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The Arabs and the Colossus*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2009


In 305 B.C. Demetrius I Poliorcetes of Macedonia (r. 321–283), pursuing his ambition of reuniting the empire of Alexander, marched against the island city of Rhodes, which since the partition of 323 had been able to reassert its independence and pursue its own foreign policies. The ensuing siege, one of the most famous military campaigns of Hellenistic times, was a failure, and in 304 Demetrius was obliged to admit defeat and withdraw, leaving behind his siege train and large amounts of other military stores. The jubilant Rhodians gathered up this equipment and sold it for 300 talents, which, in gratitude for their deliverance, they used to commission a spectacular monument to the sun god Helios, the focus of a lively cult at Rhodes. The sculptor selected for the task was Chares, an artist from the town of Lindos (about 40 kilometres south of the capital) and a student of the renowned Lyssipus, who had recently erected a great bronze statue of Zeus at Tarentum in Italy.

Research Article
Copyright © The Royal Asiatic Society 1996

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I am grateful to Sebastian Brock and John Haldon for reading an early draft of this study and offering a number of useful comments and suggestions. Figure 2 was first published in Herbert Maryon, “The Colossus of Rhodes”, Journal of Hellenic Studies, LXXVI (1956), p. 72, and is reproduced by permission of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. Figure 3 was first published in Reynold Higgins, “The Colossus of Rhodes”, in The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, ed. Peter A. Clayton and Martin J. Price (London, 1988), p. 137, and is reprinted by permission of the publisher, Routledge.


1 On these conceptions of the Colossus, see van Gelder, Hendrilc, Geschichte der alten Rhodier (The Hague, 1900), PP. 389–91Google Scholar; Starace, Francesco, “II Colosso di Rodi: l'idea del ‘doppio’, la sovrapposizione degli ordini, e l'ordine gigante”, in Le Meraviglie del mondo (Florence, 1976; Psicon, VII), pp. 20–3Google Scholar.

2 See, for example, Pauly/Wissowa, Supp. V, p. 785; Torr, Cecil, Rhodes in Ancient Times (Cambridge, 1885), pp. 968Google Scholar; Van Gelder, , Geschichte der alten Rhodier, pp. 114, 115, 383–91Google Scholar; Krauel, Wolfgang, “Rhodos - Pars pro toto”, in Robert Boehringer. Eine Freudesgabe, ed. Boehringer, Erich and Hoffmann, Wilhelm (Tübingen, 1957), pp. 345–64Google Scholar; Cottrell, Leonard, Wonders of Antiquity (London, 1960), pp. 40–6Google Scholar; Dombart, Theodor, Die sieben Weltwunder des Altertums (Munich, 1967), pp. 6878Google Scholar; Dicks, Brian, Rhodes (Harrisburg, 1974), p. 59Google Scholar; Meinardus, Otto F. A., “Colossus, Colossae, Colossi: Confusio Colosseae”, Biblical Archaeologist, XXXVI (1973), pp. 33–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Starace, , “II Colosso di Rodi”, pp. 1223Google Scholar. Cf. Schmitt, Hatto H., Row und Rhodos (Munich, 1957), p. 53Google Scholar.

3 Gabriel, Albert, “La construction, l'attitude et l'emplacement du Colosse de Rhodes”, Bulletin de correspondence hellenique, LVI (1932), pp. 331–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Maryon, Herbert, “The Colossus of Rhodes”, Journal of Hellenic Studies, LXXVI (1956), pp. 6886CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 Ekschmitt, Werner, Die sieben Weltwunder, Hire Erbauung, Zerstörung und Wiederentdeckung (Mainz, 1984), pp. 169–81Google Scholar; Higgins, Reynold, “The Colossus of Rhodes”, in The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, ed. Clayton, Peter A. and Price, Martin J. (London, 1988), pp. 124–37Google Scholar.

5 Examples of such assessments could be extended indefinitely. The prevailing view seems to have been established by Gibbon, Edward in his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; see the 2nd ed. of Bury, J. B. (London, 19091914), v, p. 492Google Scholar. Cf. also Pauly, / Wissowa, , Supp. V, p. 785Google Scholar; Torr, , Rhodes in Ancient Times, p. 98Google Scholar; Van Gelder, , Ceschichte der alien Rhodier, p. 391Google Scholar; Wellhausen, Julius, “Die Kämpfe der Araber mit den Romäern in der Zeit der Umaijiden”, Nachrichten von der Königliche Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, philogisch-historische Klasse, 1901, p. 419Google Scholar; Canard, Marius, “Les expéditions des arabes contre Constantinople dans l'histoire et dans la legende”, Journal Asiatique, CCVIII (1926), pp. 78–9Google Scholar; Gabriel, , “Colosse de Rhodes”, pp. 341–2Google Scholar; Maryon, , “The Colossus of Rhodes”, pp. 70–1Google Scholar; Krauel, , “Rhodos”, pp. 357–8Google Scholar; Cottrell, , Wonders of Antiquity, p. 46Google Scholar; Vasiliev, A. A., History of the Byzantine Empire (Madison, 1964), i, p. 212Google Scholar; Jenkins, Romilly, Byzantium: the Imperial Centuries, AD 610–1071 (London, 1966), p. 38Google Scholar; Dombart, , Weltwunder, p. 73Google Scholar; Ostrogorsky, George, History of the Byzantine State, trans. Hussey, Joan M., rev. ed. (New Brunswick, 1969), p. 116Google Scholar; Hitti, Philip K., History of the Arabs, 10th ed. (London, 1970), p. 202CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Dicks, , Rhodes, p. 59Google Scholar; Starace, , “II Colosso di Rodi”, p. 20Google Scholar; Higgins, , “The Colossus of Rhodes”, p. 137Google Scholar.

6 See Ekschmitt, , Weltwunder, p. 181Google Scholar: “Die einzelnen Motive dieser phantastischen Geschichte sind uns in ihrer Herkunft und Absicht undurchsichtig”.

7 Theophanes, , Chronographia, ed. de Boor, Carl (Leipzig, 1883), p. 345:7–10Google Scholar.

8 Constantine Porphyrogenitus, De administrando imperio xx.7–10; ed. and trans. Moravcsik, Gyula and Jenkins, R. J. H., 2nd ed. (Washington, 1967), pp. 84Google Scholar (text), 85 (trans.).

9 Jenkins reads: “It was a brazen statue of the sun….”

10 Ibid., xxi.56–65; Moravcsik, / Jenkins, , pp. 88Google Scholar (text), 89 (trans.).

11 I.e. bronze of the highest quality, alloyed with silver and gold and regarded as almost as precious as gold. See Pliny the Elder, Historia naluralis XXXIV.i. i, iii.6–8; ed. and trans, with commentary by Beaujeu, Jean et al. as Histoire naturelle (Paris, 19501972), xxxiv, pp. 108, 110–11Google Scholar. Cf. the discussion in Jacobson, D. M. and Weitzman, M. P., “What was Corinthian bronze”, American Journal of Archaeology, XCVI (1992), pp. 237–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar, where, overlooking the example of the Colossus, the authors state that apart from the Temple Gate in Jerusalem, , “all the recorded objects of Corinthian bronze … were small utensils and statuettes” (p. 238)Google Scholar.

12 Qīndasī, Michael I, Chronique de Michel le Syrien, ed. and trans. Chabot, J.B. (Paris, 18991924), ii, pp. 442–3 (trans.)Google Scholar; iv, p. 430a:25–31 (text).

13 “White bronze”, a high grade of Corinthian bronze, was alloyed with silver and was prized for its silver-like brilliance. See Pliny, , Historia naluralis XXXIV. iii. 8; trans. Beaujeu, , xxxiv, pp. 110–11Google Scholar.

14 Michael, , Chronique, iii, p. 81 (trans.)Google Scholar; iv, p. 526b: 10–16 (text).

15 Chronicon ad annum Christi 1234 pertinent, ed. Chabot, J.B. (Paris, 19161920; CSCO 81–2, Scr. syri 36–7), ii, p. 21:7–8Google Scholar.

16 (Ps.-) Paul, and Deacon, , Historia miscella, xix.4; ed. Migne, J.P. in his Patrologia latina, XCV (Paris, 1861), col. 1049CGoogle Scholar.

17 Cedrenus, George, Historiarum compendium, ed. Bekker, Immanuel (Bonn, 18381839), i, p. 755:8–16Google Scholar.

18 Zonaras, John, Epitome historiarum, XIV. xix; ed. Dindorf, Ludwig (Leipzig, 18681875), iii. P. 314:25–9Google Scholar.

19 Agapius, , Kitāb al-'unwān, ed. and trans. Vasiliev, A. A. in Patrologia orientalis, viii (1912), p. 482:8–10Google Scholar. The edition of Cheikho, Louis (Paris, 1912; CSCO 65, Scr. arabici 10), p. 347:11Google Scholar, bears fi l-ḥaḍiḍ, “at the foot of the mountain”, a reading less likely than Vasiliev's fi l-baḥr, “into the sea”. The year eight of 'Uthmān was 31–2/652–3.

20 On Dionysius and his history, see Baumstark, Anton, Geschichte der syrischen Literatur, 2nd ed. (Bonn, 1922), pp. 275–6Google Scholar; Abramowski, Rudolf, Dionysius von Tellmalue, jakobitischer Patriarch von 818–845. Zur Geschichte der Kirche miter dem Islam (Leipzig, 1940)Google Scholar; Abouna, Albert, Adah al-lugha al-ārāmīya (Beirut, 1970), pp. 390–2, no. 16Google Scholar; Barsaum, Ignatius Aphram, Al-Lu'lu' al-manthūrfi ta'rikh al-'ulūm wa-l-ādāb al-suryānīya, 3rd ed. (Baghdad, 1976), pp. 338–40, no. 154Google Scholar; 'Iwās, Zakkā, “Al-Baṭriyark Dayūnisiyūs al-Talmaḥrl (m. 845)”, Majallat majma al-lugha al-suryaniya. III (1977), pp. 4577Google Scholar; Brock, Sebastian, “Syriac historical writing: a survey of the main sources”, Majallat al-majma' al-'ilmi al-'irāqi, hay'at al-lugha al-suryāniya, V (19791980), pp. 1415, no. 15Google Scholar, reprinted in his Studies in Syriac Christianity (Aldershot, 1992)Google Scholar, Chapter 1; Habbi, Yūsuf, “Al-Tawārīkh al-suryānīya”, Majallat al-majma' al-'ilmi al-'irāqi, hay'at al–lugha al-suryānīya, VI (1981–2), p. 80, no. 21Google Scholar; Conrad, Lawrence I., “Syriac perspectives on Bilād al-Shām during the 'Abbāsid period”, in Bilād al-Shām During the Abbasid Period (132 A.H.1750 A.D. 451 A.H./1059 A.D.): Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on the History of Bilād al-Shām, ed. Adnan al–Bakhit, Muhammad and Schick, Robert (Amman, 1991), pp. 2840Google Scholar; Palmei, Andrew, The Seventh Century in the West-Syrian Chronicles (Liverpool, 1993), pp. 85104CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

21 Conrad, Lawrence I., “The conquest of Arwād: a source-critical study in the historiography of the early medieval Near East”, in The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East, i: Problems in the Literary Source Material (Papers of the First Workshop on Late Antiquity and Early Islam), ed. Cameron, Averil and Conrad, Lawrence I. (Princeton, 1992), pp. 322–40Google Scholar. Cf. also Baumstark, , Geschichte der syrischen Literatur, pp. 341–2Google Scholar; Breydy, Michel, Geschichte der syro-arahischen Literatur der Maroniten vom 7. bis 16. Jahrhundert (Opladen, 1985), pp. 132–8, 240–1, 271CrossRefGoogle Scholar. In his Das geteilte Dossier. Beobachtungen zu den Nachrichten über die Regieruug des Kaisers Herakleios und die seiner Söhne bei Theophanes und Nikephoros (Bonn, 1988), esp. pp. 51–3, 165–71, 185–7, 499519Google Scholar, Paul Speck offers an analysis of the sources underlying Theophanes, Michael, and the chronicler of 1234 that is in important ways contradictory to my own conclusions, but based on a one-sided and incomplete view of the evidence.

22 Sec my “Conquest of Arwād”, pp. 334–6Google Scholar.

23 Dionysius is unlikely to have caught the error, since his chronicle, which did not begin until 582, did not require him to check sources on ancient history.

24 My own provisional view is that Michael gives Theophilus's text in a sometimes abbreviated form, but one in which Theophilus's reports, at least for the Islamic period, were seldom (if ever) recast to incorporate details from other sources.

25 For the Latin rendering of Theophanes's account of the Colossus, see Anastasius, , Historia tripertita, ed. de Boor, Carl in Chrotiographia, ii (Leipzig, 1885), p. 216:24–7Google Scholar. The Historia miscella, taken from the Vatican MS of Anastasius, is discussed by de Boor (Ibid., pp. 426–31).

26 See, for example, Van Gelder, , Geschichte der alten Rhodier, p. 391Google Scholar.

27 See Meinardus, , “Colossus, Colossae, Colossi”, pp. 33–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar, suggesting that the appellation of “Colossians” may have come to be applied to the Rhodians by reason of connections with the city of Colossae on Cyprus.

28 Geography XIV.ii.5; Loeb ed. and trans, by Jones, Horace Leonard (London, 19161932), vi, p. 269Google Scholar. For the correct Constantine Porphyrogenitus has ,, and following the misreading in his source (see the next note below) he gives the name of Chares as Laches.

29 Anlhologia tyrkagraeca, ed. Diehl, Ernest (Leipzig, 1925), ii, p. 188:9–10, no. 165Google Scholar.

30 Jacobson, and Weitzman, , “What was Corinthian bronze”, pp. 242–5. Cf. also n. 11 aboveGoogle Scholar.

31 Ibid., pp. 238–40, where these Greek sources are discussed.

32 On this point I would like to acknowledge the many stimulating discussions I have had on the Theophanes/Constantine Porphyrogenitus question with Dr James Howard-Johnston.

33 This possibility of course suggests a potentially fruitful common ground between my own conclusions and those of Cyril Mango and Paul Speck, in that these notes might have involved a role by Syncellus, George ( 800). In his “Who wrote the Chronicle of Theophanes”, Zbornik Radoua Vizantolośkog Instituta, XVIII (1978), pp. 917Google Scholar, Mango argued that the Chronographia was actually written by George, and that Theophanes did no more than engage in some minor editorial polishing and revision. This argument is accepted and pursued in Speck's Geteiltes Dossier, pp. 52, 169–71, 185–7, 499–502. 516–19. But this is a matter for another study.

34 Pace Speck, Geteilles Dossier, pp. 169–71, 185–7, 500–2Google Scholar. An examination of the rendering of personal and place names in Theophanes, Agapius, Michael, and the Chronicle of 1234 would almost certainly confirm the primary role of the Syriac versions in the materials that these sources have in common.

35 This has been discussed in two previous studies o f mine: Theophanes and t he Arabic historical tradition: some indications of intercultural transmission”, ByzatUinische Forschungen, XV (1990), p. 43Google Scholar; “Conquest of Arwad”, pp. 328–32, 346–8.Google Scholar

36 See Noth, Albrecht, The Early Arabic Historical Tradition: a Source-Critical Study, 2nd ed. in collaboration with Conrad, Lawrence I., trans. Bonner, Michael (Princeton, 1994), pp. 48–53Google Scholar.

37 Al-Tabarī (d. 310/923), Ta'rikh al-rusul wa-l-muluk, ed. Ibrāhīm, Muḥammad Abū l-Faḍl, 2nd ed. (Cairo, 19681969), v, p. 288:5–11Google Scholar. For discussion, see my “Conquest of Arwad”, pp. 364–86.

38 Nicephorus, , Breviarium, 50; ed. and trans, with commentary by Mango, Cyril (Washington, D.C., 1990), pp. 116–19Google Scholar.

39 Theophanes, , Chronographia, p. 483:4–15Google Scholar.

40 Agapius was bishop of Manbij, ancient Hieropolis, about 100 kilometres from Edessa.

41 De septem orbis spectaculis, iv. 16; ed. Hercher, Rudolf (Paris, 1858), pp. 103104.Google Scholar

42 Histories, V.lxxxviii.1; Loeb ed. and trans, by Paton, W. R. (London, 19221927), iii, p. 215Google Scholar.

43 Geography, XIV.ii.5; trans. Jones, , vi, p. 269Google Scholar.

44 Historia naturalis, XXXIV.41; trans. Beaujeu, , xxxiv, p. 122Google Scholar.

45 The dates for the erection and later collapse of the Colossus are not known with exactitude, due to disagreement among MSS of Pliny and dates given by him and other authorities for the earthquake that felled the monument. This study, the argument of which is not affected by this issue, follows the solutions proposed in Beaujeu, , xxxiv (Comm.), pp. 193–4.Google Scholar

46 De septem orbis spectaculis, iv.2; ed. Hercher, , p. 103Google Scholar. For discussions on h ow the monument may have been constructed, see Gabriel, , “Colosse de Rhodes”, pp. 332–42Google Scholar; Maryon, , “Colossus of Rhodes”, pp. 72, 77–9Google Scholar. Maryon's argument that the shell of the Colossus was formed of beaten bronze plates was immediately disputed by D. E. L. Haynes, who read Philon as meaning that the edifice was cast. See the latter's Philo of Byzantium and the Colossus of Rhodes”, Journal of Hellenic Studies, LXXVII (1957), pp. 311–12Google Scholar.

47 Historia naturalis, XXXIV. 41; trans. Beaujeu, , xxxiv, p. 122Google Scholar.

48 De septem orbis spectaculis, iv.6; ed. Hercher, , p. 104Google Scholar.

49 A standard camel load was 600 Roman pounds in the early fourth century A.D., and there is no reason to suspect that it would have changed much over the following three centuries. See Jones, A. H. M., The Later Roman Empire, 284602 (Oxford, 1964), ii, p. 841Google Scholar; also Bulliet, Richard W., The Camel and the Wheel (Cambridge, Mass., 1975) PP. 20, 281–2Google Scholar, nn. 34–5.

50 Cf. Maryon, , “The Colossus of Rhodes”, p. 72Google Scholar.

51 On parallels to this problem in the Arab-Islamic tradition, see my “The use of numbers in the era of al-Ṭabari”, in Al-Ṭabari: a Medieval Muslim Historian and his Work, ed. Kennedy, Hugh (Princeton, forthcoming)Google Scholar.

52 In addition to Polybius, Strabo, and Pliny, already referred to above, this information appears in the Chronicle of Eusebius, which n ow survives in an expanded Latin translation by Jerome (d. 420) and an anonymous Armenian version. For the former, see Die Chronik des Hieronymtts, ed. Helm, Rudolf (Berlin, 1956), p. 134:6–8Google Scholar; and for the latter, Die Chronik des Eusebius, ed. and trans. Karst, Josef (Leipzig, 1911), p. 202 AbrGoogle Scholar. 1793. From the original Greek text and the Syriac translation the reference passed to many sources in the Near East chronicle tradition. See Chronkon paschale, ed. Dindorf, Ludwig (Bonn, 1832), p. 311:16–17Google Scholar; Chronicon anonymum pseudo-Dionysianum vulgo dicto (hereafter, Zuqnin Chronicle), ed. Chabot, J. B. (Paris, 19271933; CSCO 91, 104Google Scholar, Scr. syri 43, 53), i, p. 48:23–4Google Scholar; Syncellus, George, Ecloga chronographica, ed. Mosshammer, Alden A. (Leipzig, 1984), p. 333:15Google Scholar; Cedrenus, , Historiarum compendium, i, p. 264:19–20Google Scholar; Michael, , Chronique, i, p. 122 (trans.); iv, p. 793:17–23, 34–39Google Scholar.

53 See Polybius, Histories, V.lxxxix.3; trans. Paton, , iii, p. 217Google Scholar.

54 Geography, XIV.ii.5; trans. Jones, , vi, p. 269Google Scholar.

55 See Gabriel, , “Colosse de Rhodes”, pp. 341–2Google Scholar; Maryon, , “Colossus of Rhodes”, pp. 70–1, 76CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

56 Eusebius, , Chronicle (Latin, ed. Helm, ), p. 147:23–4Google Scholar, (Armenian, trans. Karst, ), p. 206 Abr. 1908Google Scholar. Cf. Michael, , Chronique, i, p. 132 (trans.); iv, p. 840:33–4 (text)Google Scholar.

57 Eusebius, , Chronicle (Latin, ed. Helm, ), p. 188:9–10Google Scholar, (Armenian, trans. Karst, ), p. 217 Abr. 2091Google Scholar; Chronicon, paschale, p. 464:13–14Google Scholar; Syncellus, George, Ecloga chronographica, p. 417:11Google Scholar; Cedrenus, , Historiarum compendium, i, p. 377:15–16Google Scholar.

58 I.e. 300 pounds of gold.

59 The Chronicle of John Malalas, trans. Jeffreys, Elizabeth, Jeffreys, Michael, and Scott, Roger (Melbourne, 1986), p. 148CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

60 See the detailed analyses of the chronology in Weber, Wilhelm, Untersuchungen zur Ceschichle des Kaiser Hadrianus (Leipzig, 1907), pp. 141–4Google Scholar; Von Stauffenberg, Alexander Schenk Graf, Die römische Kaisergeschichte bei Malalas (Stuttgart, 1931), pp. 302–3Google Scholar. enough, Oddly, Hadrian's restoration of the Colossus is not mentioned in Glanville Downey's “Imperial building records in Malalas”, Byzantinische Zeitschrifl, XXXVIII (1938), pp. 115, 299311Google Scholar.

61 See Chronicon paschale, p. 476:6–7Google Scholar.

62 In all probability, however, Malalas has not seen this inscription himself, but rather has taken it from one of his sources. See n. 64 below.

63 Eusebius, , Chronicle (Latin, ed. Helm, ), p. 209:16–18Google Scholar, (Armenian, trans. Karst, ), p. 223 Abr. 2205Google Scholar; Chronicon paschale, p. 492:1–2Google Scholar; Syncellus, George, Ecloga chronographica, p. 433:6–7Google Scholar, which probably preserves the original Greek of Eusebius; Cedrenus, , Historiamm compendium, i, p. 441:12–13Google Scholar; Michael, , Chronique, i, p. 186 (trans.); iv, p. 11 ia:30–1Google Scholar.

64 This holds true even for inscriptions on monuments in or near Antioch, where Malalas seems to have lived for most of his life. See Downey, Glanville, “References to inscriptions in the Chronicle of Malalas”, Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, LXVI (1935), pp. 5572CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

65 On the ecclesiastical history of Rhodes in early Byzantine times and its role as an episcopal centre, see Chrysos, Evangelos, Die Bischoflisten its V. Okumenischen Konzils (553) (Bonn, 1966), pp. 17, 27, 98, 146, 162, 165, 178, 187Google Scholar.

66 See Malalas, , Chronicle, p. 253Google Scholar; Theophanes, , Chronographia, p. 177:11Google Scholar; Michael, , Chronique, ii, p. 221 (trans.); iv, p. 296C:2–37 (text)Google Scholar; Chronicon, 1234, i, p. 191:24–192:2Google Scholar.

67 Despite the fact that if it was covered with Corinthian bronze, the metal would have tarnished and corroded more slowly than ordinary bronze. See Jacobson, and Weitzman, , “What was Corinthian bronze”, pp. 238, 241Google Scholar.

68 Maryon, “The Colossus of Rhodes”, p. 74.

69 See Dicks, , Rhodes, pp. 2324Google Scholar; Ambraseys, N. N., Melville, C. P., and Adams, R. D., The Seismicity of Egypt, Arabia and the Red Sea: a Historical Review (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 231233, reviewed below, p. 3CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

70 Pausanias, , Descriptio Graeciae, II.vii.i, VIII.xliii.4; Loeb ed. and trans, by Jones, W. H. S. and Ormerod, H. A. (London, 19181935), i, p. 283; iv, p. 119.Google Scholar The earthquake may have occurred as early as 138, hardly more than a decade after Hadrian's restoration of the Colossus. See Magie, David, Roman Rule in Asia Minor to the End of the Third Century after Christ (Princeton, 1950), i, p. 631Google Scholar; also the detailed discussion on the chronology and other matters concerning this earthquake at ii, pp. 1491–1492.

71 See the passages from the so-called “Great Chronographer” edited in Whitby, L. M., “The Great Chronographer and Theophanes”, Byzantine and Modern Creek Studies, VIII (19821983), pp. 1720Google Scholar (p. 17 no. 1 for the fragment on the earthquake at Rhodes in the reign of Zeno).

72 Zūqnīn Chronicle, i, p. 259:1–262:6Google Scholar.

73 Michael, , Chronique, ii, p. 160 (trans.); iv, p. 260b:31–34 (text).Google Scholar

74 See Hendy, Michael F., Studies in the Byzantine Monetary Economy, c. 300–1450 (Cambridge, 1985), pp. 164171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

75 There is a considerable recent literature on such matters. See, for example, Winkelmann, Friedhelm, “Zum byzantinischen Staat (Kaiser, Aristokratie, Heer)”, in Byzanz im 7. Jahrhundert. Untersuchungen zur Herausbildung des Feudalismus (Berlin, 1978), pp. 161224Google Scholar; Kaegi, Walter Emil, Byzantine Military Unrest, 471–483: an Interpretation (Amsterdam, 1981), pp. 3437, 4344, 4951, 56, 6770, 9092, 110111, 133Google Scholar; Hendy, , Studies, pp. 181–92, 222242.Google Scholar

76 See the Parastaseis synlomoi chronikai xlii; ed. and trans, with commentary by Cameron, Averil and Herrin, Judith as Constantinople in the Early Eighth Century (Leiden, 1984), pp. 114:11117:12, 228230.Google Scholar The importance of the passage has been discussed in detail by Kaegi, Walter Emit in two studies: “Late Roman continuity in the financing of Heraclius’ army”, Akten des XVI. Internationalen Byzantinisten Kongresses (Vienna, 1982), II.2, 5361Google Scholar; Two studies in the continuity of late Roman and Byzantine military institutions”, Byzantinische Forschungen, VIII (1982), pp. 9098.Google Scholar

77 Speck, Paul, “War Bronze ein knappes metall? Die Legende von dem Stier auf dem Bus in den Parastaseis 42’, Hellenika, XXXIX (1988), pp. 317.Google Scholar

78 Rhodes in fact continued as a bishopric well past this period; in 786 its bishop seems to have been involved in iconoclast agitation on the eve of the Seventh Ecumenical Council. See Mansi, J. D., Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima colleclio (Florence and Venice, 17591998; repr. Paris and Leipzig, 19011927), xii, col. 1015D.Google Scholar On the incident see Herrin, Judith, The Formation of Christendom (Oxford, 1987), p. 417.Google Scholar

79 See John of Nikiu (wr. ca. 690), cxx.5, 52; trans. Charles, Robert Henry as The Chronicle of John (c. 690 A.D.) Coptic Bishop of Nikiu (London, 1916), pp. 192, 197.Google Scholar

80 Cf. n. 11 above, on Corinthian bronze.

81 Jacobson, and Weitzman, , “What was Corinthian bronze”, p. 245.Google Scholar

82 See Maryon, , “Colossus of Rhodes”, p. 69.Google Scholar

83 See Michael, , Clironique, ii, p. 401 (trans.); iv, p. 404b:24–33 (text)Google Scholar; Hebracus, Bar, Ta'rikh mukhtaṣar al-duwal, ed. Ṣāliḥānī, Antoine (Beirut, 1890), p. 156:2–3.Google Scholar Cf. Shīnāyā, Elias bar, Opus chronologicum, ed. Brooks, E. W. and Chabot, J.-B. (Paris, 19051909; CSCO 61–62, Scr. syri 21–22), i, p. 128:20–2Google Scholar; trans. Delaporte, L. J., La Chronographie d'Elie Bar-Shinaya, métropolitan de Nisibe (Paris, 1910), p. 80.Google Scholar

84 Cf. the remarks by Zimmermann, Fritz in Al-Masāq, III (1990), pp. 8991Google Scholar, ad Peters, F. E., “Hellenism in Islam”, in Paths from Ancient Greece, ed. Thomas, C. G. (Leiden, 1988), pp. 7791.Google Scholar

85 Cf. Lawrence I. Conrad, “Portents of the hour: history and ḥadith in the first century A.H.”, Der Islam, forthcoming.

86 On this much-researched topic, see Visionaries and their Apocalypses, ed. Hanson, Paul D. (London, 1983)Google Scholar; Alexander, PaulJ., The Byzantine Apocalyptic Tradition, ed. Abrahamse, Dorothy de F. (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1985)Google Scholar; The Use and Abuse of Eschatology in the Middle Ages, ed. Verbeke, Werner, Verhelst, Daniel, and Welkenhuysen, Andries (Leuven, 1988)Google Scholar; Apocalypticism in the Mediterranean and the Near East, ed. Hellholm, David, 2nd ed. (Tübingen, 1989).Google Scholar

87 The most important of these were Jeremiah, 25:8–11; Daniel, 9:27, 11:31, 12:11; I Maccabees, 6:7; Matthew, 24:15–30; II Thessalonians, 2:7–12. The book of Judges was also sometimes brought into the discussion.

88 Daniel, 2:31–44 (AV).

89 The literature on the role of Daniel in apocalyptic is quite extensive. See, for example, Collins, John J., Daniel, with an Introduction to Apocalyptic Literature (Grand Rapids, 1984)Google Scholar; Beale, Gregory K., The Use of Daniel in fewish Apocalyptic and in the Revelation of St. John (Lanham, Maryland, 1985)Google Scholar; Doukhan, Jacques B., Daniel: the Vision of the End (Berrien Springs, Michigan, 1987)Google Scholar; Stephen Breck Reid, Enoch and Daniel: a Form-Critical and Sociological Study of Historical Apocalypses (Berkeley, 1989).Google Scholar

90 Doctrina jacobi nuper baptizati, IV.v. 3444Google Scholar; ed. and trans. Deroche, Vincent in Dagron, Gilbert and Deroche, Vincent, Juifs et Chrétiens dans l'Orient du Vlle siècle (Paris, 1991; Travaux et mémoires, xi), pp. 182 (trans.), 183 (text).Google Scholar

91 Sophronius, , Lógos eis tò hágia báptisma, 10Google Scholar; ed. Papadopoulos-Kerameus, Athanasios in his Analekta Hierosolymitikes Stachyologias, v (St Petersburg, 1898), p. 166:24166:30Google Scholar. Cf. Theophanes, , Chronographia, p. 339:22339:24.Google Scholar For the verses that arose in such discussions, see nn. 87–8 above.

92 Sebēos, History of Heraclius, xxxii; trans. Macler, Frédéric, Hisloire d'Héraclius par I'évêque Sebfos (Paris, 1904), pp. 104–5. Cf. Daniel, 7:7–11Google Scholar.

93 Penkāyē, John bar, Kethābhā dhe rish mellē, ed. Mingana, Alphonse in his Sources syriaques (Leipzig, 1908), pp. 141:9–142ultGoogle Scholar, 145:4–10; trans, in Brock, Sebastian, “North Mesopotamia in the late seventh century: Book XV of John bar Penkāyē's Rish Mellē”, Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, IX (1987), pp. 57–8, 60Google Scholar.

94 Pseudo-Methodius, , Apocalypse, XI.34, 818, XIII.6; ed. and trans. Reinink, Gerrit (Leuven, 1993), pp. 24–5, 2632, 37–8 (text); 42–3, 4553, 69–61 (trans.)Google Scholar. See also the important clarifications on these matters in Reinink, Gerrit, “Ismael, der Wildesel in der Wiiste. Zur Typologie der Apokalypse des Pseudo-Methodios”, Byzantinische Zeitschrift, LXXV (1982), pp. 336–44Google Scholar; Idem, “Tyrannen und Muslime. Die Gestaltung einer symbolischen Metapher bei Pseudo-Methodios”, in Scripta signa vocis: Studies about Scripts, Scriptures, Scribes and Languages in the Near East, Presented to J.H. Hospers, ed. Vanstiphout, H. L. J., Jongeling, K., Leemhuis, F., and Reinink, G. J. (Groningen, 1986), pp. 163–75Google Scholar; Idem, Ps.- Methodius: a concept of history in response to the rise of Islam”, in The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East, i, 149–87Google Scholar.

95 If one follows C. Edmund Bosworth's assessment of the evidence in his contribution to this volume, pp. 157–9. there were Arab raids on Rhodes in ca. 32–33/653 and ca. 60/679–80.

96 See Butler, Alfred J., The Arab Conquest of Egypt and the Last Thirty Years of the Roman Dominion, 2nd ed. by Fraser, P. M. (Oxford, 1978), pp. 401–26Google Scholar.

97 Reinink, “Ismael, der Wildesel in der Wiiste”, pp. 336–44; Idem, “Die syrischen Wurzeln der mittelalterlichen Legende vom rümischen Endkaiser”, in Non nova, sed nove; Mélanges de civilisation médiévale dédiés a Willem Noomen, ed. Gosman, Martin and Van Os, Jaap (Groningen, 1984), pp. 195205Google Scholar; Idem, “Tyrannen und Muslime”, pp. 163–71Google Scholar.

98 The number 70 was an important symbol among all the peoples of the Near East in this period; see my Seven and the Tasbt: on the implications of numerical symbolism for the study of medieval Islamic history”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, XXXI (1988), pp. 4353Google Scholar. In apocalyptic the figure recalls Old Testament prophecies (Jeremiah, 25:11–14, 29:10; Daniel, 9:2) that Jerusalem and the land of the Israelites would be laid waste and made subject to Babylonian servitude for 70 years, after which God would redeem his people and wreak a terrible vengeance upon their tormenters. It was not only Christians, however, but also Muslims and Mandaeans, who saw some momentous significance in this calculation. For further discussion, see my “Portents of the hour”.

99 Seen. 57 above. Jerome's Latin translation of Eusebius and the Chronicon paschale have the figure of 107 feet correctly; elsewhere, as commonly occurred in the course of translation and transmission, the number has been corrupted.

100 See, for example, Drijvers, Han J. W., “The Gospel of the Twelve Apostles: a Syriac apocalypse from the early Islamic period”, in The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East, pp. 211–13Google Scholar, In the lands that remained under Byzantine rule apocalyptic expectations continued to resurface in times of grave danger, e.g. a new interpretation of Daniel in a Constantinopolitan apocalypse composed under threat of imminent Muslim siege during the winter of 716–17. See Die griechische Daniel-Diegese. Ewe altkirchliche Apokalypse, ed. with commentary by Berger, Klaus (Leiden, 1976)Google Scholar; with Cyril Mango's correction of the date in an appendix to his The life of St. Andrew the Fool reconsidered”, Rivista di studi bizantini e slavi, II (1982), pp. 310–13Google Scholar; reprinted in his Byzantium and its Image: History and Culture of the Byzantine Empire and its Heritage (London, 1984)Google Scholar, Chapter 8; Herrin, , Formation of Christendom, pp. 330–1Google Scholar.

101 It is worth mentioning in passing that the Arabic sources are equally uninformative in this connection, as their accounts of the Arab expedition to Rhodes clearly originate in ahistorical and highly folkloric tales that, with the passage of time, were recast in a more formal form as reports with a claim to historical credentials. For the most important accounts, see Ibn A'tham al-Kūfī (wr. 204/819–20), Kitāb al-futūḥ, ed. Khān, Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Mu'īd (Hyderabad, 1388–95/19681975), ii, p. 127:6128:1, 145:9146:11Google Scholar; al-Fasawī (d. 277/890), Kitāb al-ma'rifa wa-l-ta'rikh, ed. al-‘Umarī, Akram Ḍiyā’ (Baghdad, 19741975), iii, P. 323:3324:5Google Scholar; al-Balādhurī (d. 279/892), Futūḥ al-buldān, ed. de Goeje, M. J. (Leiden, 1866), pp. 235u–236:9Google Scholar; al-Tabarī, , Ta'rīkh, v, p. 288:5–11Google Scholar. For a discussion of the problems with this material, cf. Conrad, , “Conquest of Arwad”, pp. 348–86Google Scholar. As suggested above, Agapius's account may reflect some awareness of the monument among early Muslims; but so far as I have seen, there is no mention of the Colossus of Rhodes in the medieval Arab-Islamic literature that survives today. Cf. Bosworth's, article in this volume, p. 161Google Scholar, for a similar observation.

102 see Keseling, paul, “Die Chronik des Eusebius in der syrischen Uberlieferung”, Oriens christianus, Dritte Serie, I (1927), pp. 2348, 223241; II (1928), pp. 3356.Google Scholar

103 See above, nn. 56–7, 59, 63.

104 “II Colosso di Rodi”, pp. 1213Google Scholar.

105 Conversion to Islam by non-Muslims in the conquered territories during the Umayyad period has been the subject of much modern scholarly discussion. See the representative synthesis in Duri, A. A., The Historical Formation of the Arab Nation: a Study in Identity and Consciousness, trans. Conrad, Lawrence I. (London, 1987), pp. 2983Google Scholar. The topic remains in many ways obscure, however, not least of all because the copious historical information on the matter reflects the obvious and extensive influence of later discussions about what should have occurred, as opposed to what actually did occur. See the cogent and circumspect discussion of these issues in Hawting, G. R., The First Dynasty of Islam (London, 1986), pp. 19, 7781Google Scholar; also the effort by Bulliet, Richard W. to approach the subject from a direction avoiding the pitfalls of the narrative historical sources, in his Conversion to Islam in the Medieval Period: an Essay in Quantitative History (Cambridge, Mass., 1979), especially, for Syria, pp. 104113CrossRefGoogle Scholar. In Edessa, of course, conversion trends would have been observed from the viewpoint of a staunchly Christian centre.

106 See, for example, Sharf, Andrew, Byzantine Jewry from Justinian to the Fourth Crusade (London, 1971), pp. 4281Google Scholar. For the parallels in Arab-Islamic historiography, see Noth/Conrad, The Early Arabic Historical Tradition, pp. 19, 167168.Google Scholar

107 See Segal, J. B., Edessa, the ‘Blessed City’ (Oxford, 1970), pp. 102103.Google Scholar

108 See Haldon, John F., Byzantium in the Seventh Century (Cambridge, 1990), pp. 338339, 349351CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Anti- Byzantine sentiment and expectations of a Last Greek Emperor should not be regarded as incompatible in a Monophysite context: see Reinink, , “Die syrischen Wurzeln”, pp. 195209Google Scholar; Idem., “Ps.-Methodius”, pp. 159–78Google Scholar.

109 Jenkins, , Byzantium: the Imperial Centuries, p. 38.Google Scholar

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