TOTOMANOVA A.-M. Parabiblical and Biblical Chronographic Compilations in Simeon’s Bulgaria


Anna-Maria Totomanova

Doctor Habil, Professor, Head of the Department of Cyril and Methodius Studies,

Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”,

Tsar Osvoboditel blvd., 15, 1540 Sofia, Bulgaria

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Abstract. The paper explores the role of a lost Byzantine chronographic compilation in shaping Bulgarian historiographic model in the early 10th c. The compilation was translated into Bulgarian by order of Tsar Simeon the Great and survived in five Russian copies of 15–16th cc. belonging to a closed textological recension with strong traces of a Glagolitic Old Bulgarian original.

The first part of the compilation contains a large and coherent excerpt of Africanus Chronography that gives a concise but exhaustive account of the Christian history of the world from the Creation up to the Resurrection of Christ. The second part includes a shorter excerpt, taken from a codex, which contained the second volume of the Chronicle of Synkellos and the chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor. Unlike Synkellos/Theophanes text, Africanus excerpt reveals traces of a serious editorial intervention. The Greek editor(s) left aside all Africanus notices about the pre- Olympic history of all other nations besides the Jews but kept intact his Christological and chronological concepts that treat the history of human kind as a predetermined execution of the Divine Providence in Six Millennia/days.

The recent studies on the structure and sources of an impressive chronographic compilation ordered by Tsar Simeon and known as the Chronograph of the Archive or Jewish Chronograph allow us to presume that this Chronograph represents an enlarged version of Africanus excerpt, in which the paraphrase of the first nine biblical books is replaced with a large Old Testament compilation.

Key words: parabiblical and biblical compilations, Julius Africanus, Simeon the Great, Chronograph of the Archive, historiography.

Citation. Totomanova A.-M. Parabiblical and Biblical Chronographic Compilations in Simeon’s Bulgaria. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2017, vol. 22, no. 5, pp. 132-141. DOI:

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Parabiblical and Biblical Chronographic Compilations in Simeon’s Bulgaria by Totomanova A.-M. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 

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