The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 1 (part 8)

We now reach the days of Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph.  And … this is the very last chunk of Eutychius!  We’ve now read through the lot.  What now remains is to gather all the pieces together, revise them, add whatever notes seem appropriate, and make it available online.

16. Abraham was seventy-five years old when God commanded him to leave Harrān, the land of his father, and to live in the land of Kan‘ān, i.e. Syria.  Abraham took with him his wife Sarah, who was his sister on his father’s side, because Tārih, father of Abraham, after Yūnā (81), the mother of Abraham, died, married another woman named Tuhwayt, who gave him Sarah, whom Abraham then married. Therefore Abraham used to say: “She is my sister, my father’s daughter, but she is not my mother’s daughter” (82).  He also took with him Lūt, son of his brother, and left for the land of “al-Manāriyyīh al-‘ Amūriyyah “. (= Amorites).  Here everyone was against him and they took Lūt captive.  Abraham followed their tracks and freed Lūt from their hands.

When he returned, he crossed the Jebusite mountains and met Malshīsādāq, called the king of peace, a priest of God Most High.  When Abraham saw him from afar, he fell upon his feet, embraced him and kissed him, asking him to bless him.  Malshīsādāq blessed him and offered him bread and wine.  Abraham gave Malshīsādāq a tithe of all he had.  God then revealed to Abraham, “From now on you will be greater, because I will bless you and multiply your seed.” When the kings knew of this, and heard of Malshīsādāq they came to him.  Among them were Abīmālikh, king of Ğadar, Marqāl, king of Zaghar, Aryūsh, king of Zidstar, Gardā`umir, king of ‘Ilān, Targhalī, king of Zaghlāy, Bā‘āz, king of Ghīlāth, Yā‘iz , king of Sadūm, Birshā`, king of ‘Āmūrā, Sibāth, king of Adūm, Banbū, king of Dimashq, Baqtar, king of ar-Rabba, and Sim`ān, king of the Amūriyyīn.  These twelve kings went to Malshīsādāq, called the king of peace, and when they saw him and heard his words, they asked him to go with them, but he replied, “I can’t leave this place.”  Then they consulted and decided to build him a city, saying, “Verily, this is the king of all the earth and the father of all kings.”  So they built a city for him and put him there as king.  Malshīsādāq called that city Ūrashalīm.  When Mākhūl, king of at-Tayman, heard of King Malshīsādāq, he went to see him and gave him much money.  Malshīsādāq was honoured by all the kings and they called him the father of kings (83).

As for those who say that the days of Malshīsādāq had no beginning nor that his life has ever ended, bringing as an argument what the apostle Paul says in the passage, “Of whose days there was no beginning, nor an end to his life” (84), well they show that they have not understood the meaning of the apostle Paul’s affirmation, because of Sām, son of Noah, when he took with him Malshīsādāq, taking him away from his parents, it was not written in the [holy] book how old he was when he left the east or how many years old when he died.  [It was only written that] Malshīsādāq is the son of Fāliq, son of ‘Àbir, son of Shālakh, son of Qīnān, son of Arfakhshād, son of Sām, son of Noah, but none of these his ancestors was called his father.  In fact, the apostle Paul says, “No other man of his lineage served in the Temple” (85), nor did they ever attribute him a father among the tribes.  In fact the evangelists Matthew and Luke wrote only of the founders of the tribes.  This is why the apostle Paul wrote neither the name of his father nor that of his mother.  And yet the apostle Paul does not expressly say that he had no father, but that they did not write him in the genealogies of the tribes.

Abraham was fifty-one years old when Sārūgh died in the month of Adhār, or Baramhāt (86), at the age of three hundred and thirty years (87). In the days of Abraham the people of Lut, son of Aran, brother of Abraham, indulged in vice in the cities of Sadūm and ‘Amūrā (88). God destroyed them and saved Lūt.  Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was barren and could not bear children.  Abraham was very rich.  Sāra diede ad Abramo una sua serva di nome Hāğar.  Hagar conceived by Abraham and bore him a son whom Abraham called Isma‘īl (89). Abraham was eighty-six years old.  At the age of ninety-nine, Abraham was circumcised and also circumcised his son Ishmael, who was then thirteen years old.  Abraham had already turned 100 when Sārah, his wife, bore him a son whom Abraham called Ishāq (90).  Sārah was ninety years old.  On the eighth day after his birth, Isaac was circumcised.  After giving birth to Isaac, Sārah said to Abraham, “Send Hāğar and her son Ishmael away from me” (91).  Abraham gave his son Ishmael money and provisions and sent him, along with his mother, to the land of Yatrib (92) and Yemen (93).  Ishmael established his home there, married there, and reproduced and lived in all for one hundred and thirty-seven years.

17. In the days of Abraham there was, in the East, a king named Kūrish, that is the founder of Sumaysāt, of Qlūdiyā and of al-`Irāq (94).  Also in his time, there reigned Khābīt (94), wife of Sīn, a priest of the mountain; he built Nissībīn and ar-Ruhā (96) encircling them with a wall, and he also built a great temple in Harrān. Then he had a golden idol made in the name of Sīn, had it placed in the center of the temple and ordered all the inhabitants of Harrān to worship it.  The inhabitants of Harrān worshipped it for fifty years.  After this, Ba`alsamīn, king of al-`Irāq, fell madly in love with Talbīn, wife of Thamūr, king of Mosul, who escaped from him by setting fire to Harrān and burning it down, together with the temple and the idol ( 97).  Abraham was fifty-nine years old when Nākhūr died in the month of Tammūz, or Abīb (98), at the age of two hundred and eight (99).

18. Abraham was fifty-seven years old when God commanded him to kill his son Isaac and offer him as a sacrifice on the fire.  Isaac was then thirty-seven years old.  If someone were to ask what is the proof that Isaac was thirty-seven when his father set about sacrificing him, he will be answered, “Sārah had given birth to him at the age of ninety.  Now when she heard that Abraham had taken her son Isaac and had taken him to the mountain to sacrifice him, she felt intense pain and fell ill, for the pain she had suffered, until she died.  She was then a hundred and twenty-seven years old.  Isaac, therefore, had to have been, at that time, thirty-seven years old”.  So Abraham took his son Isaac and carried him to the mountain, bringing with him wood and fire.  Abraham tied his son Isaac’s hands behind his back, sat him down on the wood and then had him stretch out in order to sacrifice him.  But an angel from heaven called to him and said to him, “O Abraham, do not sacrifice your son.  We have tested your resignation and your obedience, we have scrutinized your soul and we have spared him, moved to compassion towards you “(100).  God then ordered him to sacrifice a large ram instead of Isaac.  When Sārah heard that Abraham had taken Isaac and led him to the mountain to sacrifice him, she cried out and raised loud laments and for the intense pain and sorrow she felt, she fell ill and died that same year.  She had lived in all one hundred and twenty-seven years (101).  After Sārah’s death, Abraham married a woman named Qītūra, daughter of Biqtar, king of ar-Rabba, and had many children (102).  Abraham supplied them with provisions and sent them away, far away from Isaac.  Abraham lived all one hundred and seventy-five years.

Isaac was thirty-five years old when Tārikh died in the month of Aylūl, or Tūt, (103) at the age of two hundred and five years and he was buried in Harrān (104).  At the age of forty Isaac married a woman named Ribqa (105), daughter of Mānū’il, son of Nākhūr, brother of Abraham (106).  Isaac was sixty years old when his wife Rebecca conceived.  Her pregnancy was difficult and painful (107).  She therefore went to Malshīsādāq, who prayed for her and said to her, “In your womb there are two peoples: you will give birth to two tribes and the older will obey the younger.” (108).  Rebecca gave birth to two sons in one birth.  Isaac called the first al-‘Is and the second Ya‘qūb (109).  He called him Jacob because he had come out of his mother’s womb clinging to Esau’s heel.  Isaac loved Esau and Rebecca Jacob.  Esau was stocky, hairy and always smelled bad.  When he grew old, Isaac called his son Esau and said to him, “Take your weapons, go to the desert and bring me game.  Prepare me a good meal so that that I may eat it and bless you, before I die.” (110).

Rebecca heard this, took Jacob, made him wear Esau’s clothes, then took some kidskin and placed it on his chest, on his shoulders and along Jacob’s arms.  Then she prepared a good dish and said: “Go, go to your father Isaac and tell him: ‘I am Esau’, so that he blesses you before he dies.” (111). Jacob went to Isaac and he said to him, “Come closer”. He approached, Isaac felt and said, “Certainly the voice is that of Jacob, but the touch is that of Esau” (112).  Then Isaac ate ​​and blessed Jacob, making him head over his brother.  Then Esau came, returning from the hunt, prepared the food and took it to his father Isaac.  But his father said to him, “Who came before you and took the blessing?” Esau burst into tears and said, “My Father, do you really have only one blessing?” Isaac replied, “By now I have made him your chief. What can I do for you?” (113).  Esau approached him and Isaac blessed him, after having made Jacob his chief.  Esau then decided to kill Jacob, but Jacob fled away from his brother, sheltering in Harrān with his uncle Lābān.  At the time of Isaac, Arīhā was built (114).  Seven kings built it and each surrounded it with a wall.  Isaac was seventy-five years old when Abraham died in the month of Nīsān, or Barmūdah (115), (in another text it says: in the month of Adhār, or Baramhāt) (116), at the age of one hundred and seventy-five (117).  Isaac was one hundred and twenty-three years old when Ishmael died in the month of Nīsān, or Barmūdah (118), at the age of one hundred and thirty-seven (119).  Isaac lived in all one hundred and eighty years (120).  Esau married, at the age of 40, one of the daughters of his uncle Ishmael, named Nahlāt (121), who bore him many children.  Then he married a Canaanite named Ghadā, daughter of Alūn, the Hittite (122).  He then married other women, among them from Rum, and spread himself among them.  He had an innumerable progeny; including the Amalekites and the Qurri (123).  Esau lived in all one hundred and twenty-nine years.

19. Jacob joined his Uncle Lābān in Harrān.  His uncle had two daughters: the older one was called Liyyā, who had bleary eyes, and the younger Rāhīl (124).  Jacob fell in love with Rachel and asked his uncle to marry her who told him, “Serve me for seven years, and I will give you Rachel in marriage.” (125).  He served him for seven years, but instead he sent Liyyā, Rachel’s sister, to him.  The next day Jacob told his uncle, “I served you for seven years just because you would give me Rachel as a wife.  Why, then, did you bring in her sister Liyyā to me?” (126).  Uncle Lābān answered him, “Serve me for another seven years, and I will marry you to Rachel” (127).  He then served him for another seven years, and he gave him Rachel as his wife.  Thus Jacob married the two sisters.  Liyyā bore him Ruben (128), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issakar, and Zàbulon.  Rachel had no children.  Then she said to Jacob, “Take my slave Bilhā to conceive by you and I will have a son.” (129).  Bilhā, Rachel’s slave, gave birth to two sons by Jacob: Dān and Nifthālīm.  Liyyā then said to Jacob: “Take my servant Zilfa also, so that she may conceive of you and with my children I will have other children” (130).  Zilpha, servant of Liyya, gave birth to two sons by Jacob, ‘Ad (131) and Ashir.  Later, Rachel also conceived and gave birth to Yūsuf and Binyāmīn (132).  From these twelve sons of Jacob all the sons of Israel are descended.  Jacob then returned to the land of Kan’ān and God called Jacob Isrā’il.  Jacob was eighty-seven years old when Liyyā gave birth to Levi, his third child.  Levi’s date of birth was written down, unlike that of his other brothers, because Moses is from the lineage of Levi.  Jacob loved Joseph intensely and preferred him to his brothers.  That was why his brothers envied him and decided to kill him.  While they were grazing their sheep and their camels, they passed a caravan of Midianite merchants, Arabs of the lineage of Ishmael, who carried pine nuts, terebinth and oil headed for Egypt.  Joseph’s brothers took him and sold him for twenty dinars (133).  Joseph was seventeen.  So they took Joseph’s shirt, sprinkled the sleeves with blood and told Jacob, “A wolf has devoured Joseph.” (134).  When the merchants came with Joseph to Egypt, a servant of the Pharaoh, who was the head chef (135), bought Joseph.  His wife desired him and sent for him, but he did not bend to her wishes.  Then she spoke ill of him of her husband, saying, “This Jewish slave tried to seduce me.”  He then had him locked up in prison.

Jacob was one hundred and twenty years old when Isaac died in the month of Ayyār, or Bashans (136), at the age of one hundred and eighty, and he was one hundred and twenty when Esau died in the month of Tishrīn al-Awwal, or Bābih (137), aged one hundred and twenty-nine years old.

20. Pharaoh had the chief baker put in jail and the chief cupbearer together with Joseph.  The chief cupbearer dreamed that he was holding a bunch of grapes that he pressed and gave a drink to Pharaoh.  Joseph said to him, “It will happen just like you saw in the dream. Then remember me when you are near your lord.” (138).  The head of the bakers saw in a dream that he had on his head a tray full of bread from which the birds fed.  Joseph said to him, “You will be crucified and the birds will feed on your flesh.” (139).  Joseph’s words came true.  In fact, the pharaoh had a dream and the chief cupbearer told him, “There is a young Jew in prison who is very adept at interpreting dreams.”  Pharaoh sent for Joseph and said to him: “I saw seven fat cows come out of the sea followed by seven lean cows. The seven lean cows swallowed the seven fat cows.  I then saw seven fat ears of corn grow out of the ground followed by seven empty and dry ears.  The seven empty ears have swallowed the seven full ears.” Joseph said to him, “Your reign will be flourishing for seven years and for another seven years there will be drought and great famine.” (140).  Pharaoh then created Joseph the supreme administrator of his kingdom and gave him his ring. In the seven years of prosperity, Joseph amassed so much grain to fill countless barns.

21. Joseph was thirty years old when he married a woman named Asīnāt (141), daughter of the priest of the city of ‘Ayn Shams (142), who gave him two sons.  Joseph called the first Manasseh, who was his firstborn, and called the other Ifrām.  In the place called Minf (143), Joseph built a hydrometer to measure the increase in water from the Nile in Egypt; he had the canal called al-Manha (144) dug, and he built Hagar al-Làhūn (145).  At forty years old Levi, son of Jacob, had Qāhāt, in the territory of Kan’ān, three years before they entered Egypt.  At that time there was great famine in Egypt and in Syria.  The Egyptians bought grain from Joseph until they were left without a dìnàr or a dirham.  They therefore bought more grain by selling their property, their animals and their homes.  And when they had nothing left, they said to Joseph, “Let us sell ourselves to pharaoh and declare ourselves his slaves, but give us grain to eat and sow.” (146).  Thus Joseph bought for the pharaoh the people of the Egyptians, giving them grain to eat and to sow in exchange and making them pay the tithes of their crops, a custom that is still in force today.  Thus it was that the Egyptians became slaves of the pharaoh.  In his days lived Job the just man (147), or Ayyūb, son of Amūs, son of Zārākh, son of Rāghū’īl, son of Esau, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of Abraham.  He was very rich, and God put him to the test.  However, he gave thanks and endured with a docile spirit, and God withdrew the test from him and returned his goods.

22. A severe famine struck Syria.  Jacob then said to his sons,  “Go to Egypt and buy grain.” (148)  Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt.  When Joseph saw them, he recognized them.  But they did not recognize him.  Benjamin, his twin brother, was not with them.  Joseph said to them, “Who are you? Where do you come from, and what do you want?”. They replied, “We are the sons of Jacob. We were twelve, but a wolf devoured one, whose twin brother has remained with his father.  Our father is very old and weeps for the son devoured by the wolf day and night”.  Joseph said to them:  “You are nothing but spies.”  But they swore and Joseph said, “If you tell the truth and you are not spies, leave one of you here and return to your father bringing me your younger brother, the one whose brother the wolf has devoured, to let us know if you are telling the truth.”  They left with him Simeon, and Joseph ordered that their saddlebags be filled with grain, putting in every bag some silver that belonged to his lord.  When they came to Jacob, they informed him of what had happened and each found the silver in his bag.  They then returned to Egypt to buy grain, taking with them the silver and some goods.  They also brought Benjamin, Joseph’s twin brother.  When Joseph saw him, he ordered them to be treated with all respect and he felt great tenderness and emotion for them.  Their saddlebags were filled with wheat and he ordered once again to put in each one of them the silver of his master, while in that of Benjamin he had put a golden cup that belonged to the pharaoh.  When they had left Joseph and were headed to Syria, Joseph’s servants joined them and told them:  “[Our] lord has treated you with every respect, but you have behaved in the worst way by stealing the king’s gold cup.”  They replied, “Take also the one with whom you find it, and let him be the slave of your king.” They searched in their saddlebags and found the cup in the bag of Benjamin.  The servants then took Benjamin and took him to Joseph.  The brothers came back with him and told Joseph:  “Our Lord, our father is very old.  The brother of this young man was devoured by a wolf, as we have already told you, and his father still mourns him to this day.  If you keep him with you, we will not be able to return to our father, because if he is not with us his father will die from the pain.  Leave him free, so that he may return to his father, and take as your slave whichever of us seems good to you”.  Joseph answered them,  “God forbid we take anyone but the one in whose bag we found the cup”.  Then Joseph took pity on them and said, “I am Joseph, your brother.  Do not grieve or fear”.  Joseph then went to Jacob with tents and chariots and took him, along with all his descendants, to Egypt out of the land of Canaan (149). Jacob entered Egypt in the second year of the famine (in another text it is said: in the third), together with his sons and the children of his sons, without counting the women of his sons not born of his loins, with Joseph and his two sons: there were seventy people in all.  Jacob was then a hundred and thirty years old.  He remained in Egypt seventeen years.  Levi was sixty years old when Jacob died in Egypt.  Joseph and all his sons took him to the land of Canaan and buried him there with his father Isaac. Jacob lived in all forty-seven years.

23. In Egypt Qāhāt had, at sixty years old, ‘Imrān (150).  Qāhāt was fifteen years old when Joseph died.  His brothers laid him in a coffin and buried him in Egypt.  He was one hundred and ten years old.  It is said that Joseph’s body was placed in a marble coffin and thrown into the Nile (151).  ‘Imrān was seventy-three years old when Maryam was born to him, he had completed seventy-seven years when he had Harūn and after the eightieth year Moses was born to him – on him be peace.  ‘Imrān lived in all one hundred and thirty-six years.  He was thirty-seven years old when Levi died, at the age of one hundred and thirty-seven, and when he was seventy-six Qāhāt died, at the age of one hundred and twenty-seven.

The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 1 (part 7)

Let’s carry on with Eutychius’ rewriting of the Old Testament.  None of this is enormously interesting, but we, or rather I, have to trudge through it if we are to complete this translation of Eutychius.  It seems that nobody will produce an English translation direct from the Arabic.  So, as before, I am taking the Italian translation, running it through Google Translate, and making sense of what comes out.  Interestingly it looks as if the Italian-to-English translation in Google has improved since I last used it in January.

15. In the days of Rāghū there reigned the Queen of Sheba, founder of the city of Saba, for many years (60).  After her, women continued to reign in the city of Saba, until the time of King Solomon, son of David.  In the days of Rāghū there was king Qārūn (61), who built the city of Uqīnīn.  It is said that Qārūn melted gold, making bricks with which he built the city of Uqīnīn.  Rāghū was sixty-six years old when Shālakh died, in the month of Adhār, or Baramhāt (62), after having lived four hundred sixty years.  Rāghū lived in all three hundred and thirty-nine years (63).  At one hundred and thirty years Shārū‘ had Nākhūr (64). Shārū‘ was sixty-eight years old when ‘Ābir died in the month of Kānūn ath-Thānī, or Tūbah (65), at the age of four hundred and sixty-four (66).  Shāru` was seventy-seven years old when Fāliq died in the month of Aylūl, or Tūt, at the age of three hundred and thirty-nine (67). Shārū‘ lived in all three hundred and thirty years (68).

At seventy-nine Nākhūr had Tārih (69).  In his day the giants multiplied, and there lived ‘Ād (70), son of Aram, son of Sām, son of Noah.  Indeed in his time measures and weights were instituted, and also in his time the earth was shaken by a violent and fearful earthquake (71), which was the first in history.  And since there were many worshipers of idols who sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, God sent a stormy wind that like a whirlwind broke all the idols and cut down their niches, reducing them to a heap of stones in the shape of hills still visible today (72).  When Nākhūr was seventy-seven years old, Rāghū died in the month of Nīsān, or Barmūdah, at the age of three hundred and thirty-nine (73).  In his time there appeared a Persian man named Zaradasht (74) who founded the Sabaian religion.  And there was in Persia a king called Tahmūrat (75).  Some believe that a Greek named al-Yūnān son of Iraqliyūs, based in Ilyas, was the founder of the Sabaian religion; others believe he was from the city of “az-Zaytūna”, built near Athens.  The Greeks were the first to profess this doctrine and wrote many books on astrology and the motion of the universe.  It is also said that the Sabaian religion was founded by one of those who had taken part in the construction of the tower of Bābil.  Nākhūr lived in all two hundred and eight years (76).

At the age of seventy Tārih had Abraham.  In his time the king of Bābil was Nimrūd (77), the giant.  It is said that he was the first king to rule in Bābil.  He saw in the sky, in a cloud, something like a crown, and immediately summoned a metal-worker who modelled a crown and he placed it on his head.  For this reason, people said: “He was given a crown from heaven”.  It is said that he was the first to worship fire because he saw,  far to the east, a fire coming out of the earth.  Nimrūd went there, worshipped it and placed a man there who remained at the service of the fire, throwing incense on it.  From that time the magi began to worship fire and prostrate themselves before it.  The man whom Nimrūd had placed at the service of the fire was called Andishān (78).  Satan spoke to him from the belly of the fire telling him: “No one can serve the fire or learn my religion unless he has first slept with his mother, with his sister and with his daughter.”  Andishān did as Satan had told him, and from that time the priests of the magi began to have relations with their mothers, their sisters and their daughters.  This Andishān was the first to profess such a doctrine.  Nimrūd founded Adarbīğān, Bābil, Nineveh, Rāsin and many [other] cities (79).  Tarih lived in all two hundred and sixty-five years and died (80).  From Fāliq to Abraham there had passed five hundred and forty-one years; from the flood to Abraham, a thousand and seventy-two years; from Adam to Abraham, three thousand three hundred and twenty-eight years.

 

 

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.