46. SYNCELLUS; termed also ABBAS and MONACHUS, lived in the latter part of the eighth and beginning of the ninth century.
He obtained his distinguishing epithet from having been syncellus or personal attendant of Tarasius, patriarch of Constantinople, who died A. D. 806. Theophanes, who was his friend, describes him as a man of talent and learning, especially well versed in chronographical and historical subjects, which he had studied very deeply.
He died in "the orthodox faith," without completing his principal (and indeed only known) work, the completion of which he strongly urged, as his dying request, upon his friend Theophanes.
He is the author of a chronography, or chronicle, the title of which in full is as follows: Ἐκλογὴ Χρονογραφίας συνταγεῖσα ὑπὸ Γεωργίον Μοναχοῦ Συγκέλλου γεγονότος Ταρασίον Πατριάρχον Κωνσταντινουπόλεως ἀπὸ Ἀδὰμ μέχρι Διοκλητιανοῦ
, A select Chronicle, drawn up by George the Mork, syncellus of Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople, from Adam to Diocletian.
The author states that he intended to bring his work down to A. D. 800; but, as already stated, he was cut off by death, and the work only comes down to the accession of Diocletian, A. D. 284.
The work is included in the various editions ot the Byzantine writers. Goarus, the Parisian editor, contended that we have the work of Syncellas in a complete form, but the contrary opinion seems to be the better founded. Possevino, Vossius, and others have identified Syncellus with Georgius Hamartolus [No. 27]; but Allatius has shown that this identification is erroneous. Syncellus has transcribed verbatim a considerable part of the Chronicon of Eusebius, so that his work has been employed to restore or complete the Greek text of the Chronicon. The Chronographia
of Theophanes, which extends from A. D. 285 to A. D. 813, may be regarded as a continuation of that of Syncellus, and completes the author's original design.
The Bonn edition of Syncellus is edited by W. Dindorf, and, with the brief Chronographia of Nicephorus of Constantinople, occupies two volumes 8vo., 1829.
Theophanes, Prooemium ad Chronog.;
sub init.; Allatius, Ibid.
p. 24 ; Fabric. Bibl. Gr.
vol. vii. p. 457; Cave, Hist. Litt.
vol. i. p. 641.