Pseudo Joshua the Stylite Open this page in a new tab

Trombley and Watt (2000:xi) describe the Chronicle of Pseudo Joshua the Stylite as follows:
The text known as the Chronicle of Joshua the Stylite or the Chronicle of Pseudo-Joshua is appropriately described by its title, A Historical Narrative of the Period of Distress which occurred in Edessa, Amid, and all Mesopotamia. It is as well at the outset, however, to make clear that ‘the period of distress’ covers the years 494-506 A.D., and divides into two ‘distresses’: a plague of locusts, famine, and epidemic which afflicted Edessa and the surrounding region from 494 to 502; and the war between the Persian king Kawad and the Byzantine emperor Anastasius fought out in the area of Northern Mesopotamia between 502 and 506. The text is well known to students of Syriac literature as the earliest extant work of Syriac historiography, but it is of special interest to historians of late antiquity both for its astonishingly detailed account of the life of an East Roman city in a period of strain, and as the fullest account of the Romano-Persian war of 502-506. While the name of the author is unknown, as is the exact date of composition, there can be little doubt that the writer was close to the events he describes, and the text is therefore a document of great historical importance for the period with which it deals.