The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Monday, February 27, 2017

Pseudo-Methodius's call for crusade

I noticed in Nimov's article that west-Syrians were in Singar already by 628 AD. We associate Singar with the Yezidis today but in the first Hijri century, it was a Christian hillock. A few decades later the “homily (mēmré) on the succession of kings and on the end of time” claiming Methodius’ name issued thence.

Pseudo-Methodius for his part pulls from west-Syrian tropes, like the centrality of Jerusalem, and from the Cave in particular – in the latter’s original, Miaphysite version. Elsewhere Christopher Bonura has noted an adaptation: where Miaphysites had cited Psalm 68 expecting an Ethiopian deliverer; Pseudo-Methodius claims that Alexander the Great had an Ethiopian mother, therefore the Greeks count as Ethiopian. Pseudo-Methodius also has a low opinion of the Muslims; in agreement with seventh-century Miaphysites (and of course with the Greeks), in dispute with the Nestorians who did not yet mind as much. In this general time and place the Nestorian monk John bar Penkaye was decrying other evils: the decadence of his own church, the general chaos of the late 60s/680s, and excessive Muslim... tolerance. Under Mu'awiya you couldn't even tell a Christian from a Jew!

Back to the apocalyptic mēmré, this was calling to a pan-Christian enterprise; unlike the Cave, it did not argue Christology. Such divisions between the Romania and the dyothelete East were less important under Constantine IV and Justinian II, albeit at the Miaphysites’ expense. Our author, from the Miaphysites himself, had agreed: political reunification first, from Rome; and let the theologians figure it out later.


posted by Zimri on 16:53 | link | 0 comments

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