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Theodore the Syncellus, Homily on the siege of Constantinople in 626 AD (2007).  Preface to the online edition

The following sermon on the deliverance of Constantinople from the siege by the Avars, Slavs and Persians in 626 in the reign of the emperor Heraclius is generally attributed in modern times to Theodore the Syncellus.  The events of the siege are also discussed in the Chronicon Pascale and George of Pisidia.

It was first published by Angelo Mai in 1853 in Nova Patrum Bibliotheca vol. 6.2 pp. 423-437 with a Latin translation.  However Mai only had access to a truncated form of the text contained in Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1572, on folios 41v-74v.  This Vatican library manuscript was dated to the 10th century by Mai, and by 11-13th by various other scholars in the catalogue of the Vatican library Greek mss. published in 1899 by the Bollandists. 

Sternbach discovered the complete text in the only other manuscript known, Codex Parisinus Suppl. Graecus 241, a parchment folio-size codex of the 10th century in the Bibliotheque Nationale Français, on folios 32v-53r.

This translation has been made from the French of Ferenc Makk.  Such a proceeding is obviously unsatisfactory, but it has value in that it is accessible.  To the best of my knowledge no English translation exists, and a remarkable number of people are unable to read French, which is in any case offline and inaccessible.  

It is hoped that making this version available will stimulate interest in the text.  If it leads more people to take an interest in the text of Theodore, it will have been worthwhile. 


Ferenc Makk, Traduction et Commentaire de l'homélie écrite probablement par Théodore le Syncelle sur le siège de Constantinople en 626. Szeged (1975). Checked.  Contains French introduction, translation and brief notes, followed by Greek text reprinted from L. Sternbach, Analecta Avarica, Cracow (1900).

Roger Pearse
27th August, 2007

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This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, 2007. This file and all material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.

Greek text is rendered using unicode.

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