Bar Hebraeus’ Chronography The Second Kingdom of the Greeks Translated from Syriac by Ernest A. Wallis Budge

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Oxford University Press
London 1932

Here beginneth the Ninth Series, which [beginneth with] the kings of the RHOMAYE and endeth with the kings of the YAWNAYE (Greeks).

After JUSTINUS III (?), TIBERIUS [reigned] three years. Up to this time all the kings had been RHOMAYE, that is to say FRANGAYE (FRANKS), [87] the first of whom was AUGUSTUS and the last JUSTINUS. Although the tongue of the citizens and the men of law (or, scribes) was Greek, the kings and soldiers were FRANKS. But with this TIBERIUS, and onwards, the beginning of the Second Kingdom of the GREEKS (YAWNAYE) took place. This happened six hundred and two years after their First Kingdom had come to an end, the which began with KRONOS, the MACEDONIAN, and ended with PARSOS–thirty-eight kings. And in the year wherein TIBERIUS [began to] reign, that is the eight hundred and nineteenth year of the GREEKS (= A.D. 579), KESRU died. And HORMIZD his son reigned over the PERSIANS twelve years, and he was haughty and arrogant and did not send [to the RHOMAYE], as was the custom of kings, the gift (sumbolon) which announced the beginning of [his] kingdom. Thus also was it with TIBERIUS, who having risen [as king] sent to KESRU the gift announcing the fact. And he stirred up war in the country of ARMENIA. Then KIROS (MAURICIUS), the captain of the host of the RHOMAYE, made ready his armies, and when day broke in the east he fell upon him like the fire which hath been kindled in the wood, and destroyed them utterly (or, violently); and the governors and nobles of the PERSIANS he bound with fetters. And the RHOMAYE enjoyed great consolation.
During the four years of the sickness of JUSTINUS, whilst TIBERIUS was governing the State, Queen SOPHIA would not allow the wife of TIBERIUS to enter the royal city. And when JUSTlNUS blamed her, saying, ‘It is a sinful act of thine. For TIBERIUS is a young man and his body cannot endure chastity, and yet thou keepest his wife from him’, SOPHIA said, ‘My mind hath not perished like thiqe that I should give my sovereignty to another whilst I am still alive.’ And thus, after JUSTlNUS was dead, TIBERIUS wanted to bring his wife [there], and he entreated SOPHIA to give the command for her to come, but even so SOPHIA did not wish [to do so]. Then the Patriarch of the CHALCEDONIANS advised TIBERIUS to divorce his wife, and to take to wife SOPHIA or her daughter. But TIBERIUS was furious with the Patriarch, and he was very stubborn and said, ‘I will [readily] divorce the kingdom, but I will not trample on the Law’. And the Patriarch excused his proposal, saying, ‘The nobles compelled me to give thee this advice for the peace [88] of the kingdom’, When SOPHIA heard [this] she was afraid, and she gave the command, and the wife of TIBERIUS entered [the city] with great pomp; and she was named HELENA by the crowds as an honourable epithet. And TIBERIUS paid great honour to SOPHIA and her daughter, and he increased their revenues and they dwelt in their palace.
And MUNDAR, the son of a free woman, when he heard that TIBERIUS was reigning, went up to CONSTANTINOPLE. And when the king blamed him because he had delayed in helping the RHOMAYE, he showed him the letter of JUSTINUS; and when TIBERIUS saw it he marvelled. And he paid MUNDAR a great honour, and gave him many valuable gifts and he departed.
And after these things MAURICIUS, CAESAR of the RHOMAYE, went up to king TIBERIUS, and he made accusations against MUNDAR. And a certain MAGNE, the captain of the SYRIAN army, promised that he would seize him, because he was a friend of his. And when he went to SYRIA he sent a message to MUNDAR, saying, ‘I wish thee to come to me so that I may see thy healing [powers], because I am sorely afflicted by the fatigue of the road (or, of travelling); otherwise I would myself come and pay homage to thee’. And MUNDAR trusted in him as a friend and came, and the SYRIAN put him in fetters and sent him to the royal city. Then NA’AMAN, his son, collected troops and began to raid the countries of the RHOMAYE, but he neither killed nor burnt because his father was a prisoner.
Now this accursed man MAGNE wished to destroy NA’AMAN also, and he sent a message to him in which he swore oaths, saying, ‘If thou wilt come to me I will set thee in the place of thy father’. And NA’AMAN brought one of the young men and arrayed him in his apparel. And he sent him [to MAGNE] with servants. When MAGNE saw him, he said unto him, ‘Art thou NA’AMAN?’ And the young man said, ‘I am. Behold, I have come according to thy command.’ Then MAGNE commanded, ‘Behold the enemy of the king; cast on him iron fetters’. Then the young man laughed and said, ‘Nay, by CHRIST, I am not NA’AMAN’; And when MAGNE wanted to kill the young man the ARAB said, ‘I shall not grieve, for if I had not come I should have been killed by my own king’ ; and because of this [remark], after [inflicting] tortures [on him], MAGNE dismissed him. And after a short time MAGNE died.
Then NA’ MA.N, despising (i.e. risking) his life went up to MAURICIUS, [89] and he was received by him. And he swore to him that whilst he was fighting with the PERSIANS he would set free his father from bondage. And when it was proposed to him that he should associate himself with the followers of the COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON, he excused himself and said, ‘ All the tribes of the TAYYAYE are orthodox, and if I change [my religion] they will kill me’. And when NA’AMAN went out he swore that he would never see willingly again the faces of the RHOMAYE. Now, the RHOMAYE heard this, and they seized him whilst he was on the road and also banished him.
And the kingdom of the ARABS (TAYYAYE) was divided into fifteen divisions. The greater number of them cleaved to the PERSIANS, and some of them to the CHALCEDONIANS. And others cast away [their] weapons, and dwelt in cities and villages in the land of SEN’AR and in ‘ATrHOR (ASSYRIA), and in SYRIA, and they have preserved [their] orthodoxy until this day, like those in HADITHA, and HITH, and in BETH’ ARBAYE, and in KURITHIM which is in the land of EMESA, and in NABK and other places.
At this time a certain astute PERSIAN proclaimed that ‘he was the eldest son of KESRU the king, whom the troops of HORMIZD, his younger son, having chosen him to reign over them, his father had pity upon him and, gave him money for food, and sent him away so that he might not be killed’. This man came to the armies of the RHOMAYE that were in ARMENIA and said that he would deliver the kingdom of the PERSIANS to the RHOMAYE, if the king of the RHOMAYE gave an army. Then the RHOMAYE made known [this] to TIBERIUS, and he rejoiced in him great1y. And he sent gold and royal apparel, and commanded that he should come to the royal city with great pomp and ceremony. And when he arrived at CHALCEDON the king sent to him the sword-bearer of the king of the PERSIANS to inquire if he was so or not. And when he saw him and recognized him, he seized him by his hair and cast him forth from the throne, and said, ‘Thou impostor! Wouldst thou sit upon a throne and let the nobles stand before thee?’ Then that wretched man being afraid of death became a Christian.
At this time when the army of the RHOMAYE was marching to PERSIA with MAURICIUS CAESAR, the barbarian peoples of ‘ABHARIS (ABARES) and ‘ASKLABHONE (SCYTHIA) and LONGOBARDY, who were subject to the KHAKAN, laid waste the countries of the RHOMAYE. And ‘ADRAMON, the Warden of the Marches, arrived at EDESSA, and he burned churches, and monasteries [90] and villages. And they killed all the captives and burned their dead bodies, and through the cloud of smoke, which was so great that the sun itself was obscured, they were enabled to capture the city. And whilst they were assaulting it during three days they heard that the RHOMAYE and the ARABS with MAURICIUS had arrived; and they abandoned [the siege] and marched toward CALONICUS. Then the RHOMAYE overtook them, and killed many of them. And in the fourth year of his reign TIBERIUS fell sick of a disease in the belly and constriction of the bowels. And when he knew that he was dying, he gave his daughter AUGUSTA to wife to MAURICIUS, who was from ‘ARABISOS in CAPPADOCIA, and he put the crown of the kingdom upon him; and after three days he died.

After TIBERIUS, MAURICIUS [reigned] twenty years. In the first year of his reign a son was born to him by AUGUSTA, the daughter of TIBERIUS, and he was named ‘THEODOSIUS, born on the purple’. And at that time the RHOMAYE rebelled against MAURICIUS, and they set up a governor [called] GARMANOS. And when HORMIZD, king of the PERSIANS, heard [this] he sent promises to them that they would be with him (i.e. support him). They, however, despised him, and came against him for war, and they bound with fetters three thousand Persian slaves and sent them to MAURICIUS. And there was freedom of speech to them, and they returned to the subjugation of the king, and were welcome with gladness, and the king showered gifts and honour on GARMANOS.
And in the fourth year of his reign there broke forth and went out from the EAST a hateful people from ‘ABARIS whose hair was plaited, and from the WEST also came the SLAVS and the LONGOBARDS. And they came under the subjugation of the KHAKAN, king of the KAZARAYE, and they captured two cities from the RHOMAYE and many of [their] fortresses. And if it had not been for the great ditch which the king had made outside ADRIANOPLE, they would have set their faces towards CONSTANTINOPLE. Then the RHOMAYE killed the people of ‘ANTIO…, and they fell upon ‘ASKLABHUNYA and captured it and looted it. When the ‘ASKLABHONE heard this they made a great war (i.e. raid) in the country of the RHOMAYE and came back.
At this time there went forth from Inner SCYTHIA three brothers with thirty thousand SCYTHIANS. [91] And they came a journey of two months in the time of winter, for the discovery of water, that is to say [water ] from the fords of MOUNT AMON; and they arrived at the river TANIS (DONA?), which goeth out from the lake of MIANTIS and mingleth in the SEA OF PONTOS. And when they arrived at the frontier of the RHOMAYE, one of them whose name was BULGARIS took ten ships and crossed the river TANIS and pitched his camp between the rivers TANIS and DUNBIR (DON and DNIEPER?), which also mingles (i.e. flows into) the SEA OF PONTOS. And he sent to MAURICIUS [asking] him to give him land to dwell in, and [said that] he would become an ally of the RHOMAYE. And MAURICIUS gave him Upper and Lower MYSIA, and they dwelt there, and they became a guard (i.e. a buffer garrison) for the RHOMAYE. Now, though they were SCYTHIANS the RHOMAYE call them ‘BULGARIANS’. Then these two other brothers came to the country of ‘AL AN, which is BAR SALIA, that is to say to the towns of the CASPIAN, which the BULGARIANS and the PANGURIANS call the ‘Gate of the Turks’ ; they were once Christians and are now called ‘KAZARAYE’ after the name of the eldest brother.
And in the sixth year of MAURICIUS, PRISCUS, the captain of the host of the RHOMAYE, together with a large army went down to PERSIA, and there the RHOMAYE were divided and they would not receive him. Then the king came back and appointed PHILIP, his kinsman through his sister, to be the captain of their host. And when this man came down he exhibited many splendid triumphs. Now the RHOMAYE because they were accustomed to harsh treatment by PRISCUS began to plot against this man also, and they also thought that they would remove the king and set up another. And when they returned from PERSIA to ANTIOCH, and whilst they were wintering there, a great earthquake took place and the greater part of the city fell down through the tremors of the ground, and the soldiers were scattered round about the city. And the horsemen who had contended against the king came back and became reconciled with PHILIP. And when they had repented they heard that the PERSIANS of NISIBIS had deceived the guards (or, keepers) of MAIPHERKAT with false oaths, and that they had given them the city, and that many of the RHOMAYE had perished therein. Then PHILIP and the RHOMAYE marched quickly from ANTIOCH to MAIPHERKAT and captured it by assault, and slew the PERSIANS [92] who were in it.
And in the eighth year of MAURICIUS the PERSIANS rebelled against HORMIZD, their king, and they seized him by treachery and blinded his eyes, and he died. And ten months later those who had killed him because of the multitude of his evil deeds, inclined towards his son KESRU; and they made him their king [and he reigned] thirty-eight years. Now BAHRAM, the captain of the Persian host, did not favor KESRU, and he and many people rebelled against him vigorously. Then KESRU took refuge with the RHOMAYE, and he sent a message secretly to MAURICIUS saying that he was ready to go to him if it pleased him to grant him permission. When MAURICIUS heard this he rejoiced. And he wrote [to him saying] that he would help him in everything. And KESRU rose up promptly and came to EDESSA. And IWANNIS (JOANNES), a native of RUSAFAYA, received him into his house, and honoured him greatly. And he wrote to MAURICIUS, [saying], ‘Like a slave he should be to him’, but MAURICIUS replied that he should honour him as a father honoureth his son. And MAURICIUS sent to JOANNES, the captain of the host of the TARKAYE, with twenty thousand soldiers, and ANASTASIUS who took with him ‘ARMANAYO (ARMENIANS) and BULGARIANS– twenty thousand. And he sent forty talents of gold for his expenses. And when KESRU received these he marched to his own country. And HORMIZAN the PERSIAN came to him with ten thousand men. Now, when the rebels heard [this] they made ready to fight, and they were defeated and turned their backs in flight, and the captains who were among them were captured and killed, and the rest returned to KESRU. Then KESRU gave many gifts to the RHOMAYE, and he sent great gifts to MAURICIUS and precious stones, and he gave back DARA and RAS’AYN to the RHOMAYE. And KESRU asked MAURICIUS and he gave him MARIA, his daughter, to wife. And bishops went down with her, and the daughter of THEODOSIUS also made a splendid feast, and the Patriarch bound on the wedding crown. And KESRU built three great temples to the God-bearer, to the Apostles, and to SERGIUS the martyr, and the Patriarch of ANTIOCH consecrated them. And Christianity spread throughout PERSIA.
Now MAURICIUS was arrogant in his mind, and he regarded the hosts of the RHOMAYE with contempt, and he would not give them [their] pay. Then they sent a message to him, saying, ‘God hath given peace in thy days, but peace will not feed cavalrymen [93] unless they receive their pay. And if because there is no war [at present] thou wilt not give us our pay, behold thou wilt have war with us.’ And in this matter also he treated them with contempt, and demanded of PATROS his brother that he would reign over them. PATROS, however, was unwilling, and he fled to MAURICIUS and made the matter known to him. When MAURICIUS heard [this] he was afraid, and he fled and hid himself in CHALCEDON. Now when the army came to the royal city and did not find MAURICIUS, they appointed as their king a common old man called POKA (PHOCAS). And they went out and found MAURICIUS and brought him to the city, and they killed his sons before his face, and then they also killed him.

After MAURlCIUS, PHOCAS [reigned] eight years. When KESRU, the king of the PERSIANS, heard that MAURICIUS and his sons had been killed, he and his nobles put on black apparel, and they made a house for weeping in. And whilst making it clear that he would be avenged on the slayers of his kinsman and the doer of his good works, he concocted a plot whereby he might rule over the kingdom of the RHOMAYE. And he made ready an army and sent [it] against DARA and captured it. And he went to TUR ‘ABDIN, and [he fought] against the stone fortress and took it, and he killed the RHOMAYE who were inside it. And thus was it in every place; with the exception of the RHOMAYE they harmed none. Now when the RHOMAYE who were in the citadel heard [this] they abandoned the fortress and fled. And the monks gathered themselves together and went into it, and they sent a message to BASIL the bishop [asking him] if he would permit them to kill the PERSIANS. And in the nine hundred and eighteenth year of the GREEKS (= A.D. 601) the rebellious fortress of MERDA ( ?) was handed over into the hands of the PERSIANS, and ‘AMID also.
And there was a severe winter, and the EUPHRATES was frozen over. And after two years the PERSIANS crossed the EUPHRATES, and seized MABBOGH, and KENNESHRIN, and BEROEA and ANTIOCH. And it is said that when KESRU was master of EDESSA he took as a captive the wife of JOANNES of RUSAFA, whom he had honoured with such great honour when he received him into his house, and he took her down to PERSIA, and put her to death by tortures. The reason of this was that one day when he was resting in the house of JOANNES he said unto her, ‘It is the custom among the PERSIANS that when the king condescends to go into the house of one of his governors, for the mistress of that house to come forth [94] and to pay him honour, and to mix wine for him, even if it be only one cup[ful]’. Now though JOANNES was ashamed and was unwilling to act contrary to the wish of his wife, he inclined towards the matter (i.e. he thought that she might do what the king wanted done). But she did not wish to do so, and she replied, ‘In truth we are bound to pay honour to our chief, for he is a great king. But with us SYRIANS it is not the custom for the women to go out to men when they are drinking together. Therefore let not him (the king) blame me because I was too bashful to go out [to pay homage to him]. Then the Calumniator (i.e. the Devil) inflamed the wrath of KESRU, and he said to JOANNES, ‘That she did not go forth hath brought contempt upon thee, and what she hath said hath done so also’. This was his opinion; and because of this act he was driven away from his high position, and for this reason he kept his anger against her. And whilst the PERSIANS were laying waste the countries [abroad], PHOCAS, from the inside (i.e. at home) killed the nobles, until he had made an end of all the free-born warriors. Then two powerful patricians, GREGORIUS and HERACLIUS, who were in AFRICA, made a covenant with each other, and they sent their sons together with [their] armies against CONSTANTINOPLE. And when the citizens heard [this] they rejoiced, and they thronged out to meet them, and brought them in with pomp and ceremony. And PHOCAS was killed.

After PHOCAS, HERACLIUS [reigned] thirty-two years. When this emperor [began] to reign he sent ambassadors to KESRU, saying, ‘Because PHOCAS killed MAURICIUS your friend we have killed him’, and he imagined that by means of flatteries of this kind amity (between them] would come into being. But KESRU would not only not be reconciled, but increased the evil. And in his first year HERACLIUS captured ANTIOCH, and one year later BAHRAM, the captain of his host, captured CAESAREA of CAPPADOCIA, and he slew tens of thousands of the people, and he seized the whole country, and returned. And in the fourth year of HERACLIUS RUMIZAN, the captain of the host, who was nicknamed ‘SHAHRBARAZ’, that is to say ‘Wild pig’, subjugated DARMASUK (DAMASCUS), and one year later he became master of GALILEE and the country of the JORDAN. One year later he captured JERUSALEM and slew ninety thousand men in it. At first they treated the JEWS in a peaceful fashion, and then they carried them off finally to PERSIA. The following year SHAHRBARAZ went to EGYPT and took it, and he opened up ALEXANDRIA, and he subjugated LYBIA as far as the frontier of the KUSHITES (NUBIANS). And in the .same year also [95] SHAHIN, the PERSIAN, took CHALCEDON, and he slew all the people thereof. And thus the PERSIANS held all the countries of the RHOMAYE from the coast of the SEA OF PONTOS to the East.