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Witnesses to a World CrisisHistorians and Histories of the Middle East in the Seventh Century$
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James Howard-Johnston

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208593

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208593.001.0001

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Later Historians at Work in Egypt, Iraq, and Iran

Later Historians at Work in Egypt, Iraq, and Iran

(p.313) 10 Later Historians at Work in Egypt, Iraq, and Iran
Witnesses to a World Crisis

James Howard‐Johnston

Oxford University Press

Four works are singled out for discussion. The seventh‐century patriarchal biographies included in the late eleventh‐century History of the Coptic Patriarchs of Alexandria are shown to have been written around 715 and to include good, contemporary information about the treatment of Christians in Egypt in the recent past. Christians, in this case Nestorians rather than Monophysites, and their relations with the secular authorities are to the fore in the east Syrian Chronicle of Seert, which is shown to be a revised and expanded edition of a church history and collection of biographies written by Ish‘odnah, metropolitan of Basra, in the ninth century. Valuable snippets of information about Christian–Jewish relations in Palestine and the Caliph ‘Umar's visit to Jerusalem can be extracted from the Annals of Eutychius (d. 940). Finally, the influence of the official Sasanian history, the Khwadaynamag or ‘Book of Lords’, is traced down to Firsdawsi's Shahname, completed in 1010.

Keywords:   Christians, Jews, Egypt, Alexandria, Seert, Ish‘odnah, Jerusalem, Eutychius, Khwadaynamag, Firdawsi

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