John Malalas


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John Malalas

 

Born circa 491; died circa 578. Byzantine chronicler. Nothing is known of his life, but he was apparently of Syrian origin.

John Malalas has sometimes been identified with John III Scholasticus, patriarch of Constantinople (565–77), who compiled a collection of ecclesiastical laws. The Chronicle of John Malalas is extant in an 1lth-century manuscript (possibly a late revision of the original text); it begins with the legendary history of Egypt and ends with the year 563. It contains many entertaining but unauthentic legends. Its first part centers on the history of Antioch, its second part on Constantinople. The Chronicle contains interesting material on sixth-century Byzantine history and was translated into Old Church Slavonic and Georgian; the Old Church Slavonic translation (tenth or 11th century) is a more detailed text than the extant Greek manuscript.

WORKS

Chronographia. Bonn, 1831.

REFERENCES

Meshcherskii, N.A. “Dva neizdannykh otryvka drevneslavianskogo perevoda ‘Khronika’ Ioanna Malaly.” In the collection Vizantiiskii vremennik, vol. 11. Moscow, 1956.
Udal’tsova, Z.V. “Khronika Ioanna Malaly v Kievskoi Rusi.” In the collection Arkheograficheskii ezhegodnik za 1965. Moscow, 1966. Pages 47–58.

A. P. KAZHDAN

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The third part examines the chronographic borrowings of the PVL, comparing them both to chronographs and to their sources, the full Slavonic texts of George Hamartolos and John Malalas. Based on detailed textual criticism, she points out that there is no indication that the PVL used the chronograph as its source; instead, the borrowings from the chronicles of Malalas and Hamartolos reflect the full texts of these authors.
John wrote the Epitome Historiarum, a universal chronicle beginning with the creation of the world, using source material from a number of earlier chroniclers including John Skylitzes, John Malalas, George Monomachos, and Michael Psellus.
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Elizabeth Jeffreys surveys the Byzantine World Chronicle and the use and misuse of the LXX by John Malalas, The latter's observations perhaps have a mutual influence on Jewish tradition that is worth further exploration.
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The primary documents are arranged by theme and include excerpts from Prokopios' On the Buildings and Secret History, the Chronicle of John Malalas, and the Ecclesiastical History of John of Ephesus, among others.
The Byzantine chronicler John Malalas reports a star that stayed in the West for 20 days.
The work falls into two distinct parts, one a Latin translation of a part of the Chronographia of John Malalas largely concerning the life of Christ, the other an original composition treating the same topic typologically.