The most important illuminating source that survived from the two centuries termed the dark ages of Byzantium is the chronicle of the monk Theophanes d 817 or 818 In it Theophanes paints a vivid picture of the Empire s struggle in the seventh and eighth centuries both to withstand foreign invasions and to quell internal religious conflicts Theophanes s carefully developed chronological scheme was mined extensively by later Byzantine and Western record keepers his chronicle was used as a source of information as well as a stylistic model It is the framework upon which all Byzantine chronology for this period must be based.Important topics covered by the Chronicle include The Empire s struggle to repel explosive Arab expansionism and the Bulgar invasion.The iconoclastic controversy, which caused civil war within Byzantium and led to schism between the churches of Constantinople and Rome.The development of the Byzantine thematic system, the administrative and social structure that would bring the Empire to the height of its power and prosperity.Almost all the sources used by Theophanes have perished, leaving his chronicle as the most important historical literature from this period Turledove s translation makes available in English this crucial primary text for the study of medieval Byzantine civilization....
|Title||:||The Chronicle of Theophanes: Anni mundi 6095-6305 (A.D. 602-813) (The Middle Ages Series)|
|Publisher||:||University of Pennsylvania Press n edition September 1, 1982|
|Number of Pages||:||226 pages|
|File Size||:||770 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Chronicle of Theophanes: Anni mundi 6095-6305 (A.D. 602-813) (The Middle Ages Series) Reviews
This translation provides a much needed text for students looking for a primary source on the 7th and 8th centuries of Romania, or the Roman Empire in the East. Theophanes was a 9th century writer, who compiled this work from many other sources, some of which are lost to us. Thus some parts of the text are rich in information, such as Heraclius' wars with Persia. On the other hand, there is also some distortion, due to bias, the account of Constantine V comes to mind. The text is arranged in a series of annals, moving year by year; this gives the reader a fairly good chronological foundation for most events.
The five reviews up to here have already explained how much this book matters and how good of a translation this is. I agree with all of them. For the casual reader, you can't beat the price and the translation is very readable.
This is the paperback edition of the translation of the Chronicle of Theophanes by Harry Turtledove, published by the university of Pennsylvania press. The translation covers the years AD 602 to 814. The Greek chronicle actually starts with Diocletian, about AD285, a date often used as an era by Eastern Christian sources. However Theophanes only becomes a primary source after 602, because all of the sources he used after that date have not survived. Theophanes is the fullest source I am aware of upon the tyrrany of Phokas, who is up there with Caligula, Nero and Commodus in the rankings of imperial crazies. He preserves what I think is a Christian idealised account of the great campaigns of Heraclius, and he gives an account of the early conquests of Islam attributing Christian disaster to imperial heresy, and there is some implication of blaming the Jews and heretic Nestorians for the problems of the empire. he is almost the only source for the first, little recorded siege of Constantinoplie by the forces of the Khalif Muawiyah in the years 673 onwards.He is a fuller source for the second siege in 717, and the Iconoclast/Iconodule religious conflict of the Eighth century, of the reign of the empress Irene, and the Bulgar victory of Krum, and the defeat and death of the emperor Nikephorus in 811.
This is a great primary source, I am a "Byzantophile." I wanted it to write a paper on the second Arab siege of Constantinople(RIP), using Theophanes account as one of my sources. I could of got it at the library, but this a great work, and a good collection to my dozens of Byzantine/Roman books.
This excerpt from the Chronicle of Theophanes is a useful work covering a period in Late Roman/Early Byzantine history where the primary source material is scanty at best. Indeed, for the period covered here between AD 602 and AD 813, Theophanes is, sadly, the best we've got.