The Third Part of the Ecclesiastical History of John, Bishop of Ephesus 9781463224028

This volume contains the last part of John of Ephesus’ (c. 507-c. 588) Ecclesiastical History in Syriac, covering the ye

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The Third Part of the Ecclesiastical History of John, Bishop of Ephesus

Syriac Studies Library


Sériés Editors Monica Blanchard Cari Griffïn Kristian Heal George Anton Kiraz David G.K. Taylor

The Syriac Studies Library brings back to active circulation major reference works in the field of Syriac studies, including dictionaries, grammars, text editions, manuscript catalogues, and monographs. The books were reproduced from originals at The Catholic University of America, one of the largest collections of Eastern Christianity in North America. The project is a collaboration between CUA, Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute, and Brigham Young University.

The Third Part of the Ecclesiastical History of John, Bishop of Ephesus

Edited with an Introduction by

William Cure ton

1 2010

gorgias press

Gorgias Press LLC, 954 River Road, Piscataway, NJ, 08854, USA Copyright © 2010 by Gorgias Press LLC Originally published in 1853 All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise without the prior written permission of Gorgias Press LLC.

ISBN 978-1-60724-900-9

Reprinted from the 1853 Oxford edition.

Digitized by Brigham Young University. Printed in the United States of America.

Series Foreword

This series provides reference works in Syriac studies from original books digitized at the ICOR library of The Catholic University of America under the supervision of Monica Blanchard, ICOR's librarian. The project was carried out by Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute and Brigham Young University. About 675 books were digitized, most of which will appear in this series. Our aim is to present the volumes as they have been digitized, preserving images of the covers, front matter, and back matter (if any). Marks by patrons, which may shed some light on the history of the library and its users, have been retained. In some cases, even inserts have been digitized and appear here in the location where they were found. The books digitized by Brigham Young University are in color, even when the original text is not. These have been produced here in grayscale for economic reasons. The grayscale images retain original colors in the form of gray shades. The books digitized by Beth Mardutho and black on white. We are grateful to the head librarian at CUA, Adele R. Chwalek, who was kind enough to permit this project. "We are custodians, not owners of this collection," she generously said at a small gathering that celebrated the completion of the project. We are also grateful to Sidney Griffith who supported the project.

Hm u,















irarmms of e w i m w ORIDtTAk SESaUtCO mn m imm.


T H E Manuscript from which this work is printed, the only one known to be in existence, I discovered among those obtained from the monastery of St. Mary Deipara in the Valley of the Natron Lakes, called also the Desert of Scete, or of the Ascetics, by Dr. Tattam during his second visit to Egypt, and deposited in the British Museum on the 1st of March 1843".

Three additional leaves were subsequently pro-

cured by M. Auguste Pacho in 1847 b . Museum, 14,640, Additional MSS.

I t is numbered in the British

At present it consists of 159 leaves

in Quarto, written in two columns in a large bold hand, and the type in which this volume is printed has been copied from it. The running title at the top of the page and the heading of the Chapters are written in red: and in the table of contents prefixed to each book the heads of the Chapters axe alternately in red and black. This copy must have been transcribed about a hundred years after the last event which is recorded in it.

This we are able to ascertain

with a great degree of exactness ; for I have found in the same collection another Manuscript containing a portion of the author's Ecclesiastical History, which he composed previously, and both of the volumes have evidently been transcribed a There is a full account of Dr. Tattam's mission, to procure these MSS. in the Quarterly Review, No. C L I I I . p. 39.

by the same hand.

fc I have given an account of M.A.Pacho's first acquisition of MSS. in the Preface to my editioaof theFestalLetters ofAthanasius, p.5,



It is marked No, 14,647 of the Additional MSS. in the British Museum. About half of this volume was obtained from the monks of the Valley of the Ascetics by Dr. Tattam in 1843 : and nearly the same quantity was procured by M. Auguste Pacho in 1847: ten more leaves were added in 1850 from the fragments which were subsequently acquired by M. A. Pacho. When the first portion was deposited by Dr. Tattam in the library of the British Museum, from the imperfect state of the work I had not the means of ascertaining who was its author; the addition of the second portion enabled me to identify it with the history of John Bishop of Asia or of Ephesus. This will explain why the two Manuscripts do not stand together in consecutive numbers on the shelves of the British Museum. The distinctive number in the Library was assigned before the means of ascertaining the identification of the author were obtained. I transcribe the Colophon of No. 14,647rf

\ \ \


ri B o o k i. C h . 3,


B o o k i. C h . 30.

P R E F A C E .


Book II. consists of fifty-two Chapters and is complete. Book III. was divided into fifty-six Chapters. The first forty-two and part of the forty-third are preserved. Book IV. comprised sixty-one Chapters; of these the first four, part of the fifth, part of the twenty-second, seven entire chapters from the twenty-third to the twenty-ninth and part of the thirtieth are lost. Book V. containing twenty-three Chapters, is complete. Book VI- comprised forty-nine Chapters : of which the first thirtysix and a part of the thirty-seventh still remain. The author is styled in this volume John Bishop of Ephesus: in the course of the work he also calls himself, I ^ ^ V t * w 1 who is over the heathen," and i a ^ D S s " idol-breaker," and identifies himself with John Bishop of Asia1'. By reference to various passages I have ascertained that he is the same author as the historian so well known from the frequent reference made to him by Syriac writers as John Bishop of Asia 1 : Ephesus being the capital of Asia Proper is doubtless the cause of this double appellation. There seems also to be little doubt as to his being the same as the historian mentioned by Evagrius k as his own countryman and kinsman, for the events of history coincide. Nor is there any force in the objection of Assemaniwho concludes from the fact of Dionysius, Patriarch of the Jacobites, having stated in his Chronicle that he had followed John of Asia down to A.G. 885, that his history must have terminated there, since we find from the work before us that he continued his narrative down to at least A. G. 896, or eleven years later, which will well agree with the period that Evagrius assigns to that John whose history he had followed. This THIRD PART of the History of John Bishop of Ephesus or of Asia 1

Book ii. Ch. 4, 5, 6. 44, &c. e Hook ii. Ch. 4. fc h Book v. Ch. 7. ' See J . S. Assemani: Bibliotheca Orien-

talis Clementino-Vaticana, torn. ii. p. 83. Lib. v. c. 2 4 I See Assemani, ibid. p. 81,



may be considered very important, because it supplies many facts and affords much information respecting various matters of Church History in the East, and especially at Constantinople, which have been hitherto entirely unknown in Europe. And although the author being a Monophysite, writes with a very strong party spirit, and appears also upon some occasions to have been a little too credulous, his narrative becomes highly interesting from the circumstance of his having been not only a cotemporary but also an eye-witness, and indeed a chief actor in many of the scenes which he describes. As I have already stated, the type in which this volume is printed has been copied from the Manuscript itself. It represents that character in which all the ancient Syriac Manuscripts are written, and is far more beautiful and simple than the ordinary type in use, which follows the much more recent and cursive character chiefly employed hy the Maronites. The Delegates of the University Press have rendered a great service in causing this type to be prepared. For myself I cannot adequately express my deep sense of gratitude for their liberality in undertaking the publication of this work. They will receive their reward in the satisfaction of having been instrumental in making public an important treatise on Church History hitherto unknown, and in the thanks of all those who take a real interest in sound and useful learning. In carrying a work of such extent through the press it is impossible for a single revisor to have avoided typothetieal errors. I have however collated each printed sheet twice with the original Manuscript in order to ensure as great accuracy as possible. When the translation is complete, I shall be able to supply a full list of all errata of any importance. Westminster,

May 26tk, 1853.

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