About the Holy Pascha

by Matthew Vlastares
Edited, Translated and Annotated by Anastasios M. Ioannides


Language: Original Greek side by side English translation

Paperback (January 2011)

ISBN: 978-1-933275-53-6

Price: $22.95 + S&H (USD)


For more than three hundred years following the Gregorian reform of the calendar in A.D. 1582, the Eastern Orthodox Church had adopted a unified and unwaveringly negative stance toward the changes in the reckoning of the Paschal date introduced in the West. Coming as it did barely a century after the tragedy of the alosis of the Vassilevousa Polis, i.e., the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, the publication of the Papal Bull Inter Gravissimas had found the Orthodox in a mental state of siege. Obeying a deep-seated instinct,they reacted in a manner that became characteristic of their 400-year long captivity. They dusted off from their shelves respected tomes representing the Orthodox tradition, and repeated verbatim the writings of the Fathers of the past, trusting that in this manner they were fulfilling their obligation to retain unaltered their spiritual inheritance, so as to pass it on to future generations. Prominent among the works employed by the Byzantines in their response to the Papal legates arriving in Constantinople was the treatise by Matthew Vlastares About the Holy Pascha, which had been included in his monumental Syntagma. The text, translated here into English for the first time, has been quoted repeatedly since then by generations of Byzantine hierarchs, theologians and even lay-folk, in countless debates about the reform of the calendar.



"Anastasios Ioannides has brought back into print the only modern critical edition of the Greek text of this tract, with the first translation of this important text into a modern language. The English translation is excellent, both literally faithful to the Greek and idiomatically modern. The extensive explanatory notes will be useful to scholars, as well as to readers unfamilar with the subject matter. Dr. Ioannides introduces readers to the mathematical intricacies of Paschal calculations based on the phases of the moon and to the construction of the Byzantine calendar with a base-date of 1 September in the year corresponding to 5509 BC and to the first year of the 532-year Paschal cycle."

— Alden Mosshammer
Professor of History (Emeritus), University of California, San Diego,
The Easter Computus and the Origins of the Christian Era.



Anastasios (Tasos) M. Ioannides, Ph.D., P.E., is Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. He was born of Greek parents on the island of Cyprus, where he attended primary and secondary schools, graduating from the English School, Nicosia. Upon completing his military service, he studied Civil Engineering at University College, London, England, funded by a British Commonwealth Scholarship. With a B.Sc. (First Class Honours) degree, he came to the USA, in pursuit of M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Illinois, Urbana, specializing in geotechnical and pavement engineering. Subsequently, he remained on the faculty of the University of Illinois for almost a decade, before moving to the University of Cincinnati. He has authored more than fifty technical papers in refereed engineering journals, and has consulted for private firms, as well as state and federal agencies. He holds a diploma in Byzantine Music from the Archdiocesan School in Nicosia, Cyprus, and he has served as chanter in various churches in Cyprus, England and the USA. He also holds a Master's degree in Pastoral Theology, awarded under the Antiochian House of Studies Program in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the St. John of Damascus School of Theology of the University of Balamand in Lebanon. He is married to Anna, with two children: Michael and Evangelia.