ebed Jesu, we find a certain Kendi named as the author of a religious
|ITS AGE AND AUTHORSHIP.
treatise; and the Kendi in questionthe same, without doubt, as the writer of our Syrian MS. (257), or at least whose name has been assumed as suchlived, according to an historian cited by Assemanus, about 890 A.D. (280 A.H.), a date to which it is little likely that Yacub Kendi survived.... For the rest we may suppose that Kendi, in pursuit of his philosophical studies, had embraced opinions opposed to Mahometan orthodoxy, and that this led to his faith being suspecteda thing which has occurred to many Christian philosophers, and among the Jews happened to the famous Maimonides.1
But this Kendi mentioned by Ebed Jesu, whoever he was, could not possibly have been our Apologist, for he flourished towards the end of the third century of the Hegira, whereas the Apology (as I hope to establish below) was certainly written during the reign of Al Mâmûn, near the beginning of that century. The passage from Assemanus, referred to by de Sacy, consists of a note on chapter cxlii. of Ebed Jesu's Catalogue (in Syriac verse) of Christian authors. The verse and note are as follow:
[VERSE.]- CANDIUS fecit ingens volumen Disputationis et Fidei.
[NOTE.]---Candius, Ebn Canda, hoc est Candiae filius; who flourished under the Nestorian Patriarch Joannes IV., A.D. 893. Others refer the authorship to Abu Yûsuf Yâcûb ibn Ishâc al Kindi; but he, according to Pocock and Abul Faraj, was a Mahometan. ...But the Candius whom Ebed Jesu mentions was a