Paul Stephenson, historian, professor

Translated Excerpts from Byzantine Sources: The Imperial Centuries, c. 700-1204

The following introductions and translated excerpts have been produced for students taking my classes in Byzantine History. I have also provided links to other sites where important texts which we use are mounted or are available for sale (and also to some Google Books). I claim neither credit nor responsibility for those, but  I welcome comments on, and criticisms of, my own translations. I am an historian, not a medieval Greek philologist, so there are sure to be mistakes.  Please don't write to me asking for fuller translations. However, please do tell me if you are using the excerpts for teaching.

I am no longer adding to or updating the site, as my initiative, begun online in 1998, has been overtaken by the impressive and welcome publication of full translations of Byzantine sources in number series, notably the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library and Liverpool Translated Texts for Historians (Byzantine series).

Parastaseis Syntomai Chronikai, brief historical expositions on Constantinople in the eighth century (published by Brill Academic Publishers; reproduced in full at King's College London)

Iconoclasm I , sources from the first period of Byzantine political iconoclasm

Iconoclasm II, sources from the second period of Byzantine political iconoclasm

Life of Ignatios the Patriarch, attributed to Nicetas David Paphlago

The Rule of the Stoudios Monastery (at Dumbarton Oaks)

Nikephoros, Short History (available from Dumbarton Oaks)

Theophanes the Confessor, Chronicle (available from Oxford University Press)

Chronicle of 811, Scriptor Incertus, two fragments on the ninth century

Beneficial tale of Nicholas the Monk, former soldier

Pope Nicholas I, responses to Khan Boris of the Bulgarians (at Fordham University)

Lives of Sts Cyril and Methodios, excerpts from the Slavic lives of the Apostles to the Slavs

Leo VI, Taktika

Book of the Eparch, tenth-century guild regulations for Constantinople

Theodore Daphnopates, imperial secretary to Romanos I Lekapenos, excerpts from orations and letters

Constantine the Rhodian, on the Seven Wonders of Constantinople

De Administrando Imperio, excerpts from  the text compiled for Constantine Pophyrogenitus

De Cerimoniis, coronation rites and diplomatic protocols, excerpted from the text compiled for Constantine Pophyrogenitus 

Theophanes Continuatus, introduction and excerpts 

Symeon Logothete, introduction and excerpts 

A Satirical Song of the late tenth century 

Leo the Deacon, excerpts concerning Nikephoros Phokas 

Military texts of the mid-tenth century, excerpts with commentary

Life of Athanasios of Athos, excerpts from vita B

Documents from Mount Athos (translated by Leonora Neville)

Epitaph of Basil II

John Skylitzes, excerpts from the Synopsis Historion

Michael Psellos, Chronographia (at Fordham University)

Anna Comnena, Alexiad (at Fordham University)

John Kinnamos, Niketas Choniates, two accounts of John II's encounters with the Hungarians, 1127-29

Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja (Ljetopis Popa Dukljanina)

Nicholas Mesarites, Ekphrasis on the Church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople

Copyright: Paul Stephenson, January 2013

Creative Commons License
Translated Excerpts from Byzantine Sources by Paul Stephenson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at