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Title: A study of the Metaphrastic process : the case of the unpublished Passio of St James the Persian (BHG 773), Passio of St Plato (BHG 1551-1552), and Vita of St Hilarion (BHG 755) by Symeon Metaphrastes
Author: Franco, Laura
ISNI:       0000 0004 2708 2085
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2009
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Hagiography was one of the most popular literary genres in Byzantium. Vitae of Saints and Passiones of Martyrs were produced en masse to meet the spiritual needs of the Christian communities. These texts, modelled on the ancient Greek tradition of Bioi and projecting the Christian ideals of sanctity, were developed through the centuries. The re-working of early hagiographical texts by Symeon Metaphrastes in the tenth century marks a turning point in the Byzantine hagiographical tradition as the Metaphrastic Menologion became the established corpus of hagiographical texts used in the liturgical life of the Orthodox Church, of the monastic communities in particular. The present thesis is a study of the process of the re-writing of earlier material by Symeon, on the basis of an annotated edition of the metaphrastic Passio of St James the Persian, the Passio of Plato, and the Vita of St Hilarion. The aim of the thesis is to explore further the methodology Symeon used in the re-working of these texts, by comparing them with the surviving premetaphrastic sources. The thesis is divided into two Parts (I-II). Part I comprises an Introduction, and three chapters (I-III). The Introduction presents the aims and scope of the thesis, as well as the material used and the methodology employed, and briefly examines the Metaphrastic Menologion in the light of previous research, focusing on questions concerning its authorship and the manuscript tradition. Chapter I is devoted to a description of the manuscripts (Mss) used in the present edition, followed by a palaeographical examination of the texts, before the relations of the Mss is established. This section closes with a note on the conventions and sigla adopted in the edition. Chapter II contains an edition of the three aforementioned texts, accompanied by an apparatus fontium and apparatus criticus. Chapter III is a commentary elucidating the three texts. Part II (Chapter IV) examines the metaphrastic process on the basis of a detailed comparison of the three texts edited in the thesis with their extant premetaphrastic sources in terms of historical information, development of the plot, and a textual analysis including structure, syntax, vocabulary and style (Sections A-C). The Conclusions summarise the findings of the thesis in an attempt to give an assessment of the method and techniques used in the metaphrastic process. The thesis closes with full bibliography and Plates with facsimiles of selected folios of Mss cited.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available