E. W. Brooks, A Syriac fragment: Chronicle 754-813 AD, Zeitschrift für deutschen morgenlandischen Gesellschaft 54 (date) pp.195.f.
E. W. Brooks.
The following fragment of a Syriac chronicle occupies parts of four leaves in Brit. Mus. Add. MS 14, 642, beginning at fol. 36v after the close of the Chronicle of 846, the concluding part of which was published by me in ZDMG. 51, p. 569ff., and ending on fol. 39r. The MS is torn at the top and bottom and on one side of every leaf, and there are also gaps and obliterations in other places. The handwriting is of the 10th or 11th century 1 and is so bad that the deciphering of it is sometimes mere guess-work, many letters being to all appearance absolutely identical in shape. The MS is also a palimpsest 2, the Syriac text being written over a Greek Catena Patrum, which considerably adds to the difficulty of deciphering it. On fol. 39v are some Syriac and Arabic scrawls in different hands of different dates.
The fragment contained in these leaves begins with the death of the patriarch Ioannes in Oct. 754 and reaches to the murder of the Caliph Al Amin in Sept. 813 3. As it begins on the verso of a leaf of which the recto contains the end of the Chronicle of 846, we should at first sight be inclined to presume that this was the original beginning of the chronicle; but it seems scarcely credible that it really began at this point, and the slovenly scribe, who was probably short of writing material, may well have continued on this leaf a chronicle which he had begun elsewhere. The question of the end of the chronicle is more difficult. If the scrawls on fol. 39v are all of later date than our MS, it clearly follows that the chronicle ended on fol. 39r, since the scribe would certainly not have left the verso of this leaf blank, if he had had anything to write on it; if however any of the scrawls are of older date, he may have passed it over because it was already |196 scribbled upon. Unfortunately it does not seem possible to decide the question of priority 4; but, as it seems probable that, even if the scrawls already existed, the scribe would have rubbed them out and written over the page, the balance of probability is, as far as the condition of the MS goes, in favour of supposing that the work ended in 813.
The chronicle runs closely parallel to that of Michael, who evidently drew from the same source; on the other hand it shows no resemblance to the Chronicle of 846, the correspondence of which with Michael seems to end in 728. Now the chief source of Michael in this period is probably Dionysios; and the question therefore naturally arises whether our chronicle is a fragment of the lost work of the celebrated patriarch. If the chronicle really ended on fol. 39r, this is clearly impossible, for the chronicle of Dionysios came down to 842 and contained a long account of his own elevation to the patriarchate 5, which could not have been contained in the two lost lines at the bottom of the last page of the MS, Even however if the chronicle did not end on this page, the identification still seems to be impossible, for (1) Michael has some citations from Dionysios which are not in our MS and cannot have been included in the lacunae; (2) There is one distinct discrepancy with Dionysios, our chronicle placing the death of the anti-patriarch John of Kallinikos in AS 1073, while Dionysios, as quoted by Elijah of Nisibis, placed it in AS 1074; (3) In homogeneous narratives, clearly derived from one source, Michael has details not found in our chronicle. This last objection is equally valid if the chronicle is a source of Dionysios, while, as the parallelism with Michael continues to the end, it cannot, if written in 813, be derived from an earlier source. Either therefore the inference as to the end of the chronicle is wrong, or it is a mere series of extracts from some earlier work and is not brought down to the compiler's own time.
As to the subject-matter of the chronicle, it contains few facts. that are not also in Michael, but some of the narratives are given in greater detail. The interests of the chronicler are much more purely ecclesiastical than those of Michael, secular matters other than famines, earthquakes, prodigies, and such matters being scarcely noticed at all. To this however the account of the anarchy in Syria after the death of Al Rashid is a notable exception.
Conjectural supplements, both in the text and in the translation, are enclosed in square brackets. In the text I have tried to represent the number of missing letters in the lacunae by the number of dots. In the translation the marks <> denote that the words thus enclosed appear to have fallen out of the text.
And in the year a thousand and sixty-six my lord Ioannes 6 the patriarch fell. asleep in G'zir[tho, and his body was laid to rest at] Bedyo, a village on the river Euphrates. And then Abu Ga`far, also called 'Abd Allaha, [the king,] gave orders to the bishops and compelled them to institute as patriarch Isaac, bishop of Karrhai, who was — — — from the monastery of Karthamin. Now this Isaac had been instituted to Karrhai by Athanasius Send'lono, metropolitan of G'zirtho, in a nefarious and not a godly manner; for he |218 had become a friend of Athanasius and also of the king owing to the following cause. It is said that, when he was living on the hills of Edessa in the monastery called Beth Furkhose, a certain strange monk came to him and lodged with him and was honorably entertained by the same Isaac. And, when he wished to go, the stranger told Isaac to bring him a piece of lead; and, having melted it, he took from his mantle a little wallet, which contained an elixir, [and] he poured some of it on to the lead, and it changed its colour and, as is said, became gold. And, when Isaac saw it, he was smitten with longing to know the art, and he earnestly begged him to teach it him. And he kept saying that he did not know anything about this, but the elixir had been given him by someone else. And, when he. started to go on his way, Isaac went, with him to escort him: and, as they were going along, he smote him and threw him into one of the old wells, which there are on the hills, [and] cast a great stone after him and killed him. And this he did because he thought that he had a large quantity of the elixir with him. And upon searching his mantle he found nothing in it except the wallet; and he repented greatly and blamed himself for killing the monk. And owing [to] this elixir he afterwards became a friend of Send'lono, and he instituted him [bishop] of Karrhai in the hope that he would teach him the art. So also through the same cause he gained the favour of Abu Ga`far the king; and for this reason after the death of Ioannes he assembled the bishops and forced them to make him pat[ria]rch under compulsion; and they instituted him in Rhesaina 7. And, because the wretched man knew that he would not readily be received, he asked the king for a diploma — — —, that he might be received by everyone: and he gave a biruno 8 and a staff out of the treasures of his kingdom. And he promised him that he would go out and collect roots useful for the art and teach him it. And, having after a short time sent after him and discussed it with him and discovered that he was a liar and did not know it aud was deliberately deceiving him, he gave orders, and they strangled him and threw his body into the Euphrates; and he was requited with the destruction that he deserved for killing the poor monk. And thus he was put to death by an evil death 9.
Similarly also after the death of this Isaac the king again put compulsion on the bishops, and they made Athanasius, also |219 called Send'lono. metropolitan of Marty ropolis, patriarch: and be crave him a diploma and imperial soldiers and an imperial order compelling his reception by everyone. And upon arriving at Karrhai be compelled the men to come out to meet him and to receive him with a procession. And upon entering the city he wished to institute `Abdoni, a disciple of the above-mentioned Isaac, as their bishop: and they would not consent, but even shrank with abhorrence from him himself. And at last, being compelled — — — — — a deed that was reprehensible, audacious in character, and easy to detect. For he — — — — — — — certain men, inflamed by zeal, came in upon him by night and threw — — — — — upon him [and suffocated him 10. But] some say that it was at the instigation of the amir of the city that they did this: and they threw — — — — — — and killed him. However it caused many to think that his death was a requital. [And the men] of the monastery 11 took his body and carried it up and laid it in his monastery and laid it [in a coffin] with honour.
After him the bishops assembled and ordained as patriarch over them [George] from B'[eltho]n, a village near Gusith in the territory of Emesa, a man who in his early youth [had been brought up in] the convent called the monastery of Kenneshre: and he was ordained at Hierapolis in the year a thousand [and seventy] of the Greeks in the month of Khonun 12. But among the bishops were John of Kallinikos [and David], bishop of Dara, who were not contented with G[eor]ge and found fault with him; and they were angry, saying, 'Let us [not] pass over learned and — — — men [and] ordain laymen'; because [Geo]rge still wore the white dress. being reckoned [in the order] of deacons. And this they did because each one of them [coveted] the patriarchate for himself. And, when the b[ishops] had separated [— — — — — — — and the bishops] of G'zirtho [had returned] and crossed the Euphrates, [Satan worked upon them, and they appointed as their chief John, bishop of Kallinikos, and instituted him patriarch — — — — — — — ] was his disciple [in the monastery] of K[arka]ftho and [ — — — — — — , a village] adjoining Edessa. And from this time division and schism befell the church. [And John] visited the western districts and part of the country of G'zirtho: [but the] believing inhabitants of Kallinikos drove John from their city 13 and would not consent even [to proclaim his name]. |220
And in the following year, which is the year a thousand and seventy-three, king `Abd Allah Abu Ga`far built [a city on] the Tigris above Ktesiphon and named it Bagdad. And the same year John died 14. [And this] year [there was] a violent hail-storm and such destruction that it is said that each hailstone weighed [8 mathkole].
Now after the death of John, David of Dara was appointed, who in conjunction with John had tried to hinder the election: and the bishops assembled at S'rug and made peace between him and George in the year a thousand, and [seventy]-eight 15. And. as the peace did not last or continue, the impious David went to the king and brought many foul accusations against George before the king: and he kept saying, "He treats us badly and wishes to be come [patriarch] by force": and, when we said to him, "Why do you not carry with you the king's diploma like us?" 16, <he said>, "I do not think it right that the name of their prophet should be admitted to my robe". And the king, having sent and summoned him, asked him about this and investigated it, saying; "Is it true what they say, that you spoke in this way, that the name of our prophet should not be admitted to [your] robe?" He said to him, "I did not say it. His name is manifested in my case in many actions in the drachmai and denarii used in [my] expenditure." And the king knew that for envy they had delivered him" 17. However at first he stretched him on the wheels, and he was beaten to the extent of three lashes only. And, when he required him to teach him the art of alchemy, then he spoke [to him] somewhat as follows; < — — — — — — — >. And, when he asked him, "Why do you not carry with [you a diploma] from us?", he said, "Because it is not my purpose to compel anyone by force to submit to me." And, when the king saw — — — — — — — , nevertheless he gave orders, and they shut him up in prison.
And the king sent and summoned the bishops, and they made David of Dara chief over them: and against their will and desire they named him [their] chief 18; and he gave him a diploma and imperial troops to go about with him. And one might see — — — — how instead of clergymen the altar was thronged by Persians and guards, who compelled [the people] to communicate — — — — by |221 force at the oblation." And so the bishops and believers withdrew from before him, and everyone who, having fled from before him, was found and caught, they cruelly seized and brought and shut up in the prison-house of Karrhai. And so the church remained [in confusion] and with its affairs impeded until David's death and the relaxation of bondage (?) which God granted to — — — — George.
And in the year 1080 there was a severe earthquake, and at Faddono Rabtho the idol was revealed which the Manichees in it used to worship 19.
And this year Abu Ga`far built Raf[ika] by the side of Kall[ini]kos 20.
At this time a woman is said to have been found in the territory of Bokh[ara] who had never received food nor yet sucked milk nor yet drink 21 since the time of [her birth], a truly wonderful and marvellous fact and outside the course of nature. And, when Mahdi, the king's son, heard about [her], he sent after her and fetched her, and he examined the matter [and found] it to be true.
And in the year, a thousand and eighty-three he 22 deposed `Abbas [from G'zirtho] and in his place appointed Musa the son of Mus`ab, a Jew 23. Similarly [in Chalkis also] he appointed [a man] whom they call Musa the son of Sulaiman, both of them fierce and [unjust] men. [And he gathered all the money] of the world into the treasury, until no drachma or [denarius] was to be found [except with the merchants.] And they were distressed — — — — — greatly until they asked for death — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — was the price of it, and an ass the same 24; wheat — — — — — — — — for a drachma 25, and boys and girls who fell [ — — — — for five drachmai a piece — — — — — — — — — — ] suddenly made them drunk. Therefore — — — — — — — — — killed them and took everything [that — — — — — — — — — — — — ].
And at this same time [Abu Ga`far the king died after a reign of twenty]-one [years] and three months and [was succeeded |222 by Mahdi his son. And the same year Con]stantine, king of the Ro[mans, died; and his successor was Leo his son. And both of them set free all] the prisoners and captives. [And the patriarch also came out with them — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — ].
And [ — — — — — — — — — — — — — . And in the year eleven hundred] and one of the Greeks — — — — — — — — — — . But an illness [attacked] 26 him in the territory of Klaudias; and [he went up to the monastery of my lord Bar Saumo,] and the commandment of God came upon him, and in it he ended his life, and in it he was [buried.
And in June] of the same year the bishops assembled at Bedyo Z'`urtho in the plain [of Karrhai and made choice] of my lord Joseph from Gubo Baroyo and ordained him patriarch over them. And, after [he had set out] to go to receive a diploma from the king, and had finished his journey and returned, [the commandment of God] came upon him in [the monastery of] my lord Athanasius above Thel Beshmai, and in it he ended his life in the month] of December 27 in the year eleven hundred and three of the Greeks and he ordained one bishop only — — — — — for Helioupolis 28.
And in the year eleven hundred and four of the Greeks the bishops assembled at K[arrhai and on the eighth 29 of] the month of August ordained as chief of the church Cyriac of Thagrith from the monastery of Bizu[no], an eloquent and intelligent man, pure in his character, and holy in his soul and in his body. And after — — — — — , and he was loved by everyone, and everything that he did and ordered turned out according to his will — — — — — — — and as a lord and chief he founded everything that he wished, and he also renewed and reformed what was old — — — — — — , and he was received by everyone with affection and due submission, and there was no adversary [or evil fortune]. And he thought already that affairs would accordingly turn out easily for him — — — — — — — — even to abolish and remove the expression "heavenly bread" from the eucharistic services [of] the church, [since] he said, "It is a new introduction, and one which introduces an addition into the mystery of the Trinity". And he also gave strict orders to the priests, everyone whom he ordained, not to utter it at their commemorations. And he never reflected that George also, his predecessor, had been more zealous against |223 the expression than he was, but; because [he considered] 30 the evil times, and like a wise man who buys his opportunity 31, he did not care [to make] any [pronouncement] about it, making a compromise, because he foresaw the division which was [to happen] because of it. But when certain men who held, to this expression saw [with regard to C]yriac that he was using excommunications and anathemas to deter the priests from uttering it, they were greatly disturbed. And for this reason he assembled a Synod at Beth Bothin, a village in the plain of Karrhai, in the year 1106 of the Greeks. And, after the bishops had held a discussion and an investigation with regard to it, they resolved with regard to it that everyone should use it at his pleasure, and those who uttered it should not blame those who did not, nor yet vice versa: for they could not put forth a pronouncement about it in any other way. And afterwards they established forty other ecclesiastical canons, which the patriarch introduced at this Synod: and there was no one who stood in opposition to his commands. But among the bishops were some who were not very well disposed in their minds towards him, and one of these [was] Severus, bishop of Samosata. And, when his disposition became known to Cyriac, he [went] straight from the council, after it had separated, to his city of Samosata. And, since Se[ve]rus thought — — — — against him and find a pretext because of it, he went and sent to the citizens not to [go out to meet] him nor to open the gates of the church to him. And, when Cyriac came and they did not go out to meet [him nor open] the gate to him, he then went to the governor of the city [and showed him the diploma]; and he gave orders, and the churches were opened to him. And then the patriarch went in[to the church and went up on to the dais] and separated Severus by anathema from all association with Christians. — — — — — — — ] the council, he then went away and prevailed upon the bishops — — — — — — — — and beg him to be reconciled to him [ — — — — — — — and] peace [was made].
And in the year eleven hundred and ten C[onstantine, king of the Romans,] broke out into all kinds of profligacy and lasciviousness; [and he used also to take the daughters] of the Romans and debauch [them. And the leading men told all this] about him [to] his mother: and she [promised that she would depose him. And she put out] his [eyes], and he was blinded: and she [reigned alone.
And in] June of the year eleven hundred [and — — — — teen — — — — — — ] Harun [invaded(?)] 32 the country of the Romans — — — — — — — — — — — — — , who built many [ — — — — — — . |224
And in the year eleven hundred and nine of the Greeks Cyriac the patriarch assembled a council in order to effect a union with the Julianists: And] Gabr[iel] also, who was called; [patriarch] of the Jul[ianists, came] to the council — — — — — — , a simple man and well-instructed in the affairs of the world. And, when they made peace, — — — — — — Gabriel, until they converted him from the opinion which he held and those who were with him, so that they were ready on all points to make the same confession as we do: only however they objected to the proclamation of [the holy] Severus and to anathematizing Julian specially by name. <And the patriarch made a concession to them 33; > [departing] from strict accuracy on this point, since he made a compromise as the time required and hoped [that after a time] they would reform what was defective. And it was decided that Cyriac should be proclaimed in their church and Gabriel also [in ours], and each one of them should retain his authority as it stood, until one of them died, and he who [remained — — — — ] last, he should be head of the church. And, when they had ratified the undertakings, my lord Cyriac rose and [went into the church] of Karrhai 34 and gave the communion to Gabriel and those who were with him; and on the following day Gabriel made the oblation, and <Cyriac> [communicated] and the council that was with him. However there were some among the bishops with Cyriac who did not accept [the union], because they were ill-affected towards Cyriac, and now they were able to make their disposition clear owing to this [affair] which happened. And they were Bakchos of Beth Kh'rustoyo and Daniel of Edessa 35 and Severus of Samosa[ta and] those [also] who were ordained by Cyriac, Theodosius of Kallinikos and Philoxenos of N[isibis] 36. These men constantly found fault with this union and reviled it and called him — — — — — a heretic and a Julianist; and, if their colleagues had not induced them to give up the idea, they would have murdered [him.] But he, when he saw that they. were murmuring at him and finding fault with his compromise, |225 assembled a Synod [about] the matter; and Gabriel, the chief of the Julianists, came, to it. And he permitted them — — — — — — , whom we have mentioned, to speak with Gabriel as to what they wanted. [And he said to them,] ''You ought to understand and know that, if [I had not been] a complete believer, knowing that truth is on your side, I should not have induced this [people — — — — — — — — ] of the world and have brought and bound them under subjection to you. But, if you want to gain [me only] without taking account of the whole party of the followers of Jul[ian, I will anathematize] Julian in writing or not in writing. But you should know that many of [my] adherents, from simplicity or from ignorance, or, as it would be more true to say — — — , from the custom which has become inveterate in them, object to this same thing, to anathematizing Julian] specially". And, when he saw that the bishops would not consent to this but insisted that he together with the bishops should anathematize Julian, he understood the passions hidden in them, [and] he rose and shook his clothes and said, "Now I know that the determination — — — — is not in God or for the sake of God but from jealousy against your chief, lest [any good thing] should come by [his means. And now] God will require from you the blood of all this people, [whose salvation] you are hindering." [And so] the council was broken up and the union destroyed.
And in the year eleven hundred and fifteen, [in the time] of Harun, it happened that there was a certain man of the tribe of the Kuraish who [ — — — — lived] in Damascus 37, and the rooms which he occupied adjoined the church [of the Christians]. And every day he used to look out of a window which was in his house [at the time of prayer and used to annoy] the priest who was in it, while he was constantly executing his priestly office and performing [the mysterious oblation, by] throwing down upon him straw(?) <and> cakes which he made [out of dust — — — — — — — ] and to vex him out of hatred against our faith. [And God,] who lays down occasions for profit for men beforehand, [had mercy upon him — — — — — — — — ] the end which was to be, [caused] the oblation laid upon the altar, [to appear to him] in the likeness [of a living lamb cut in pieces] in the paten which was upon the altar. And, trembling [at the sight, he went down to the priest:] and so, looking carefully, he saw the [lamb cut in pieces — — — and laid] in the paten, sprinkled with blood 38. [And the presbyter, when he had learned from him] what he had seen, then explained |226 to him [the holy mysteries — — — — — — — — — — — — ] until — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — this — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — a severe [ — — — in] the northern [region], and it lasted about ten — — — — — — — were broken through, nor upon the seed that year, not in Assyria — — — — — — — — — — — — the passover.
And that year and the following was the schism of the Guboye [on account of Ba]kch[os the Ku]rrustoyo, bishop of the territory of Kyrrhos, a man who did not rule [the church] rightly. — — — — or lawfully and had been many times reproved by the pious my lord Cyriac [and had been separated] from his ministry. And, when at last on the intercession of certain bishops he had been reconciled to him, he — — — — — — , seeking an occasion how and by what means he might annoy him. And with this purpose, he induced [the presbyters] to pronounce the expression "heavenly bread", and that in order to irritate him — — — — — — — — . And, when his time came to die, he gathered together the priests and the deacons and the principal persons in his territory [and ordered] them not to abandon this expression and not to receive a bishop in his place except from the [convent]. And. after, his death his disciple who was called Akhs'noyo set out with [others from] Gubo Baroyo, and they went to the patriarch in the district of Antioch and presented to him the ass and the robe [and the staff] of Bakchos; and they asked him to ordain Akhs'noyo over [the church of Kyrrho]s in place of Bakchos. But the patriarch would not consent to this but said, "We will appoint from your convent [to another territory], and from another convent we will appoint your bishop for you, because it is not in accordance with right [that a church should be held like an inheritance] by a convent. And so the monks returned [with Akhs'noyo, and for] this reason they made a schism. And after a time he ordained for them as bishop a man [named Solomon 39 and] sent him to the country, though they did not agree or consent to him. And this he did at the instigation [of — — — — — — 40. And in] truth I say that now an injustice and an error was committed. But nevertheless [the evil increased, not only] because they did not receive the bishop, but because it incensed them yet more. And they set up [ — — — — — — — — and] abandoned the proclamation of the name of Cyriac. And the bishops assembled — — — — — — — — — — — — — — anathematized and rejected Cyriac 41; and they [also] ordained Akhs'n[oyo |227 for themselves illegally 42] because they had not been elected to the bishopric 43. And they wrote [a letter in] an unjust manner, consisting of wicked words, of a kind to cause death, and they went and gave it to Harun the king 44, in which [they made accusations] against Cyriac. But nevertheless God, who at all times cares for the deliverance of those [who serve] him in truth, who promised through his holy apostles — — — — — — — — — — "Behold! I am with you unto the end of the world" 45. — — — — — C[yriac], but, when he was sent for, he was received gently and graciously 46 — — — — — — — — against him in the petition, "He has killed [a certain bishop] called Sim[eon], who was ordained over the country of the Arabians" 47; a man who— — — — — — — — it happened that, while he and two of his disciples were travelling in the country, that [robbers] fell [upon them], because they coveted their mules which they were riding and their wallets, which were full; [and they killed the three of them and] threw their bodies on the road, and this same body was found by [— — — — — — — ; and these men said that] the patriarch had hired some Saracens and sent them against them to kill [them. — — — — — — — there was] a great famine for the reason that nothing came in from [ — — — — — — — — . And at] last God sent ravenous beasts against men, who attacked [men in] the daytime and tore them in pieces 48.
But the patriarch, when — — — — — — — — — — — — 49 the king graciously, assembled thirty bishops at [Gubr]in [on account of the Guboye 50. And he sent] after them to invite them to peace; and, when they did not come, [all the bishops anathematized them and excommunicated] them. And they in their boldness and audacity — — — — — — — — — — — — , and they also open[ly] treated the laws of the church with contempt, [and ordained two bishops, Gabrie]l the Gu[be]yo and another called Theo[phanes from the |228 monastery of Eusebuna. And, when] the patri[arch] and the bishops at Gubrin [heard of it, — — — — — — — ] the bishops [— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 51 transgressed against] his orders and [joined the rebels. And the men] whose deprivations [had been] twice [pronounced assembled] and appointed him a false chief, that is a patriarch, over themselves in despite of God and the laws of [the church]. And from this time their heresy was established and founded, [insomuch] that they became a goad and a thorn to the church and corrupters of its laws. And then the wretched A[braham] began to make bishops who were unattached and without provinces, and to send various men who came(?) to go 52 and traverse [the country] and pervert the minds of men.
And in the month of March in the year eleven hundred and twenty [of the Greeks] Harun the king died at Tus, a city in Khurasan, after a reign of 23 years. And [he divided the kingdom] between his three sons, for Mahomet the son of Zubaida he made king in Bagdad, and `Abd Allaha [Mamun] he set over Khurasan, and ordered that after Mahomet's death he should be king, [and Kasim] his son he set over all the countries of G'zirtho. and the West in Hierapolis; and [he] failed to see [that by this] measure he had cast a cause of strife between them. And after their father's death Mamun sent a messenger to Mahomet his brother, who was reigning in succession to his father, asking him to send him his chattels and the money [which] his father [had given] him, a million drachmai, as a compensation for his eldest brother being king, and to send him also his men. And he would not do so but wished to entice him to him, having treachery in his heart; because he had broken the covenants which their father made for |229 them and wished to make his own sons kings after him. And this was the cause of the war which happened through their cupidity; and for this cause they prepared for war against one another. And at last Mahomet was killed by the contrivance of Tahir the son of Husain through the agency of a man called Dandanid 53. And, when it became known to men that strife had arisen between these brothers in the matter of the kingdom, confusion and turmoil befell the world, and everyone plundered and kidnapped and robbed as he could. And the cause and beginning of this was a man called `Amr the Sulaimi, who on account of seditions and murders which he had perpetrated at Samosata was imprisoned in Kallinikos. And when he heard what had happened between these brothers, Mahomet and `Abd Allah, he sent to a kinsman of his, asking him to bring him his horse and his sword and to place it in one of the ruins which there are in Kallinikos. And he asked the governor of the prison for leave to go out and buy bread for himself. And he sent a man with him to guard him and fastened a chain to him. And, having gone out, he continued leading the guard on until they reached the place where his horse was: and, taking his sword from his cousin 54, he killed the man who was conducting him, and he mounted his horse, and his cousin another, and they fled. And he went straight to Samosata and entered it and killed `Abd-All[aha], the amir in it, through whom he had been shut up in the prison. And he left the city with [those] who joined him, and he set out rapidly and went to the country of Palestine: and they began to rob and slay and plunder everyone whom they could overpower. And this first audacious act of `Amr was the beginning of of the evil which befell the world. And these things happened in the month of April in the year 1. And, when this reached the ears of Nasr the son of Shabath, the `Ukaili, who was [in rebellion] in the country of Armenia and was intercepting traffic on the roads, he set out hastily and came and joined `Amr; and the two of them [united] to plunder and destroy the world. And they went about the countries of Palest[ine] and Syria and Phoenice, plundering and burning and slaying 55 — — — — — — — . And [Na]sr [collected] a force and a colleague (he was the chief of the sons of Si`th Natn (?)); and he separated and went to the country [of S'rug]; and `Amr went to Samosata and built a wall for the upper fortress in it.
And in the year [eleven hundred and] twenty-two Nikopkoros, king of the Romans, died, and [S]tauricius his son reigned over |230 the Ro[mans] after him (now it is said that he was a descendant of the people of the Saracens). And, after Stauricius had reigned five months over the Romans, the Bulgarians assembled and came to the royal city to fight with him. And, when Stauricius went out and fought with [them, they wounded him] in the thigh, [and,] his wound being inflamed from a chill after it had been cut, he died, and [Mi]cha[el, the son-in-law] of Nikophoros, reigned [after him] for one year and seven months. [Some] say [of] Pro[copia the daughter of Nikopho]ros that she poisoned Stauricius her brother in order that [Michael her husband] might reign [instead of him].
And in the month of May 56 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
[The Syriac text and notes relating to it have been omitted]
1. 1) According to Wright (CBM p. 1041) of the 10th century, but Mr. G. Margoliouth of the British Museum believes that it may be of the 11th.
2. 2) According to Wright it is palimpsest throughout; but I see no trace of Greek writing on fol. 39.
3. 3) It does not end in 811, as Wright states, since it gives the length of Michael's reign besides recording the death of Al Amin.
4. 1) Mr. G. Margoliouth thinks that most of the scrawls are of about the same date as the MS of the chronicle, while none can be shown to be earlier.
5. 2) Quoted by Mich. (see Greg. H. E. 1 p. 347 ff.).
6. 7) The name of this patriarch is always written in the Greek form; cf. ZDMG. 51 p. 57G, and so in Mich. and Greg. His death was in October (Mich. Greg.).
7. 1) The Pseudo-Dionysios also states that Isaac was made patriarch on account of his alchemy (p. 66).
8. 2) Gk. Βιῤῥίον: See Smith Thesaurus col. 521.
9. 3) In AS 1067 (ZDMG. 5i p. 586). Mich. however in his list of patriarchs (fol. 405 v) gives him 2 years. The Chronicle of 816 says that he died at Al Khufa, which is not on the Euphrates, but on a canal. 'Dion.' agrees with our author that he was strangled, but states that the fate of his body was not known.
10. 1) On June 11 AS 1069 = AD 758 (ZDMG l. c.) According to 'Dion.' (p. 67) different accounts were given of the manner of his death.
11. 2) i. e. the monastery of Karthamin, from which Athanasius came (Greg.)
12. 3) It is not stated whether it was the first or the second Khonun, and there is the same omission in Mich. and Greg.
13. 4) The Pseudo-Dionysios states that in AS 1071 the monasteries and cities of Mesopotamia refused to receive John.
14. 1) Dionysios (ap El. Nis.), Mich., and Greg. all place John's death in AS 1074. The Chronicler of 846 (ZDMG. 51 p. 586) agrees with our text.
15. 2) Ps. Dion. places this Synod in AS 1076.
16. 3) It is very improbable that the other bishops had diplomas, and I suspect the word to be corrupt. See p. 201 note 3.
17. 4) Matt. 27. 18.
18. 5) Mich. says that the Caliph threatened to banish them to China. The arrest of George and election of David are placed by 'Dion.' in AS 1078. The imprisonment of George lasted according to the Chronicle of 846 (ZDMG. 51 p. 587) 10 years, and according to Mich. and Greg, 9 years.
19. 3) Mich. places this in AS 1076.
20. 4) Mich. places this in AS 1083; and so the Arab writers.
21. 5) The verb has perhaps fallen out. Mich. and Greg. "did not require drink".
22. 6) i. e. Al Mansur, not Al Mahdi.
23. 7) The Pseudo-Dionysios (who wrote in 775) places this in AS 1084. He has however previously stated that Al `Abbas was deposed in AS 1078 (p. 120). He has mentioned Ibn Mus`ab as governor of Al Mausil under AS 1081 and AS 1078 (pp. 108, 119).
24. 8) "The price of an ox and an ass was a drachma" Mich. Greg.
25. 9) "Five modduthe of wheat for a drachma" Mich. Greg.
26. 1) This is clearly the supplement needed.
27. 2) Mich. and Greg. "January".
28. 3) Mich. and Greg. "Anthimos for Helioupolis"; but it is hard to supply this name in our text.
29. 4) See p. 204 note 6. Greg. "on the 8th of August, or according to some manuscripts on the 1st". Chron. of 846 (ZDMG. 51 p. 588) "on the 15th."
30. 1) This is the sense needed.
31. 2) Eph. 5. 16.
32. 3) There was no invasion by Al Rashid between 783 and 804, but it is hard to see how the sentence can be filled up otherwise.
33. 1) It seems clear that something to this effect is to be here inserted. I supply this from Michael.
34. 2) From this it would seem that the Synod was held at or near Karrhai, which has not been stated, unless it was in the lacuna at the beginning of the narrative. This clause is not in Mich.
35. 3) This Daniel does not appear in the list of bishops of Edessa in Mich. fol. 415r, where the order is "Zachariah, Zachariah, Basil, Theodosius". The ordination of Basil is recorded on fol. 281 v as having taken place at the beginning of Cyriac's patriarchate, and in the list of Cyriac's ordinations on fols. 405v, 406r Basil appears 13th and Theodosius 59th, while Daniel does not appear at all. The 27th ordination however has been accidentally omitted, and the name perhaps stood there. See also Wright CBM pp. 550, 551.
36. 4) This might be rendered "who ordained Cyriac"; but, as Theodosius and Philoxenos occur 20th and 32nd among Cyriac's ordinations in Mich. fol. 405v, I render as above. For Philoxenos see also Greg. HE 1 p. 363.
37. 1) Mich. and Greg. do not give either the place or the date but say only "at this time".
38. 2) So Mich. Greg, says that, when he came down, he saw bread, and when he went up again, he saw a lamb.
39. 2) Mentioned 49th among Cyriac's ordinations in Mich. fol. 406 r.
40. 3) Mich. gives the names of the instigators as John of Berrhoia and Theodosius of Seleukeia, but there is not room to insert these names here.
41. 4) Mich. does not mention this proceeding or the ordination of Akhs'noyo.
42. 1) "illegally" seems to be the sense required.
43. 2) This is perhaps explained by Michael's statement that they were bishops who had been deposed; but this would be a strange way of stating this and we should perhaps read ... "he had not been elected".
44. 3) "At Marg Dabik, when he was preparing to enter the country of the Romans" Mich. The date was therefore spring 806.
45. 4) Matt. 28. 20.
46. 5) Mich. says that the Caliph was on his way from Adata to Gubrin. This would be on his return from his campaign in autumn 806.
47. 6) Simeon of Arabia is mentioned 53rd among Cyriac's ordinations in Mich. fol. 406 r.
48. 7) In AS 1110 (Mich. Greg.).
49. 8) The acquittal of Cyriac was probably here recorded.
50. 9) Mich. places this in AS 1118.
51. 1) In this lacuna was probably recorded the formal anathema given at length by Mich. and dated AS 1119. Though the anathema is twice recorded by Mich. it may be doubted whether tho first mention of it both here and in Mich. is more than an anticipation. The statement below that they had been twice deprived is against postulating two deprivations on this occasion; cf. p. 227 note 2.
52. 3) "To make bishops - - - - - - who went about" Mich . The text can hardly be correct; see p. 214 note 7.
53. 1) i. e. Al Dandani.
54. 3) "Uncle's son."
55. 4) Of the three words which follow I can make nothing.
56. 2) This probably refers to the total eclipse of the sun recorded by Michael on May 14, 812; so Greg. Chron. Syr. p. 136.
This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2008. This file and all material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
Greek and Syriac text is rendered using unicode. The Syriac is best rendered with the Meltho fonts.
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