[St. Pachomius Library]

George the Synkellos

VIII/IX Centuries
The little detail that is known about George the Synkellos (d. after 810) comes from the introduction by Theophanes the Confessor to George's Chronicle, a history of the world from its creation to the enthronement of Diocletian. George lived in Palestine before becoming domestic chaplain to Patriarch Tarasius V of Constantinople. After the death of the patriarch, George retired to a monastery, where he composed his history. Illness is thought to have prevented its completion.

The Chronicle is arranged topically and is considered uneven in its treatment. George pays much attention to the events surrounding the Incarnation and Apostolic times; this portion of the work ranks with Eusebius' Church History as a source of early church history. George's choices of materials is considered arbitrary or idiosyncratic. He does, however, preserve fragments of many lost histories, but some find his work little more than annotation of his sources.

Karen Rae Keck


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