The Annals of Niketas Choniates

Niketas Choniates wrote a History of Byzantium, in Greek. The important part of his work as most chroniclers, is the part to which he was an eye-witness or second-hand at worst, covering the years 1170 to 1207. You will find here the Greek, a Latin translation and some notes of mine in English as I find time to make them. There is, to my knowledge, no free accessible version in English.


Written 2010 by Will Johnson
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Niketas Choniates (d. 1215/6) was a chronicler who wrote a History or Annals of Byzantium, in Greek, covering the period 1118 to 1207. ("Niketas Choniates", Wikipedia)  He is a primary source for events surrounding the Fourth Crusade.  The original Greek with a Latin translation at this link on Google Books. This edition states "by Immanuel Bekker" (published 1835), I think he might simply be the editor of the older Hieronymus Wolf version.   Other than some excerpts and citations in other works, I cannot find an English translation, free-of-charge.  There is a published version in English, available used, on Amazon at this link.  I provide below a table of contents for this 1835 Bekker edition cited above, which has 974 pages, including the notes, chronology, glossary, and two indexes at the end, but not including the 20 page preface.  On page XIX, we find this: "Nicetae Choniatae, Logothetae Secretorum, Inspectoris et Judicus Beli, Praefecti Cubiculi, Historia, Quae Ab Imperio Johannis Comneni, Alexii Filit, Incipit".  There are notes at the end by Wolf, but there are also embedded footnotes, which then I suppose must be by Bekker.

Aside: Should anyone want to try their hand at learning Latin, there is a Latin-to-English online translator at this link.  Latin however is a rather difficult language for a machine to translate evidently, and that translator tries to give a literal word-for-word translation without knowledge of structure.  A better translator CTCWeb, is available at this link, but you have to wade through a lot of jargon to figure it out.  For example, using CTCWeb, I can parse out that "De Rebus Post Captam Urbem Gestis" must mean something like "Things that occurred after the capture of the city".  Or... something.

Anyway, back to Niketas.  After the introductory section, there next follows several subheadings, which is a table of contents to the rest of the work, which is broken down by who the ruler was and then further into "books" (Liber) and numbered sub-sections:
Fabroti Breviarium ("Praefatio laudes historiae et Nicetae in hac contexenda consilium proponens.")
 De Iohanne Comneno  De Manuele Comneno  De Alexio Comneno Manuelis F
 De Andronico Comneno  De Isaacio Angelo  De Alexio Comneno Isaacii Angeli Fratre
 De Isaacio Angelo Iterum Imperatore  De Alexio Duca Murzuflo  De Rebus Post Captam Urbem Gestis
Just for reference purposes on this Knol page, I include the years that each person above was Emperor of Byzantium in the table below, with a link to their Wikipedia entry in parenthesis.  Note that Isaac Angelos' son Alexios IV is skipped, in this source, although modern commentators state that he was co-emperor and possibly wielded the actual power:

 Years they reigned, not years they lived
 Iohanne Comneno (John II Komnenos) 1118-43  Manuele Comneno (Manuel I Komnenos) 1143-80
 Alexio Comneno (Alexios II Komnenos) 1180-83  Andronico Comneno (Andronikos I Komnenos) 1183-85
 Isaacio Angelo (Isaac II Angelos) 1185-95  Alexio Comneno (Alexios III Angelos) 1195-1203
 Isaacio Angelo (restored 1203-4)  Alexio Duca Murzuflo (Alexios V Doukas) 1204

(See Also: Table of Popes and Emperors, 1100-1300)

Then the main work, which has embedded titles, and also book and section numbers without sub-titles.  I have below used the same titles and section numbers, but added the first words of that section as it's sub-title, just for my own ease-of-use.

Iohannes Comnenus (pages 4-64)

 I.1. Utiliter inventae (p4)  I.2. Alexius Comnenus (p8)  I.3. Diebus compluribus (p12)
 I.4. Post haec imperator (p17)  I.5. Hac de Scythis (p22)  I.6. Ibi cum more (p28)
 I.7. Paucis dibus post (p33)  I.8. Sed hac quoque (p38)  I.9. Sub id tempus (p42)
 I.10. Forsitan autem (p47)  I.11. Imperator, quanquam (p51)  I.12. Deinde convocatis (p56)


Manuele Comneno (pages 65-290)

 I.1. Manuel imperator (p65)  I.2. Facta ignitur re (p70)  I.3. Nihilominus tamen (p73)
 I.4. Hoc imperii statu (p80)  I.5. Cum autem rex (p83)  I.6. Idem et Turci (p89)
 II.1. Ac Itali huiusmodi (p96)  II.2. Quo nuntio turbatus (p102)  II.3. Ita praedictio Cosmae (p105)
 II.4. Ut vero omni (p 109)  II.5. Eius cladis lucta (p113)  II.6. Imperator vero urbem (p118)
 II.7. Ipse vero imperator (p121)  II.8. Imperator vero hac (p127)  III.1. Hic certaminum (p131)
 III.2. Dum vero Tarsi (p135)  III.3. At Antiocheni (p141)  III.4. Enimvero invidia (p145)
 III.5. Manuel autem (p151)  III.6. Enimvero Clizasthlanes (p157)  IV.1. Priusquam autem (p164)
 IV.2. Sub id tempus (p168)  IV.3. Fide igitur data (p173)  IV.4. Is Desem ulturus (p178)
 IV.5. Paucis diebus post (p181)  IV.6. Hoc loco illud (p186)  IV.7. Calumniatores (p190)
 V.1 Cum autem Pannonii (p196)
 V.2 Contostephanus (p199)
 V.3 Haec locutus (p202)
 V.4 Secuenti etiam (p206)  V.5 Ad Cyprum appulsus (p209)
 V.6 Cum autem nihil (p213)
 V.7 Haec locutus et (p217)
 V.8 Cum autem imperatrix (p219)
 V.9 Hoc loco illud (p222)
 VI.1 Hoc negotio (p226)
 VI.2 Post haec bello (p231)
 VI.3 At Persae omni (p236)
 VI.4 Faucibus istis (p240)
 VI.5 At imperator cum (p243)
 VI.6 Postquam autem (p248)
 VI.7 Quibus rebus auditis (p251)
 VI.8 Post hunc successum (p254)
 VII.1 Nunc illa etiam (p259)
 VII.2 At imperatori res (p265)
 VII.3 Ab hoc imperatore (p268)
 VII.4 Iam quia Romanis (p272)
 VII.5 Nunc illud etiam (p274)
 VII.6 Eiusdem generis (p278)
 VII.7 Adiiciam etiam (p284)

Alexio Manuelis Comneno begins on page 291

Andronico Comneno begins on page 356 (Liber Primus)
Liber II begins on page 411

Isaac Angelus begins on page 464 (Liber Primus)
Liber II begins on page 515
Liber III begins on page 548

Alexio Comneno begins on page 597 (Liber Primus)
Liber II begins on page 633
Liber III begins on page 665

Isaac Angelus (restored) begins on page 726

Alexius Ducas Murzuflus begins on page 748

Things which happened after the city was captured, begins on page 771

Notes by Hieronymus Wolf (page 871)
Chronology (page 893)
Glossary (page 902)
Index Verborum (page 929)
Index Historicus (page 943)