ABULFARAJ (Abu al-Faraj ibn Harun, commonly called Bar Hebraeus; his real name was Gregory): Syriac writer and bishop; b. in the Cappadocian town of Melitene (200 m. n.e. of Antioch) 1226; d. at Maragha (60 m. s. of Tabriz), Azerbaijan, Persia, July 30, 1286. He belonged to a Jewish family which had gone over to Jacobite Christianity, but whether his father or a more remote ancestor made the change is uncertain. He finished his studies at Antioch and lived for a time there as a monk in a cave; he went to Tripoli, Syria, to perfect himself in medicine (his father's profession) and rhetoric; became bishop of Gubos, near Melitene (1246), of Lakabhin (1247), of Aleppo (1253); maphrian (primate) of the Jacobites in Chaldea, Mesopotamia, and Assyria, with his seat at Takrit on the Tigris (1264). It was the time of the Mongol inroads under Hulaku, and the country was sorely devastated; but by his discretion and the high repute in which he was held at the Tatar court, Abulfaraj was able to do much to ameliorate the condition of the Christians. As a writer his importance is due to his wide acquaintance with the knowledge of his time; his works are exceedingly numerous upon the most diverse subjects. A few of them are in Arabic, but the greater number in Syriac.