The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 7 – part 3

Let us carry on with Eutychius.  We reach the times of Alexander.

10. After him reigned his son Qamīsūs for nine years.[1]  After him, Smardhiyūs the Magian reigned for a single year.  He was called the Magian because a Persian named Zarādast appeared in his days, under whose influence the religion of the Magi became official, and he instituted the worship at the temples of fire.  After him, Dārā I reigned for twenty years.[2]  After him reigned Artahshāst, nicknamed “Longimanus” for twenty-four years.

In his time there lived in Greece in the city of Quwā[3], the physician Buqrāt, master of medical art.[4]  Sa`īd ibn Batrīq the physician says: “It is true what Ğālinūs says in his commentary to “Kitāb Iman Buqrāt wa ‘ahdihī” [5] where he asserts: ‘The king of Persia sent messengers to Hippocrates with a lot of money, asking him to go to him.  But Hippocrates did not consent to his request and did not go to him because he did not consider it right to care for the Persian enemies of the Greeks.’ Hunayn ibn Ishāq reports, in his translation of this book from Greek into Arabic, that Galen has conveyed that Hippocrates did not go to Artakhshāsht nicknamed “Longimanus” because it was said that at the time of this king the Persians had been affected by the disease called ” Al-Mawāriq”.[6]  In another text it is said that it was an epizootic disease.[7] [The king] then sent the satrap of the city of Quwāsalah to give Hippocrates a hundred “qintār” of gold, and sent it to him with honors and signs of esteem, to heal the Persians from the illness that had struck them.  But Hippocrates refused because he did not feel right to help and care for the enemies of the Greeks.”

11. Artakhshāsht Longimanus died and after him Artakhshāsht the Great reigned for thirty years.  After him reigned Makidūniyūs for three years.  After him reigned Sa‘adaniyūs for three years.[8] After him, Dārā II, nicknamed an-Nākit[9], reigned for seventeen years.  After him, Artakhshāsht, one of the sons of his brother Kūrish II, reigned for twenty-two years.  The wise men and philosophers of his time living in Greece were Hiraqlus, Mālūs, Fīthāghūras, Suqrātis, Sīlūn the legislator, Zīnūn, Abindaflis.[10] After him reigned his son Artakhshāsht known as Akhūs[11] for twenty years. Akhus, king of the Persians, gathered the army and marched on Egypt. The king of Egypt went out, and occupied the land. The king of Egypt, who was then the Pharaoh Shānāq[12], fearing to fall into the hands of Akhūs, King of the Persians, and be tortured, cut off his hair, shaved his beard and fled in disguise to the town of Maqidūniyah.[13] Akhūsh, king of the Persians, built the citadel known as Qasr ash-Shama in Fustāt, Egypt. He also built an imposing temple for the house of fire known today under the name of the church of Mār Tādurus.”  The king of the town of Maqidūniyah was Philip, father of Alexander. Akhus, King of the Persians, died.  After him reigned his son Arsīs, nicknamed “an-Nākit” for eleven years.  The philosophers and wise men of his time living in the city of Athīnā and in Greece were Aflātūn, Kinsālūn, Dīmūkrātis, Abullūniyūs and Suqrāt.[14]

12. Arsīs, king of the Persians, died.  After him, his son Dāriyūs reigned for seven years until he was killed by Alexander, who had become king of the kings who were in Mossul, Bābil, Fāris and  Āmid.  The cause for which Alexander killed Dāriyūs, king of the Persians, was this.  When his father Philip died, Alexander succeeded him on the throne of Makidūniyah at the age of sixteen.  Dāriyūsh, king of Fāris, knowing that Alexander was reigning over the Rūm after his father, tried to subdue him and wrote a letter to him as follows: “It has come to my notice that you have taken to reign over the Rūm without my permission.  If you had followed your father’s judicious conduct and acted according to our agreements, it would have been better for you and your prosperity would be long.  But the inexperience of your youth has induced you to behave with foolishness, and fools also are those who are with you.  Desist from the state in which you are, and send the tribute for yourself and your country, acknowledge your mistake and do it soon, without delay, otherwise I will move against you with the men of Fāris, and with them I will trample your country, I will kill your men, and I will deprive you of your prosperity.  I send you something that, if you can count it, you will know how many are my men and my friends.  Peace [to you]”. And he sent to him by a messenger, a qafīr of sesame seeds.

13. The messenger of Dāriyūs presented himself to Alexander and handed him the letter and the sesame seeds.  Alexander summoned his generals and read them the letter of Dāriyūs.  Then he said to them, “If you are gathered together, and you unite, you will beat him, but if you are divided he will get the better of you.” One by one they expressed their opinion and Alexander answered them, saying, “I feel that we will conquer Dāriyūs. It is proof of this, that he compared his men to sesame, which is a insubstantial food, and one that is eaten without effort. I feel that his kingdom will be ours.”  His men said to him, “This is the will of God.” Then Alexander wrote a letter to Dāriyūs in these terms: “From him who has become king by the will of God, from Alexander, the servant of God and King of the Greeks, to the excellent Dāriyūs.  I understand the content of your letter, what you describe as a transgression to your order, and what you are threatening me, that if I do not abandon the state in which I am and delay to send what you order me to send you, you will move against me with your men of Fars.  But your heart has spoken what your hand can not take, nor your thinking reach, because, in truth, I will come out against you with the lions of the Greeks, and then I will let you know how matters stand at our meeting. I send you something to be able to anticipate the strong flavour of my men. Peace [to you]”. And he sent him a small bag of mustard.

  1. [1]Cambyses II, son of Cyrus.
  2. [2]Darius I.
  3. [3]Cos?
  4. [4]I.e. Hippocrates.
  5. [5]I.e. the Book of the Oath and Testament of Hippocrates.”  Cf. Strohmaier, G., “Hunayn ibn Ishāq et le Serment Hippocratique”, in: Arabica 21 (1974), pp. 318-323.
  6. [6]More commonly “mayrùq”, i.e. fungus or jaundice.
  7. [7]I.e. an epidemic among animals, often communicable to men.
  8. [8]Sogdianus.
  9. [9]Darius II Notus.
  10. [10]Heraclitus, Malus (?), Pythagoras, Socrates, Solon, Zeno, Empedocles.
  11. [11]Artaxerxes III Ochus.
  12. [12]This must be Nectanebo II.
  13. [13]I.e. to Macedonia.
  14. [14]Plato, Xenophon, Democrates, Apollonius, and Socrates.

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