The History of Zonaras: From Alexander Severus to the Death of Theodosius the Great, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The History of Zonaras

From Alexander Severus to the Death of Theodosius the Great, 1st Edition

By Thomas Banchich, Eugene Lane


318 pages

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While an exile from Constantinople, the twelfth-century Byzantine functionary and canonist John Zonaras culled earlier chronicles and histories to compose an account of events from creation to the reign of Alexius Comnenus. For topics where his sources are lost or appear elsewhere in more truncated form, his testimony and the identification of the texts on which he depends are of critical importance.

For his account of the first two centuries of the Principate, Zonaras employed now-lost portions of Cassius Dio. From the point where Dio’s History ended, to the reign of Theodosius the Great (d. 395), he turned to other sources to produce a uniquely full historical narrative of the critical years 235-395, making Books XII.15-XIII.19 of the Epitome central to the study of both late Roman history and late Roman and Byzantine historiography.

This key section of the Epitome, together with Zonaras’ Prologue, here appears in English for the first time, both complemented by a historical and historiographical commentary. A special feature of the latter is a first-ever English translation of a broad range of sources which illuminate Zonaras’ account and the historiographical traditions it reflects. Among the authors whose newly translated works occupy a prominent place in the commentary are George Cedrenus, George the Monk, John of Antioch, Peter the Patrician, Symeon Magister, and Theodore Scutariotes. Specialized indices facilitate the use of the translations and commentary alike.

The result is an invaluable guide and stimulus to further research for scholars and students of the history and historiography of Rome and Byzantium.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Abbreviations. Introduction. Epitome of Histories: Prologue and Postscript. Commentary on Prologue and Postscript. Book XII.15-35. Commentary on Book XII.15-35. Book XIII.1-19. Commentary on Book XIII.1-19. Bibliography Indices: Zonaras' Military and Administrative Terminology. Index of Passages Cited. Index of People and Places

About the Series

Routledge Classical Translations

Routledge Classical Translations provides scholars and students with accurate, modern translations of key texts that illuminate distinctive aspects of the classical world and come from a range of periods, from early Greece to the Byzantine empire. Volumes include thematic groupings of texts, texts from important authors as well as texts from the Byzantine period that are relevant for the study of the classical world but which remain inaccessible. Each volume has accompanying notes and commentary that provide a solid framework for deeper understanding of the material. As well as providing translations of significant texts, the series makes available material that is untranslated into English or difficult to access, and places these texts within new contexts to open-up areas of study and support research.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General