Mattʿēos Uṙhayecʿi and His Chronicle

History as Apocalypse in a Crossroads of Cultures


Winner of the 2018 Dr Sona Aronian book prize for Excellence in Armenian Studies

In Mattʿēos Uṙhayecʿi and His Chronicle Tara L. Andrews presents the first ever in-depth study of the history written by this Armenian priest, who lived in Edessa (modern-day Urfa in Turkey) around the turn of the twelfth century and was an eyewitness to the First Crusade and the establishment of the Latin East.
Although the Chronicle is known as an extremely valuable source of information for the eleventh- and early twelfth-century Near East, neither its guiding structure nor Uṙhayecʿi's motivation in writing it have ever been clear to modern historians. This study elucidates the prophetic framework within which the text was written, and demonstrates how that framework has influenced Uṙhayecʿi's understanding of the time in which he lived.

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Tara L. Andrews, D.Phil. (2009), University of Oxford, is Professor for Digital Humanities at the University of Vienna. She is currently working on a full critical edition of the Chronicle of Uṙhayecʿi.
Acknowledgments xi
Transliteration of Names and Places xiii
1 The Origins of the Chronicle 1
The Author of the Chronicle 3
Uṙhayecʿi’s Edessa 9
The Armenian Historiographical Tradition 12
Uṙhayecʿi’s Sources of Information 15
2 The New Age of Prophecy: The Chronicle’s Place in Armenian
Historiography 23
Armenian Historical Philosophy 23
Uṙhayecʿi’s Historical Philosophy 27
The Prophecies of Yovhannēs Kozeṙn 30
The Prophecies Fulfilled: The Structure of the Chronicle 37
Conclusion 43
3 ‘The Violent Massacres, This Dreadful Wrath’: Armenia in the
Chronicle 44
The Idealized Past: The Presentation of Pre-1020 Armenia 46
The Loss of the Armenian Kingdoms: 1000–1045 49
471–472 (1021–1024): Basil ii’s Eastern Campaign and Its
Consequences 52
490–494 (1041–1046): Turkish Invasions and the Loss of
Independence 57
The Occupied East and the Armenians in Exile 60
The Royal Families in Exile 62
The Rise and Fall of Philaretos 64
The Armenian Magnates of Cilicia and Syria 66
The Slow Revival: The Armenians and the Crusaders 68
The Rise of Georgia, 1121–1129 70
Conclusion 71
4 ‘Under the Aegis of the Roman Emperor’: Uṙhayecʿi on Byzantium 74
The Era of Growing Byzantine Domination over the Armenians 79
The Waning of Byzantine Influence 91
Conclusions 98
5 Muslim, Persian, or Turk? The Armenian Chronicler and the
‘Infidels’ 101
The Role of Muslims within Armenian History 105
Which Muslims? 108
Tenth-century Muslims in the Chronicle 110
The Appearance of the Turks 112
Reality and Myth: The Armenians under Turkish
Domination 114
Conclusion 119
6 ‘The Nation of Valiant Ones’: The Crusaders in Uṙhayecʿi’s Eyes 121
The Local Background to the Crusade 123
The Place of the Crusaders in the Prophetic Framework of
Kozeṙn 127
Uṙhayecʿi as a Source for Crusading Politics 133
Conclusion 138
7 ‘Many Break Away from the Faith’: Eastern Christianity in the
Chronicle 139
Before the Fall: Ecclesiastical History before 1033 142
The Recent Past: Uṙhayecʿi’s Church in Uncertain Times 148
The Armenian Church in the Wake of the First Crusade 151
The Community of Clerics as Seen in the Chronicle 152
Aftermath: Byzantium in Cilicia and the Council of
Jerusalem 153
8 The History of the Chronicle 155
The Text of the Chronicle 155
Use by Later Armenian Historians 158
Grigor Erēcʿ 158
The Earliest Witness: Smbat Sparapet 159
Recognition by Later Historians 162
The Manuscript Tradition of the Chronicle 164
The Venice Group 165
The Vienna Group 167
The Copyist of Lviv 169
The Vałaršapat Primary Text 170
Print Publication and Modern Reception 171
9 Conclusion 177
Appendix a: Text and Translation of Selected Excerpts from the
Chronicle 183
Appendix b: Lists of Rulers of the Period 232
Appendix c: List of all Known Manuscripts 233
Maps 235
Bibliography 238
Index 251
All interested in the history of the First Crusade, the historiography of the Near East, or the history of the Armenians in the medieval era.
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