The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 1 (part 2)

Let’s carry on from where we left off in September 19, 2016, when last we looked at Chapter 1.  All of this material is derived from the Old Testament, albeit with some imaginative reworking, and it is of no historical value except as indicating how people in the Muslim world thought about this narrative in the 10th century AD.

2. Shīt was two hundred and five years old when Anūsh was born.  After Adam’s death, Shīt’s family separated themselves from the family of Cain, the accursed one.  Shīt took his first-born Anūsh, Qīnān, son of Anūsh, and Mahlali’il, son of Qīnān, along with their women and their children and made them climb to the top of the mountain, where Adam was buried.  Cain and all his sons remained in the place where Abel was killed (9). Shīt’s sons lived on that mountain, pure and holy, and they heard the voices of the angels because they were close to them and they glorified and praised God together with the angels. Therefore they, together with their women and their children, were called children of God. They did not work, they did not sow, they did not reap.  They only fed on the fruits of the trees.  There was no envy among them, nor injustice, nor lies. And when they swore an oath they used to say: “No, for the blood of Abel”. They went to the top of the holy mountain every day and prostrated themselves before God by invoking blessings on the body of Adam.  When Shīt felt death approaching, he made his sons swear on the blood of Abel that none of them would ever come down from that holy mountain nor would they allow any of their children to come down among the sons of Cain, the accursed one.  Shīt lived in all nine hundred and twelve years.  Anūsh had Qīnān at the age of one hundred and ninety years.  In his time the sons of Cain, the accursed, made drums, cymbals, lyres and harps.  They were the first to work iron and copper and all that could be obtained, and they finally made tents in which they lived.

3. Anūsh was three hundred years old when Cain was killed, the accursed son of Adam and murderer of his brother Abel.  It happened that Lāmikh, the seventh descendant of Cain and a shepherd, shot a dart, as a game, that struck his grandfather Cain killing him.  Cain had continued to roam the woods, because he was a wanderer, never stopping in one place.  Cain died at the age of nine hundred and thirty years.  Anūsh lived in all nine hundred and five years.  Qīnān had had Mahlali’il at the age of one hundred and seventy years.  Feeling close to death, Qīnān called Mahlali’īl to himself and made him swear by the blood of Abel that he would not allow any of his sons to come down among the sons of Cain, the accursed.  Qīnān lived in all nine hundred and ten years.

4. Mahalali’īl had Yārid at one hundred and sixty-five years.  Qīnān died when Mahlali’il was one hundred and thirty-five years old, and was buried in the Cave of the Treasures.  When Mahlali’īl felt close to death, he called to his son Yārid and made him swear by the blood of Abel that he would not allow any of his sons to come down from the mountain among the sons of the murderer Cain, the accursed one.  Mahlali’il lived in all eight hundred and ninety-five years. Yārid had, at one hundred and sixty-two years, Akhnūkh.

Of the sons of the murderer Cain, the men behaved like stallions and whinnied after the women.  The women, in turn, were no better and behaved shamelessly like the men.  They fornicated and committed adultery among themselves, in front of everyone, in the open, and two or three men had the same woman together.  The elders were more libidinous than the young, fathers lay with their daughters and their sons with their mothers. The children did not know who their fathers were, nor did the fathers know who their children were.  They played every kind of musical instrument and the echo of their cries and their games reached the top of the holy mountain.  On hearing their cries, a hundred men among the sons of Shīt met together with the intention of descending from the mountain among the sons of Cain, the accursed one.  Yārid exhorted them to swear on the blood of Abel that they would never come down from the holy mountain, but they did not receive his words and went down.  When they were down, they saw the daughters of Cain with beautiful faces, naked and without any modesty, and were seized with burning lust.  The daughters of Cain looked at them, they saw that they were beautiful and gigantic and they fell on them like beasts, soiling their bodies.  Thus it was that Shīt’s sons perished, fornicating with the daughters of Cain.  From their union with the sons of Shīt, the daughters of Cain, the accursed, gave birth to the giants (10).  In the Torah it is said that the sons of God, also called sons of Elohīm, when they saw that the daughters of Cain were beautiful, descended to live among them and the giants were born.  They are therefore mistaken and do not know the truth, those who assert that the angels have descended among the daughters of Adam.  They were instead, the sons of Shīt, come down from the holy mountain among the daughters of Cain, the accursed, because the sons of Shīt, both for their purity and because they lived on the holy mountain, were called sons of Elohīm, that is children of God.  As for those who claim that the angels have descended among the daughters of men, well they are in error, because the substance of the angels is a simple substance and by their nature they cannot have sexual relations.  Man, on the other hand, is a compound substance and by his nature can have sexual relations, as is the case with animals.  If the angels could have sex they would not have left any woman among the daughters of the man without contaminating her.  When the sons of Shīt, who had come down from the mountain among the daughters of Cain, the accursed, wanted to return to the holy mountain, the rocks of the mountain became like fire and it was not possible for them to return to the mountain.  Later, group by group, [others also] came down from the holy mountain among the daughters of Cain, the accursed one

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

  1. It perhaps has no historical value, but this is material drawn from the Book of the Cave of Treasures and thus quite important for a literary historical perspective!

  2. Albrecht Götze has written on this in several articles. Not sure on which page he discusses Eutychius: Götze, Albrecht, ”Die Nachwirkung der Schatzhöhle”, Zeitschrift für Semitistik 2 (1923): 51-94; 3 (1924), 53-71, 153-177.

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