The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 10 (part 3)

We continue reading the Arabic Christian Annals by Eutychius, Melkite patriarch of Alexandria.  The Sassanid kings, whose lost chronicle is used here, seem to have had a direct way with the Manichaeans.

9. Alexander Caesar, King of the Romans, died.  After him Maximinus Caesar (31) reigned over the Romans, in Rome, for three years.  This happened in the thirtieth year of the reign of Sahur, son of Azdashīr, king of the Persians.  This king Maximinus procured serious misfortunes and long affliction for the Christians.  Many Christians were killed and people began to worship idols that they thought were gods.  Many bishops were killed, and Babila, Patriarch of Antioch, was killed as well.  When Narcissus, bishop of Jerusalem, heard that Babila, Patriarch of Antioch, had been killed, he fled and abandoned the see.  In the second year of his reign Diyūs was made bishop of Jerusalem (32), instead of Narcissus.  He held the office for three years and died.  In the third year of his reign Fabianus was made patriarch of Rome (33).  He held the office for thirteen years and was killed.  In the second year of his reign Dionysius was made patriarch of Alexandria.  He was a Katib.  He held the office for seventeen years and died.  In the second year of his reign Sabur, son of Azdashīr, king of the Persians, died.  After him reigned Hurmuz, son of Sabur (34), i.e. Hurmuz al-Hurri, for one year and ten months and died.

10. In the third year of the reign of Maximinus Caesar Bahram, son of Hurmuz (35), reigned over the Persians.  He reigned for three years and three months.  In the third year of the reign of Bahram, king of the Persians, Maximinus Caesar, King of the Romans, died.  After him reigned Pupienus Caesar (36), called Julianus Caesar, for three months and was killed.  After him Gordian Caesar (37) reigned over the Romans, in Rome, for four years.  In the first year of his reign Flavian was made patriarch of Antioch (38).  He held the office for eleven years and died.  In the second year of his reign Germanus was made bishop of Jerusalem.  He held the office for four years and died.  In the third year of his reign Bahram, son of Hurmuz, king of the Persians, died.

11. After him Bahram, son of Bahram (39), reigned over the Persians for seventeen years.  In his day appeared a Persian named Mani (40), who spread the Manichaean religion by going around claiming to be a prophet.  Bahram, son of Bahram, arrested him and cut him in two.  He then captured two hundred of his disciples and followers, and he put them in the ground up to neck until they died, saying:  “I set up a vegetable garden, and instead of planting trees I planted men” (41).  His followers and supporters of his doctrine were called Manichaeans, after Mani’s name.

12. In the third year of the reign of Bahram, son of Bahram, Gordian Caesar, King of the Romans, died.  After him Philip Caesar (42) reigned over the Romans, in Rome, for seven years.  He embraced the faith in Christ, our Lord.  In the first year of his reign Gordian was made bishop of Jerusalem.  He held the office for five years and died.  In the fourth year of his reign Narcissus (43), the Bishop of Jerusalem that had escaped, came back, and together with Gordian administered the bishopric for a year.  Then Gordian, Bishop of Jerusalem, died and Narcissus, bishop of Jerusalem, held the seat for [another] ten years until he died, at the age of one hundred and sixteen years.  As for the King Philip Caesar, his general named Decius revolted and killed him and took possession of the kingdom.

13. Decius Caesar (44) reigned over the Romans in Rome for two years.  This was in the tenth year of the reign of Bahram, son of Bahram, king of the Persians.  The Christians suffered many hardships and grave evils at the hands of Decius who killed an incalculable number.  Many people were martyred in his day, including Fabianus (45), patriarch of Rome.  Then Decius left the city of Carthage (46) and traveled to Ephesus where he built, at the center of the city, a large temple in which he placed the idols, ordering the population to worship them and offer sacrifices.  Those who refused would be killed.  For this reason he put to death many Christians, crucifying them on the walls of Ephesus.  Decius then took seven young men from among the families of some magnates of Ephesus and entrusted to them the care of his clothing.  The names of these young men were: Maximian, Amlicus, Dianus, Martinus, Dionysius, Antoninus and John.  And since these seven young men were not accustomed to bow down before idols, the spies of the king made him aware of this.  The king went into a rage and ordered them thrown into jail.  Then having to go away for an expedition, he set them free with the intention to defer to his return the decision on their fate.  When the king left the city, the young men took all they had and gave it away for charity.  Then they went up onto a high mountain, called Khāws (47), to the east of Ephesus.  There was on that mountain a large cave, and they hid themselves.  Each day, one of them in turn left that place and went into town to hear what people said of them, to buy food and to inform the others when he returned.  The king Decius returned and asked for news of the young men.  They told him that they were on the mountain, in the cave.  He ordered that the entry should be blocked so that they should die.  But God caused a deep sleep to descend on the seven youths and they fell asleep so that they almost seemed dead.  A general of the King picked up a sheet of lead and wrote on it their history and what there was between them and the king Decius.  Then he put the plate of lead in a copper box, and he left it inside the cave when the entry was blocked.

14. The king Decius died.  After him two kings reigned in Rome, over the Romans: Ghalliyūs Caesar and Yūliyānūs  Caesar (48) for two years.  This was in the twelfth year of the reign of Bahram, son of Bahram, king of the Persians.  In the first year of their reign Cornelius was made patriarch of Rome (49). He held the see for two years and died.  In that same year Demetrianus was made patriarch of Antioch. He held the office for eight years and died.

15. The king Yūliyānūs died and eighteen days afterwards the king Ghalliyūs, his partner, was killed.  After them reigned over the Romans Ghalititūs Caesar, called Alāriyānūs Caesar (50), for fifteen years.  This happened in the fourteenth year of the reign of Bahram, son of Bahram, king of the Persians.  In the first year of his reign Maximus was made patriarch of Alexandria.  He held the office for eighteen years and died.  In the same year Lucius was made patriarch of Rome (51).  He held the office for eight months and died.  After him Ustātiyūs was made patriarch of Rome (52). He held the office for six years and died.  In the eighth year of his reign Sixtus was made patriarch of Rome (53).  He held the seat for nine years and died.  In that same year Domnus was made patriarch of Antioch.  He held the office for three years and died.  In the twelfth year of his reign Timothy was made patriarch of Antioch.  He held the office for three years and died.  In the fifth year of his reign Alexander was made bishop of Jerusalem (54).  He had held the seat for seven years when this king had him killed in the city of Caesarea in the eleventh year of his reign.  In the fourteenth year of his reign Marzābān was made bishop of Jerusalem.  He held the seat for twenty-one years and died.  In the seventh year of the reign of Ghalinītūs Caesar the martyr Cyprian was killed in a village named Arshaginnah (55).  ‘Alitinūs Caesar was very cruel towards Christians and procured them many evils.  His son (56) went out to war against the Persians, but they took him prisoner and brought him to Bahram, son of Bahram, king of the Persians, who had him beheaded.  When Ghallitinūs Caesar learned that Bahram, son of Bahram, king of the Persians, had beheaded his son, he felt great pain and desisted from doing harm to the Christians.  In the fifth year of his reign died Bahram, son of Bahram, king of the Persians (57).  After him reigned Bahram, who is also the son of Bahram, called Shashan Shah (58), for four months and died.  After him reigned his brother Narsi (59), son of Bahram, son of Sabur, son of Azdashir, son of Babak, son of Shashan.  He reigned over the Persians for nine years and died.  In the fourteenth year of his reign, i.e. the reign of Ghallitinūs Caesar, Hurmuz, son of Narsi (60), reigned over the Persians for seven years and five months and died.

Leave a Reply