Animal Fables of the Courtly Mediterranean is a treasure trove of stories and lessons on how to conduct oneself and succeed in life, sometimes through cleverness rather than virtue. They feature human and many animal protagonists, including the two jackals Stephanites and Ichnelates, after whom the book is named, as well as several lion kings. At the heart of this work are tales from the Sanskrit Panchatantra and Mahabharata, to which more were added, both in the original Middle Persian collection and its eighth-century Arabic translation, the widely known Kalīla wa-Dimna.
In the eleventh century, readers in Constantinople were introduced to these stories through an abbreviated Greek version, translated by Symeon Seth from the Arabic. The new Byzantine Greek text and English translation presented here is a more complete version, originating in twelfth-century Sicily and connected with Admiral Eugenius of Palermo. It contains unique prefaces and reinstates the prologues and stories omitted by Seth.
For almost three centuries, scholars have debated the credibility of the information provided in the colophon of Codex Parisinus graecus 1115. According to this inscription, the manuscript was copied in the year 1276 from another manuscript dating back to the year 774/5; the archetype originated in the papal library at Rome and contains a partial record of the Greek holdings of the library.
The majority of the texts included in the manuscript come from florilegia related to the ecumenical councils. This volume examines the use of florilegia—anthologies of earlier writings—by these councils. Analysis of the contents of the manuscript provides new information concerning, among other things, the beginning of the Filioque controversy and the use of Iconophile florilegia by the seventh ecumenical council in 787. Also revealed is the archetype's role in the negotiations between Rome and Constantinople that led to the Union of the Churches, proclaimed at the Council of Lyons II in 1274, and the indirect involvement of Thomas Aquinas through his Contra Errores Graecorurn.
Holy Men of Mount Athos
Richard P. H. Greenfield Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress BX393.H64 2016 | Dewey Decimal 271.81949565
Often simply called the Holy Mountain, Mount Athos was the most famous center of Byzantine monasticism and remains the spiritual heart of the Orthodox Church today. This volume presents the Lives of Euthymios the Younger, Athanasios of Athos, Maximos the Hutburner, Niphon of Athos, and Philotheos. These five holy men lived on Mount Athos at different times from its early years as a monastic locale in the ninth century to the last decades of the Byzantine period in the early fifteenth century. All five were celebrated for asceticism, clairvoyance, and, in most cases, the ability to perform miracles; Euthymios and Athanasios were also famed as founders of monasteries.
Holy Men of Mount Athos illuminates both the history and the varieties of monastic practice on Athos, individually by hermits as well as communally in large monasteries. The Lives also demonstrate the diversity of hagiographic composition and provide important glimpses of Byzantine social and political history.
All the Lives in this volume are presented for the first time in English translation, together with authoritative editions of their Greek texts.