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E01204: In the year 498/9, the martyrium-church of the city of Arsamosata (Armenia) collapses as a result of a natural disaster during the yearly commemoration of the local martyr saint, bringing about many casualties. Record in the Syriac Chronicle of Pseudo-Joshua the Stylite (6th c.).

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posted on 14.03.2016, 00:00 by sminov
Chronicle of Pseudo-Joshua the Stylite 35

ܬܘܒ ܕܝܢ ܒܗ̇ ܒܓܪܒܝܐ ܐܝܬ ܗܘܐ ܒܝܬ ܣܗ̈ܕܐ ܚܕ ܕܡܬܩܪܐ ܕܐܪܫܡܫܛ. ܐܝܢܐ ܕܡܫܪܪܐܝܬ ܒܢܐ ܗܘܐ ܘܦܐܝܐܝܬ ܡܨܒܬ ܗܘܐ. ܘܒܝܘܡܐ ܝܕܝܥܐ ܗ̇ܘ ܕܒܗ ܗܘ̇ܐ ܗܘܐ ܕܘܟܪܢܗ ܕܩܕܝܫܐ: ܕܣܡܝܢ ܒܗ ܟܠ ܫܢܐ ܒܫܢܐ܇ ܐܬܟܢܫܘ ܣܓ̈ܝܐܐ ܠܬܡܢ ܡܢ ܟܠ ܦܢ̈ܝܢ. ܐܝܬ ܕܠܨܠܘܬܐ ܘܐܝܬ ܕܠܬܓܘܪܬܐ. ܦܘܪܢܣܐ ܓܝܪ ܣܓܝܐܐ ܗܘ̇ܐ ܗܘܐ ܠܐܢܫܘܬܐ ܒܟܢܫܐ ܗ̇ܘ ܕܡܬܟܢܫ ܗܘܐ ܒܗ. ܘܟܕ ܥܡܐ ܣܓܝܐܐ ܐܝܬ ܗܘܐ ܒܗ ܕܓܒܖ̈ܐ ܘܕܢܫ̈ܐ ܘܕܛ̈ܠܝܐ: ܘܟܠ ܩܘ̈ܡܢ ܘܟܠ ܡܘ̈ܫܚܢ܆ ܗܘܘ ܒܖ̈ܩܐ ܕܚ̈ܝܠܐ ܘܦܩ̈ܥܐ ܥܫ̈ܝܢܐ. ܘܩ̈ܠܐ ܕܙܘܥܬܐ. ܘܥܪܩܬ ܟܠܗ̇ ܐܢܫܘܬܐ ܠܒܝܬ ܣܗ̈ܕܐ ܗ̇ܘ܇ ܠܡܚܕ ܓܘܣܐ ܒܓܖ̈ܡܝܗܘܢ ܕܛܘ̈ܒܢܐ. ܘܟܕ ܒܕܚܠܬܐ ܪܒܬܐ ܐܝܬܝܗܘܢ ܗܘܘ܇ ܘܒܨܠܘܬܐ ܘܒܬܫܡܫܬܐ ܩܝܡܝܢ ܗܘܘ ܒܦܠܓܗ ܕܠܠܝܐ. ܢܦܠ ܒܝܬ ܣܗ̈ܕܐ ܗ̇ܘ ܘܣܘܓܗܘܢ ܕܒܢܝܢ̈ܫܐ ܕܐܝܬ ܗܘܐ ܒܗ ܟܒܫ ܬܚܘܬܘܗܝ. ܗ̣ܘ ܕܝܢ ܗܕܐ ܐܣܬܥܪܬ ܒܝܘܡܐ ܗ̇ܘ ܕܢܝܩܦܘܠܝܤ ܢܦܠܬ ܗܘܬ.

'Furthermore, up north there was a martyrion called Arsamosata, which had been strongly built and beautifully decorated. Every year on the day on which occurred the commemoration of the saint who placed in it, a multitude would gather there from all around, some for prayer, others for business. Many supplies, in fact, were brought in for the people assembled in that company. When there was a great crowd there, of men, women, and children, and of all ages and ranks, terrifying lightning and violent thunder broke out, and the rumblings of a quake. All the people fled to the martyrion to take refuge with the bones of the saints, but while they remained there in great fear and were praying and worshipping in the middle of the night, the martyrion collapsed and the majority of those inside were crushed beneath it. This happened on the same day as the fall of Nicopolis.'

Ed. Chabot 1927-1933, v. 1, pp. 261-262; trans. by Trombley and Watt 2000, p. 34.
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

History

Evidence ID

E01204

Saint Name

Anonymous martyrs : S00060

Saint Name in Source

ܣܗ̈ܕܐ

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Syriac

Evidence not before

506

Evidence not after

600

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

499

Place of Evidence - Region

Mesopotamia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Edessa

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Edessa Edessa Edessa Ἔδεσσα Edessa

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Activities Accompanying Cult

  • Fair

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Seeking asylum at church/shrine

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - unspecified

Source

The Chronicle of Pseudo-Joshua the Stylite is a historiographical work that deals for the most part with the events in the city of Edessa and the neighbouring region during the period 494-506. It is an original Syriac composition, most likely produced not long after the year 506 by a Syriac-speaking citizen of Edessa. In its present form, it is preserved as a part of a larger historiographic work, the Chronicle of Zuqnin (known also as the Chronicle of Pseudo-Dionysius of Tel-Mahre), an 8th c. West-Syrian composition. Syriac text: Martin 1876, 1-82; Wright 1882, 1-92; Chabot 1927-1933, v. 1, 235-317; English translation: Wright 1882, 1-84; Trombley and Watt 2000; French translation: Martin 1876, ix-lxxxvi; German translation: Luther 1997. For general information, see Trombley and Watt 2000, xi-lv; Luther 1997, 1-32; Watt 1999.

Discussion

The Chronicle describes the destruction of the unnamed martyrium-church (bet sahde) in the city of Arsamosata in the province of Sophene (Armenia IV) during the year 498/9, which was caused by a natural disaster and took place during the annual commemoration of the saint. The source confuses the name of the city (see on it Foss 1991) with the name of the martyr buried in the church, whose identity remains unknown. The Chronicle reports that during the commemoration of the saint a fair was taking place. It relates also that when the natural disaster, most likely an earthquake, began, the people looked for an asylum in the martyrium-church, which in the end collapsed, killing many of them. The chronicler appears to be well-informed about events of the late 5th and early 6th century: there is no reason to doubt this information.

Bibliography

Main editions and translations: Chabot, J.B., Incerti auctoris Chronicon Pseudo-Dionysianum vulgo dictum. 2 vols (CSCO 91, 104, Syr. III.1-2 [43, 53]; Paris: Typographeo Reipublicae, 1927, 1933). English translation: Trombley, F.R., and Watt, J.W., The Chronicle of Pseudo-Joshua the Stylite (Translated Texts for Historians 32; Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2000). Others editions and translations: Luther, A., Die syrische Chronik des Josua Stylites (Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur und Geschichte 49; Berlin / New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1997). Martin, J.-P.P., Chronique de Josué le Stylite écrite vers l’an 515 (Abhandlungen für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 6.1; Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus, 1876). Wright, W., The Chronicle of Joshua the Stylite Composed in Syriac A.D. 507 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1882). Further reading: Foss, C., “Arsamosata,” in: A.P. Kazhdan (ed.), The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. 3 vols. (New York / Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), vol. 1, 186-187. Watt, J.W., “Greek Historiography and the “Chronicle of Joshua the Stylite”,” in: G.J. Reinink and A.C. Klugkist (eds.), After Bardaisan: Studies on Continuity and Change in Syriac Christianity in Honour of Professor Han J.W. Drijvers (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 89; Louvain: Peeters, 1999), 317-327.

Licence

Exports

Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

Licence

Exports