The Armenian History Attributed to Sebeos: 2 volume set (Translated Texts for Historians)

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9780853235644: The Armenian History Attributed to Sebeos: 2 volume set (Translated Texts for Historians)
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The History attributed to Sebeos is one of the major works of early Armenian historiography. Although anonymous, it was written in the middle of the seventh century, a time when comparable chronicles in Greek and Syriac are sparse. Sebeos traces the fortunes of Armenia in the sixth and seventh centuries within the broader framework of the Byzantine-Sasanian conflict. Comprising two volumes, part 1 (240 pages) is the translation and notes followed by part 2 (216 pages) which contains the historical commentary, this excellent publication will be of interest to all those involved in the study of Armenia, the Caucasus, the Eastern Roman Empire and the Middle East in late antiquity. It will be of particular value to Islamicists, since Sebeos not only sets the scene for the coming of Islam, but provides the only substantial non-Muslim account of the initial period of expansion.

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The authors show throughout an admirable awareness of the most recent literature on a wide range of themes upon which the commentary and translation touch, making the two volumes essential reading for anyone working in the period. This is an outstanding addition to an excellent series. Ecclesiastical History These volumes set a modern standard for translations into English of medieval Armenian historical texts. [...] One can only hope that the Thompson and Howard-Johnston team will collaborate again on translation and commentary, and that other teams will employ the same thoroughness and clarity when providing modern translations of medieval historical texts from any language tradition. Speculum Perhaps the most extensive contemporary account of the seventh century, The Armenian History Attributed to Sebeos is without peer in its chronological coverage and its author's remarkably broad geographical interests. [...] This work should become essential reading for both specialists and non-specialists with an interest in the period. Comitatus

Synopsis:

The history attributed to Sebeos is one of the major works of early Armenian historiography. Although anonymous, it was written in the middle of the 7th century, from which period comparable chronicles in Greek and Syriac are sparse. Sebeos traces the fortunes of Armenia in the 6th and 7th centuries within the broader framework of the Byzantine-Sasanian conflict. His main theme covers the reign of Khosrov II (589-628) and the early Muslim expansion, emphasizing Armenian participation in the international scene. This is an English translation of the 1979 critical edition of the classical Armenian text. Notes to the translation elucidate persons and dates, and explain difficulties in the original Armenian. The detailed historical commentary compares Sebeos's account with other available sources and highlights the particular value of this Armenian witness to the momentous events of his time. The book is intended for those involved in the study of Armenia, the Caucasus, the Eastern Roman Empire and the Middle East in late antiquity.

It is also of relevance to Islamists, since Sebeos not only sets the scene for the coming of Islam but provides the only substantial non-Muslim account of the initial period of expansion. The notes are specifically aimed at the reader unfamiliar with Armenian; with the maps they help the non-specialist to negotiate the complexities of Armenian society and the intricacies of family politics. The historical commentary incorporates an assessment of the accuracy and value of Sebeos's text.

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