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Nikephoros, Patriarch of Constantinople
Short History
Cyril Mango
This history covers the period 602–769 and is one of the two Greek historical texts that relate the fortunes of the Byzantine Empire and its neighbors during that difficult period.

The Short History or Breviarium of Nikephoros, patriarch of Constantinople (d. 828), covers the period 602–769 and is one of the two Greek historical texts that relate the fortunes of the Byzantine Empire and its neighbors during that difficult period. Despite its brevity it is, therefore, a source of primary importance for the study of events in medieval eastern Europe and the Near East, including the dramatic reign of Emperor Herakleios (610–641), the Arab conquests, the establishment of the Bulgarian state, and Byzantine iconoclasm. Not being an eyewitness to the events he describes, Nikephoros had to rely on earlier sources, now lost to us, which he paraphrastically rendered in ancient Greek so as to attain the stylistic elegance that was expected of a “history.”

The English translation is accompanied by a succinct commentary that sets out the basic problems posed by the Short History and provides essential guidance for the reader.