This invaluable five-volume set on The Chronicle of Michael the Great makes the scholarly resources on this unique manuscript available together for the first time. Soon to be accessible, The Chronicle is the largest medieval chronicle known, and is available here for the first time in history as a facsimile of the original manuscript, as well as in a copy of the original Syriac, the French translation. 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. The manuscript is now virtually inaccessible; however, Gorgias Press has acquired exclusive rights to publish a full facsimile of the original manuscript for the first time. This facsimile edition is volume 1 of the set. The volume is edited by Gregorios Yuhanna Ibrahim, with a foreword by George A. Kiraz. In the late 1890s Jean-Baptiste Chabot prepared a French translation of the Chronicle with annotations and indices; these comprise volumes 2-4 of this set.
George A. Kiraz is the founder and director of Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute, and the president of Gorgias Press. He earned an MSt in Syriac Studies from Oxford University, and an MPhil and PhD from Cambridge University. He has an extensive list of publications in Syriac studies.