Publications/Mar 30, 2017

New Issue of Byzantinische Zeitschrift 109.2

New Issue of Byzantinische Zeitschrift 109.2 lead image

Byzantinische Zeitschrift, volume 109, issue 2 (December 2016).


Judeo-Greek wedding poems from the fifteenth century
Elisabeth Hollender and Jannis Niehoff-Panagiotidis

This paper is the first edition of a new collection of Judaeo-Greek texts. Moscow Guenzburg 746 is a very small ms., a Romaniote siddur, which contains eight wedding poems at the end. Four of the poems are in Hebrew, while the remaining four are in Greek. These poems, which are not attested to anywhere else, show strong relations with much later Christian love lyrics in Greek, that despite being erotic, were not necessarily aimed at weddings. The poetical language between the two traditions is the same, as is shown in the commentary. Since the ms. is dated to 1419, transmitted through an unknown Jewish scribe, it exhibits the oldest collection of Byzantine “tragoudia” known so far.

‘Monks who are not priests do not have the power to bind and to loose’: the debate about confession in eleventh- and twelfth-century Byzantium
Dirk Krausmüller

This article focuses on the question whether or not unordained monks can hear confession and give absolution. It argues that until the tenth century this practice was regarded as unproblematic in Byzantium but that after this date the church began to insist on the strict implementation of canon law, which restricted this role to members of the church hierarchy. Through close reading of the surviving evidence it makes the case that this initiative was successful and that many monastic milieus came to accept the position of the secular church.

Evectiones et tractoriae. Identifying the permits for the cursus publicus in the 4th century
Lukas Lemcke

The article focuses on the permits required for the use of the cursus publicus during the 4th century CE. The central interest is to arrive at a precise definition for the document referred to in the sources as tractoria and its significance vis-à-vis the most common permit type, the evectio. Through a reassessment of existing explanations in previous scholarship and a review of the available documentary evidence, a novel definition is proposed: the tractoria’s primary purpose was to allow access to the (slower) vehicles of the cursus publicus (such as redae, angariae, mules, oxen); the evectio enabled users to use the cursus publicus at large. In all other regards, evectio and tractoria seem to have been identical. The results are then placed into the context of the development of the cursus publicus at the turn from the 3rd to the 4th century and the wider historical developments of the early 4th century.

Recollection, reevaluation, distortion: Symeon Metaphrastes’ narrative techniques in retelling the history of iconoclasm
Lev Lukhovitskiy

Four Metaphrastic Lives dealing with the saints of the iconoclast epoch are considered alongside their source texts: the Lives of Ioannikios the Great (BHG 937), Stephen the Younger (BHG 1667), Andrew ‘en Krisei’ (BHG 112), and Theodoros Graptos (BHG 1746). A discussion of the methodological framework and a brief introduction to the texts and their sources are followed by a presentation of the metaphrastic shifts: attenuation of polemical devices, compression of historical time, psychologization, new aspects of Kaiserkritik, thematic elaboration of theological issues. The conclusion argues that it were non-historical literary goals that stood behind the recodification of the cultural memory of the iconoclast period in the Metaphrastic Menologion. Aiming to set the original story free from redundant elements and retell it in a more clear way Symeon Metaphrastes’ team demythologized the iconoclast emperors, interiorized the clash between iconoclasts and iconophiles, and shifted the focus from heresiological issues to emotions and inner development of the saint.

Die „deutsche Spur“ in der altrussischen Erzählung über die Einnahme Konstantinopels durch die Kreuzritter
Alexander V. Maiorov and Evgenij N. Metelkin

Old Rus’ literature and art reflected the capture of Constantinople by the Crusaders, in particular, in the Tale on the taking of Tsargrad by the Crusaders.The most likely author of this work, the oldest version of which has survived as part of the Older Version of the First Novgorod Chronicle, is the Novgorod Boyar Dobrynya Yadreykovich (later Archbishop Anthony). A close associate of the Galician-Volhynian prince RomanMstislavich, Dobrynya spent several years in Constantinople on his behalf and witnessed the devastation of the Byzantine capital by the Latins in April 1204. The close relationship with the Galician-Volhynian prince explains why Dobrynya paid attention to the prince’s brother-in-law - the German king Philip of Swabia - and his role in organizing the Fourth Crusade.The author of the Tale expressed the „Ibellin“ point of view, i.e. he attempted to take off the German king the responsibility for the devastation of Constantinople. He was familiar with the details of the escape of Prince Alexios (the future emperor Alexios IV) from the Byzantine capital to King Philip and used characteristic German vocabulary (place names and personal names). All this suggests that the Russian scribe used informations from a well-informed German source. Dobrynya’s informer could be one of King Philip’s supporters, Bishop of Halberstadt Konrad von Krosigk, who participated in the siege of Constantinople in 1203-1204.

Der neugefundene Text eines Briefes von Maximos Katelianos: noch eine Fälschung von Karl Benedikt Hase
Igor P. Medvedev

In July 1816, answering a request of the Russian count Nikolay Petrovič Rumjanzev, Karl Benedikt Hase wrote him that the Byzantine toponym Sarat should be identified with today’s town of Sudak. Hase’s hypothesis relied on a letter by a certain Maximos Katelianos, dating to the late 13th or early 14th century, preserved - as Hase assured - in the Bibliothèque royale of Paris. In 1971, Ihor Ševčenko argued that Katelianos and his letter had been merely invented by Hase for the satisfaction of Rumjanzev’s curiosity. Actually, Hase attached an autograph copy of Katelianos’ letter to the letter he wrote to Rumjanzev, which the author of this article has recently found among the papers of Alexej Nikolaevič Olenin. In 2006 Ševčenko identified the Oratio gratiosa of John Eugenikos from Par. gr. 2075 as Hase’s direct source for composing the letter of ‘Maximos Katelianos’. The present article includes the letter in Greek with Hase’s Latin translation, accompanied by a new one into German.

Makarios’ cycle of epigrams on the Psalms Bodleian Baroccianus 194
Renaat Meesters, Raf Praet, Floris Bernard, and Kristoffel Demoen

This article provides the editio princeps of a cycle of eight dodecasyllabic poems on the Psalms preserved in Bodleian Baroccianus 194 (15th century). Four of these poems are also present in other manuscripts and enjoyed a certain degree of popularity as book epigrams. The four others are found in this manuscript only. The cycle contains an acrostic: ΜΑΚΑΡΙΟΥ. This Makarios is likely to have compiled the cycle and to have composed the otherwise unknown poems. The Psalms themselves are not included in the manuscript. Only two short commentaries on the Psalms precede and follow the cycle. This implies that at least the four known book epigrams lost their original function as poems referring deictically to the Psalms. A verse prayer to the Trinity that was preserved on the same folio is edited in an appendix.

Die Odysseeparaphrase des Demosthenes Thrax
René Nünlist

Eustathius’ commentaries on Homer preserve the fragments of a paraphrase that a certain Demosthenes Thrax made of the Odyssey. This article provides a new edition of these fragments with commentary. Compared to the old edition by Gehrmann (1890), this edition produces an improved text and expands that collection by five new fragments and a new attestation of a known fragment. In addition to the usual goals of a running commentary, the present one attempts, in particular, to reconstruct the character and general principles of Demosthenes’ paraphrase, which is likely to have covered the entire Odyssey. Based on these findings, the article ends by giving a summary sketch of this remarkable work and its shadowy author.

Astrology, piety and poverty: seven anonymous poems in Vaticanus gr. 743
Nikos Zagklas

The fourteenth-century manuscript Vaticanus gr. 743 transmits seven anonymous poems entitled as follows: 1) εἰς ἀστρονόμον 2) ἴαμβος 3) εἰς πίθηκον λαβόντα μεγάλην γυναῖκα 4) εἰς τὸν ἅγιον Ἰάκωβον 5) εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν μάρτυρα Βαρβάραν 6) εἰς τὰ λαιμία τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἀρχιστρατήγου 7) εἰς τὸν χορὸν τῶν ψαλτῶν καὶ εἰς τὸν χειρονόμον. The first three are satires, while the remaining four epigrams were most likely meant to be inscribed next to corresponding images. Although the first poem was edited quite recently, the other six remain unedited. The aim of this article is to provide an edition and translation of all these texts together as well as to discuss their dating and authorship.

Alexandros von Nikaia als Bibelerklärer: ein neues Textstück eines unerkannten Exegeten (ediert aus dem Codex Vaticanus graecus 762)
Konrad Zawadzki

The exegetical texts of Alexandros of Nikaia - a Byzantine bishop living in the 10th century - were hitherto completely unknown to scholarship. Although some catena manuscripts contain several scholia attributed to Alexandros, they have never been the subject of scientific examination. The present article provides the first edition of one of these scholia that survives in the catena commentary on 2 Corinthians in Codex Vaticanus graecus 762. The edited text is translated into German and extensively commented on. The linguistic and content analysis of the edited scholion allows to say that there is no reason to doubt that the text was originally written by Alexandros who here shows himself a quite conscientious biblical commentator.The article concludes with a list of all catena scholia that are attributed to the Byzantine bishop. The existence of these texts makes clear that the exegetical activity of Alexandros of Nikaia may no longer be ignored.