Theodore Studites and the So‑called Tʿḫro­bay didebuli


  • Alexander Markus Schilling



The manuscript A 500, kept at the Kʾ. Kʾekʾelijis Saḫelobis Ḫelnacʾertʿa Instʾitʾutʾi in Tʿbilisi and edited in the year 1900 by Mose Džanašvili, contains a revision of BHG 1060, an etiology of the Acathistos hymn dealing with the story of the siege of Constantinople in the year 626 CE. This Georgian revision is of historiographical value, as it sheds new light on the fall of the emperor Maurice, the alleged flight of his son Theodosios, and Maurice's piously accepted death in the year 604 CE, which is connected to the fact that Maurice had abandoned Byzantine prisoners of war to their fate. The article argues that the Greek Vorlage of this Georgian revision has to be connected to the Iconoclastic controversy at the beginning of the 9th century, when one was in search for historical examples in order to cope with the military threat of the capital by the Bulgarian χaγan Krum in the year 813 CE, and the issue of how to deal with refugees and prisoners of war was fervently discussed between Theodore Studites and members of the court of emperor Michael Rhangabe.