The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 18b (part 1)

We now come to the start of the portion of the Annals where the Muslims take centre stage.  But there is still some Roman and Sassanid Persian history to run.

CALIPHATE OF ABU BAKR (11-13 / 632-634)

1. The Muslims were unanimous in giving the bay`ah to Abu Bakr, i.e. to ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Uthman b. ‘Amir b. Ka’ab b. Sa’d b. Taym b. Murra.  His mother was Selma, daughter of Sakhr b. ‘Amur b. Ka’ab b. Sa’d b. Taym b. Murra.  He was given the bay’ah on the same day that Mohammed died.  His influential advisers were Umar ibn al-Khattab and Uthman ibn Affan.  This was in the eleventh year of the reign of Heraclius, King of Rum.  In that year there was made patriarch of Rome Honorius.  He held the office for eighteen years and died.

2. As for Kisra, son of Hormuz, now in his city, and seeing the killings and destruction that Heraclius had caused there, he was deeply distressed, but he did not cease his despotic behavior.  The people felt oppressed by his authority, their patience broke down and they said:  “This is a man who has a jinx.  During his reign the Persians have been killed and their homes have been destroyed.”  So they deposed him, after a thirty-eight year reign, and put in his place his son Qabād, whose real name was Shirūyeh, son of Mary, the daughter of king Maurice, king of Rum, because of whom all those misfortunes had arisen: in fact he had been killed and Kisra had tried to avenge him as his son-in-law.  Having become king, Qabād, son of Kisra, proclaimed justice, made public the misfortune of which the sons of his father were the architects, who were adverse to him because of his mother, and had eighteen of them killed.  Others managed to escape.  Then he said: “I will free the people from tax, because of my justice and my good will.”  Unfortunately it was not long before the plague fell upon the people of his kingdom.  Many died and among them the king Shirūyeh, i.e. Qabād, and his father Kisra.  His reign had lasted eight months.

3. After him reigned Azdashīr, son of Shirūyeh, but the governor of the neighboring western state attacked him, and killed him.  His reign had lasted five months.  Then a man named Gurhan advanced his claims over the kingdom, a man who did not belong to the royal line, and none of whose lineage had ever aspired to be king before him.  He was the same man whom Abarwiz had sent to fight against the Rum and had named Shahrmārān, and he was then murdered by a woman of the royal house, named Arazmindukht, who managed to make him fall by his own treachery.  His reign lasted twenty-two days and he does not appear in the list of Kings.  After him there reigned a descendant of Hurmuz who was based in Turkey.  He came when he learned that he was in line for the succession.  His name was Kisra, son of Qabād, son of Hurmuz.  But the governor of the neighboring state of Khurasan attacked him and killed him.  His reign lasted only three months and he does not appear in the list of Kings.  After him reigned Murli, daughter of Kisra II, sister of Kisra on her mother’s side, for a year and a half;  she did not demand tribute and divided her property among the soldiers.  She reigned and was counted in the number of the kings of Persia.  After her reigned a man named Hushnastadih, a son of the paternal uncle of Kisra.  He reigned for two months, then he was killed.  He does not appear in the list of Kings.  There reigned after him Azarmindukht, daughter of Kisra, but only for a short time because she was poisoned and died.  She reigned one year and four months.  She reigned and was counted in the number of the kings of Persia.  After her reigned a man named Farrukhrādkhushri for a single month and was killed.  He is not counted among the kings of Persia.

4. The period during which Shirūyeh and the men and women who succeeded him reigned, whether included or not included in the number of the kings of Persia, up until Farrukhrādkhushrī, including an interruption between [the] two reigns, was four years.  It was a period of unrest and turmoil.  But when the Persians became aware of the discord that reigned over them, of the ascendancy that was gradually going to Rum and of the corruption into which their religion and their ordinary life had fallen, they sent for a son of Kisra named Yazdagard, who had run away from Shirūyeh when he had had his brothers put to death.  They proclaimed him their king even though he was only fifteen.  There were various parties and their factions were divided, warring against each other.  The inhabitants of each place, town or village of the kingdom fought against their neighbors.  Such a diffusion of disorder, of division of the community, corruption of the kingdom and discord among the people in the city lasted for eight months.  The reign of Yazdagard coincided with the first year of the caliphate of Abu Bakr, and the eleventh year of the reign of Heraclius, King of Rum.

2 thoughts on “The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 18b (part 1)

  1. ” After him there reigned a descendant of Hurmuz who was based in Turkey”. How is that even possible? Turkey existed neither in Heraclius’ time nor in Eutychius’ time. Turks at the time lived beyond the borders of Persia in Central Asia, could he have been based there? Otherwise this does not make sense

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