The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 9

Let’s continue looking at how the 10th century Melkite patriarch of Alexandria saw the events of the 1st century AD, by giving a translation of the start of chapter 9 of the Annals:

1.  Pilate wrote to king Tiberius speaking of Christ, our Lord, and of his disciples and of the many miracles that they did, of how the sick were healed and the dead raised.  He wanted to believe in Christ, our Lord, and to profess the religion of the Christians, but his advisors dissuaded him from doing such a thing.  He was then enraged against Herod, because he killed John on account of Herodias, his brother’s wife, whom he had taken by force and committed adultery with her,  and for allowing the messiah to be crucified for his convenience.  Tiberius sent word to Herod to appear in Rome, and exiled him to Spain, entrusting the government of his province to Pilate.  The city of Tiberias, which was simply called Tībāriyādah (1), after the name of king Tiberias, was founded in the time of this king.

2. Tiberius Caesar died after a reign of twenty-two years and one month.  After him reigned Gaius Caesar for four years and three months (2).  He was a unmanly man, arrogant and extremely perverted.  He recalled Pilate to Rome and had him killed.  The Jews rose up so to be more wicked than they had been at first.  The Romans attacked them, but [the Jews] made great slaughter of them.  Having received news of this, king Gaius Caesar took one of his men, named Yirūdus, son of Aristobulus, also called Aghriyān (3), and entrusted to him the government of Jerusalem.  He also entrusted him with the government of the four provinces which the sons of Herod, son of Antipater had divided among themselves.  This Aghriyān was of evil conduct, extremely malicious and a relentless persecutor of the disciples.  It was he who had Stephen killed, the first martyr and archdeacon, who was stoned to death. James the brother of John, son of Zebedee was also killed with the sword.  He then put Peter in prison with the intent to kill him, but God came to his rescue, saved him from his hands, and took him far away from him to Antioch.

Arcadius was made patriarch of Antioch, and he held the seat for twenty-seven years (4).  He was the first to be made patriarch of the city of Antioch.  In the second year of the reign of Gaius Caesar, Peter went to Rome.  Aghriyān was stricken with a serious disease, his flesh consumed him and his body was dehydrated until he died.  When the king heard that Gaius Aghriyān had died, he appointed in his place another man, also named Aghriyān (5), and sent him to Jerusalem.  In the second year of his reign there was made bishop of Jerusalem James, son of Joseph, called “brother of our Lord,” who was the first of the bishops who then followed in Jerusalem.  He held the seat for twenty-eight years. The disciples suffered great tribulations at the hands of the Jews and the Romans, and many of them were killed.

3. Gaius Caesar died, and after him reigned in Rome Claudius Caesar for fourteen years.  In his time there was a severe famine throughout the land and many people died from the great famine and pestilence.  In the times of Claudius Caesar, Matthew wrote his gospel in Hebrew in Jerusalem, which the evangelist John then expounded in Greek.  The Jews had meanwhile become much more wicked than they had been at first, to the point that they were killing each other in the markets and in the streets because of the evil and corruption which had come over them.  Aghriyān fled far far away from them and fled to Rome, leaving as governor in Jerusalem a man named Qistus (6).  Upon arriving in Rome, Aghriyān informed Claudius Caesar of the evil that the Jews were doing.  Claudius Caesar then sent a large army to Jerusalem.  Many Jews, men, women and children, were killed and [many] were deported to Antioch or Rome.

4. In the ninth year of the reign of Claudius Caesar, the evangelist Mark was in the city of Alexandria, preaching to the people the faith in Christ, our Lord.  But as Mark was walking through the city of Alexandria he ripped, suddenly, a strip of leather from his sandal.  So he stopped at a shoemaker, named Ananias, so that he could repair the sandal.  Ananias took an awl to perforate the sandal, and in so doing wounded his finger, which began to issue a lot of blood with a throbbing pain.  He asked Mark to heal him, but Mark said:  “If you believe in Jesus Christ, the son of God, your finger will heal.”  Mark then took the finger of Ananias and said: “In the name of Jesus Christ, may your finger be healed!”  The finger healed instantly and the blood ceased to flow.  At the same time, Ananias believed in Christ, and Mark baptized him and made him patriarch of Alexandria.  He was the first to be made patriarch of Alexandria (7).  The evangelist Mark appointed, together with the patriarch Ananias, twelve other priests who joined with him [in his ministry] and on the death of the patriarch could nominate, in his place, one of the twelve, the other eleven placing their hands on his head and blessed him and consecrating him patriarch.  Their task was then to choose a man of proven virtue and ordain him priest with them, to replace the one that had been made patriarch, because they were always twelve in number.  The twelve priests of Alexandria continued to elect the patriarch, by following this rule, from among the twelve priests, until the time of Alexander, Patriarch of Alexandria, who was one of the Three Hundred and Eighteen.  In fact he forbade the priests to elect the patriarch, and also ordered that on the death of the patriarch the bishops should gather and elect the Patriarch.  He ordered that on the death of the patriarch, there should be elected a man of proven virtue, no matter from what country, or one of the twelve priests, or another that had been found worthy, and that he should be consecrated as patriarch.  In this way the old rule of electing the patriarch from the priests was interrupted, and the election went to the bishops.


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