Maronite Chronicles

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The Maronite Chronicles is a fragmentary document in Syriac language, written by Syrian Christian Maronites in the middle of the 7th century. They provide an archeologically verified record of the first stable decade of Umayyad rule over the Levant between 658 and 665 A.D., during the rule of the fifth Caliph Muawiyah I.

The chronicles provide the first record for the Jizya tax which at that time bought the adherents of the Syriac Orthodox Church, the "Jacobites", protection from persecution by both Arabs and Chalcedonian Eastern Orthodox Christians, which held control in the region from Constantinople to Syria.

The Maronite Chronicles refute traditionalistic chronology of Islamic history such as the Islamic tradition of the "year of the Hajj", when Muawiyah I made an Abrahamic pilgrimage to the Hijaz and it records that Muhammad was seated in a throne of the region yet was unworthy of even a visit by the 5th Caliph.


  • AG 969 [658 CE] ...Mu'awiya, Hudhayfa, his sister's son, and Mu'awiya gave orders that he be put to death. 'Ali, too, threatened to go up once again against Mu'awiya, but they struck him while he was at prayer in al-Hira and killed him. Mu'awiya then went down to al-Hira where all the Arab forces proffered their right hands to him, whereupon he returned to Damascus.
  • AG 970 [June 659] [There was an earthquake in Palestine.] In the same month the bishops of the Jacobites — Theodore and Sabukht — came to Damascus and held an inquiry into the Faith with the Maronites in the presence of Mu'awiya. When the Jacobites were defeated, Mu'awiya ordered them to pay 20,000 denarii and commanded them to be silent. Thus there arose the custom that the Jacobite bishops should pay that sum of gold every year to Mu'awiya, so that he would not withdraw his protection [lit. "loose his hand upon them"] and let them be persecuted by the members of the Church. The person called "Patriarch" by the Jacobites fixed the financial burden that all the converts of monks and nuns should contribute each year to the payment in gold and he did the same with all the adherents of his faith. He bequeathed his estate to Mu'awiya so that out of fear of that man all the Jacobites would be obedient to him. [There was another earthquake.]
  • AG 971 [660] many Arabs gathered at Jerusalem and made Mu'awiya king and he went up and sat down on Golgotha; he prayed there and went to Gethsemane and went down to the tomb of the blessed Mary to pray in it. In those days when the Arabs were gathered there with Mu'awiya, there was an earthquake. [Much of Jericho fell, as well as many nearby churches and monasteries.] In July of the same year the emirs and many Arabs gathered and gave their allegiance to Mu'awiya. Then an order went out that he should be proclaimed king in all the villages and cities of his dominion and that they should make acclamations and invocations to him. Mu'awiya also minted gold and silver, but it was not accepted because there was no cross on it. Furthermore Mu'awiya did not wear a crown like other kings in the world. He placed his throne in Damascus and refused to go to Muhammad's throne.
  • AG 972 [661] ... When Mu'awiya had acquired the power to which he had aimed and was at peace from the wars of his people, he broke the pact with the Romans and refused to accept peace from them any longer. Rather he said, "If the Romans want peace, let them surrender their weapons and pay gzîtâ".