Zacharias Rhetor

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An unknown West Syriac writer from the late 6th century composed an important Ecclesiastical History, which, for books 3-6, included a translation of part of a lost Ecclesiastical History by the Greek writer Zacharias Rhetor. The work is consequently referred to as pseudo-Zacharias Rhetor.

An English translation exists of books 3-12.

Books 1-2 contain, among other things, Syriac translations of the History of Joseph and Asenath, the Acts of St. Silvester of Rome, the Finding of the relics of St. Stephen, the Legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, and the Letter of Proclus to the Armenians.

Books 3-6 (based on Zacharias) cover the years 450-491.

Books 7-8 cover the reigns of the emperors Anastasius (491-518), and Justin I (518-527).

Books 9-12 cover the reigns of Justinian (527-65) and Justin II to the year 569.

Book 11 is lost, and only fragments of books 10 and 12 remain.[1]


  • Ps.Zacharias: F.J.Hamilton and E.W.Brooks (1899).
  • E.W.Brooks, CSCO 38-9, 41-2 (1919-24) Includes Latin translation of the whole work.


  1. Sebastian Brock, A brief outline of Syriac literature, Moran Etho 9, p. 46