• V. Christides



John, Bishop of Nikiou’s Chronicon is the oldest preserved work dealing with the Arab conquest of Egypt (639 A.D./H. 18–645 A.D./H. 25) and its initial aftermath. This little known author, who lived in Egypt in the seventh century, was a high official in the Coptic Church. His accurate depiction of all the relevant historical events, based mainly on his own remarkable observations, proves him to be a simple but well–balanced historian. My article focuses on three aspects of the Chronicon: (a) landholding under the early years of Arab dominion compared to the parallel information of the Greek papyri of Apollonopolis in a special appendix; (b) the attitude of the Arab conquerors of Egypt towards its population, and the reaction of the local people as perceived by John, Bishop of Nikiou; and (c) a short account on the elusive role of the Blues and Greens during the Arab conquest of Egypt as recorded by John of Nikiou.


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