Ioannes Zonaras

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ioannes Zonaras


Date of birth unknown; died after 1159(7). Byzantine chronicler, ecclesiastical writer; distinguished court official of Emperor Alexius I Comnenos.

Ioannes Zonaras expressed the interests of the city’s higher nobility and found himself in opposition to the Comneni dynasty. He wrote a chronicle of world history dating from the “creation of the world” up to 1118; essentially a retelling of the works of classical and medieval historians, it was original only in its history of Byzantium at the turn of the 11th century. Zonaras compiled a commentary on cannon law and an annotated dictionary. He also composed ecclesiastical verse.


Epitomae historiarum, vols. 1–6. Leipzig, 1868–75.
Epitomae historiarum libri XHI-XVIII, vol. 3. Bonn, 1897.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.