The Chronicle of Edessa

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The Chronicle of Edessa is one of the most important and authoritative early Chronicles. It was probably written in the mid 6th century using the city archives. It is extant in a single manuscript, now in the Vatican (Syr. 163).

The Chronicle is notable for recording a flood which destroyed a Christian church in Edessa in November 201 AD; and also for not recording the legendary activities of the apostle Thaddeus (Addai) recorded in other Syriac literature.


Ignatius Guidi, ed., Chronica minora (CSCO 1; Leipzig: Harrassowitz, 1903), pp.1- 13


  • Description of Codex Vaticanus Syriacus 163 -- the only manuscript of the work. This is now available on CDROM. "Folio vellum codex containing 6 folios written in two columns in an estrangela hand, dated to the 7th century AD. The manuscript is obscure in some places but is generally clear and legible. Formerly ms. 12 of the personal collection of J. S. Assemani, acquired during a voyage to the East (1715-17) undertaken at the request of Pope Clement XI (1700-21). This brief (6 folios) but important manuscript contains the only known copy of the Chronicle of Edessa."