Melchite Patriarch of Alexandria, author of a history of the world, b. 876, at Fustat (Cairo); d. 11 May, 940. He was an Egyptian Arab, named Sa'id ibn Batriq; his father's name was Batriq (Patricius). He first studied medicine and history, and practised for a time as a physician. He then entered a monastery and eventually became Patriarch of Alexandria, taking the name Eutychius, in 933. Being the Melchite (Orthodox) patriarch, he spent most of his reign in strife with the great majority of Egyptian Christians who were ( Monophysite ) Copts, and with his Coptic rival. His works (all written in Arabic and preserved only in part) are treatises on medicine, theology, and history. He wrote a compendium called "The Book of Medicine ", treatises on fasting, Easter, and the Jewish Passover, various feasts, etc.; also a "Discussion between a Christian and an Infidel ", by which he means a Melchite and a Monophysite. But his most important work is "Nazm al-Gawahir" (Chaplet of Pearls), a chronicle of the history of the world from Adam to 938. The work is dedicated to his brother, Isa ibn Batriq, and is meant to supply a short account of universal history. In Latin it is quoted as "Eutychii Historia universalis", or as the "Annales" of Eutychius. The author states that he has compiled his history only from the Bible and reliable authorities. It contains, however, a great number of strange and improbable additions to Biblical and profane history not found in any other source. There are also in the "Chaplet of Pearls" many valuable details about the Monophysite controversy and the history of the Patriarchate of Alexandria. The book acquired a certain fame when, in the seventeenth century, John Selden published an excerpt of it (London, 1642, see below) in order to prove that originally at Alexandria there was no distinction between bishops and priests (a theory at one time adopted by St. Jerome, "In Ep. ad Titum", I, 5; Ep. cxivi, "ad Evangelum"). Selden was answered by a Maronite, Abraham Ecchellensis (Rome, 1661), who disputed the accuracy of his translation of the passages in question and proposed another. In the thirteenth century another Arabic historian, Al-Makin (d. 1275), used Eutychius' work in compiling his own history of the world to 1260 (Krumbacher, Byzantinische Litteratur, Munich, 1897, p. 368).
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online