The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius in Syriac 9781463208035

The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius of Caesarea, who flourished in the fourth century, has long been considered a lan

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THE

ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF EUSEBIUS I~

SYRIAC

THE

ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF EUSEBIUS IN

SYRIAC EDITED

FROJ.vf

TilE

j}fANUSCRIPTS

BY THE LATE

WILLIAM WRIGHT, LL.D. PROFESSOR OF ARABIC IN THE UNIVERSITY Ofo' CAMBRIDGE

ANI>

NORMAN McLEAN, M.A. FELLOW OF CHRIST's COLLEGE

WITH A COLLATION OF THE

ANCIE~il'

ARMENIAN VERSION

BY D~t

ADALBEHT l\IERX

PRQ}'ESSOR 1!'1 THE t.:XIVER8ITY OF HEIDELB!i:RO

~46'

!fp

:_y

,.9~@,

GORGIAS PRESS

2003

First Gorgias Press Edition, 2003. The special contents of this edition are copyright © 2003 by Gorgias Press LLC. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States of America by Gorgias Press LLC, New Jersey. This edition is a facsimile reprint of the original edition published by Cambridge University Press, London, 1898.

ISBN 1-59333-041-3

GORGIAS PRESS 46 Orris Ave., Piscataway, NJ 08854 USA www.gorgiaspress.com

Printed and bound simultaneously in the United States of America and Great Britain.

PREFACE. THE Syriac version of the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius survives in two ancient MSS, the one at St Petersburg (A) which is dated A.D. 462, and the other in the British Museum (B) numbered Add. 14639 which is assigned on palaeographical grounds to the sixth century. The following description of A, the St Petersburg Eusebius, was prepared by Dr Wright for his proposed edition : "A vellum MS in large quarto, consisting of 123 leaves, the first of which is merely a flyleaf taken from another volume. A few of these are a good deal stained and torn, especially foll. 1, 2, 3, and 121. The quires, originally 29 in num her, and mostly of 8 leaves, are signed with Syriac arithmetical figures. A later hand has numbered them with letters, from 1 to ~. but inaccurately. There is a huge lacuna after fol. 84, comprising quires xiii. to xxiv., and smaller defects in other places. Each page is divided into two cols., with from 29 to 34 lines. This MS is written in a fine, large, bold Estrang~la, with comparatively few diacritical points; and is dated A. Gr. 773, A.D. 462. It contains "The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius of Caesarea, 1~l~ l;..eu::o l..;.ec..o .al.!:l.moU ~~ 1lro~· The running title, at the top of the last leaf of each quire, is merely ~I· Book I. ; fol. 2 b. Book 11. ; fol. 20 a. Book 111.; fol. 40 b. Book IV.; fol. 62 a. Book v.; fol. 82 b. Very imperfect. Book VI. is wanting. Book VII.; fol. 85 a. Very imperfect. Book vm.; fol. 85 b. Book IX.; fol. 101 a. Book x. ; fol. 114 (t.

PREFACE.

Vl

"The colophon, fol. 123 b, states that the MS was written (probably at Edessa) by one Isaac, for a person whose name has been erased, in the year 773, A.D. 462. "On fol. 1 a there is the rudely drawn effigy of the Cross, coloured with brown pigment ; and beside it, a note stating that the volume was presented to the convent of S. Mary Deipara by one Sahlfm, a priest of Harran. ~,..o

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" This page also contains some more modern writing (relating to the passage Acts iii. 1 foll. ), and the rudely drawn figure of an animal, probably a horse or mule. " On fol. 41 a there are written in inelegant Greek characters the following names: ra{3pL'Y'JAYJ) is rendered by .F.ur'l-'".;"'a.ll.f! £.. ""'-"''"~"'""1"''11'• that is lwminibus complacentes et mendacibus insen•ifmtes 95 : thus ~

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~ 102 is rendered by ], Asplatea' fm· 'Arrcf>aATLT1)> 47, and who transliterates o\o • m ;~o =Kat Ov1Jp!rrrr{l-'-".' by '1."'7.brL- ..fJn .. JValeresinw.~ The words op8o1rvo!a 261, has not even a smattering of either of those languages. and 8vu7rVota 46 are tmnscribed ortlwponin and daspinia. Though I have looked for traces of different translators' hands I ha\·e not Rucceeded in finding any; the whole version seems to be the work of oue man or a set of men working on identical principles. As to the age of the translator, the question was an easy one so long a.c1 there were no doubts raised against the authenticity of the History of ::\loses of Khoreue. Since 1876 however this book has hy some eminent critics been regarded as a forgery, the author of which lived at least two centuries after the true Moses of Khorene, the celebrated translator in the beginning of Armenian literature. We cannot therefore ignore the fact that these doubts affect the certainty with which

XV1

NOTES OX

tlw age of om· Armenian version was determined, for its determination rested entirely on the witnes~ borne by the so-called Moses of Khorene. This author says, 11. 10, that in the following pa!!sage of his work he will give abstracts from the fifth book of Africanus the chronographer, because Africanus copied his history of the ancient Armenian kings from documents preserved in the archives (diwiin) at Edessa or Urhai which had been transferred there from Nisibis-and from sacerdotal n•citals written at Sinope•. He himself-viz. the author of the forgery-has, he affirms, seen these archives with hi~ own eyes. Besides this testimony of Aft·icanus there is still a nem·er testimony,-so he goes on-fot· the existence of such archives at Edessa, that is the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, which the venerable Doctor Mash tots (:\Iesrop t H 1) caused to be translated into Armenian. Then he refers to Eusebius 1. 13, where it is stated that there were such archives at Edessa (as Africanus mentioned) in which wen~ kept historical accounts of all achievements of the Armenian kings until Abgar. This iH what Eusebius says, but Moses or Pseudomoses adds, that these archives contain1~d also the history of the successors of Abgar until Erouant. Finally he declares, that he is of opinion, that a copy of the translation of Eusebius is still existing at Gelachouni, a town 3 in the district of Siuni, and this copy is the nearer testimony for the existence of the archives at Edessa, which the person for whom hP wrote his history easily may find if he seeks it. This person is none other than Isaac the Bagratounian (1. 1), whose residence may have been near Gelachouni, so that he could convince himself there, it being more difficult to get the books of Africanus. That seems to be the meaning of the somewhat confused passage 11. 10. In noticing that the translation was made hy order of l\Iesrop the author needs must have thought of the fact related in 111. 60, that Mesrop and Isaac the Great (the latter died in 441, six months before ~Iest·op) sent interpreters to Edessa, who should return to them laden with all the books of their-that is the Syriac-holy fathers diligently translated into ArmPnian. If it be conHidered that we have to this day translations from the Syriac of Ephraem, Aphraates, Labnbna, of the Ignatian epistles, of Irenaeus and perhaps of Hippolytus•, together with the translation of the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, the style of which is absolutely identical with that of the translation of Aphraates', it would be bold to deny the essential correctness of this notice, even if the authot· be more than two centuries younger than has hitherto been admitted. For even at a later time the author could not have made such assertions, if they were not generally accepted in his time, because he does not speak of an isolated work, but of a whole class of his national literature. Besides l\loses not only cites our translation, 11. I 0, hut he copieH from it almost 2 This is according to the translation of Tommaseo. It is however possible that he means, that another part of the archives at Edessa have been transferred there from Sinope from (the) sacerdotal recitals preserved there in a temple. 3 The rendering of this clause is disputed. Cf. l\I. A. Carri~re, La Legende d'Abgar in Centenaire de l'ecole des langue& orientales vivantes, Paris 1895, p. 360. • For Irenaeus comp. the fragments xxx and xxx1 in the second volume of the edition of Harvey, Cambridge 1857. Hippolytus is cited by l\Ioses of Khorene JI. 10. Comp. Hippo1ytus Werke von Bonwetsch und Achelis Berlin 1897, xxm. ~ Comp. Oraffin Patrologia syriaca Tomus primus (Aphraates) Paris 1894 p. xx:r.vu.

THE AR:\IENIAN VERSION.

XV!l

literally, with insignificant differences, the correspondence of Abgar and Christ (1. 3033 = Eusebius I. 13); and there are, as far 11S I have seen, still two other passages of Eusebius which he has embodied in his work. The first is Eusebius IV. 6 = Moses II. 60, where Moses has even the extraordinary spelling f\"'lfrm't"fl• Barchoba, which is found in Eusebius in the form f\"'tfrn{"l"fl instead of ~Cl.:)~, Barkochba, and where the missing word for ~ (comp. our text p. 188 Note 6) is really found in Moses, who has for ~0 l?U? ~1 ,.rrt._ 'bb'lf:l!'.7 t._ f-brb"'9 i.e. tamquam oppressis et capti1is. The second passage is l\Ioses 11. 66 = Eusebius IV. 26, where an old blunder in the text of l\Ioses is conected hy our translation. The corruptef

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