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E01210: On 6 September 503, the citizens of Edessa bring in the relics of martyrs from the shrines outside the city while preparing for the city to be besieged by the Persian king Kavadh I (r. 488-531). Record in the Syriac Chronicle of Pseudo-Joshua the Stylite (6th c.).

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posted on 16.03.2016, 00:00 by sminov
Chronicle of Pseudo-Joshua the Stylite 59

ܡܖ̈ܚܐ ܕܝܢ ܐܝܠܝܢ ܕܐܝܬ ܗܘܐ ܒܚܝܠܘ̈ܬܗ܇ ܡܬܟܪܟܝܢ ܒܐܬܪܐ ܘܡܚܪܒܝܢ ܠܗ. ܒܝܘܡ ܫ̈ܬܐ ܒܐܪܚ ܐܠܘܠ܇ ܥܩܪܘ ܐܘܪܗܝܐ ܟܠܗܝܢ ܕܝܖ̈ܬܐ ܘܦܘ̈ܬܘܐ ܕܩܪܝܒܝܢ ܗܘܘ ܨܝܕ ܫܘܪܐ. ܘܐܘܩܕ ܠܟܦܪ ܨܠܡ ܩܪܝܬܐ ܕܗ̣ܝ ܢܓܒܬ. ܘܓܡܘ ܟܠܗܘܢ ܣܝ̈ܓܐ ܕܓ̈ܢܐ ܘܠܦܖ̈ܕܝܣܐ ܕܠܕܝܪܝܢ ܗܘܘ. ܘܦܣܩܘ ܐܝ̈ܠܢܐ ܕܒܓܘܗܘܢ. ܘܐܥܠܘ ܓܖ̈ܡܐ ܕܟܠܗܘܢ ܣܗ̈ܕܐ ܕܐܝܬ ܗܘܐ ܚܕܖ̈ܝ ܡܕܝܢܬܐ.

'On the sixth of September, the Edessenes flattened all the monasteries and inns which were situated adjacent to the wall, and set fire to Kephar Selem, the village which is (also known as) Negbath. They cut down all the hedges of the surrounding parks and gardens, and felled the trees in them, and they brought in the bones of all the martyrs which were (in the churches) surrounding the city.'

Ed. Chabot 1927-1949, v. 1, p. 286; trans. by Trombley and Watt 2000, p. 75.

History

Evidence ID

E01210

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

503

Activity not after

503

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 - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - unspecified Transfer, translation and deposition of relics

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 reports that on 6 September 503 the relics of 'martyrs' (sahde) from different churches in the vicinity of Edessa were brought inside the city as the troops of the Persian king Kavadh I (r. 488-531) were advancing towards it during the so-called Anastasian War, i.e. the military conflict between the Roman and Sasanian empires during the years 502-506 (for more information, see Greatrex 1998, 73-138). Our source bears witness to the standard practice of removal of saints' relics and church service vessels from suburban shrines as a part of preparations for a siege. The chronicler may have been an eyewitness of the events described: 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: Greatrex, G., Rome and Persia at War, 502–532 (Leeds: Francis Cairns, 1998). 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.

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