The Apocalypse of Methodius

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This anonymous apocalypse, attributed to Methodius and generally refered to as pseudo-Methodius, has been translated into English and German. It was immensely influential, and was probably composed ca. 691 in northern Mesopotamia. It was soon translated into Greek, and then into Latin, where it had a great influence on other apocalyptic writings.[1]

It briefly covers the period from the creation to the writer's own time. The writer sees the Ishmaelites, i.e. the Arabs, as heralding the advent of the last times. At this point the apocalypse proper commences, dealing with the last "Roman" (i.e. Byzantine) emperor, the advent of the "son of perdition", and the final victory over him as the Cross ascends to heaven, together with the imperial crown.

The work makes use of a number of earlier Syriac works, notably the Cave of Treasures, the 'Julian Romance' and the poem on Alexander.


  • P.J.Alexander, The Byzantine Apocalyptic Tradition (1985), p.36-51 (English translation)
  • G. Reinink, CSCO Syr. 220-21 (1993) -- German translation.
  • S.P.Brock in A.N.Palmer, The Seventh Century in the West-Syrian Chronicles (1993) p.230-42 -- English translation of X.6 to the end.


  1. Sebastian Brock, A brief outline of Syriac literature, Moran Etho 9, p.56-7, 135