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By Robert Thomson

The background attributed to Sebeos is without doubt one of the significant works of early Armenian historiography. even though nameless, it used to be written in the midst of the 7th century, a time while related chronicles in Greek and Syriac are sparse. Sebeos lines the fortunes of Armenia within the 6th and 7th centuries in the broader framework of the Byzantine–Sasanian clash. This ebook can be of curiosity to all these desirous about the examine of Armenia, the Caucasus, the jap Roman Empire and the center East in past due antiquity. it will likely be of specific worth to Islamicists, seeing that Sebeos not just units the scene for the arriving of Islam, yet offers the one enormous non-Muslim account of the preliminary interval of enlargement.

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Extra resources for Armenian History Attributed to Sebeos (Liverpool University Press - Translated Texts for Historians)

Sample text

19 Aa 845. SEBEOS xxxv (b) The Text in Later Historians The ¢rst Armenian historian to overlap with Sebeos20 is —ewond of the late eighth century, whose own History begins with the Muslim invasions of Armenia. 21 Not until the tenth century does anyone quote Sebeos verbatim, for the ninth-century History by Shapuh Bagratuni ^ which one might assume to contain material relevant to the earlier history of that family ^ is lost. Soon after 905 T‘ovma Artsruni wrote a detailed account of the origins and exploits of the Artsruni noble family in the area of Lake Van.

Although nothing is known of —ewond, and the date of some of the documents included in his History is unclear, the work was quoted verbatim by T‘ovma Artsruni just after 900. A date soon after 790 for —ewond is generally accepted. It is not necessary to prolong this list. There are no extant historians from the ninth century, the work of Shapuh Bagratuni being lost. 41 Let us return to Sebeos. (b) Features in Common and Di¡erences The ¢rst feature which Sebeos shares with many of the historians just mentioned is that he is a shadowy ¢gure.

The death of Vardan on the battle¢eld in the defence of Armenian traditional liberties is proclaimed as a martyr’s death which will bring immediate salvation. So the writing of history has a moral purpose ^ the encouragement of virtue and the reprobation of vice ^ which is linked to the defence not only of the Armenian church but more especially of Armenian traditions. 2, 34; see Mahe¤, ‘Une le¤gitimation scripturaire’. 48 —azar 5. SEBEOS xlvii nian liberties are not merely traitors to their country, they are apostates from the faith.

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