The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – the remainder of chapter 8.

(Continuing our translation from the Italian, itself a very scarce book):

6.  From the time when the star appeared to the Magi, to the time when they knelt before Christ, our Lord, and then returned to their country, was two years.  It was told in a dream to Joseph, Mary’s husband, to take the child and his mother and escape into Egypt.  Joseph did as he was told.  Herod saw that the Magi were slow to return to him, and decided that they were mocking him.  So he fell into a rage and ordered that all the boys in Bethlehem aged two years and under should be killed.  So they slew all the children without sparing even one.  But God poured out his anger and struck Herod with a grave illness.  The pain did not leave him until he died, having reigned thirty-seven years.  He left four children.  The first was called Arshīlāwus, the second Hīrūdus, the third Fīlippus and the fourth Usāniyūs (17).   They divided the kingdom between them, and each took a quarter of Judaea.  Bethlehem and Bayt al-Maqdis belonged to Archelaus.

When Joseph heard that Herod was dead, he left Egypt, together with Christ, our Lord, and his mother.  Christ, our Lord, was four years old.  Joseph was afraid to dwell in Bethlehem because of Archelaus, and went to live in Nazareth (18).  So Christ was called a Nazarene.  In the eighth year of Archelaus, Christ, our Lord, was twelve years old, and sat in the temple among the doctors [of the law] and learned and taught.

7.  Joseph, who raised the messiah, died (19).  Archelaus also died, after a reign of nine years, leaving no-one to inherit the kingdom.  Caesar Augustus also died, having reigned fifty-six years and six months.  After him reigned over Rome his son Tiberius Caesar.  Christ, our Lord, was then fifteen.  The king Tiberius had a friend named Pilate, a native of an island in the sea near Rome.  This island was called Buntah, so he was called Bīlātus al-Buntī (20).  [Tiberius] entrusted him with the government of Judaea in place of Archelaus.  In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar appeared John the son of Zechariah, called the Baptist, who baptised the Jews in the Jordan for the forgiveness of their sins.  Christ, our Lord, presented himself to John and John baptised him in the Jordan.  Christ, our Lord, was then thirty.  Herod, son of Herod, son of Antipater, had put aside his wife, named Aritā (22), daughter of the king of the Arabs (in another text it says “the Ghawr”), and took the wife of his brother Philip instead, even during his lifetime, by force.  The woman’s name was Herodias.  But John said, “It is not lawful to take your brother’s wife while he is still alive.” (22)  So he commanded him to be  thrown in jail.  Then it happened that Herod gave a banquet for his friends, where they ate and drank.  The daughter of Herodias danced in the middle of the room.  He liked it a lot and said, “Ask of me whatever you like.” (23)  And she asked him to give her on a platter the head of John the Baptist.  So he ordered John to be beheaded and handed her his head.  As for his wife Aritā, she went to her father.  He was angry, gathered his men, and went out against Herod who fought back, killing many men and making many others prisoner and burning their villages.  This happened in the eighteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar.

8.  In the twenty-ninth year of the reign of Herod, son of Herod, son of Antipater, Christ, our Lord, was crucified.  This was on Friday, March 23, i.e. 27 Baramhāt.  Christ, our Lord, was celebrating the passover with his disciples on the Friday night, the day of Easter.  One of his disciples, named Judas Iscariot, went to the Jews and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him to you?” (24) They gave him thirty dirhams.  He then went with them in the night to the place where [Christ] was with his disciples.  They took him, and carried him to the priests Annas and Caiaphas, their leaders, who disputed with him.  The next day they handed him over to the governor, Pontius Pilate.  But Pilate found no charge against him, and said to them, “You say that this man is the king of the Jews.”  They answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”  He replied, “What shall I do with him?”  They told him, “Crucify him, because he has profaned our religion, has dissolved our law, and proclaimed himself son of God.” (25)  Pilate was saddened and washed his hands with water, declaring himself innocent of his blood.  But the Jews invoked his blood on them and their children.  Then [Pilate] ordered him to be crucified, and crucified with him were two robbers, one on his right and one on his left, at the sixth hour of Friday.  There was a great darkness, or night, all over the earth.  The sun was darkened and the stars appeared and the rocks were opened and many of the dead rose from their graves.  Christ, our Lord, died on the cross; they opened his side with a spear and blood and water gushed out.

9.  After his death, a man named Joseph went to Pilate and asked for his body.  He was taken down from the cross, wrapped in a shroud, and buried in a new tomb that Joseph had had dug for himself, and he blocked the door with a stone boulder.  The next day the Jews stood before Pilate and said, “We have good reason to fear that his disciples may come at night and take him away and tell people that he is risen.  Would you order that the stone at the entrance to the sepulchre be sealed.”  But Pilate replied, “Go and do whatever you like.” (26)  So they got some guards and placed them to guard the tomb, then they sealed the stone and left.  At midnight on Sunday some women came, bringing spices and incense to fumigate the tomb.  They found before them an angel descended from heaven, who had rolled the stone away from the entrance of the tomb, and was sitting on it.  [The angel] said to them, “Fear not; he is risen.  Tell his disciples to go to Galillee, for there they will meet him.” (27)  The women came to the disciples and told them what they had heard from the angel.  The guards who were responsible for monitoring the tomb fell into a deep sleep, like that of the dead, when they saw the angel and what he had done.  Then they arose and told the Jews what had happened.  [The Jews] tried to bribe them, saying, “Tell anyone who asks, ‘His disciples took him away.'” (28)  As for the disciples, they went to Galillee, and there they met Christ, our Lord.  He blessed them, and sent them into all the world, to preach to the nations faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

10.  Forty days later, he ascended into heaven.  He was thirty-three.  Ten days later, while the disciples were gathered in the upper room of Zion (29), the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke in every language.  The disciples used to go every day to the tomb and the place of crucifixion.  When the Jews say what the disciples did, they said, “This place will not stay hidden [long] and they will certainly erect a building.  Cover it with earth, so that nobody can see it and not a trace remains.  If the people can actually see the empty tomb, they will believe and embrace the faith [of the disciples], making vain our religion.” (30) So they covered the  place with earth and turned it into a garbage dump.

(A few of the notes may be useful:)

17.  Archelaus, Herod Antipas, Philip are the first three; is Lysanias perhaps the fourth?
20.  Pilate belonged to the gens of the Pontii.  Ponza is an island in the Tyrrhennian sea.
21.   Aretas was the father’s name, in fact; in this case it means the Nabatean king Aretas IV.

4 thoughts on “The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – the remainder of chapter 8.

  1. Btw, congratulations on your edition of Gospel Problems being cited by Scott Hahn in his new book, Joy to the World: How Christ’s Coming Changed Everything (And Still Does).

    The man is a notorious amasser and reader of everything in his field, so it doesn’t surprise me a bit that he has a copy. (And indeed, a search on worldcat.org shows that a fair number of theological schools, seminaries, etc. have copies. Go you!)

    Also he’s a pretty popular writer and speaker (he popularizes Catholic doctrine), and a fair number of amateur apologists are fans of his. So I’m not saying you’re necessarily “in the money,” but every little bit helps and it’s a bit of extra visibility.

    Anyway, it’s footnoted/endnoted very nicely, in Chapter 2 (in a discussion of Jesus’ genealogies and what Eusebius said) and he points out in the footnote that your version is the same book under another title, even though the title translation he had referenced in the text was “On the Discrepancies in the Gospels.”

    You might want to bop over to amazon.com and run “Search inside,” so you can check it out. 🙂

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