[i] Eusebius, (ca. 263-ca. 339) author of the Chronicle translated below, was a major Christian author and cleric of the fourth century. His other writings, many of which have survived, include the Ecclesiastical History, the Life of Constantine, historical, martyrological, apologetic, dogmatic, exegetical, and miscellaneous works. Although originally written in Greek, his important Chronicle (Chronography, or Chronicon) has survived fully only in an Armenian translation of the 5th century, of which our present edition is a translation. A fifth century Latin translation (known as Jerome’s Chronicle) contains only the second part of Eusebius’ two-part work, namely the chronological tables which accompany the text of Book One. Nonetheless, the Latin translation of the chronological tables is invaluable, since the beginning and ending of the corresponding Armenian parts of Book Two are damaged. Reflecting 5th century Armenia’s multi-lingual cultural milieu, Eusebius’ Chronicle initially was translated into Armenian from the original Greek, then corrected using a Syriac edition. During the same period Eusebius’ other influential work, the Ecclesiastical History, was translated into Armenian from the Syriac. From almost the moment of their translation, Eusebius’ works played an important role in the development of Armenian historical writing.
Many of Eusebius’ extant Greek texts were written while the author worked at the library in Caesarea Palestina founded by the scholar Origen (ca. 185–ca. 254), where he had access to numerous works of antiquity which have not survived. Eusebius’ welcome technique of including sometimes lengthy passages from such lost works guaranteed his writings an important place in historical literature, quite apart from his impressive literary and analytical abilities. These general characteristics of Eusebius’ work are particularly highlighted in the Chronicle. The Chronicle was the ancient world’s first systematic, chronologically sound, universal history. It begins with the earliest extant written records available to our author and continues to his own day, that is to the year 325.
Among the sources cited and often quoted from at length are Berosus, Alexander Polyhistor, Abydenus, Josephus, Castor, Diodorus, Cephalion, various named translations of the Bible, the writings of Manetho, Porphyrius, and others. In a brief introduction, Eusebius describes the plan of his work. He proposes to give a prose description of salient events and personalities from the civilizations of the Chaldeans, Assyrians, Medes, Lydians, Persians, Hebrews, Egyptians, and Greeks, plus listings of the Greek Olympiads, and the rulers of the Greek city-states, the Macedonians, and Romans. Continue reading Full Text of Eusebius’ Chronicle Chronicon Proving the Patriarchs & the Flood