Early Accounts of the Temple of Jerusalem – Sources     HomeSourcesTopicsViews

Theophanes, CHRONOGRAPHIA, c. 800 C.E.

The Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor
ed. and tr. by Cyril Mango and Roger Scott, 1997

362 C.E.AM 5855 [AD 362/3]

Year of the divine Incarnation 355
Julian, emperor of the Romans (3 years), 3rd year
Sabores, emperor of the Persions (70 years), 61st year
Damascus, bishop of Rome (28 years), 11th year
Eudoxios, bishop of Constantinople (10 years), 4th year
Hilarius, bishop of Jerusalem (12 years), 9th year
Athanasios, bishop of Alexandria (46 years), 37th year
Leontios, bishop of Antioch (8 years), 5th year

. . . Julian of evil name, seeking to overturn God's decree, ordered the temple of the Jews to be built, and appointed a certain pagan Alypios, a zealous opponent of Christ, as overseer of the work. After he had dug out even the hidden parts of the foundations in the course of excavation, a violent wind blew with a hurricane force and completely destroyed the 200,000 modii of lime that had been prepared. As the Jews were persisting in the undertaking, a fire shot out and consumed them, so putting an end to their effrontery . . . .

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635-638 C.E.AM 6127 [AD 634/5]

Year of the divine Incarnation 627
Herakleios, emperor of the Romans (31 years), 26th year
Oumaros, leader of the Arabs (12 years), 2nd year
Sergio, bishop of Constantinople (29 years), 27th year
Sophronior, bishop of Jerusalem (3 years), 3rd year
Kyros, bishop of Alexandria (10 years), 3rd year

In this year Oumaros invaded Palestine and, after investing the Holy City for two years, took it by capitulation; for Sophronios, the bishop of Jerusalem, received a promise of immunity for the whole of Palestine. Oumaros entered the Holy City dressed in filthy garments of camel-hair and, showing a devilish pretence, sought the Temple of the Jews—the one built by Solomon—that he might make it a place of worship for his own blasphemous religion. Seeing this, Sophronios said, 'Verily, this is the abimination of desolation standing in a holy place, as has been spoken through the prophet Daniel.' And with many tears the defender of piety bewailed the Christian people. While Oumaros was there, the patriarch begged him to receive from him a kerchief and a garment to put on, but he would not suffer to wear them. At length, he persuaded him to put them on until his clothes were washed, and then he returned them to Sophronios and put on his own. Thereupon Sophronios died after adorning the Church of Jerusalem by word and deed and struggling against the Monothelete heresy of Herakleios and his companions Sergius and Pyrros. In the same year Oumaros send lad ['Iyad b. Ghanm al-Fihri] to Syria and he made all of Syria subject to the Saracens.

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643 C.E.AM 6135 [AD 642/3]

[Year of the divine Incarnation 635]
Constans, [emperor of the Romans (27 years)], 2nd year
Oumaros, [leader of the Arabs (12 years)], 10th year
Paul, [bishop of Constantinople (12 years)], 3rd year
Kyros, [bishop of Alexandria (10 years)], 11th year

In this year Oumaros started to build the temple at Jerusalem, but the structure would not stand and kept falling down. When he enquired after the cause of this, the Jews said, 'if you do not remove the cross that is above the church on the Mount of Olives, the structure will not stand.' On this account the cross was removed from there, and thus their building was compacted. For this reason Christ's enemies took down many crosses.

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746 C.E.AM 6238 [AD 745/6]

[Year of the divine Incarnation 738]
Constantine, [emperor of the Romans (35 years)], 6th year
Marouam, [leader of the Arabs (6 years)], 3rd year
Zacharias, [bishop of Rome (21 years)], 13th year
Anastasios, [bishop of Constantinople (24 years)], 17th year
Theophylaktos, [bishop of Antioch (7 years)], 3rd year

In this year there was a great eathquate in Palestine, by the Jordan and in all of Syria on 18 January, in the 4th hour. Numberless multitudes perished, churches and monastaries collapsed, especially in the desert of the Holy City.

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