TOTOMANOVA A.-M. A Fragment from Chronicle of George Synkellos in Slavonic Translation


Anna-Maria Totomanova

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

Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”,

Tsar Osvoboditel St., 15, 1540 Sofia, Bulgaria

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Abstract. The only fragment from the Chronicle of George Synkellos in Slavic translation is found in a chronographic compilation known in five Russian witnesses of the 15th – 16th cc. A large and coherent excerpt from the Chronography of Julius Africanus that survived in about 100 fragments scattered in Latin, Greek and Eastern traditions became a basis of the compilation. Africanus’ excerpt reveals the Christian history of the world from the Creation to the Resurrection of Christ and occupies about two thirds of the whole text. It is complemented by the end of Synkellos’ Chronicle that stops with Diocletian’s reign and by the beginning of the Chronicle of his follower Theophanes the Confessor, which brings the narrative to the foundation of Constantinople. The missionary pathos of the compilation leaves no doubt and makes us think that it occurred on Byzantine soil in the first half of the 9th c. after the end of the iconoclasm. The Linguistic features of the Slavonic text prove that the translation was made in Bulgaria in the early 10th century during the reign of Simeon the Great (893–927). The paper explores the traces of the editorial work of the compilers, who were supposed to bring into line the two historical narratives that disagree in their historical and chronological concepts and refer to different sources. The problem deserves attention given the fact that in the beginning of the last century V. Istrin erroneously identified the compilation as an abridged and even draft version of the Chronicle of Synkellos.

Key words: chronographic compilation, George Synkellos, Julius Africanus, Theophanes the Confessor, editorial work.

Citation. Totomanova A.-M. A Fragment from Chronicle of George Synkellos in Slavonic Translation. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2019, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 139-149. (inRussian). DOI:

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A Fragment from Chronicle of George Synkellos in Slavonic Translation by Totomanova A.-M. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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