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26 XI (4.45 Warsaw time): Marek Jankowiak (Oxford University), On Kyros of Alexandria, seventh-century popes and the Arab conquest of Egypt

The letter that patriarch Kyros of Alexandria sent in 638 to his colleague Sergios of Constantinople, and in which he enthusiastically endorsed the “Ekthesis” of Heraclius, contains a chronological contradiction. I will try to show that the problem can only be removed by amending the chronology of the bishops of Rome proposed by Louis Duchesne in 1886. I will argue that Duchesne made two mistakes that affect all the dates of the popes between 619 and 649. The consequences are manifold; I will focus only on those that pertain to the disgrace and trial of Kyros - a key event for the understanding of the last years of Byzantine Egypt. I will reassess the famous papyrus P.Lond. I 113.10 and will try to show that, far from proving Kyros’ presence in Alexandria in 639/40, it in fact supports the traditions on the “Kyros tribute” paid to the Arabs in the years before the final conquest in 641.