Nectarius of Jerusalem (aka Patriarch Nektarios) and born as Nikolaos Pelopidis (Νεκτάριος Πελοπίδης) in Crete in 1605 CE and was educated at Saint Catherine's monastery in the Sinai where he became a monk (F. Kattenbusch in New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. VIII, 1914:98). At the age of 35 he studied in Athens and around 1660 CE at the age of 55 he became abbot of the monastery after completing some business on behalf of the monastery in Constantinople. However, on his way to be consecrated in Jerusalem, he was chosen as the Patriarch of Jerusalem and was consecrated in this position in April 1661 CE (F. Kattenbusch in New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. VIII, 1914:98). He authored several texts and died in 1680 CE (F. Kattenbusch in New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. VIII, 1914:98). Nectarius is said to have written a history of the Egyptian empire down to Sultan Selim in an Arabic manuscript which he composed in Greek (wikipedia citing Fabricius, Bibliotheca Graeca (ed. Harless), ix, 310). Nectarius of Jerusalem was apparently fluent in Greek, Arabic, Turkish, and Latin (wikipedia citing Νεκτάριος, Πατριάρχης Ιεροσολύμων).


Triantafyllou (2022:4-5) describe Nektarios' text Epitome as follows:

Epitome is a rare title in the Greek literature written by the Bishop of Jerusalem Nektarios originated from Crete Isl., Greece. The book was first published in Venice in AD 1677 and got another six republications until 1900. This book contains plenty of information about the religious and cosmic (secular) history of Sinai and of the eastern Mediterranean. The copy used in our paper was published in 1990 and constitutes an anastatic (resurrection) publication of the 1900 edition. The Epitome and the documentary sources used by Nektarios are reviewed in a valuable article authored by the historian Manousakas (1947). In the next lines of this section the main points of the Manousakas’ (1947) review are summarized since they are useful to better understand the author Nektarios, the documentary sources he used as well as the structure and content of Epitome.

Nektarios (AD 1602-1676), Bishop of Jerusalem (AD 1661-1669), has been one of the most eminent theologians of the Orthodox Eastern Church. Epitome was written after AD 1651 when Nektarios returned from Moldovlachia to get monastic life in the St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai. Writing of Epitome terminated between AD 1659 and 1660 before the enthronement of Nektarios as Bishop of Jerusalem. The first edition, however, appeared in AD 1677, that is after Nektarios passed away.

Epitome is structured in five Parts. Part A is about the life of Moses, while Parts B and Γ are devoted to the main theme, which is the history of Mt. Sinai and St. Catherine’s Monastery situated at the southern side of the peninsula (Fig. 2). The history of Egypt from the antiquity up to the era of Sultan Selim the 1st 127 is the content of Part Δ, while the conquest of Egypt by Selim in AD 1517 is examined in Part Ε. It is evident that the first three Parts are about the religious history (Hiero-Ιερό), while the rest two are devoted to the secular (Cosmic-Κοσμική) history.

Ιnformation sources used by Nektarios were retrieved from the rich library maintained in Sinai Monastery. In Particular, in Part B Nektarios used, among other sources, a document called Arabic Chronographer, which according to Manousakas (1947) is the chronicle of the Arab historian Georgios al-Makin. The full name of Georgios al-Makin was Girgis ibn Abi ΄l-Jâsir ibn Abi ΄l-Makârim al Makin ibn al Amîd. Georgios was born in Cairo either in a.H. 605/AD 1208 or in a.H. 625/AD 1228 and passed away in Damascus in AD 1273. The Arabic Chronographer was extensively used in Part Δ too. In Part Γ of special interest is the description of an earthquake which according to Nektarios occurred in Sinai in 1312. Information source is a document called Αραβικός Συναξαριστής (Arabic Synaxarium, i.e. Legend Book) found in the Monastery’s library. The main source for Part E is the Italian historian Paolo Giovio (AD 1483-1552), one of the most important historians of the Renaissance. Regarding the style of the Greek language selected by Nektarios to use in Epitome, Manousakas (1947) attracted the reader’s attention to a note that can be found in the Headline of Part A, where Nektarios explained that Epitome is composed by a “common language” with the purpose to make Epitome understandable “by every Greek human being”. For event dates Nektarios used either Greek or Arabic characters but the chronology style varies in the several parts of Epitome. Nektarios used either Anno Domini (AD) calendar or Hegira calendar (a.H.).