Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts : Oneirocriticon of Achmet and John Aktouarios

Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'> The manuscript contains the first prologue of the <i><i> Oneirocriticon</i> of Achmet and John Aktouarios</i>' <i> De urinis</i>. The first work is a text on dream interpretation. Only the beginning of this work is preserved in this manuscript. The whole text is a long tract on dreams, probably written in the 9th century by Achmet ben Sirim (᾽Αχμὲτ ὁ υἱὸς Σηρείμ, "Achmet son of Sirim"), the pseudonym of a Christian Greek (on the work see Mavroudi 2002). After this text, the manuscript preserves a medical text, John Aktouarios' <i> De urinis</i> ("Urines"). Aktouarios (or John Zacharias, ca. 1275-after 1328) was chief physician at the court of Andronikos II Palaiologos. His work on urines is considered a masterpiece of Byzantine diagnostics (see Scarborough, J., Talbot, A. (1991), 'John Aktouarios', in: <i> The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium</i>, Oxford University Press. Retrieved 8 Jun. 2021, from </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The manuscript, which is datable in the 15th century, was copied by two scribes. The first can be probably identified as Isidore (ca. 1385-1463), metropolitan of Kyiv and all Russia (from 1436), and later Latin patriarch of Constantinople (from 1459). Isidore was a writer and a keen book collector. In the manuscript he copied the first text, the defective beginning of the book of dream interpretation. The cardinal's interest in the interpretation of dreams is attested by the fact that he also copied the beginning of a work on the subject in MS <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Vatican city, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Barb. gr 127</a>, ff. 323-333 (see G. Mercati, <i>Scritti d'Isidoro il cardinale ruteno e codici a lui appartenuti che si conservano nella Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana</i>, Roma 1926, pp. 92-93, and RGK III, 258). The second text, by John Aktouarios, was copied by another, contemporary, hand. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Isidore and hand B copied the texts on the same paper with a watermark in the shape of a tower. This suggests that they worked in the same period of time. However, other elements, such as the fact that each scribe copied one text, and that the quires containing each text have been numbered separately suggest that they probably worked independently. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Dr Erika Elia</p>

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