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John of Antioch (chronicler)

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John of Antioch (chronicler)

John of Antioch was a 7th-century chronicler, who wrote in Greek. He was a monk, apparently contemporary with Emperor Heraclius (610–41). Gelzer (Sextus Julius Africanus, 41) identifies the author with the Monophysite Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch John of the Sedre, who ruled from 630 to 648.

John of Antioch's chronicle, Historia chronike, is a universal history stretching from Adam to the death of Phocas; it is one of the many adaptations and imitations of the better known chronicle of John Malalas. His sources include Sextus Julius Africanus, Eusebius, and Ammianus Marcellinus. Only fragments remain.

The fragments of the chronicle are contained in two collections, the Codex Parisinus 1763, which was published in an edition by Claudius Salmasius, and the encyclopedia of history made by order of Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (912–59), in fifty-three chapters. Of the Constantinian collection only parts remain (Krumbacher, Byzantinische Litteraturgebchichte, 258–60). Two titles: "Of Virtue and Vice" and "Of Conspiracies against Emperors" contain the literary remains of John of Antioch. A difficulty arises from the fact that a great part of the extracts (from the Roman Commonwealth of Justin I) differs considerably from the corresponding quotations in the Salmasian collection. The Constantinian passages are of the nature the old Hellenic writing of history, the Salmasian ones are rather Byzantine and Christian. The Salmasian compilation is older, and so appears to be the original text; the other is no doubt a re-arrangement made under the influence of the Hellenic Renaissance started by patriarch Photius. But some authorities see in them two different originals and speak of a "Constantinian" and a "Salmasian" John of Antioch.

The Salmasian excerpts are edited by Cramer, Anecdota Graecae cod. mss. regiae Parisiensis, II, Oxford 1839, 383–401. Both series of fragments are in C. Muller, "Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum", vol. IV, Paris, 1883, 535–622; V, 27–8.

Sources

  • Fortescue, A. (1910). "John of Antioch". In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved May 23, 2009 from New Advent.

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