Chronicle of Michael the Syrian

12 Jul

Just a quick repost of something Roger Pearse just put up on his site.

The Chronicle of Michael the Syrian is now available in English, online. Previously it has been available in French and excerpts have been translated into English but this will expand its availability to a bunch of new people, including me. It includes a PDF available for download.

Michael the Syrian was the Patriarch of the Syrian Church from 1166-1199 and this is the largest chronicle written in the Middle Ages, originally in Armenian. What’s really good is it includes portions of other chronicles and histories which have since been lost. He provides a contemporary view of the history of the world as it ranges from Adam to events current in his day. Obviously I haven’t read it but it should be very interesting.

Thanks to Robert Bedrosian for providing this translation. It’s a boon to mankind. Or at least to those of us who enjoy reading such things.


Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Resources


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2 responses to “Chronicle of Michael the Syrian

  1. andy4675

    April 16, 2015 at 11:21 am

    This is not the real Michael the Syrian’s Chronicle. This is the translation of his Chronicle from the Syrian to Armenian made in the Middle Age in some Armenian manuscripts. No Armenian copy was an exact copy of the original work that exist today. There were translations of some parts of the work to Armenian. There is MANY differences of that Armenian copies with the original work. Mr Bedrosian translated some Armenian manuscripts with the Chronicle of Michael. But you must compare this translation with the French translation of the same author. Many differences. Many mistakes…

    Sorry, if I’ve disappointed you. But it is much better to know.

  2. Curt Emanuel

    April 19, 2015 at 10:26 am


    Thank you for the comment. What you say is true. What you say is also true for pretty much every source we have from that period. We almost never have the original document as written by the author. What we have are copies – likely something which has been copied several times. Between copyist errors and emendations these are rarely (never?) identical to the original. And translations by definition are different from the original. There are always interpretations which could be read multiple ways which is why having footnoted and annotated editions is so important.

    So you haven’t disappointed me at all by making a statement which is true for almost every written source from before about the 8th century.


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