Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts : Menologion for November

Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript, probably produced during the 12th century, is a <i>Menologion for November</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 saints' Lives 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. It also contains two homilies forming part of the hagiographical cycle, respectively the work of the great patristic theologian and Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom (c. 344-407) and the Byzantine poet, hymnographer and Metropolitan of Euchaita Ioannes Mauropous (d. c. 1092).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Three replacement folios were added to replace original ones which had been lost, probably in the later 12th or 13th century (ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(11);return false;'>1</a> and <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(401);return false;'>195-196</a>).</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(8);return false;'>f. i verso</a>, dated 1517/8. It was bought from the Pantokrator, along with many other manuscripts, by the classicist Richard Bentley (1662-1742), Master of Trinity College. What may be another ownership note, on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(10);return false;'>f. ii verso</a>, has been partially erased, eliminating the words actually identifying the owner. This could have been done deliberately, to protect a later owner's claim on the manuscript, a common occurrence.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>


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