The Chronography of George Synkellos: A Byzantine Chronicle of Universal History from the Creation

The Chronography of George Synkellos: A Byzantine Chronicle of Universal History from the Creation


Translated by Paul Tuffin, By (author) George Synkellos, Translated by William Adler

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 728 pages
  • Dimensions: 164mm x 236mm x 46mm | 1,238g
  • Publication date: 24 October 2002
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199241902
  • ISBN 13: 9780199241903
  • Illustrations note: indexes
  • Sales rank: 1,157,217

Product description

In the early ninth century, George Synkellos, a monk of Constantinople set out to compose (in Greek) a universal chronicle beginning with the creation of the universe. Synkellos' death prevented him from seeing this ambitious project through to completion, and it fell to a fellow monk, Theophanes Confessor, to complete the narrative from the reign of the emperor Dicoletian up until his own day. The purpose of the chronicle, as Synkellos states on several occasions, was to confirm the orthodox dating of the incarnation of Christ at the completion of the 5500th year from the creation of the universe. In the course of demonstrating this point, Synkellos cites extensively from numerous histories and chronicles from Egypt and the Ancient Near East, some of which are unattested elsewhere. Since the author comments at length on his authorities and predecessors, his work is also a rich resource of information about the origins and development of early Christian chronography. Despite its recognized importance, the chronicle has never been translated into a modern language. The English translation provided here, together with introduction and notes, promises to make this influential and wide-ranging history more accessible to Byzantinists, students of ancient historiography,and specialists in biblical chronology, early Judaism, Egypt, and the Ancient Near East.

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Author information

Paul Tuffin is Senior Lecturer in Classics, Adelaide University

Review quote

This splendidly produced volume makes available a fascinating genre of historiography, important for our understanding of the Byzantines' understanding of themselves and their place in history. Andrew Louth, Sobornost This translation together with the introduction advances our understanding of Byzantine culture in the eighth and ninth centuries, besides shedding light on the development of Christian world chronicles. The Journal of Theological Studies a valuable source and contribution Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume 66, Number 4

Table of contents

I. SYNKELLOS AND THE CHRISTIAN CHRONOGRAPHIC TRADITION ; II. Synkellos' Contribution to Chronography ; III. Modes of Chronological Argumentation ; IV. Structure and Organization in the Christian Universal Chronicle from Eusebios to Synkellos ; V. Synkellos' Sources and Originality ; VI. Chronological Conventions: Eras and Cycles ; VII. Textual History and Greek Editions of Synkellos ; VIII. Synkellos' Chronicle in Scholarship since Scaliger ; IX. Previous Translations ; X. The Present Translation and its Conventions ; THE CHRONOGRAPHY OF GEORGE SYNKELLOS ; APPENDIX OF BIBLICAL NAMES ; INDEX OF SUBJECTS AND NAMES ; INDEX OF TEXTUAL CITATIONS