This invaluable two-volume set on the Chronicle of Michael the Great makes the scholarly resources on this unique manuscript available for scholars interested in the Armenian version. This abbreviated Armenian recension and its French translation are here sold together. The Chronicle is one of the most important primary sources on the history of the Middle East, especially the period between the rise of Islam and the Crusades.
The universal history known as the Chronicle of Michael the Great (also known as Michael the Syrian), covering the creation until 1195 AD, is the largest medieval chronicle known. Cited by historians in a variety of contexts, it is considered one of the most important primary sources on the history of the Middle East, especially the period spanning from the immergence of Islam until the Crusades. As a further mark of its importance, some of the Chronicle’s sources are lost and Michael’s text is the only surviving witness of their contents.
The original Syriac text was unknown to European scholarship until the end of the nineteenth century when a unique manuscript, dated 1598, was discovered in Edessa. In the thirteenth century, an Armenian epitome of the Chronicle was made that survives now in a few recensions. One such recension was edited by a monk named Vartan and published in Jerusalem in 1871. It is given here in full in the first volume of this set. A French translation by Victor Langlois of another Armenian recension is given in the second volume.