Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts : Dioptra

Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'> Emmanuel College, MS 59 contains a copy of the <i> Dioptra</i> ('Mirror'), an ascetic work in poetry, originally composed by a monk known as Philip Monotropos (meaning 'solitary') (ca. 1100 CE). The work enjoyed great popularity in the 14th century, when it was reworked by a certain Phialites; this manuscript dates to that period. (On the Dioptra see, among others, Grumel, 'Remarques sur la Dioptra de Philippe le Solitaire', <i> Byzantinische Zeitschrift</i> 44 (1951), 198-211; Kazhdan, 'Philip Monotropos', in <i> The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium</i> (Oxford, 1991); Afentoulidou-Leitgeb, 'Die "Dioptra" des Philippos Monotropos', <i>Byzantion</i> 77 (2007), 9-31 ). </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Under the common title of <i> Dioptra</i> in this manuscript, as in most of the exemplars of the later tradition, there are contained two works by Philip Monotropos: the <i> Dioptra</i> itself, composed in 1095, containing verses of lament directed to one's own soul, and the <i> Dialexis</i>, a dialogue between the soul and the flesh. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Emmanuel MS 59 is not dated, but is datable to the 14th century on the basis of the script and of its paper. The scribe made a lot of errors while copying the text, which seem to suggest that he had difficulties reading the script of his exemplar. The codex has suffered damage: it has been rebound, and the current structure does not reflect its original state, with some leaves having been bound in out of order. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Dr Erika Elia</p>


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