The Armenian History Attributed to Sebeos

BookThe Armenian History Attributed to Sebeos

The Armenian History Attributed to Sebeos

Translated Texts for Historians, 31


November 1st, 1999

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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.

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.


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.


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

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