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E01197: After the pagan temple in Heliopolis-Baalbek (Lebanon) had been destroyed by lightning in the year 525/6, a church dedicated to *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033) was built in its place. Record in the Syriac Chronicle of Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor (6th c.).

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posted on 2016-03-13, 00:00 authored by sminov
Chronicle of Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor VIII.4

ܢܚܬ ܒܪܩܐ ܡܢ ܫܡܝܐ. ܟܕ ܩܠܝܠ ܩܠܝܠ ܢܚܬ ܗܘܐ ܡܛܪܐ. ܘܡܚܝܗܝ ܠܗܝܟܠܐ ܘܦܟܟ ܟܐ̈ܦܘܗܝ ܒܝܩܕܢܐ. ܘܣܚܦ ܐܣ̈ܛܘܢܘܗܝ ܘܬܒܪ ܘܗܓܡܗ. ܠܟܐ̈ܦܐ ܕܝܢ ܬܠܬ ܠܐ ܐܬܩܪܒ. ܐܠܐ ܟܕ ܫܠܡܠܡܢ ܩܝܡܢ. ܘܗܫܐ ܐܬܒܢܝ ܬܡܢ ܒܝܬ ܨܠܘܬܐ ܕܡܪܝܡ ܒܬܘܠܬܐ ܩܕܝܫܬܐ ܝܠܕܬ ܐܠܗܐ.

'Lightning came down from heaven while it drizzled; it struck the temple and pulverised the stones with its heat, and knocked over its pillars, smashing it into pieces and destroying it, but it did not touch the three stones. They remain pristine, and now a house of prayer has been built there, to Mary the holy virgin birthgiver of God.'

Ed. Brooks 1919-1924, v. 2, p. 76. Trans. Greatrex et al. 2011, p. 296.

History

Evidence ID

E01197

Saint Name

Mary, Mother of Christ : S00033

Saint Name in Source

ܡܪܝܡ

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

  • Syriac

Evidence not before

503

Evidence not after

569

Activity not before

525

Activity not after

569

Place of Evidence - Region

Mesopotamia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Amida

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Amida Edessa Edessa Ἔδεσσα Edessa

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings

Source

The Chronicle of Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor is a historiographical work that, for the most part, deals with the period from the middle of the 5th to the middle of the 6th century. It was composed, apparently, around the year 568/9 by a Syriac-speaking writer, most likely a citizen of the city of Amida. Produced as a whole in Syriac, the Chronicle is a complex and composite work, which includes a number of texts translated into Syriac from Greek, such as the History of Joseph and Aseneth, the Acts of St Silvester of Rome, and the Ecclesiastical History of Zachariah of Mytilene. Syriac text: Brooks 1919-1924, vv. 1-2; English translation: Hamilton and Brooks 1899; Greatrex et al. 2011; German translation: Ahrens and Krüger 1899; Latin translation: Brooks 1919-1924, v. 3. For general information, see Greatrex 2006; Greatrex et al. 2011, pp. 1-92.

Discussion

The Chronicle reports that after the pagan temple in Heliopolis-Baalbek in Lebanon had been destroyed as a result of natural disaster in the year 525/6 (on the dating of this event, see Minov 2010, p, 67), a church dedicated to Mary has been built in its place.

Bibliography

Main editions and translations: Ahrens, K., and Krüger, G., Die sogennante Kirchengeschichte des Zacharias Rhetor (Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana, Scriptores Sacri et Profani 3; Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1899). Brooks, E.W., Historia ecclesiastica Zachariae Rhetori vulgo adscripta. 4 vols (CSCO Syr. III.5-6; Louvain: Typographeo Reipublicae, 1919, 1921, 1924). Greatrex, G., Phenix, R.R., Horn, C.B., Brock, S.P., and Witakowski, W., The Chronicle of Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor: Church and War in Late Antiquity (Translated Texts for Historians 55; Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2011). Hamilton, F.J., and Brooks, E.W., The Syriac Chronicle Known as That of Zachariah of Mitylene (Byzantine Texts; London: Methuen & Co., 1899). Further reading (Pseudo-Zachariah): Greatrex, G., "Pseudo-Zachariah of Mytilene: The Context and Nature of His Work," Journal of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies 6 (2006), 39-52. Further reading: Minov, S., “The Story of Solomon’s Palace at Heliopolis,” Le Muséon 123:1-2 (2010), 61-89.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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