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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Passion of St Menas

Symeon Metaphrastes

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This fragment consists of a single folio from the Passion of St Menas, an Egyptian soldier martyred in the early 4th century, from a manuscript probably copied in the 12th century. The text is one of the works of Symeon Metaphrastes, or Symeon the Metaphrast, a 10th-century Byzantine civil official and later a monk, who rewrote numerous existing hagiographical texts in a more accessible style. The term Metaphrast refers to this practice of rewriting. Symeon's versions of these stories became the most widely used, superseding those read previously.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>A larger portion of this manuscript is now St Petersburg, Rossijskaja Nacional'naja biblioteka, MS gr. 94, of 121 folios, containing a variety of Lives of Saints and homilies. It includes a later part of the Passion of St Menas, preceded by a lost quire to which this folio probably belonged. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>

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