George Syncellus

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Byzantine chronicler; d. after 810. What is known about him is derived entirely from his chronicle and its introduction by theophanes the confessor. George was honored with the high ecclesiastical title of syncellus. Earlier in his career he had lived in the Holy Land; then during the patriarchate of tarasius (784806) he acted as the patriarch's private secretary. He later retired to a monastery where he composed his chronicle. He was still alive in 810. His world chronicle relates to the period from the creation of the world to the reign of Diocletian (284). Its coverage is quite uneven: the birth of Christ and the happenings of the era of the New Testament are treated rather extensively, but the age that follows this is given only in barest outline. Its importance lies in the fact that next to the chronicle of eusebius of caesarea, it is the most important work for the understanding of Christian chronography, particularly the work of the two Alexandrians, Panodoros and Annianos. Indeed what is known of these chronographers, who established the Alexandrian era but whose works have not survived, is derived almost entirely from George Syncellus.

Bibliography: k. krumbacher, Geschichte der Byzantinischen Literatur (Munich 1890 and 1897), 339342. v. grumel, La Chronologie (Paris 1958), 8695. m. e. colonna, Gli storici bizantini dal sec. IV al sec. XV (Naples 1956).

[p. charanis]

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George Syncellus

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George Syncellus