The Chronicle of Zuqnin is a universal history beginning with the Creation according to the biblical account and ending with the time of the Chronicler, the years 775-776 AD. The author is most probably Joshua the Stylite, a contemporary of the Caliphs al-Mansur and al-Mahdi, who lived in the monastery of Zuqnin that was located near Amid, the Diar-Bakr of modern Turkey. Parts I and II contain compiled sources some of which survived only in this Chronicle. Sources include the Bible, Cave of Treasures, the Sleepers of Ephesus, Eusebius of Caesarea, Socrates, and the short Chronicle called Pseudo-Joshua the Stylite that deals with Sassanian-Byzantine warfare at the begging of the 6th century. Parts III and IV cover the years 488 and 775 AD.
In this volume, Parts I and II, including the author’s dedicatory letter, are now published in an updated edition of the Syriac text and the first English translation.
Front cover: Codex Zuqninensis Folio 66v. Courtesy of the Vatican Library
Amir Harrak is full professor at the University of Toronto. His specialty is Aramaic and Syriac languages and literatures. His many publications deal with Syriac epigraphy, chronography, and cataloguing of manuscripts.