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Chronicon Paschale: The Samaritan Rebellion of 484

Samaritan TempleThe Chronicon Paschale is an anonymous Byzantine Greek chronology from the early 7th century which presents an account of world history up to that time from a Christian viewpoint. It provides a rather one-sided account of the Samaritan revolt against Christian Byzantine rule which took place and was suppressed in 484 C.E.

In these times the people of the Samaritan race in Palestine seized a pretext and rebelled, and crowned a Samaritan brigand chief named Justasas. And he came to Caesarea and watched chariot races and murdered many people while he was ruler in Palestine. And the same Justasas also burnt the church of St. Probus, in the time of Timothy bishop of Caesarea. And immediately Asclepiades, the dux (92) of Palestine and dignitary of Caesarea, came with his forces to hunt the brigand, together with the Arcadianae; (93) and he set out against the same Justasas and engaged with him, and the same Justasas was beheaded and his head was sent along with his diadem to the emperor Zeno (94). The emperor Zeno immediately made their synagogue, which was in the place called Gargaride (95), into a great house of prayer for Our Lady the Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, and he also restored the church of St. Procopius (96); he issued an edict that a Samaritan should not hold an administrative post, and he confiscated the property of their wealthy men. And there was fear and peace.

Trans. M. and M. Whitby, Chronicon Paschale, 284-628 AD (Liverpool- Liverpool University, 1989), pp. 95-6.

92. Latin title for the military commander of a frontier province of the Byzantine Empire.

93. A body of troops.

94. Ruled 474-91 C.E.

95. Mt. Gerizim in Samaria, near Shechem, known today as Nablus. This was the location of the Samaritan temple.

96. Apparently destroyed during the revolt.

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