This is one of several translated excerpts from Byzantine sources produced and mounted with historical introduction and commentary by Paul Stephenson.


Theophanes Confessor

An exceptional introduction to this work and its authors is provided in The Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor, Byzantine and Near Eastern History AD 284-813, translated by Cyril Mango and Roger Scott (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), xliii-c, with full bibliography. In addition, one must consult A. Kazhdan, "The monastic world chronicle: Theophanes the Confessor," in his History of Byzantine Literature, I: 650-850 (Athens, 1999), 205-34.

The Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor, was completed in c. 813, but drew extensively on both extant and lost works. The many Greek sources are explored by Mango and Scott, notably poems by George of Pisidia, which informed the excerpt here. For eastern affairs, Theophanes (or perhaps George Synkellos) was largely reliant upon a Syriac chronicle, the so-called "Syriac Common Source," also known as the Syriac "Chronicle of 750," most commonly attributed to Theophilus of Edessa (d. 785). This source is lost, but was the basis for later Syriac works that have survived. Mango and Scott indicate this source by employing a distinctive font.

Theophanes is also a remarkable source of information, when collated with related near eastern source material, for earthquakes and epidemics.

The following excerpt has been reproduced with permission from the Mango and Scott translation at the impressive medieval military history site De Re Militari.

The campaigns of Herakleios, 620-6


Paul Stephenson, November 2006; January 2012