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The Syriac Chronicle is a fascinating examination of Syria’s relation to the biblical accounts and to the post-apostolic Christian church. Author Zachariah of Mitylene relates the time’s prominent events through his own interpretive glosses, while drawing on other well-known works, such as Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, to complete his narrative. Modern readers will find the unique—not critical—historiography of this text challenging, yet it will also present a unique opportunity for expanding how the twenty-first-century mind thinks about history.
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Explore the Syriac tradition further with The Syriac Church Fathers.
Zachariah of Mitylene (c. AD 465–536) was also known as Zacharias Scholasticus or Zacharias Rhetor. Though knowledge about his life is fragmentary, we know that he was born in Gaza, and educated at Alexandria. He practiced as a lawyer for many years, and later was named the bishop of Mitylene, on the island of Lesbos. His last known activity was as a delegate to the Council of Constantinople in 536, though it is possible he lived until AD 553, the year his successor at Mitylene was named. After his death, several works were written in his name, an indication of his ongoing influence in the ancient world.