Zuqnin, Chronicle of

A universal chronicle which begins with the creation of the world and ends with the year 775/6, the time of composition. It is known from a single ms., partially palimpsest, purchased by J. S. Assemani from Dayr al-Suryān in Egypt in 1715 and added to the treasures of the Vatican Library under the siglum Codex Zuqninensis Vat. Syr. 162. Separate folios belonging to the last part of the chronicle were acquired in 1842 from the same monastery by H. Tattam, and are now housed in the British Library (Add. 14,665, ff. 2–7). The author’s name is not given; the first folios which may have included it are missing. A likely candidate, however, is Yeshuʿ the Stylite of Zuqnin, whose name is commemorated in a 9th- cent. colophon inserted in the chronicle by a Syriac monk residing in Egypt. The work is conveniently divided into four parts reflecting more or less the major literary sources compiled by the author. Part I spans from the creation of the world to the reign of Constantine, and in it the Chronicle of Eusebius of Caesarea is a major source. Part II goes from the time of Constantine to the time of Theodosius II, on the basis of the Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus and such other literary sources as the so-called Chronicle of Yeshuʿ the Stylite. Part III, based among others on the Ecclesiastical History of Yuḥanon of Ephesus, covers the reigns of Zeno, Anastasius, Justin I, and Justinian. Part IV, essentially the personal contribution of the chronicler, deals with the reign of Justinian and continues to the year 775. The accounts dealing with the period between 767 and 775 are particularly detailed and altogether they form a unique source on the economic policies of the early Abbasids, namely Caliph Abū Jaʿfar al-Manṣūr, and on the history of the Syr. Orth. Church in the Jazīra in those years.


  • I.-B.  Chabot, Incerti auctoris Chronicon Pseudo-Dionysianum vulgo dictum (CSCO 91, 104, 121; 1927–1949).
  • A.  Harrak, The Chronicle of Zuqnīn, Parts III and IV: A.D. 488–775 (1999).
  • A.  Harrak, ‘Joshua the Stylite of Zuqnīn’, in Christian-Muslim relations, ed. Thomas and Roggema, 322–6.
  • R.  Hespel, Chronicon Anonymum Pseudo-Dionysianum vulgo dictum , II (CSCO 507; 1989).
  • F. R.  Trombley and J. W.  Watt, The Chronicle of Pseudo-Joshua the Stylite (2000).
  • W.  Witakowski, The Syriac Chronicle of Pseudo-Dionysius of Tel-Mahrē. A Study in the history of historiography (1987).
  • W.  Witakowski, Pseudo-Dionysius of Tel-Mahre. Chronicle (known also as the Chronicle of Zuqnin). Part III (TTH 22; 1996).

Zuqnin, Chronicle of


Front Matter A (73) B (53) C (26) D (36) E (27) F (5) G (30) H (22) I (31) J (15) K (11) L (12) M (56) N (19) O (3) P (28) Q (11) R (8) S (71) T (39) U (1) V (5) W (3) X (1) Y (41) Z (4) Back Matter
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