Chronicon Paschale

Chronicon Paschale ("the Paschal Chronicle) is the conventional name of a 7th-century Byzantine universal chronicle of the world. (Its name comes from its system of Christian chronology based on the paschal cycle. Its Greek author named it "Epitome of the ages from Adam the first man to the 20th year of the reign of the most august Heraclius..."

Being a Byzantine chronicle, it follows familiar sources. From 600 to 627, that is, for the last years of the Emperor Maurice, the reign of Phocas, and the first seventeen years of the reign of Heraclius, the author is a contemporary historian, and his narrative is in every way quite interesting.

Like all Byzantine chroniclers, and unlike the more august historians, the author of this popular account relates anecdotes, the physical descriptions of the chief personages, which at times are careful portraits, extraordinary events, such as earthquakes and the appearance of comets, seen from the point of view of church history, with which the chronological plan of the Bible was made to agree. The idiom used was that of common life, little polished, but finically ornate. Sempronius Asellius points out this difference in the public appealed to and in the style of composition which distinguished the chroniclers (Annales) from the historians (Historia) of the Eastern Roman Empire.

The "Chronicon Paschale" is a huge compilation resulting in a chronological list of events from the creation of Adam; the principal manuscript, the 10th-century Codex Vaticanus græcus 1941, is damaged at the beginning and end and stops short at AD 627. The chronicle proper is preceded by an introduction which contains some reflections on Christian chronology and on the calculation of the Paschal cycle.

The author identifies himself as contemporary of the Emperor Heraclius (610-41), and was probably a cleric attached to the suite of the œcumenical Patriarch Sergius. The work was probably written during the last ten years of the reign of Heraclius.

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