Chronicle of Events between the Years 1623 and 1733 Relating to The Settlement of the Carmelites in Mesopotamia. (Bassora). A contribution to the history of Christian missions in the East, written by Agathangelus of St. Theresa and others.


Book ID: 855


8vo. xxiii, 669 pp., [1], Latin, English and some Persian and Arabic text, Arabic and Persian illustrated documents, half-title, original buckram, gilt spine, bookplate from the University of London verso front cover, small library stamp verso title page, otherwise copy clean inside and in very good condition, notes, indices, ‘Now edited for the first time with translation and notes from a unique (autograph) MS in the possession of the author’, Oxford University Press, first edition, 1927.


This account provides valuable information on the history of Christian monastic orders, in particular of the Carmelite, but also Franciscans and Augustinians in the Near East. This rare work contains the transcribed text of the original manuscript (in Latin, with short passages in Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, French, Portuguese, Italian and English) followed by the editor’s English translation. The first half of this apparently unique manuscript (small quarto, 456 folios) was composed by Brother Agathangelos of St. Theresa (d. 1686) and continued later by several others.
The text of this history has been considerably altered, but it has always been highly regarded by the Armenians. Von Gutschmid maintains that the unknown author made use of a genuine life of St. Gregory, in addition to a history of his martyrdom and to that of Saint Rhipsime and her companions. The historical facts are intermingled with legendary or uncertain additions, and the whole is woven into a certain unity by the narrator, who may have assumed his name from his skills as a narrator of “the good news” of Armenia’s conversion. It has been translated into several languages, and Greek and Latin translations are found in the “Acta Sanctorum Bollandistarum, tome viii”.
According to Agathangelos, he was tasked by Tiridates III to write about his father Khosrov II of Armenia and the period of his reign. Until the 19th century, based on this information, scholars believed that Agathangelos lived in the 4th century. However, further detailed research on his writings has demonstrated that Agathangelos lived and worked in the 5th century and thus could not have been Tiridates III’s secretary.

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