Agapius now begins the events of the reign of the emperor Maurice. This chunk ends with an oriental tale, with which authors of histories of that period evidently were obliged to lace their narratives.
17. Then Justin the Younger, King of Rum, died. After him there reigned over Rum Tiberius, for four years. This happened in the third year of the reign of Hurmuz, son of Anushirwān, king of the Persians. In the first year of the reign of Tiberius, King of Rum, there was made patriarch of Constantinople Cyriacus. He held the office for sixteen years and died. In the second year of his reign there was made patriarch of Jerusalem Anus. He held the office for eight years and died.
18. Tiberius, King of Rum, died. After him there reigned over Rum Maurice, for twenty years. This happened in the seventh year of the reign of Hurmuz, son of Anushirwān, king of the Persians. In the time of Maurice, King of Rum, there lived a monk named Marun, who claimed that Christ, our Lord, has two natures, one will, one operation and only one person, so corrupting the doctrine of the people. Most of those who followed this doctrine and became his disciples were inhabitants of the city of Hamah, of Qinnisrīn, al-‘Awāsim and a large number of the people of the land of Rum. His followers and those who professed the doctrine were called Maronites, named after Marun. After the death of Marun, the inhabitants of Hamah constructed at Hamah a monastery, calling it “Dayr Marun”, and they embraced the religion of Marun.
19. In the fifth year of the reign of Maurice, there was at Antioch a terrible and violent earthquake. A great part of the city of Antioch was destroyed and the inhabitants perished. In the nineteenth year of his reign there was another violent earthquake in the land of Rum and in Syria, about the third hour of the day. Many cities in Syria and in the land of Rum were destroyed, and many people died because of the earthquake. In the seventh year of the reign of Maurice, king of Rum, there was made patriarch of Jerusalem Isaac. He held the office for eight years and died. That same year died Gregory, Patriarch of Antioch. The inhabitants of Antioch then went to Jerusalem to look for a man to designate as their patriarch. Isaac, patriarch of Jerusalem, said to them: “For my part I would suggest this old sexton who serves at the Church of the Resurrection”. They found him easily, and they undertook to bring him to Antioch. Then [the old man] said to them: “Do you not recognize me?” They answered no. And he said to them: “I am Anastasius, and I was your patriarch. But having been accused of fornication, I fled away from you and since then I have looked after the Church of the Resurrection service, after I buried my garments in such a place in Antioch.” He led them to Antioch, took them to the place where he had buried his clothes, unearthed them and was restored to office. He was their patriarch for nine years and died.
20. In the seventeenth year of the reign of Maurice another Anastasius was made patriarch of Antioch. He held the office for six years and died. After the death of Anastasius the see of Antioch remained without a Patriarch for twenty-two years. In the fifteenth year of the reign of Maurice there was made patriarch of Jerusalem Zechariah. He held the office for seven years and was exiled. In the fifth year of the reign of Maurice there was made patriarch of Rome Gregory. He held the office for thirteen years and died. In the eighteenth year of his reign there was made patriarch of Rome Sabinianus. He held the office for a year and died. In the nineteenth year of the reign of Maurice there was made patriarch of Rome Boniface. He held the office for six years and died. In the fourteenth year of his reign there was made patriarch of Constantinople Thomas. He held the office for fourteen years and died. In the second year of his reign there was made patriarch of Alexandria Eulogius. He held the office for twenty years and died (In another text it says “for two years”).
21. In the time of King Maurice there lived a robber from the city of Ifrīqiyah, the head of a gang of robbers, who preyed on and killed anyone who came into his hands. The ways were so unsafe that no-one dared to walk the streets of the city of Ifrīqiyah for fear of this robber. Under intense pressure, the patrician of Ifrīqiyah resorted to every means and even ruses to catch the robber, but his efforts were in vain. Hearing about this, the king Maurice sent one of his men to offer the robber a safe conduct. He accepted it and went to the king Maurice who was very generous towards him, filled him with honors and gave him a high position. After a short time the robber fell ill and was admitted into the sanatorium which was in the city of Constantinople. One night, prostrate with grief that afflicted him, and convinced that he was about to die and appear before his Lord, gracious and merciful to his worshipers, he began to cry and to raise supplication, saying: “My Lord, as you received the tears of Peter and forgave him, as you have received the tears of Hezekiah, and as you received the thief who was crucified with you, so also receive my tears and erases with them my sins. Please, in your great mercy receive my prayer!” So he is saying he wiped his eyes with the cloth that he had on his face. For hours the robber continued to invoke his Lord and to confess his sins. Then he gave up his spirit. There was a man in Constantinople, who was among the most distinguished, charitable and virtuous doctors, who used to visit the sick every day in the sanatorium. Now, while he was sleeping in his house, he saw in a dream, at the same time as when the robber died, a troop of negroes approach the bed of the robber, carrying with them several sheets on which were written in detail the sins that he had committed. Then he saw two men, whose faces shone white as snow and as beautiful as the sun, who carried with them a set of scales. The negroes came forward, and they laid on the balance all the sheets so that one side rose and the other went down under the weight. Then one of the white men said to his companion: “We have nothing to do here.” And the other replied: “What can we do, in fact, if it is not even ten days since he stopped robbing?” But then they began to rummage in his bed, and they found the cloth with which he wiped his eyes, and they threw it on the plate. The empty plate sank down and the other rose, on which were the sheets, and they were all scattered. Then they cried out, and said: “He won the mercy of God!” and so saying, they took the soul [of that robber] and took him away with them, while the negroes, confused and sad, fled. The doctor awoke, immediately went to the robber and found him dead with a cloth over his eyes. Those who slept next to the robber reported that they had heard his crying out and his prayers. The doctor then took the cloth, was received by the King, showed it to him and told him about what he had seen in his dream and what he had heard from those who slept next to the robber. Then the doctor said to the king: “Praise be to God who welcomed the robber, thanks to your good offices, and forgave his sins, just as he did with the first thief on the cross. This in fact was the first, and that the second.”