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2. Of Byzantium, one of the writers of the Byzantine history, flourished most probably in the latter part of the sixth century of our era.


History of the Eastern Empire

He wrote, in ten books, the history of the Eastern Empire (ἱστορικῶν λόγοι δέκα), during the Persian war under Justin II., beginning from the second year of Justin, in which the truce made by Justinian with Chosroes was broken, A. D. 567. and going down to the tenth year of the war, which, according to Mr. Clinton, was not A. D. 577, but A. D. 581, because the war did not begin till A. D. 571, although the history of Theophanes may have commenced with A. D. 567.

Photius (Bibl. Cod. 64) gives an account of the work of Theophanes, and he repeats the author's statement that, besides adding other books to the ten which formed the original work, he had written another work on the history of Justinian. It well deserves mention that, among the historical statements preserved by Photius from Theophanes is the discovery, in the reign of Justinian, of the fact that silk was the production of a worm, which had not been before known to the people of the Roman empire A certain Persian, he tells us. coming from the land of the Seres, brought to Constantinople " the seed " (τὸ σπέρμα, the eggs, of course) of the silk-worm, and these " seeds" being hatched in the spring, and the worms fed with mulberry leaves, they spun their silk, and went through their transformations.


The Excerpta of Photius from the ten books of the history of Theophanes were printed in Greek, with a Latin version by Andr. Schottus, and notes by Ph. Labbe, in Valesius's edition of the Excerpta de Legationibus, from Dexippus and others, Paris, 1648, fol.; reprinted in the Venetian collection of the Byzantine historians, Venet. 1729, fol. : they are also printed in the volume of Niebuhr's Corpus Scriptorum Hist. Byzant., containing Dexippus, &c., Bonn. 1829, 8vo.

Further Information

Cave, Hist. Litt. s. a. 580, vol. i. p. 537, ed. Basil.; Hankius, Byz. Rer. Script. 2.4, pp. 674, foll.; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. vii. pp. 459, 541, 543; Vossius, de Hist. Graec. pp. 327, 328, ed. Westermann; Clinton, Fasti Romani. s. aa. 567, 568, 571.

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