Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts : Menologion for January

Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript, probably produced during the 12th century, is a <i>Menologion for January</i>, a liturgical book containing the hagiographical texts to be read in church during that month, including Lives of Saints, martyrdom narratives and accounts regarding relics and posthumous miracles.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>All but one of the texts originally found in this volume are the work of Symeon Metaphrastes, or Symeon the Metaphrast, a 10th-century Byzantine civil official and later a monk. He rewrote numerous existing hagiographical texts in a more accessible style and compiled these into a new <i>menologion</i>. The term Metaphrast refers to this practice of rewriting. Symeon's versions of these stories became the most widely used, superseding those read previously. The other Life in the original set here is the only known work of its author, a priest named Gregory.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>At a later date, probably in the 13th century, the book was expanded with two quires added to the end, containing a contents list to the existing texts and one additional text, an oration dedicated to the Church Fathers Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom, by the 11th-century writer Ioannes Mauropous, an imperial court orator and later Metropolitan of Euchaita.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>During the early modern period the manuscript was owned by the Monastery of the Pantokrator on Mount Athos, as indicated by a note on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(446);return false;'>f. 221v</a>. Among various other notes scribbled on blank leaves at the end of the original part of the manuscript are multiple copies of a note on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(443);return false;'>f. 220r</a>, recording a donation to a church of St Demetrios by one Romanos Thyepolos. However, the repetition of this note and the context in which it is found suggests that these may have been practice drafts for a text to be written elsewhere, rather than referring to this manuscript. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>


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