An Egyptian chronicler who flourished in the latter part of the seventh century. The little we know of his life is gathered from the "History of the Patriarchs" by Severus of Ashmunein. He lived under John of Semnud, Isaac, and Simeon, respectively fortieth, forty-first, and forty-second patriarchs, and seems to have played an important part in the affairs of the Egyptian Church both as Bishop of Nikiû (Coptic, Pshati in the Delta) and as general administrator of the monasteries of Egypt. But having disciplined a monk guilty of a grave offense against morals so severely that he died ten days later, he was deposed from both offices by the patriarch Simeon, and reduced to the rank of a simple monk. His "Chronicle", composed very likely before his deposition, is a work of no mean value, extending from Adam to the end of the Arabic conquest. In many respects it does not materially differ from the Byzantine chronicles, which the author often copies, especially those of John Malalas, and the monk John of Antioch . But it has preserved some local traditions, not to be found elsewhere, on the ancient history of Egypt, also some details otherwise unknown, and apparently authentic, on certain periods of Eastern Empire, in particular on the revolution which brought about the fall of Phocas and the accession of Herclius I, and the condition of Egypt during the seventh century. The last chapters contain a relation of the conquest of Egypt by the Arabs, but little posterior to the events.
This chronicle was originally written in Greek, with the exception of some of the chapters concerning Egypt, which were very probably written in Coptic. It has come down to us in an Ethiopic version made in 1602 by an Abyssinian scholar, with the assistance of an Egyptian monk on a much older Arabic text non lost like the original. The text, unfortunately, has suffered much at the hands of the translators and copyists, especially in passing into Arabic. Such as it is, it has been the subject of a careful study and analysis by H. Zotenberg, in the "Journal Asiatique", 7th series, vols. X, XII, XIII (Paris, 1877-79), "La Chronique de Jean de Nikioû, notice et extraits" (also in book form, Paris, 1879); later it was published in its entirety, with a French version, by the same scholar; "La Chronique de Jean de Nikioû" (Paris, 1883), in "Notices et Extraits des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Nationale", t. XXIV, I, pp. 125-605) (also separately, Paris, 1883).
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 between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy 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.
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