Zachariah of Mitylene, Syriac Chronicle (1899). Book 10.
IN this tenth Book also and in the sixteen chapters contained in it, which are set forth below, are included the events which successively happened from the year fifteen, the year eight hundred and forty-eight according to the era of the Greeks,1 down to the end of the year thirteen, the year eight hundred and fifty-nine of the Greeks,2 still in the time which is concerned with this serene king of our day, Justinian.
The first chapter, concerning Ephraim, who went down to the East.
The second, concerning the doings of Bar Khili at Amida in the years fifteen and two.3
The third, concerning Cyrus, a presbyter of the town of L'gino,4 who was burned in the tetrapylon of Amida.
The fourth, concerning the epistle of Rabbulo of Edessa to Gemellinus of Perrhe about those who eat the sacrament like ordinary bread.
The fifth, concerning the dedication of the church at Antioch, and also the Synod which was assembled by Ephraim.
The sixth, concerning Khosru, king of Persia, who went up and took Sura and Berrhoea and Antioch.
The seventh, concerning Belisarius, who went down and took Sisaurana, a fortress in Persian territory.
The eighth, concerning Khosru, who went up and took Callinicus and the other camps on the frontier of the Euphrates and the Chaboras. |297
The ninth, concerning the plague of tumours.
The tenth, concerning Martin and Justus, who entered Persian Armenia and returned.
The eleventh, concerning Khosru, who went up to Edessa and did not take it, and returned.
The twelfth, concerning James and Theodore, the pious believing bishops, who were consecrated and sent to the East and intrusted with the leadership.
The thirteenth, concerning the country of Lazica, which was conquered by Khosru.
The fourteenth, concerning the lack of corn and the scarcity of vegetables which occurred in the years nine and ten.5
The fifteenth, concerning Rome, which the barbarians took and sacked.
The sixteenth, concerning the decorations and buildings of Rome.
THE FIRST CHAPTER
When 6 Severus and Anthimus, the believing chief priests, had been driven out by the king, as mentioned in the ninth Book above, and had withdrawn from the royal city on the arrival of Agapetus of Rome, who soon after died at the end of the month of March in the year fourteen,7 as also did Sergius the archiatros, who brought him, then Ephraim, who held the see of Antioch in the East, was strengthened and invigorated, and upon his sending a message [to the king] (?) 8 there was sent |298 [a force of Romans] (?) 9 and Clement[inus the tribune (?): and] he received orders in the year fifteen 10 to traverse the Eastern jurisdiction and to go all round it, and himself to give admonition in words, while Clementinus was to use force to make the inhabitants of the cities in the East accept the Synod, as had been done by the natives of Italy, the land of Rome. And this same Ephraim, accompanied by Clementinus, went [to] Berrhoea and Chalcis and Hierapolis and Batnae and Edessa, and to Sura and to Callinicus and the rest of the frontier, and to Rhesaina and to Amida and to Constantia; and he induced many persons to submit, some by words and by promising them the friendship of the king, and some by fear of threats and also exile and spoliation of goods and degradation from their ranks and exclusion from all trades; and others they hunted and drove from country to country, among them the monks, who were found approved in the faith and true believers in time of trial. And, as the winter was a severe one, so much so that from the large and unwonted quantity of snow the birds perished and . . . , there was distress . . . among men . . . from the evil things. And 11 ... in various countries . . . From the hill of Singara [in the land] of the Persians they took (?)... John, the |299 believing [bishop] of Constantia, [by means of] a man named Cons[tantius (?)], and he was imprisoned in A[n]t[i]o[ch] and afflicted and ... he would not change but continued . . . until the beginning of the year one 12 [in] prison [and there] ended [his life] . . . and they were expelled . . . and lived in [various] countries ... [until] the year three.13 . . . Khos[r]u . . . and went up [to] S[ura] and Berrhoea and Anti[o]ch. Now Theodosius of Alexandria was summoned by the king to come to him, and went up with a few bishops from his jurisdiction; and he would in no wise accept the Synod of Chalcedon, until in the year one 14 Paul was appointed to the see. And, when Theodosius and the bishops who were with him came before the king, their [arrival] was announced by letter to Ephraim . . . thence . . . But The[odosius and those who were] with him [appeared] before the king and . . . , and without . . . , and they were removed . . . , and there they lived, and the queen was studious in showing them honour, and no one [of] their acquaintances or other discreet men was prevented from seeing them [or] ministering to them. . . . Now there went up ... in [the year fif]teen,15 and also (?) . . . the king . . . much . . . he told him about [a ... man] named But 16 . . . , [who plotted] a rising in Dara in the summer of the year, who was put to death. And he freed the king from distress of mind, but in what way I have not sure enough information to state, and therefore keep silence. |300
And, because Paul who succeeded Th[eo]d[osius] (?) in the see . . . , he shut up ... 17 on account of zeal for the faith [in] a bath and suffocated him; and this man's son he arrested and put in the guard-house, that he might not make his father's death known. But it so happened that he escaped and made his way to the queen, and through the believers who knew his father he told the news of his fearful death. And on this account Ephraim of Antioch was sent to Alexandria, and Abraham Bar Khili [accompanied him]; and, as they passed through Palestine, they took with them a monk named Zoilus. And they went to Alexandria and] investigated the action of Paul; and they drove him from his see and enthroned Zoilus, a Synodite, in the city: and in order to protect this man from the violence [of] the people of the city they appointed Acacius Bar Eshkhofo 18 of Amida tribune of the Romans there.
THE SECOND CHAPTER OF THE TENTH BOOK, CONCERNING THE DOINGS OF ABRAHAM 19 [BAR KHILI AT AMIDA] |301
(Here the MS. breaks off. The words in brackets I supply from the headings in the introduction to this Book. The whole of this chapter and the following are missing.)
FROM THE EPISTLE WRITTEN BY RABBULO TO GEMELLINUS, BISHOP OF PERRHE, ABOUT THOSE WHO INSULT THE MYSTERIES AND SUPPORT THEMSELVES UPON THEM LIKE COMMON BREAD 20
"I 21 have heard that in your country of Perrhe certain of the brethren, whose cloisters are not known, and others of the distinguished archimandrites of the place, have falsely given out concerning themselves the vain report that they do not eat bread, and have lyingly uttered of themselves the empty boast that they do not drink water, and have asserted of themselves that they abstain from wine. Accordingly I am afraid to mention that I have heard that they insult the body and blood of Jesus, the Son of God; but, since necessity constrains me, I will, as is right, be bold to say things which are what these men are not afraid to do, who madly and without discrimination offer the body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, that is, the holy and hallowing body which they have received and the living and life-giving blood which they have drunk. These men, whom I do not know how to name, are said impiously to satisfy the constant wants of their natural hunger and thirst upon it, and it is impossible for them of their own will to go |302 even one day without the oblation, which is their sustenance; but continually every day a large quantity of food is supplied by the sacrament. And for this reason also they richly leaven the particle which they prepare, and diligently dress it, and carefully seethe it, that it may serve them for food, and it is not treated as the mystery of the body of Christ, symbolised in unleavened bread. And for the rest it is said that, whenever hard pressed, they even offer common unconsecrated bread over one another's hands and eat it. And it is said to be their practice, when walking from one place to another or going on a long journey, to satisfy their natural hunger and thirst on the same body of our Lord two or three times in one day, and, as soon as they have reached their destination, in the evening they are said again to offer the oblation and partake of it as if fasting; nay, even in the holy days of the fast of Lent they presume to act in this manner without fear of God and without shame before men. And men who, as they say, refrain from bread and water every day are found to eat the holy bread and drink the blessed wine on such glorious days, on which even the vile themselves abstain.
"Now the Spirit that is in me, holy brother ours, bears witness for me that I tremble to write to your reverence all that I have heard about them, because my heart could not really believe it: and I would it had been possible for you to have known what I wish to learn 22 without an epistle or a word from me, and for these same men to have received correction from your uprightness, because neither did I wish that either you, my lord, or they should know what is rumoured about |303 them. Do not then think yourself or let them suppose that it is because I believe the evil report about them that I write these same things to you concerning them; but, being still in doubt, I say to others also that it is impossible that such a great sin should be committed by men who have ever been baptized in Christ. For they say that, as soon as they have performed the sacrament in the paten, they lightly (?) eat as much as they want of it, while the cup of the blood each of them tempers with hot water, whenever they can, like mixed wine and drinks it, and again fills it and gives it to his neighbour; so that owing to the quantity of wine which they drink under the name of the sacrament they are often obliged actually to spit it out of their mouth.
"O what transcendent impiety, if it is the fact that these men, despising their life, have converted the revered vessels of the sacrament, which on account of the mysteries contained in them even for spiritual heavenly purposes men fear to approach boldly, into vessels of service for their belly, and did not even so much as remember the punishment which Belt'shatstsar, the heathen king, received and was reproved! For, because in the vessels of the service of God he purposed to insult God like a rebel by using them in a carnal fashion, the likeness of a palm of a hand that wrote was sent from on high to write on the wall of his house the righteous sentence of condemnation for his presumption: though how indeed can the vessels of service of the temple in Jerusalem be compared to the glorious vessels of service of the body and blood of the Son of God? For neither is the showbread of the priests of Israel in any way worthy to be compared to the glory of the transcendent mystery; and, if so be any man likens the bread of the table, which David ate when he was hungry, to the life-giving body of God the Word, we ought to look upon him as |304 a foolish man who does not distinguish the body and blood of the Lord from showbread: wherefore he is an offender against the body and blood of our Lord. For the showbread scarcely cleansed a bodily pollution, even when baptisms of various kinds were combined with it and observance of this and that: but this life-giving body and blood of our Lord Jesus not only purged and hallowed the sin of the soul and of the body in those who received it with faith, but also caused God to be in us, and that by His Spirit, as we are in Him by our body; 23 for, 'Whoso eateth My body and drinketh My blood,' says the Son of God, 'he is in Me and I in him, and I will raise him up at the last day.' 24 In another way again we may understand the greatness of this service, which is a new one, delivered to us by God the Word, from the hard and severe punishment which Paul pronounced against those who have enjoyed it, beyond that received by those who offend against the old service introduced by Moses; for he said, 'If so be he who transgressed against Moses' law died without mercy at the mouth of two or three witnesses, of how much sorer punishment will he be worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of His covenant as that of an ordinary man, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of His grace, wherewith we were sanctified.' 25 Who is there, therefore, who is so mad as to compare this bread of life, which came down from heaven by virtue of its union with God the Word and gives life to the world, to the showbread with its earthly seasoning? But the opinion of anyone who thinks or acts in this manner is manifest and is, moreover, clearly apparent, for he who thus madly receives it reckons it to be in fact common bread, as he sees it, and does not believe the Son who says, 'The bread which I will give is My body, which is given for the life of the world;' 26 for it follows that not only is the bread in the body of Christ, as is seen by them, but in the bread is the body of the invisible God, 27 as we believe and |305 receive the body 28 not to satisfy our bellies but to heal our souls. For29 those who eat the holy bread in faith do in it and with it eat the living body of God the Sanctifier, and those who eat it without faith receive sustenance, as with other things necessary for the body. For, if the bread is carried off and eaten by enemies by violence, they eat common bread, because those that eat it have not faith, which perceives its sweetness: for the bread is tasted by the palate, but the virtue which is hidden in the bread is tasted by faith. For that which is eaten is not only the body of our Saviour, as we said a little before, but whatever is mingled with it, as we believe: for the virtue 30 which is not eaten is mingled with the edible bread, and to those that partake of it becomes one with it, even as the hidden heavens mingle with the visible water, and from them a new birth is born. For the Spirit secretly hovers over the visible water, so that from it a likeness of the heavenly Adam is born anew. 31 And, just as in the visible water, in order that it may impart to all who are outwardly baptized in it, there is invisible life, so also in the external bread food is hidden and concealed, of which everyone who rightly partakes obtains immortal life; and we believe the saying of Paul, that those who receive it slightingly obtain from it injury to soul and body and are not profited, even if they are reckoned among the believers. And would that they obeyed the saying of the apostle, who says, 'And let a man examine himself, and then let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup; and he that eateth of it when he is not fit for it eateth and drinketh condemnation to himself! 32 And the same proclaims by his words that it is on account of our enmity against the body and blood that the various infirmities |306 and unexpectedly sudden death have befallen us by a righteous judgment. "By reason of this happen most of the diseases and sicknesses, and the fate of those who fall asleep suddenly. But, if we judged ourselves, we should not be judged. But, when our Lord judges us, He gives us a discipline, that we may not be condemned with the world." 33 And, if those who were in the fixed days of service were now to partake, they would receive one substance only of the body of life. If it be done without the sorrow of repentance, and men do not receive it in faith with reverent fear, even if they do not also commit a deed contrary to their faith, then they are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, as Paul said, because they do not discern the Lord's body. What punishment can be too severe for this, too great even to be applied to the judgment of those who approach it without fear and do not receive an aliment of faith, but a thing necessitated by their hunger? O, what insolence is this, to which the divine retribution is not equal, if it slays the man! Who does not fear even heaven, when men satisfy the needs of their bodies on a coal of devouring fire, as if it were common bread? Who is not frightened at this statement, that of the coal on which our life depends, that which the seraph revealed to us, grasping it with a fiery forceps in his hand, to signify the sublimity of our mystery, and, while meditating upon it with reverence, approached to take hold of it, of this these men eat to satiety and without fear? And before the body which is given for the life of the world their heart does not quake and they are not afraid, and their hands do not tremble or shake, and their knees do not slip that they should fall, when they eat it for the support of bodily life. And perhaps we ought to say that our Lord also in His full knowledge of all times knew the deed of these men; and for this reason, after they had eaten of the legal passover and were satisfied, then blessed the bread and gave it to His disciples, in order that these men might not say that, after He had blessed, they were satisfied (but, after they were satisfied, He blessed, when the Master and His disciples took a small particle of it); and over the cup He said, |307 'Take, drink ye all of it,' that they might understand by this that it was of this small cup of which twelve persons drank.
"And it must needs be said that they thought of themselves that they would attract the admiration of simple persons (?) by their abstinence from bread and wine, and did not understand that the laughter of the intelligent would defeat and overcome them, and would fall upon their heads, prevailing over the praise of ignorant persons like them. Those who are like them have in all this unpardonable sin accepted for themselves glory from perishing men, even though it did not result to them. It is not fit that they should be named men, but, in justice, they should be named rabid dogs: for the sign of rabid dogs is this, that they suddenly attack the body of their master to eat it.
"And a man who has forbidden himself bread ought to be empty and not taste anything until the time appointed for him. And this is well known that, when Saul enacted that no one should taste anything on the day of battle until the evening, then Jonathan, because he tasted some honey on the end of his rod, incurred the penalty of death, if it had not been for the violence of the people until he was safe. For 'the foundation of the life of man is bread and water,' says Jesus Bar Asira, the son of Simeon. (Under the name of bread he extended his saying to all food.) And they say of these men that, after they have received the oblation in the morning, and partaken of it yet again in the evening, then they lightly (?) 34 eat other food and lightly (?) feed on dressed beet and pulse.35 They are said to fill themselves on cheese instead of bread; they are, moreover, in the habit of eating fish with all their pleasant taste; they sate themselves largely |308 on delicious fruit, and they delight in it particularly when dry, besides honey-combs and egg-cakes. And, because the heat of the wine which they drink under the name of the Sacrament inflames them more with thirst, all through the summer season they are said regularly to drink the milk of sheep and goats; and this again they have done of set purpose, for they have also discovered that the moisture and coolness of milk are found to temper the perpetual burning which results from the wine in their excess. Now, because of these things, and by reason of them, there is in due season uttered, as it shall be spoken, against them also the righteous reproof of God which He pronounced to Eli because of his sons: 'Behold! I have given you all the good things of the earth, that ye might use them without sin; even as for them I set apart all the offerings of the children of Israel, that they might enjoy them without guilt. Wherefore have ye also offended against My body and My blood, like those who wrought wickedness against My sacrifices and against My offerings?' And, since the impiety of these men against God has far surpassed the impiety of those others, which was committed against the people, there has been fear and great trembling in case they should suffer, lest also a punishment like that which went forth against those should be pronounced against them. " 'Wherefore,' thus said the Lord, the God of Israel, 'I said indeed that thy house and the house of thy father should minister before Me for ever'; but now the Lord saith, 'Be it far from Me! for them that honour Me I will honour, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.' " 36 You see how He rejected them for ever from the priesthood, and made them outcasts and aliens from His house.
"Now, what shall I say of men who are not in unison |309 with the prophets of the Old Testament, nor yet resemble 37 the apostles of the New? For they ought at least to have learned from the chief of the apostles, Peter, what his food was; since he has plainly stated in what his bodily life consisted. For, when his chosen disciple, Clement, asked him to allow him to be his only minister, he spoke thus to him, praising his zeal and jesting at his sustenance: 'Why! Who is strong enough for all this ministry? Are we not continually eating bread and olives? or perhaps it may be that sometimes there may also be a cabbage.' 38 Moreover, have they not also received a good tradition from Paul, the preacher of truth? For, behold! he also out of the greatness of his need sent and sold his tunic, and with the price of it it is written that they bought bread only and brought it to him with a cabbage, 39 that by his action he might lay down a law for us also, as in his saying, 'If we have food and raiment, that is enough for us.' 40 And, if it is a small thing for them to liken themselves to the apostles, the baptizers of the world, let them imitate even the Lord of the apostles, the Maker of the worlds, and of all that is in them; unless, perhaps, even the human dispensation of our God is contemptible and vile in their eyes. For, behold! as to our Lord, He has everywhere shown us that He ate bread; and the bread too was not of wheat, but it was of barley, and so were the seven other loaves, which were fruitful and multiplied at His word, and 4000 men ate of them and left seven baskets actually (?) full of bread. And, when He ate the passover with His disciples, unleavened bread was set before Him. And also after His resurrection from the dead He ate bread with His disciples for forty days, that the dispensation of our Lord and His fleshly assumption of a body might be believed by them, as they themselves wrote: 'Jesus went in and out among them.' 41 And the house of Cleopas, |310 because He did not wish them to recognise Him while walking with them in the way, He blessed over bread and brake it for them within the house, and then they knew Him.
"But these men, as I hear, do not follow in their deeds those that err, nor yet are they in concord with the truth in their actions; for they are not circumcised like the Marcionists, neither are they ascetic after the manner of Christians. For, behold! they are not like those deniers of the truth who eat only pulse or bread, but do not presume to commit a lie at their oblations, neither yet do they resemble us believers who eat common bread in moderation and receive the support of our true life separately.
"Why have these gluttons not trained themselves, so that cheap things only might be enough for them? And why have these guzzlers not accustomed themselves to repel the hunger of their belly with something mean and vile? And wherefore do they not eat ordinary, simple, common bread only? But it is plain that it is in order that they may not afflict themselves. But, if they really wish to afflict their bodies, let them not sate themselves, but eat bread only. And, behold! they are wasted and shrunk and reduced to weakness. But it is plain and manifest that these men do not struggle with their bodies, nor yet do they wrestle with Satan; but for the sake of vain glory they exercise themselves in the tricks of their evil devices, and not in the afflictions of asceticism."
And further the rest of the epistle with proofs from the Scriptures. |311
THE FIFTH CHAPTER, CONCERNING THE DEDICATION OF THE CHURCH WHICH EPHRAIM OF ANTIOCH PERFORMED, AND THE SYNOD OF THE BISHOPS OF HIS JURISDICTION
Ephraim,42 who was chief priest in Antioch, rebuilt from its foundations the round-shaped church in Antioch and the four triklinia adjoining it. And, when he performed the consecration of it, he assembled one hundred and thirty-two bishops from his jurisdiction in the year one; 43 and on the occasion of the dedication of the church he received a contribution from each one of them, such as he pleased, on a lavish scale. And he confirmed the Synod of Chalcedon in a document which the bishops whom he had assembled were required to sign; and they anathematised the holy Severus, the believing patriarch, and everyone who agrees with him and does not accept the Synod.
But God, who makes judgment for the. oppressed, after a short time roused up the Assyrian against him and against the city, according to the words of the prophet, who said, "The Assyrian is the rod of Mine anger and the whip wherewith I scourge: against a profane people will I send him, and against a peevish people will I give him a charge, to lead away captives and to take the prey." And two years afterwards, in the year three, Khosru went up against Antioch, as described in the following chapter.44
The rest of the tenth Book is wanting in Add. 17,202. The sixteenth chapter and a fragment of the fifteenth are, however, contained in Cod. Rom., and the former exists also in a shortened form in Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 12,154 (fol. 158), from which it is published by Land. Part of the contents of |312 chapters 6-15 may also be recovered from the fragments of James of Edessa (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 14,685, fol. 22), and from Michael and Gregory.
FRAGMENTS OF CHS. 6-8 FROM MICH. FOL. 173 R; GREG. P. 79, AND JAC. EDESS. L.C 45.
In the eleventh year of Justinian, which is the year eight hundred and fifty of the Greeks,46 in the month of December (?) 47 a great and terrible comet appeared in the sky 48 at evening-time for one hundred days.49 And that year the peace between the kingdoms was broken, and Khosru, king of the Persians, went up and carried off captives from the cities of Sura and Antioch and Berrhoea and Apamea and the districts belonging to them, a bitter captivity. And the Romans also went down to Persia and carried off captives from the countries of Kurdistan and Arzanene and Arabia.
Then Khosru went up against Callinicus with a great army, and carried off captives from it and from the whole of the southern part 50 of the land between the Rivers.51
FRAGMENT OF CH. 9 FROM MICH. FOL. 184 R 52
[Moreover Zachariah the Rhetor also writes concerning this scourge as follows.] |313
In the Greek version of the prophecy of Ezekiel is a passage referring to the plague of tumours; and instead of what is stated in the Syriac language, "All knees shall flow with water," 53 he says, "All thighs shall be befouled with pus." 54 And this plague, which is the rising of a swelling on the groins and in the arm-pits of men, began in Egypt and Ethiopia and Alexandria and Nubia 55 and Palestine and Phoenicia and Arabia and Byzantium (?) and Italy and Africa and Sicily and Gaul, and it penetrated to Galatia and Cappadocia and Armenia and Antioch and Arzanene and Mesopotamia, and gradually to the land of the Persians and to the peoples of the North-East, and it slew. And those who were afflicted (?) with the scourge and happened to recover and not die trembled and shook: and it was known that it was a scourge from Satan, who was ordered by God to destroy men.
In the city of Emesa was the head of John the Baptist, and many sought refuge with it and escaped: and the demons were disturbed before men, being scattered (?) by the saint.
FRAGMENTS OF CHS. 10, 11 FROM JAC. EDESS. L.C., MICH. FOL. 173 R; GREG. P. 79 56
The Romans went down and did much destruction in the country of Armenia.57 |314
And again Khosru went up and made an attack 58 upon Edessa, and, not being able to take it, he carried off captives from Batna; and departed.
FRAGMENT OF CH. 12 FROM MICH. FOL. 186 V,59 AND GREG. HIST. ECCL. PP. 215, 217.
And on account of the distress and scanty numbers of the pastors among the Persians there was a man named Cyrus, a believing bishop,60 who consecrated and ordained priests, and that from the year one down to this year eight.61 And, lest the heads of the communities of believers should be blamed, or because the priests who were among the Persians belonged to the opposite party (?), and they were assailed by affliction and trouble, they procured provisions (?);62 and then after due deliberation they consecrated and appointed chief priests in Arabia; and these were Theodore the monk, a strenuous man, and James, the laborious and industrious, the very strenuous,63 who was then in the royal city.64 And he was to be found everywhere, visiting and exhorting with readiness. And he was a practiser of poverty and an ascetic, and swift on his feet, and travelled like 'Asahel.65 And he was a presbyter in the monastery of the Quarry in the village of Gamuwa, which is on the mountain of Izlo.66 And by the treaty which he concluded he rescued many from among the Persians. |315
FRAGMENTS OF CHS. 13, 14 FROM JAC. EDESS. L.C.; MICH. FOL. 185 V; GREG. P. 81 67
Khosru, king of the Persians, again went up and carried off captives from 68 Petra, a city in Lazica, and placed a garrison there.69 And from that time the Romans continued making attacks upon it for seven years, and then the Persians were defeated and the Romans took it from them.
And at that time there was a scarcity of produce and a lack of the fruit of trees, in the year nine,70 and there was a famine which destroyed soul and body, and it was followed by emaciation such that a man ate 10 lbs. of bread at one time and whatever other kinds of food he could get with it through greediness and hunger. And he became swollen and inflated from the food, but was not satisfied, but was hungry and greedy for food, and asked for bread to fill his belly, and so he died.
After this there was a plague among oxen in all countries, especially in the East, and it lasted two years, until the lands remained untilled for lack of oxen. |316
ABOUT THE SACK OF ROME, WHICH IN THE DAYS OF JUSTINIAN THE BARBARIANS TOOK AND SACKED 71
[In the eighteenth year of Justinian, which is the year eight hundred and fifty-seven of the Greeks,72 the barbarians73 took Rome, the chief city of Italy; and since they could not guard it, they established themselves in the camp by the side of it, while they left the city deserted and empty.74]
In 75 the third year after the sack of the city of Ilium, which was sacked in the days of Samson and Eli the priest in Jerusalem, kings began to be set up in the city of Rome, which was at first called Italy, and the kings who reigned in it were called kings of the Latins. And in the days of Yotham and Ahaz, kings of Judah, Romulus became king there, and he built up the city with great and noble buildings, and it was called Rome after his name; and the kingdom of its inhabitants was called the kingdom of the Romans from the time of Hezekiah the king. |317
[FROM THE ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF ZACHARIAH, FROM THE SIXTEENTH CHAPTER OF THE TENTH BOOK], ABOUT THE OBJECTS AND BUILDINGS IN THE CITY OF ROME 76
Now the description of the decorations of the city, given shortly, is as follows, with respect to the wealth of its inhabitants, and their great and pre-eminent prosperity, and their grand and glorious objects of luxury and pleasure, as in a great city of wonderful beauty.
Now its pre-eminent decorations are as follows, not to speak of the splendour inside the houses and the beautiful formation of the columns in their halls and of their colonnades (?) and of their staircases, and their lofty height, as in the city of wonderful beauty.
It 77 contains 24 churches of the blessed apostles, Catholic churches. It contains 2 great basilica, where the king sits and the senators are assembled before him every day. It contains 3 24 great spacious streets. It contains 2 great capitols. It contains 80 golden gods. It contains 64 ivory gods. It contains 46,603 dwelling-houses. It contains 1797 houses of magnates. It contains 1352 reservoirs 78 pouring |318 forth water. It contains 274 bakers, who are constantly making and distributing annonae to the inhabitants of the city, besides those who make and sell in the city. It contains 5000 cemeteries, where they lay out and bury. It contains 31 great marble pedestals.79 It contains 3785 bronze statues of kings and magistrates. It contains, moreover, 25 bronze statues of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar, and of the kings of the house of David, which Vespasian the king brought up when he sacked Jerusalem, and the gates of Jerusalem and other bronze objects.80 It contains 2 colossal statues. It contains 2 columns of shells.81 It contains 2 circuses. It contains 2 theatres and one.82 It contains 2 amphitheatres.83 It contains 4 beth ulde.84 It contains 11 imfiya.85 It contains 22 great and mighty bronze horses.86 It contains 926 87 baths. It contains 4 orbilikon.88 It contains 14 tinon enkofitoriyon.89 It contains |319 2 parenamabole 90 of special bronze horses. 91 It contains 45 sistre.92 It contains 2300 public oil-warehouses. It contains 291 prisons or aspoke.93 It contains in the regions 254 public places 94 or privies. It contains 673 emparkhe,95 who guard the city, and the men who command them all are 7. The gates of the city are 37. Now the circumference of the whole city is 216,036 feet, which is 40 miles; the diameter of the city from east to west is 12 miles, and from north to south 12 miles.96
But God is faithful, who will make its second prosperity greater than its first, because great is the glory of all the might of the dominion of the Romans.
The eleventh Book, the first three chapters of the twelfth Book, and the beginning of the fourth chapter are missing.
[Note to the online edition: footnotes have been moved to the end. Footnotes concerned only with bits of Syriac and Greek have been omitted because of the time it would take to transcribe it.]
1. 1 537.
2. 2 One of these numbers must be erroneous, for the thirteenth year of the indiction ends with Aug. 31, 550, while the year 859 of the Seleucids ends with Sept. 30, 548. The latter is probably right, as the fall of Rome, with which the Book ends, was on Dec. 17, 546.
3. 3 537 and 539.
4. 4 Text " L'gin."
5. 1 546 and 547.
6. 3 Mich. fol. 173 v.
7. 5 536.
8. 6 In this chapter the MS. is very much torn and obliterated. The words in brackets are conjectural supplements.
9. 1 This supplement is made probable by the account in Elijah's life of John of Constantia (ed. Kleyn, p. 47).
10. 2 536-7.
11. 7 The MS. is here very indistinct, and, as Land's text is very incomplete, I give the text which I follow, conjectural supplements being enclosed in square brackets:
12. 1 537-8.
13. 2 540
14. 3 537-8.
15. 8 537- A year ending with—... can hardly in this place be other than fifteen.
16. 11 Or possibly Kut . . .
17. 2 Mich.: "he suffocated his archdeacon"; but I cannot get this from the letters remaining in our text.
18. 6 I.e. son of a cobbler.
19. 9 Here the MS. breaks off. The words in brackets I supply from the headings in the introduction to this Book. The whole of this chapter and the following are missing.
20. 1 This letter is also published by Overbeck in his edition of Ephraim (p. 231 ff.) from our MS. The beginning of it is quoted by Assemani (B. O. vol. i. p. 409), as from John of Ephesus ap. "Dion." This extract bears no indication that it is part of a letter, and varies considerably from our author.
21. 2 Jo. Eph. ap. "Dion." (Assem., B. 0. i. p. 409); Mich. fol. 179ff.
22. 7 We rather require " to state."
23. 1 Mich. "his body."
24. 2 John vi. 54, 56.
25. 4 Heb. x. 28, 29.
26. 6 John vi. 52.
27. 7 Mich. "Son of God."
28. 1 A comparison with Mich. shows that at this point a leaf has been lost in our MS., which I supply from Mich. An extract from this portion is also contained in Add. MS. 14,532, fol. 67, from which it has been edited by Overbeck (op. cit. p. 230). The translation of the part which exists only in Arabic I submit with great diffidence, having but a very superficial knowledge of that language.
29. 2 Here the extract in 14,532 begins.
30. 4 Mich. "the body."
31. 5 Here the extract in 14,532 ends.
32. 6 I Cor. xi. 28, 29.
33. 1 i Cor. ii. 30-32.
34. 4 ... Here the Syriac text again begins.
35. 5 I insert "beet and" from Mich.
36. 4 I Sam. ii. 30.
37. 1 Mich. "listen to.;'
38. 2 Clem. Hom. xii. 5, 6; id. Recog. vii. 5, 6.
39. 3 Act. Paul. et Thecl. xxiii. (Syriac, Wright, pp. 147, 148; translation, pp. 129, 130).
40. 4 i Tim. vi. 8.
41. 8 Acts i. 21.
42. 1 Mich. fol. 173 v.
43. 2 537-8.
44. 9 There follow in the MS. the words [Syriac], "the sixth chapter,"
45. 1 The order and contents of these passages agree so well with the headings at the beginning of this Book, that I make no doubt that they are taken from our author. In general I follow Michael, whose account is the longest.
46. 2 538-9.
47. 3 Or January, it not being stated whether it was the 1st or the 2nd Khonun. The month is only in Jac. Edess.
48. 4 "In the sky" is only in Jac. Edess.
49. 5 So Jac. Edess. Mich. has "several days."
50. 6 "The southern part" is only in Jac. Edess.
51. 7 Mich. and Greg. afterwards relate the capture of Antioch and Callinicus over again. As this second account occurs in similar words in "Dionysius" (Cod. Syr. Vat. 162, fol. 71), who writes out John of Ephesus, and is absent in Jac. Edess., it is almost certainly derived from John, a fact which strongly confirms the previous conclusion that the account in the text is derived from our author.
52. 8 Greg. (p. 80) also quotes a passage relating to the plague as from Zachariah; but only the last sentence of this is identical with Mich.'s quotation, the rest being identical with a passage quoted by Mich. from Jo. Eph. It is clear, therefore, that either Gregory has erred or his text is corrupted.
53. 1 Ezek. vii. 17.
54. 2 This passage is written in the margin of 9. 13 in Cod. Rom., where it is printed by Mai (p. 358) as part of the text (see p. 242, note l).
55. 3 Greg. "Libya."
56. 7 The close correspondence of this account of the expedition against Edessa with the heading of ch. 9 seems to show that it is derived from our author. Jac. Edess., indeed, inserts the capture of Petra between the Armenian campaign and the expedition to Edessa, but only by a slip, for the following sentence, " and from that time the Romans were attacking it" etc. (see ch. 13), must refer to Petra, not to Edessa, as is proved by the sense and by a comparison with Mich.
57. 8 In Jac. Edess. only.
58. 1 "And made an attack" is in Jac. Edess. only.
59. 2 That this passage is derived from our author is shown by the use of the indictional years, which is not found in Jo. Eph. Moreover, according to our author's own peculiar fashion the numerals are given in Greek.
60. 3 "Of Singara " is added by Greg.
61. 4 538-545.
62. 5 This sentence (not in Greg.) is extremely obscure and probably corrupt. The real meaning seems to be that many Monophysites had been carried off by the Persians.
63. 6 Greg. adds "a simple man."
64. 7 In Mich. this clause is applied to Theodore, but is followed by the words "This is my lord James Burd''oyo," which seem to be a gloss intended to point out that they really belong to James. After this Greg. inserts "and they ordained him oecumenical metropolitan."
65. 8 Mich. "Active in his journeying, and travelled like a courier."
66. 9 Greg. adds, "and he began to go round the countries of the East and to give ordination to the orthodox, showing himself in the dress of a beggar, and chiefly on the roads from fear of the persecution."
67. 1 That this passage comes from our author appears from the juxtaposition of these two events, the campaign in Lazica and the famine, as in the headings above, and from the use of the indictional reckoning with the numeral in Greek; see note below.
68. 2 So Mich. Jac. Edess. has "took."
69. 3 Here Jac. Edess. interpolates the attack on Edessa (see ch. 11, note).
70. 4 546. The translator of Mich., who alone records the date, has ..., ''in the district of Hanata"; but no such place is known, and I have no doubt that it is a misunderstanding of ..., which our author transliterates as ... at p. 249, 1. 7, 12; p. 258, 1. 9, 1.
71. 1 The heading and the latter portion of the chapter are in Cod. Rom. The first paragraph, which seems to be derived from the same source, I supply from Mich. and Greg. (pp. So, 81). A portion of the Syriac Michael containing this paragraph and the description of Rome in the next chapter has been edited by Prof. Guidi (Bull. della Commiss. Arch. di Roma, xix. p. 61 ff.).
72. 2 546. This was the twentieth of Justinian, and the fact that the same misreckoning is found twice in 12. 4 and once in 12. 5 tends to show that this sentence is derived from our author.
73. 3 Mich. "the Romans."
74. 5 Mich. adds, "of its people. And that you may know what loss to the empire of the Romans was wrought at its capture, behold! I will write out an account, though only in a summary, composed by one that knew and saw its buildings."
75. 6 Mich. fol. 185 r.
76. 2 This is the heading in 12,154 (see p. 311). Cod. Rom. has "a description of the decoration of Rome." The chapter has been edited with an introduction, notes, and translation by Prof. Guidi (Bull. della Commiss. Arch. ai Roma, xii. p. 218 ff.; cf. xix. p. 61 ff.), from whose work I have derived much assistance.
77. 6 Mich. (ed. Guidi); Notitia ap. Jordan Top. der Stadt Rom, 2. 571.
78. 8 ... Notit. "lacos".
79. 1 .... Notit. "arci marmorei XXXVI."
80. 3 Mich. " and took the bronze gates and other objects."
81. 5 A misunderstanding of "columnae coclides."
82. 6 ... 12,154 has [Syriac] " 3," and so Mich. Notit. " theatra III."
83. 7 ... Notit. "amphitheatra II."
84. 8 .... Notit. "ludi IIII." Mich. Arab, adds [Syriac], "granaries."
85. 9 ... (Guidi). Notit. "nymfea XV" (MS. B "XI). Mich. Syr. ..., Arab. ..., "places of amusement." .
86. 10 The MS. has ... "feeble," not ..., "bronze," as Mai; but we must read ..., and so Mich.
87. 12 Mich. Syr. 56, Arab. "956," and so MS. B of Notitia: cet. "856."
88. 13 .... Notit. " Cohortes vigilum VII."
89. 14 ... = Notit. "quorum excubitoria XIII," "quorum" having been translated ..., and ... omitted by the Syrian (Guidi).
90. 1 .... Notit. "castra" (Guidi).
91. 2 A mistranslation of "equitum singularium" (Guidi).
92. 3 .... Notit. "lupanaria XLV." MS. "46." Read "45" with Mich.
93. 5 Notit. "horrea CCXC " (MS. B " CCXCI"), so that ... is probably a corruption of ... (Duval in Guidi); but, as Mich. also has "prisons," the corruption may have existed in our author's original text, and I therefore do not emend. ...
94. 6 This word (...) generally means "public baths"; but the translation in the text accords with Notit. "latrinas publicae" (the Curiosum printed opposite adds "quod est sicessos") "CCXLIIII."
95. 7 ... (Guidi). Mich. Arab. ..., "custodians"; Notit. "vicomagistri DCLXXII" (MS. B DCLXXIII).
96. 8 Here 12,154 adds, "These are exclusive of many things which we have not set down here. And these things the author set down while weeping for the city, because in his time the barbarians entered it and sacked it." This MS. omits the sentences containing corrupt or difficult words, as well as the introductory and concluding sentences. Mich. (Arab. fol. 185 r) has, in place of the concluding sentence, "Verily for the sack of this great city, which was completely burnt at this time by a barbarian people, Justinian the king sorrowed exceedingly, and all the magnates of the kingdom clothed themselves in mourning. And in those days the king's sorrow was increased by the death of the queen, the blessed Theodora, who departed in the twentieth year of the reign of Justinian, which is the year eight hundred and fifty-nine of the Greeks, and he gave a large quantity of gold on behalf of her soul." Greg. (p. 81) has the same in a shorter form.
This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2002. All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font, free from here.
|Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts|