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Camenia'ta, Joannes

Ἰωάννης Καμενιάτα), cubuclesius, or bearer of the crosier, to the archbishop of Thessalonica, was an eye-witness of the capture of that town by the Arabs in A. D. 904 A. H. 189. Leo, a Syrian renegade, who held a command under the Arabs, made a descent in that year near Thessalonica, with a fleet of fifty-four ships chiefly manned with negro slaves, surprised, took, and plundered the town, then the second in the Greek empire, and sailed off with a great number of captives. Among these were Cameniata and several of his family, who would have been put to death by the Arabs, had not Cameniata saved his and their lives by shewing the victors a spot where the inhabitants had buried part of their riches. The Arabs, however, did not restore him to liberty, but carried him to Tarsus in Cilicia for the purpose of exchanging him for Arab prisoners who had been taken by the Greeks.


At Tarsus, Cameniata wrote a description of the capture of Thessalonica, entitled Ἰωάννου κλερικοῦ καὶ κουβουκλεισίου τοῦ Καμενιάτου εἰς τὴν ἅλωσιν τῆς Θεσσαλονίκης, which is commonly called by its Latin title "De Excidio Thessalonicensi." It is divided into seventy-nine chapters, and is as important for the plunder of Thessalonica by the Arabs as the work of Joannes Anagnosta for the sack of the same town by the Turks in 1430.


The Greek text of this elegant work was first published, with a Latin translation, by Leo Allatius in his Σύμμικτα, 1653-1658, where it is divided into forty-five sections. The second edition is by Combefisius, who published it with an improved Latin translation in his "Historiae Byzantinae Scriptores post Theophanem," Paris, 1685, fol., which forms part of the Parisian " Corpus Script. Hist. Byzant." Combefisius divided it into seventy-nine chapters. The third and last edition, in the Bonn Collection, was published by Em. Bekker together with Theophanes (continuatus), Symon Magister, and Georgius Monachus, Bonn, 1838, 8vo.

Further Information

Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vii. p. 683; Hanckius, De Script. Hist. Byzant. p. 403, &c.; the Ἅλωσις of Ioannes Cameniata.


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904 AD (1)
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