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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Euripidean dyad

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript, dated c. 1480, combines the so-called '<i>Euripidean dyad</i>' with the translation of the <i>Distichs of Cato</i> (a collection of proverbs attributed to Dionysius Cato, 3rd or 4th century CE) from Latin into Greek by the Byzantine scholar Maximus Planudes (born c. 1255, died c. 1305).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>MS Nn.3.13 is manuscript J in Euripides' textual tradition. The dyad is a selection of two of the ten 'canonical' plays by Euripides (born c. 480, died 406 BC): <i>Hecuba</i> and <i>Orestes</i>. Identified by Turyn in 1957, this late Byzantine selection was not established before the 15th century, and derived from the 'Byzantine triad' (<i>Hecuba</i>, <i>Orestes</i>, and <i>Phoenician Women</i>: see, for example, <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>MS Mm.1.11</a> or <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>MS Nn.3.14</a>).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The dyad appears in two recensions: ψ (known as the <i>Harley recension</i> from the manuscript <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>London, British Library, Harley MS 5725</a>; siglum U in Euripides’ tradition), and the earlier δ recension. Nn.3.13 is the main representative witness for the family of the δ dyad-recension; therefore, it is known as <i>Cambridge dyad</i>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The manuscript bears some signs of the development of the composite commentary which accompanies Euripides’ texts, mixing old scholia with scholia by the Byzantine grammarians Manuel Moschopoulus and Thomas Magistros (13th-14th century), and unknown material.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The manuscript appears to be part of a larger, but unfinished project: the text is written in a high quality minuscule script, with a sophisticated mise-en-page, but numerous leaves have been left blank, and some pieces have been repeated.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Matteo Di Franco</p>

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