The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 1 (part 6)

Continuing…

13. At that time people spoke only one language and one dialect.  Some say that they spoke Syriac, others instead that they spoke Hebrew, and others that they spoke Greek. For me the latter are more reliable, because the Greek language is much more vigorous, richer and more varied than both Syriac and Hebrew (44). Seventy-two of them gathered together and said: “Let us build a city and gird it with walls, and erect in it a tower that reaches up to heaven, because if one day there is a flood we will be protected”.  For three years they made crude bricks and put them to bake.  Each brick was thirteen cubits long, ten wide and five high.  Then they built a city between Sūr and Bābil.  The city was three hundred and thirteen bā‘ long (45) and it was a hundred and fifty-one bā‘ wide.  The height of the wall was five thousand five hundred and thirty-three bā‘ and its thickness thirty-three bā‘.  The tower was ten thousand bā‘ tall.  They built it in forty years.  While they were still intent on building, God sent them an angel (46) from heaven who confused their tongues and altered their language, so that when one spoke to another he could not understand what he was saying.  That place was called Babil because it was there that the languages ​​became confused, and it was from there that they spread out across the land.  Forty-six years had passed since the birth of Fāliq.

Of those seventy-two men, twenty-five belonged to the Banū Sām.  They lived from the Euphrates and Mosul as far as the Far East, and from them came the Syrians, the inhabitants of Diyār Rabī‘a and Mesopotamia, the Garāmiqa, the Chaldeans, i.e. the inhabitants of Bābil, those of Fāris, of Khurāsān, of Farghāna, of  Sind, of India, of the peninsula as-Sin, the Hebrews, the inhabitants of Yemen, of at-Tā’if, of al-Yamāma, of Bahrayn and the different Arab lineages.  They have eight forms of writing: Hebrew, Syriac, Persian, Indian, Chaldean, which is the Babylonian writing, Chinese, Himyarite and Arabic. The Sāmites touched, out of the great watercourses, the Euphrates and the Balikh river.

Of those [seventy-two men], thirty-two belonged to the Banū Hām.  They inhabited Syria – also called the land of Kan‘ān because Hām had a son named Kan‘ān – up to the extreme West and there are derived from them the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Egyptians, the Copts, the Mans (47), the lineages of Sūdān, Abyssinia, Nubia, the Bugāhs (48), the Zang, the Zutt, the inhabitants of Qarrān, the Samaritans, the Zābig, the Maghrebins and the Berbers.  They have twenty-six islands, including Sardinia (49), Malta and Crete, and a part of the island of Cyprus and others. They have six forms of writing: Egyptian, Nubian, Ethiopian, farangis (50), Punic and qunquli (51).  The Hāmites touched,  out of the great watercourses, the Nile.

Of those [seventy-two men], fifteen belonged to the Banū Yāfit.[1]  They lived from the Tigris to the far north and there are derived from them the Turks, the Bağnāk, the Tugharghar, the Tubt, the inhabitants of Yāğūg, of Māğūğ, of Khazar, of Lān, the Anğāz, the Sanābirah (52), the inhabitants of Ğarzān, the inhabitants of Great and Little Armenia, of Hawrān, of Antioch, of al-Khālidiyyah, of Paphlagonia, of Cappadocia, of Kharshana, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Russians, the Daylamites, the Bulgarians, the Slavs, the Lombards, the Franks, the Galsatīn and the Spaniards. They have twelve islands, including Rhodes, Sicily, Cyprus, Samos and others. They have six forms of writing: Greek, Roman, Armenian, Spanish, Frankish and ğurzāni. Of the great watercourses, the Yāfitites touched the Tigris.  From the deluge to the construction of the tower and the confusion of languages five hundred and seventy-eight years had passed, and from Adam to the construction of the tower two thousand eight hundred and thirty-four.

14. At one hundred and thirty Fāliq had Rāghū (53) and he was thirty when Qīnān died in the month of Ab, i.e. Misrà, at the age of four hundred and thirty years.  Fāliq lived in all three hundred and thirty-nine years.  At the age of one hundred and thirty two years Rāghū had Shārū‘ (54). In his day men worshiped idols and everyone worshiped and venerated what he liked (55). Some worshiped the sky, others worshiped the sun, others the moon, others the stars, others the birds, others the earth, others the beasts, others the rivers, others the trees and others the mountains (56).  There were those who made themselves an idol in the likeness of their father, mother and those whom they loved more than others and filled with favours, and when one of them died, they adored him and made him a god (57).  Others made idols of gold, silver, stone, or wood.  The inhabitants of Egypt, Bāhil, and Ifrangis and the inhabitants of the coasts began to do this.  In another text they are said to be only imitators.  It is also said that the origin of the worship of idols goes back to the custom that they had, of placing on the tomb of a dead person an idol similar to him so that they did not forget his memory. So it was that the earth was filled with idols made in the image of men, women and children (58).  At that time a rich man died, having a son who made an idol in the image of his father and placed it on his grave, placing his servant as guardian.  But the thieves came and stole everything the young man had at home.  The young man rushed to his father’s grave and began to cry and moan at that golden idol just as if he was complaining to his father. The devil spoke to him from the belly of the idol and said to him: “Do not cry. Instead, bring your youngest child here and offer him as a sacrifice. Then bathe in his blood and I will give you back everything you had”.  The young man left and returned with his son, slaughtered him in front of the idol and bathed in his blood. The demon then came out of the idol and entered the young man and taught him magic and incantations.  It was from that time that men began to sacrifice their children to demons and to practice magic (59).

 

 

  1. [1]i.e. Japeth, obviously.

The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 1 (part 5)

Continuing with Eutychius’ rewrite of Genesis and the Cave of Treasures.

9. When they went out [from the ark] they built a city and called it Thamanīn (29), from their number, which means “We are eight”.  God – powerful and exalted – then said to Noah: “There will not be another flood in future”.  God then made a covenant with Noah, which is the rainbow that appears in the clouds, telling him: “When you see this rainbow, it will be the sign of the covenant”.  Then the sons of Noah planted a vineyard and, having squeezed a new beverage, they gave it to Noah, their father, who drank and got drunk.  While he was asleep, his genitals were exposed.  Sām and Yāfit then took a cloth and placed it over him and walked backwards so as not to see their father’s genitals. That was how they covered their father’s genitals.  When Noah awakened from sleep, his wife informed him of what had happened.  He was angry with his son Hām and cursed him saying: “Cursed be Hām and may he be a servant of his brothers” (30).  Later Hām adopted all the instruments of entertainment and was also cursed for that.  He became a servant of his brothers, he and his descendants, i.e. the Copts, those of the Sūdān, of Abyssinia and of Nubia, also called Berbers.

10. Two years after the flood, Sām had Arfakhshād at the age of one hundred and two years.  Noah lived, after the flood, three hundred and fifty years.  Feeling close to death, he spoke secretly to his son Sām telling him: “Take the body of Adam out of the ark without anyone seeing you and take bread and wine with you to help you along the way.  Take Malshīsādāq, son of Fāliq, with you and go and lay it down where the angel of God shows you.  Then order Malshīsādāq to stay in that place without taking a wife and to live there religiously for the rest of his life, because God has chosen him to be a servant in his presence.  He will not build a house or shed the blood of wild beasts or birds or any other animal there. He will not offer any other sacrifice to God other than bread and wine.  He will dress in animal skins, he will not shave his hair or trim his nails, and he will remain alone, because he is the priest of God Most High.  The angel of God will precede you until you have come to the place to bury the body of Adam.  Know that this place is the centre of the earth”.  After giving these instructions to Sām, Noah died on Wednesday, at two in the morning, on the 2nd of Ayyār, i.e. Bashans (31).  Noah had lived in all nine hundred and fifty years, and died when Sām was four hundred and fifty.  His sons Sām, Hām and Yāfit embalmed the body, buried it and mourned him for forty days.  Sām lived in all six hundred years, one hundred before the flood and five hundred after the flood.

11. At the age of one hundred and thirty-five years Arfakhshād had Qīnān (32). Arfakhshād lived in all four hundred and sixty-five years.  At one hundred and thirty years Qīnān had Shālakh. Qīnān lived in all four hundred and thirty years.  At one hundred and thirty years Shālakh had ‘Abir. Shālakh lived in all four hundred and sixty years.(33).  ‘Abir is the father of the Jews and the Arabs call him Hūd (34).  At one hundred and thirty-four years ‘Abir had Fāliq (35) who was called this way because in his time the earth was divided (36).  After Fāliq, ‘Abir had Qahtān (37) who is the father of the Arabs.  In his day people used to paint the images of every person renowned for his courage or his beauty or for his wisdom and for his illustrious fame and worship them.  The cause of their cult of images dates back to the fact that before the death of a man of great prudence or wisdom or courage, they set up the image in the halls where they used to gather.  When an affliction hit them and they sought relief, they would gather before that image and consult with it, as if the same image were to take part with them in their search for wisdom; they took the utmost care not to exclude, in this difficulty, the memory of any of those who had preceded them.  And so, continuing in their custom, they ended up worshiping images.  From the deluge to the birth of Fāliq five hundred and thirty-one years had passed away, and from Adam to the birth of Fāliq two thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven years.

12. From Fāliq was born Malshīsādāq, the priest (38). As for Sām, he did what his father Noah had advised him.  He entered the ark at night and took Adam’s body away without anyone noticing.  He then called his brothers and told them: “My father advised me, when he was dying, to walk the earth until reaching the sea and see how the earth is, its rivers and its valleys, then return to you.  I entrust to you my wife and my children: watch over them until I return.” Sām then said to Fāliq: “Give me your son Malshīsādāq, so that he may help me along the way”. Sām then took the body of Adam and Malshīsādāq with him, went out and met the angel of God, who walked before them until he brought them to the centre of the earth and showed them the place.  When they had set down the body of Adam, the place opened.  Sām and Malshīsādāq deposited the body of Adam in the place that had opened to them and it closed.  That place is called al-Gulgula, or al-Iqrāniyūn (39). Then Sām instructed Malshīsādāq [to do] all that Noah had advised him and told him: “Stay here and be a priest of God, because God has chosen you to serve in his presence. This is the angel of God, who will come to you at all times”. Then Sām returned to his brothers and Fāliq said to him: “Where is young Malshīsādāq?” Sām replied: “He died on the way and I buried him”. And they felt great pain for him.  ‘Ābir was seventy years old when Arfakhshād died in the month of Nīsān, i.e. Barmūdah (40): he had lived all four hundred and sixty-five years.  In the one hundred and third year of the life of ‘Abir, there died Sām, son of Noah, on the Friday of the month of Aylūl, i.e. Tūt (41): he had lived for six hundred years (42).  ‘Àbir lived in all four hundred and sixty-four years.(43)

The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 1 (part 4)

Now the flood…

7.  The corruption was now great upon the earth, for the sons of Shīt had intermingled with the sons of Cain, the accursed, performing sins and every sort of immorality and giving themselves only to entertainment, so God spoke to Noah and said to him: “I will send the flood upon the earth and I will exterminate everything on it”.  He then ordered him to come down from the holy mountain, he, his sons, his wife and the wives of his children.  He also ordered him to build a square-shaped wooden ark.  Some have said that it was of Indian oak.  The length of the ark had to be three hundred cubits, the width was fifty and the height was thirty.  He had to smear it, inside and out, with tar and pitch, and setting up three floors: the lower floor for the wild beasts and for the quadrupeds; the middle floor for the birds and the upper floor for himself and his children.  He ordered him to make the door on the eastern side, to provide receptacles for water and one for food.  Noah entered the Cave of Treasures, kissed the bodies of Shīt, of Anūsh, of Qīnān, of Mahlali’īl, of Yārid, of Mātūshālikh, and of Lāmikh and took with him the body of Adam and the offerings.  Sām took in his turn the gold, Hām the myrrh and Yāfit the incense.  As they descended from the holy mountain, they had one last look at the holy paradise and wept saying: “Goodbye, holy paradise!” and they kissed the rocks and hugged the trees.  Then they came down from the holy mountain and Noah began to build the ark.  God told him to make a nāqūs[1] of Indian oak three cubits long and a cubit and a half wide; the clapper had to be of the same wood. He sounded it three times a day: in the morning, to summon the workers; at noon, for the meal and in the evening for the end of the work.  [God] again told him: ‘When they hear you play the nāqūs and they ask: “What are you doing?” say to them: “God will send the flood”‘.  Noah did everything that God had commanded him to do.  God sent him all kinds of animals, sheep, birds, wild beasts and reptiles and told him: “Of these animals, of those which are pure and clean [species], let seven couples, that is seven males and seven females, enter with you; of the unclean, two couples, male and female”.

8. Noah entered the ark with his wife, his sons, and his sons’ wives.  Noah brought the body of Adam with him and placed it in the centre of the ark, placing the offerings on it.  Noah and his sons settled down in the eastern part of the ark, while his wife and the wives of his sons settled in the western part of the ark so that then men would not approach the women, or the women the men.  Noah had brought with him everything that God had ordered him to bring.  God then opened the springs of the waters, the earth flooded and the seas flowed into each other and God made the waters of the sky rain down.  Noah was six hundred years old when the flood occurred and his son Sām a hundred. Water spurted from the earth and the rains fell for forty days and forty nights.  The waters covered the surface of the earth, exceeding the highest mountain by fifteen cubits and remained high upon the earth for one hundred and fifty days.  On the earth there remained no animal nor was there any plant that did not die.  From Adam to the flood passed two thousand, two hundred and sixty-five years.  One hundred and fifty days after the flood, God sent a wind that blew upon the earth and the waters subsided, the springs ceased to flow and the rain stopped.  The waters began to run away, to decrease and to fall until the seventh month.  On the 17th day of the seventh month after the flood, that is the month of Aylūl, or Tūt, the ark grounded on a mountain called Arārāt, which is Mount al-Gūdī (22) near Mosul (23), in the region of Diyār Rabī`a (24), in a village called Fardā (25), today known as the region of Thamanīn (26) and Gazīrat Banī ‘Umar (27). The waters continued to lessen and drain away until the tenth month.  On the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains were seen.  Forty days later, Noah opened the door of the ark and sent the crow out to see if the waters had disappeared from the earth.  The crow flew away but did not return.  He then sent out the dove, which came back soon after with wet feet.  Noah understood then that the waters still covered the surface of the earth.  Seven days later he sent out the dove again, which returned in the evening, carrying an olive leaf in its beak.  Noah waited some more days, then sent out the dove, which went away without returning.  Noah waited another seven days, then opened the door of the ark and looked out: the earth was green and the water was gone.  Then Noah came out of the ark together with his sons Sām, Hām and Yāfit, together with his wife and the wives of his sons and with all the animals that were with him in the ark, after a year and two months, on the 17th of the second month, that is Nīsān, or Barmūdah (28).

  1. [1](21) The nāqūs was usually a wooden board or tablet which was struck with a wooden stick or a hammer to make a noise. For Eutychius’ source for this story, cf. Koran, Sura VII.

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

Continuing…. Part of the fun in this is trying to recognise the familiar biblical characters behind their unfamiliar Arabic names!

5. When Yārid felt near death, he called to him his son Akhnūkh, and Mātūshālikh, son of Akhnūkh, Lāmikh, son of Mātūshālikh and Nūh, son of Lāmikh, and said to them: “Do not let any of you come down from this holy mountain.  Your children have already fallen and are lost, and I know that God – powerful and exalted – will not let you remain on this holy mountain.  But whoever of you will come out of this place, let him take with him the body of Adam and these offerings and take them where God will command him”.  Yārid lived in all nine hundred and sixty-two years.

Akhnūkh had had Mātūshālikh at the age of one hundred and sixty-five years.  He was twenty when Shīt died, on Tuesday, at the ninth hour of the day, on the 27th of the month of Āb, that is, of Misra (11).  He lived in all nine hundred and twelve years.  Anūsh, his son, embalmed the body with myrrh, incense and cinnamon and buried it in the Cave of the Treasures together with Adam, and he mourned him for forty days.

At the age of one hundred and eighty-seven Mātūshālikh had Lāmikh.  Mātūshālikh lived in all nine hundred and sixty-nine years.  When Mātūshālikh was fifty-three, Anūsh died on Saturday, at the setting of the sun, on the third of the month of Tìshrīn al-Awwal, or Bābih (12).  He had lived in all nine hundred and five years.  His son Qīnān embalmed his body with myrrh, incense and cinnamon, buried it in the Cave of the Treasures and mourned him for forty days.

6. At the age of one hundred and eighty-two Lāmikh had Nūh.  Lāmikh lived in all seven hundred and seventy-seven years.  Lāmikh was thirteen when God selected Akhnūkh and raised him to himself.  The Arabs call him Idrīs (13).  Akhnūkh was three hundred and sixty-five years old when God raised him to himself.  At that time the sons of Cain, the accursed, and the sons of Shīt who had come down among them worshiped whatever they liked and that the soul desired and sought.  Qīnān died when Lāmikh was sixty-one, on Wednesday, at noon, on the 13th of Hazīrān, or Bābih (14).  His son Mahlali’īl embalmed his body with myrrh, incense and cinnamon, buried it in the Cave of the Treasures and mourned him for forty days.  Qīnān had lived in all nine hundred and ten years.

After five hundred years, Noah had three children.  He called the first Sām, the second Yām and the third Yāfit.  He lived in all nine hundred and fifty years.  Noah was thirty-four years old when Mahlali’īl died, on Sunday, at the third hour of the day, on the 2nd of Nīsān, or Barmūdah (15).  His son Yārid embalmed his body with myrrh, incense and cinnamon, buried it in the Cave of the Treasures and mourned for forty days.  Mahlali’īl lived in all eight hundred and ninety-five years.

Yārid died when Noah was two hundred and six years old, on Fridays, at sunset, 13 of Adhār, or Baramhāt (16).  His son Mātūshālikh, Lāmikh and Noah embalmed his body and buried him in the Cave of the Treasures, mourning his death for forty days.  Yārid lived in all nine hundred and sixty-two years.

Noah was five hundred and ninety-five years old when his father Lāmikh died.  Before he died, Lāmikh called his son Noah and said to him: “God – powerful and exalted – will not leave you [to live] on this mountain.  When you go down, take the body of Adam with you and bring the three offerings with you, namely gold, myrrh and incense (17).  Recommend also to your son that, after your death, he take with him the body of Adam, our father, and place him in the centre of the earth, placing at his service his son who shall spend his whole life there, in religion: he will not marry or shed blood; he will not offer either birds or beasts in sacrifice, but only bread and wine, because from that place will come the salvation of Adam.  He will dress in the skins of animals, he will not cut his hair or trim his nails.  He will be alone, because he will be called a priest of God.  You know well that I am referring to Malshīsādāq”.

When Lāmikh had finished recommending these things to his son Noah, he died on Sunday at sunset, 19 of Adhār, or Baramhāt (18).  Noah embalmed his body and buried it in the Cave of the Treasures and mourned him for forty days.  Lāmikh lived in all seven hundred and seventy-seven years.  Noah was six hundred years old when Mātūshālakh died on Friday, at noon, on the 21st of the month of Aylūl, or Tūt (19).  Noah and Sām embalmed the body and buried it in the Cave of the Treasures and mourned him for forty days.  Matūshālakh lived in all nine hundred and sixty-nine years.  On the holy mountain there only remained Noah, his wife Haykal, daughter of Nāmūsa, son of Akhnūkh, and his three sons Sām, Hām and Yāfit with their three wives, daughters of Mātūshālakh.  Sām’s wife was called Salii, Hām’s wife was called Nahlat, and Yāfit’s wife was called Arīsīnah (20).

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

In the name of God, One, Pre-Eternal, Everlasting, without beginning or end, to whom we resort.

1. Let us begin, with the help of the Most High God and the goodness of His assistance, to write the Book of History, compiled critically and with verification, the work of Patriarch Eutychius, called Sa‘īd ibn Batrīq.

God, powerful and exalted, created the world, with everything in it, and Adam and Eve, in six days.  The creation of Adam took place on the sixth day.  God blessed the seventh day, because on it He completed the work of creation, and led Adam and Eve into Paradise.  He ordered that they could eat of all the trees except for the tree of knowledge, of which He forbade them to eat.  The devil tempted Eve, and Eve disobeyed the order of the Most High God by eating the fruit picked from the tree and making Adam eat it.  Because they disobeyed their Lord, [God] drove them from the garden, in the ninth hour of Friday, and exiled them to a mountain in India.  He made them live on the earth and commanded them to reproduce so that they would multiply and fill the earth.  Adam lay then with Eve who became pregnant and gave birth to a boy and a girl.  Adam called the boy Cain and the girl Azrūn.  Eve conceived again, and gave birth to a boy and a girl, and the boy Adam called Abel and the girl he called Uwayn, which in Greek means “Lafūra”.[1]  When the two boys grew up, Adam said to Eve: “Let Cain take Uwayn, who was delivered along with Abel, and Abel take Azrūn, who was delivered along with Cain.”  Cain then said to Eve, his mother, “I will take my sister; let Abel take his”, because Azrūn was more beautiful than Uwayn.  On hearing these words, Adam was very distressed and said: “It is against the commandment to take the sister who was brought forth with you”.  Cain worked the land, and Abel was a keeper of sheep.  Adam said to them: “Take the fruit of the land and some kids, go up on top of this holy mountain and offer your sacrifice.  Then you may take your wives.”  Cain brought the fruit of his land as a good and pure sacrifice to God, and Abel took the firstborn of his flock as a good and pure sacrifice to God.  While they were intent on getting to the top of the mountain, the devil entered into the heart of Cain and incited him to kill his brother Abel because of his sister Azrūn.  So God did not accept the sacrifice of Cain.  For when they offered their sacrifices, God accepted Abel’s offering but disdained that of Cain.  Great was the anger and great was the hatred of Cain against Abel and he envied his brother.  As they were descending the mountain, Cain attacked Abel and struck him on the head with a stone and killed him.  Adam and Eve were very distressed and mourned the death of Abel for a hundred years.  God cursed Cain and his descendants.  Cain was in fear and terror, and wandered all the days of his life.  God sent him forth, still unmarried, to Nūd.[2]  Cain took with him his sister Azrūn and lived there.  Then Adam lay with Eve, who conceived – Adam was then already two hundred and thirty years old – and gave birth to a boy and [Adam] called him Shīt.[3]  Shīt was pleasant faced, a giant, with a perfect complexion like his father, and was the father of the giants who lived before the flood.  Adam gave to Shīt in marriage the sister of Cain, Uwayn, who bore him Anush.  To Anush was born Qinan.  Adam had many more children later.  Feeling close to death, Adam called to him his son Shīt, Anush, son of Shīt, Qinan, the son of Anush, son of Shīt, and Mahlali’il, son of Qinan, and gave them instructions saying: “This command will apply to all your children.  When I die, embalm my body with myrrh, frankincense and cinnamon and lay me down in the Cave of Treasures.  When your children leave the area near paradise, let them take with them my body and bury me at the centre of the earth, because there will be my salvation and the salvation of my descendants”.[4]  Adam lived in total nine hundred and thirty years.  He died on Friday, the fourteenth month, 6th Nisan, i.e. Barmūdah, in the ninth hour, in the same hour in which he had been cast out of paradise.  When Adam died, his son Shīt embalmed him, as he had commanded him to do, he brought the body to the top of the mountain, as he had said, and hid him in the Cave of Treasures.  They wept over him for one hundred and forty days.

  1. [1]Eutychius is drawing upon material from the Arabic text of The Cave of Treasures, but this gives different names to the daughters of Adam.  Josephus, Antiquities book 1, chapter 2, states that Adam had three daughters, but does not name them.  Pirone does not explain “lafura”.
  2. [2]Gen.4:16.  The Cave of Treasures calls the place al-Aksūriyā.  Josephus I 2:2 says Cain founded a city called Nud and lived there.
  3. [3]I.e. Seth.  Much of what follows is from The Cave of Treasures or a related source, which is trying to align the events of Adam’s life to prefigure those of Christ.
  4. [4]I.e. at Jerusalem, where Christ will be crucified.