The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 16 (part 1)

We continue our translation of the Annals of Eutychius, melkite patriarch of Alexandria.  The text has reached the second half of the 5th century AD.  Marcian became emperor in 450 AD.  At this point Eutychius (or Sa`id ibn Bitriq as he was known) again relates material from a lost Sassanid Persian chronicle.  As before, “Rum” is the Arabic name for the Eastern Romans. 

1. In the sixth year of the reign of Marcian, king of Rum, Yazdagard, son of Bahram, king of the Persians, died.  On the death of Yazdagard, his two sons Firuz and Hurmuz contested the kingdom.  Some took the side of Firuz and others the side of Hurmuz.  After fierce fighting between the supporters of the two parties, Hurmuz was killed along with three members of his family.  Firuz, son of Yazdagard reigned over the Persians for twenty-seven years.  This was in the sixth year of the reign of Marcian, king of Rum.  King Marcian had the true faith, and he defended and promoted the faith of the Melkites.

2. King Marcian died. After him Leo the Great reigned over Rum, for sixteen years.  This happened in the second year of the reign of Firuz, son of Yazdagard, king of the Persians.  Leo was of the true faith, a Melkite.  When the inhabitants of Alexandria came to know of the death of Marcian, they rose up against Proterius, patriarch of Alexandria, and killed him in the church of Kūriyon; they brought his body on a camel to the great hippodrome that Ptolemy Lagus had built and they burned it.  Then there appeared in the sky a cloud of fire and there was thunder, lightning and violent storms for forty days.  Proterius was killed after having held the office for six years.  After him Timothy, brother of Anatolius, better known as Yānūriyūs, was made patriarch of Alexandria.  He was a Jacobite.  He held the office for three years.  Then a general named Balāwus came to Alexandria from Constantinople, who deposed Timothy, exiling him to a place called Marsūfin, a village on the coast of the Pontic Sea, and made another Timothy, better known as Swrs, Patriarch of Alexandria.  He was a Jacobite.  He held the seat for fifteen years and died.

3. In the sixteenth year of the reign of Leo the Great, Martin was made patriarch of Jerusalem.  He was a Jacobite.  He held the office for eight years and died.  In the tenth year of his reign Acacius was made patriarch of Constantinople.  He held the office for thirteen years and died.  In the twelfth year of his reign John was made patriarch of Antioch.  He held the seat for six years and died.  In the thirteenth year of his reign Julian was made patriarch of Antioch.  He held the office for five years and died.  In the eighth year of his reign Hilary was made patriarch of Rome.  He held the seat for six years and died.  In the sixteenth year of his reign Sīlfnūs was made patriarch of Rome.  He held the seat for fourteen years and died. This patriarch excommunicated Timothy, brother of Anatolius, Patriarch of Alexandria.

Leo the Great, King of Rum, died.  After him Leo the Less reigned over Rum, for one year only.  He was a Jacobite.  This happened in the eighteenth year of the reign of Firuz, son of Yazdağard, king of the Persians.

4. Leo the Less, king of the Rum, died.  After him his son Zeno reigned over Rum for seventeen years.  He was a Jacobite.  This was in the nineteenth year of the reign of Firūz, king of the Persians.  While the king Zeno was out strolling in a place called Surah, a man named Basiliscus, along with his son Marcus, took over the kingdom for twenty months.  The fighting between them did not stop until Zeno got the better of them, returned to Constantinople, killed Basiliscus and his son, confiscated their homes and possessions, and put to death all their supporters.  At that time there was a great earthquake in the city of Constantinople; the sun was darkened, and the stars appeared in the sky in broad daylight. Many houses collapsed and many people died because of the violence of the earthquake.  This happened in the ninth year of the reign of Zeno, king of Rum.

In the second year of his reign Timothy, patriarch of Alexandria, better known as Swrs, fled to Wadi-Habib, and Timothy, brother of Anatolius, returned from Marsūfin to the patriarchal see of Alexandria, held the office for two years and died.  After him the archdeacon Peter was made patriarch of Alexandria.  He was a Jacobite.  He held the office for thirty-six days and fled to Constantinople.  Then Timothy, better known as Swrs, returned from Wadi-Habib[1], was patriarch for four years and died.

In the ninth year of the reign of Zeno, Ibn Ghustus was governor of Alexandria, on behalf of Zeno.  Then John became Patriarch of Alexandria.  He was a Jacobite.  He held the office for six months.  Then another governor came to Alexandria on behalf of Zeno, called Aughustāliyūs, together with Peter, the patriarch who had fled to Constantinople.  The general Ibn Ghustus fled before Awghustāliyus and the patriarch John fled with him also.  So the patriarch Peter, who had fled, reoccupied his own place.  He held the office for eight years and died.  In the sixteenth year of the reign of Zeno Abinās was made patriarch of Alexandria.  He was a Jacobite.  He held the seat for seven years and died.  He built many churches in Alexandria and several burial sites.

5. At that time, the great hippodrome that Ptolemy Lagus had built in Alexandria, and where the patriarch Proterius had been burned, caught fire.  In the seventh year of the reign of Zeno Militūs was made patriarch of Jerusalem.  He was a Jacobite.  He held the office for eight years and died.  In the sixteenth year of his reign Elias was made patriarch of Jerusalem.  He held the seat for twenty-four years.[2] He built churches and erected the church of Eleona, but did not finish it so it was [later] turned over to Aylah.[3] At that time there were in Jerusalem Anba Theodosius, the founder of the monastery of ad-Dawākis, Anba Chariton, founder of the monastery of the Old Laura and Anba Saba, founder of the New Laura.

6. In the sixth year of the reign of Zeno Iwfūtiyūs was made patriarch of Constantinople.  He held the office for five years and died.  In the eleventh year of his reign[4] Iwfathimiyūs was made patriarch of Constantinople.  He held the office for ten years and died.  In the first year of the reign of Zeno Peter, nicknamed the Fuller, was made patriarch of Antioch.  He was a Jacobite.  He held the seat for six years and was removed.[5]  He was excommunicated and removed by Bāsīlīqūs, patriarch of Rome.  Once removed, Stephen was made patriarch of Antioch.  He held the office for only one year and died.  After him another Stephen was made patriarch of Antioch. He held the office for six months and died. After him Qalidiyūn was made patriarch of Antioch. He was a Nestorian.  He held the office for four years and died.  Then Peter the Fuller returned to occupy the Patriarchal See of Antioch.  He held the office for eight years and died.[6].  After him Palladius was made patriarch of Antioch.  He held the office for ten years and died.  This happened in the eleventh year of the reign of Zeno, king of Rum.  In the thirteenth year of his reign Filnīqūs was made patriarch of Rome.  He held the office for eight years and died.

  1. [1]Note by B. Pirone in the body of the text: ‘In another text it says “Dayr Habib”, which is undoubtedly more accurate’.
  2. [2]Pirone: ‘in another text it says “for fourteen years”‘.
  3. [3]Aqaba, location of a see in Byzantine times.
  4. [4]Pirone: ‘In another text he says “in the twenty-first year of his reign”‘.
  5. [5]Pirone: ‘in another text it says “for two years”‘.
  6. [6]Pirone: ‘In another text he says, “for three years”‘

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