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Theodo'rus ABUCARA

2. ABUCARA (Ἀβουκαρᾶ, an Arabic name signifying " Father (sc. bishop) of Cara; " derived from the city of which Theodore was bishop), a Greek ecclesiastical writer.

He flourished, at the latest, in the beginning of the ninth century, and is to be carefully distinguished from Theodorus, bishop of Caria in Thrace [No. 20], the contemporary of Photius; from Theodore of Rhaithu [No. 65], and from Theodore of Antioch, otherwise Theodore Hagiopolita [No. 11], with each of whom he appears to have been, by various writers, improperly confounded. Very little is known of him. The time at which he lived is ascertained by the inscription to a piece published among his works, from which it appears that he was contemporary with the patriarch Thomas of Jerusalem, probably Thomas I., whose patriarchate extended from A. D. 807, or earlier, to somewhere between A. D. 821 and 829. (Comp. Le Quien, Oriens Christianus, vol. iii. col. 356.) Of what place Abucara was bishop has been much disputed, but it appears probable that it was a village called Cara or Charran in Coele-Syria.


The pieces published under the name of Theodore Abucara are forty-three in number, and are almost entirely on polemical divinity. They are chiefly directed against the Mahometans, and against the Jacobites and Nestorians, the predominant heretical sects of the East. It is to be observed that in the Latin versions of two of his pieces by Turrianus (Nos. 26 and 27 in Gretser), he is called " Theodorus Monachus," and " Theodorus Hagiopolita : " presuming that these designations were found in the originals employed by Turrianus, it would appear, either that Theodore had been a monk at Jerusalem before he was bishop, or that his works have been confounded with those of another Theodore [No. 11]. Many of the pieces are in the form of a dialogue, and it is not impossible, from the great brevity of some, that they may be accounts of actual discussions in which Theodore was engaged, and which were reported by John, a disciple of Theodore, or some other person.


The first published were fifteen; in the Latin version of Gilbertus Genebrardus (Nos. 1, 3, 7, 11, 13, 14, 16, 23, 25, 31, 33, in Gretser, whose arrangement differs much from that of Genebrardus).

They were given in vol. v. of the Bibliotheca Patrum of De la Bigne, fol. Paris, 1575, and again, in vol. iv. of the second edition, fol. Paris, 1589.

In the Lectiones Antiquae of Canisius, vol. 4.4to., Ingolstadt, 1604 (vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 463, ed. Basnage), appeared a Latin version by Franciscus Turrianus, of three others (Nos. 27-29, in Gretser); and very soon after Gretser published, with the Hodegus of Anastasius Sinaita (4to. Ingolstadt, 1606), forty-two pieces of Theodore, including all those which had been given in the Bibliotheca and by Canisius.

They were given in the Greek (except Nos. 18, 25, and 32) and in a Latin version, partly by Gretser himself, but chiefly by Turrianus, and in a very few short pieces by Genebrardus.

The Latin version was reprinted in the Bibliotheca Patrum, vol, iv. ed. Paris, 1609-1610, vol. ix. p. ii. Cologne, 1618, and vol. xvi. ed. Lyon, 1677.

The Greek text and Latin version were both given in the Auctarium of Ducaeus to the edit. of Paris, 1624, in vol. xi. of the edit. Paris, 1654, and in the collected edition of Gretser's works, vol. xv. fol. Ratisbon, 1741.

The Greek text of No. 18 was published by Le Quien in his edition of Damascenus (vol. i. p. 470, fol. Paris, 1712), with the version of Turrianus, a little altered: the Greek of No. 25 was published by Cotelerius, in a note to the Constitutiones Apostolicae, lib. 5. c.7, in his Pat>res Apostolici, fol. Paris, 1672 (vol. i. p. 310, ed. Leclerc, fol. Amsterdam, 1724).

The Greek of No. 32 has never been printed.

Further Information

Cave (who has confounded him with Theodore of Caria [No. 20]), Hist. Litt. ad ann. 867, vol. ii. p. 54; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. x. p. 364, &c.; Gretser (who also identifies him with Theodore of Caria), Epistol. Dedicat. Opusculis Abucarae praefixa ; Bayle, Dictionnaire, s. v. Abucaras ; Le Quien, Opera Damasceni, and Oriens Christianus, ll. cc.

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