Patriarch Eutychius of Alexandria

Patriarch Eutychius of Alexandria

Infobox Patriarch

church=Greek Church of Alexandria
successor=Sophronius II
birth_place=Fustat, Egypt
death_date=death date|940|05|11

Eutychius or Sa'id ibn Batriq or Bitriq, born 10 September 877, d. 12 May 940 [ [ Iranica article] ] was one of the first Arabic Christian writers. He is most famous for the extensive chronicle that he compiled.


He was born in Fustat (old Cairo). He spent much of his life as a medical practitioner or "Mutatabbib".

He did not know Greek, but was able to access Greek texts in existing Syriac translations.

In 932 he became Melkite Patriarch of Alexandria at the age of 60 [ [ Iranica article] ] . Because he had never held any clerical office, his appointment met with considerable opposition, which lasted the remainder of his life, as we learn from the continuation. His appointment was probably due to the influence of the Moslem rulers. [Reinhard Pummer, [ Early Christian Authors on Samaritans and Samaritanism] , p.430]

His life was roughly contemporary with Agapius the historian, although neither displays knowledge of the other.


The most important work is the "Annals", a world chronicle, which he began before becoming Patriarch, and dedicated to his brother. It begins with the Creation, and runs down to his own times. He is a valuable source for events in Persia prior to the rise of Islam and the later Sassanid rulers. For events after the rise of Islam he makes use of Moslem sources. It also makes use of legendary and hagiographical material.

The history was adapted and continued to 1028 by Yahya ibn Sa`id, in which form it became known in Antioch and then Europe; but it continued to be expanded, and to circulate in this modified form. Numerous copies were made. [Reinhard Pummer, [ Early Christian Authors on Samaritans and Samaritanism] , p.430] However the autograph was recently located at Mount Sinai (Sinaiticus Arabicus 582). The start and end of the manuscript are missing, but can be reconstructed from copies. [Reinhard Pummer, [ Early Christian Authors on Samaritans and Samaritanism] , p.431]

Other works are a book on medicine and an apologetic work. A manuscript of the former has been located in Aleppo, although not published. The latter text has not been found as yet.



*L. Cheikho, B. Carra de Vaux, and H. Zayyat, "Eutychii Patriarchae Alexandrini Annales", Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium 50-51 (Scriptores Arabici ser. 3 nos. 6-7), 2 vols., Paris, 1906-9. Arabic text only, based on inferior copies.

*M. Breydy, "Das Annalenwerk des Eutychios von Alexandrien; ausgewählte Geschichten und Legenden kompiliert von Said ibn Batriq um 935 AD", Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium 471-72, 2 vols., Louvain, (1985). Arabic text, German translation. The first edition based on the author's autograph manuscript.

*B. Pirone, "Eutichio, Patriarcha de Alessandria: Gli Annali", Studia Orientalia Christiana Monographiae 1, Cairo and Jerusalem, 1987. Italian translation, no Arabic text.

*J. Selden and E. Pococke, "Contextia Gemmarum sive Eutychii Patriarchae Alexandrini Annales", 2 vols., Oxford, 1658-59. Arabic text, Latin translation. The Latin translation was reprinted by Migne in the Patrologia Graeca vol. 111, cols. 889-1232.

*P. Cachia and W. M. Watt, "Eutychius of Alexandria: The Book of the Demonstration (Kitab al-burhan)", Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium 192-93 (Scriptores arabici 20, 23), 2 vols., Louvain, 1960-61. Arabic text, English translation; an apologetic text not in fact by Eutychius.


*cite encyclopedia | encyclopedia =The Catholic Encyclopedia | title = Eutychius | url = | accessdate = 2007-12-06 | date = 1909-05-01 | year = 1909 | publisher = Robert Appleton Company | volume =V | location = New York

*Georg Graf, "Geschichte der arabischen christlichen Literatur", volume 2. Article on Eutychius, and lists of editions and manuscripts of his works.

*M. Breydy, "Études sur Said ibn Batriq et ses sources", Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium 450, Louvain, 1983.

External links

* [ Iranica article]

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