On Restored Manuscripts and Fulfilled Oracles: Two Book Epigrams on Niketas Choniates’ ‘History’Posted on 04/04/2023Categories: Blog, Miniatures, Niketas Choniates, Scholia, Textual transmissionby Julián BértolaNiketas Choniates (c. 1155-1217) is one of the top Byzantine intellectuals of all times, a bureaucrat and a writer mostly known for his historiographical work. His History sets off at the beginning of the 12th century with the death and succession of Alexios I Komnenos (1118) and finishes with the... Read More
On the date of the Menologion and the Psalterion of Basil IIPosted on 14/02/2023Categories: Blog, Coins, Menologion of Basil II, Miniatures, Psalter of Basil II, Synaxariumby Alberto LonghiThe so-called Menologion (actually a Synaxarion) and the Psalterion written for, and dedicated to, Basil II (976-1025)[1] are certainly among the most famous Byzantine manuscripts handed down to us. Despite being very well-known, they cannot be dated exactly. Moreover, taking into account both the illuminations and the information provided by... Read More
Book Epigrams as Ekphraseis? A Look at the Menologion of Basil IIPosted on 21/11/2022Categories: Blog, Ekphrasis, Iliad, Menologion of Basil II, Miniatures, Nicholas Mesarites, Paul the Silentiary, Progymnasmataby Brad HostetlerEpigrams often include descriptive details about the images and things that they adorn. For example, the epigram in a menologion (Oxford, Bodleian Library, gr. th. f. 1) describes the pearls, silver, and gold that decorated the book’s cover; an epigram in a lectionary (Mount Athos, Mone Megistes Lauras Α 103... Read More
Παῦλος ὁ μύστης τῶν ἀπορρήτων λόγων: On the Use of Book Epigrams in New Testament Catenae on PaulPosted on 24/10/2022Categories: Blog, Catenae, Church Fathers, Miniatures, New Testament, Paul the Apostleby Jacopo MarconCatenae and commentaries on the Pauline Epistles: the case of the Pseudo-Oecumenian catena Biblical catenae are Byzantine manuscripts comprising a selection of patristic and exegetical material from multiple sources. The biblical text, usually in the middle of the page for the so-called ‘frame’ or ‘marginal’ catenae, is surrounded by the... Read More
Carmine finito: Some Evidence of Latin Book EpigramsPosted on 02/09/2022Categories: Blog, Church Fathers, Colophons, Latin book epigrams, Miniatures, Western manuscriptsby Renaat MeestersLatin book epigrams can be found in numerous Western manuscripts. Just as is the case with Byzantine book epigrams, it seems that there is a lot of variation among Latin book epigrams. Some are short and formulaic, others are more refined literary compositions. Similar subgenres (scribe-, patron-, owner-, author-, reader-,... Read More
The Byzantine Reader’s Experience Between Paratexts and Collections of Excerpts: Reading the IliadPosted on 09/06/2022Categories: Blog, Education, Excerpts, Iliad, Memory, Readership, Scholiaby Ottavia MazzonThe compilation of anthologies of excerpts, that is to say, the selection and transcription of passages deemed important while reading a text, is a common scholarly practice in Byzantium: excerpts were essential to the way Byzantine intellectuals managed information. Very often, collections of excerpts were compiled close to the moment... Read More