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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 4, 2010

New Testament Book Epigrams. Some New Evidence from the Eleventh Century

  • Klaas Bentein , Floris Bernard , Kristoffel Demoen and Marc de Groote
From the journal


The article offers an edition, translation and commentary of eight so-called book epigrams. They all stem from eleventh-century manuscripts containing the New Testament or commentaries on it, more specifically the Paris. Coisl. 199, the Vindobon. Theol. Gr. 302, the Paris. Coisl. 26, and the Vatic. Gr. 363. While most of them are unedited, the second one is a conflation of known epigrams, and the third an unknown version of a previously edited epigram.

Although book epigrams are frequently encountered in Byzantine manuscripts, the genre has not received much attention. In the track of the recently increasing interest in manuscripts as cultural artifacts in their own right, our commentary focuses on the relationship between epigram and manuscript, and the process of copying. It also discusses textual problems, structure, content, function, vocabulary, and metrical features of the poems.

The analysis is enriched by parallels from other, mostly contemporary, book epigrams, which were collected during an ongoing database project at Ghent University. The comparison shows, among other things, that the material belonging to this genre is ‘recyclable’: it is constantly re-used, sometimes with slight but meaningful modifications.

Published Online: 2010-11-04
Published in Print: 2010-October
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