The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.



each sovereign's reign inserted, by a subsequent transcriber. All that can with certainty be concluded is, that the printed editions and the known MSS. of the history do not complete the work, according to the description given in its title; and that the author filled the offices ascribed to him by Cedrenus and in the title of his own work. Whether he lived after a. d. 1118 ; whether he held his several offices successively or simultaneously, and if suc­cessively, in what order, is quite uncertain. The theory of a double edition of his work, and the succession of his offices deduced from that theory, rests, as we have shown, on no sufficient foundation. Even the assertion that he was a native of the Thracesian Thema is doubtful ; for Cedrenus, who calls him 6 ©paK-ncrios, " Thracesius," does not add to yevos, " by birth," but to cttwvu/xoj/, " by surname," as if to guard against the otherwise obvious inference as to his birth-place. Possibly, like Georgius Trapezuntius (George of Trebizond), he derived his surname from the original seat of his family. [georgius, literary and ecclesiastical, No. 48.]

The work of Scylitzes, one of the most important of the Byzantine histories, has been singularly neg­lected. The unfounded opinion of Fabrot, the Pa­risian editor of Cedrenus, that Scylitzes was merely the " Cedreni simia," led to the publication of only that part of Scylitzes which Cedrenus did not transcribe, viz., the part extending from 1057 to 1080, and which those who suppose that there were two editions of the work regard as having been added in the second edition. It constitutes about a seventh part of the whole work. The Paris edition of Cedrenus appeared in two vols. fol. 1647. The Excerpta ex Breviario Historico Joan-nis Scylitzae Curopalatae, eoccipi&ntia ubi Cedrenus desinit are in the second volume, and are illustrated with a Latin version (slightly altered from Gabius's) and a few notes, by Goar. The Venice edition, fol. 1729, is a mere reprint of the foregoing ; though in the interim Montfaucon had published (Biblioth. Coislin. p. 207) the Prooemium, which, in an abridged or mutilated form, Cedrenus had adopted as his .own, and prefixed to his own work. In the Bonn edition of Byzantine historians, it might have been expected that the entire work of Scy­litzes would have appeared, even if the transcript of it in Cedrenus had been suppressed : but Bekker, the editor of Cedrenus, has been content to repeat the Excerpta of Fabrot, with the mere addition in the margin of such supplements, both to Cedrenus, in the part transcribed from Scylitzes, and to the Excerpta, as could be obtained from MSS., including the Coislin MS. examined by Montfaucon, but apparently not including the Vienna MS. The greater part of the Greek text of one of the most valuable of the Byzantine writers is yet, therefore, unpublished in its original and proper form.

A Latin version of the whole work (with the ex­ception of some lacunae), by'Joannes BaptistaGabius (Giovanni Battista Gabio), Greek professor at Rome, was published, fol. Venice, 1570. A part of this version accompanies the Greek text of the Excerpta in the above editions. Gabio writes his author's name Scillizza or Scyllizzes.

The tables prefixed to the work of Scylitzes in the Vienna MS. were conjectured by Kollar to have been collected or compiled by Scylitzes as in­troductory to his work. This is not unlikely ; and whenever the whole of the text of Scylitzes shall


appear, it may be hoped these tables will be pub­lished also. They are : — 1. 2vvofyis twv XPOVMV aTn) rfjs Kriffeus KdVjUov, Synopsis annorum a creatione mundi. It is little else than a list of names, with their respective dates, beginning with Adam, and ending with the Roman emperors Dio­cletian and Maximian. 2. vOaoi ev Bv^avriq e£o-o~i\evffav Xpiffriavoi, Quot Byzantii imperium obti-nuerunt Christian^ beginning with Constantine the Great, and ending with Nicephorus Botaniotes: the length of each emperor's reign is given. 3. Certain historical epochs ; beginning Elcrl ovv curb JA5d/* ews tou KaTa.K\v(r/j.ov k. t. A., Ab Adamo igitur usque ad Diluvium fluxerunt anni. 4. A list of the Kings of the Ten Tribes of Israel. 5. A list of the High Priests of Israel, beginning with Aaron. 6. A list of the Patriarchs of Jerusalem. 7. A list of the Bishops of Rome, ending with Boniface II., a. d. 530. 8. A list of the Bishops or Patriarchs of Byzantium, to Stephen, a. d. 886 —893. 9. A list of the Patriarchs of Alexandria. 10. A list of the Patriarchs of Antioch, ending with the second patriarchate of Anastasius I., a. d. 593. 11,12. The Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments. 13. Controverted Books of the Old Testament, chiefly the Books of our Apocry­pha. 14. Controverted Books of the New Testa­ment, including the Apocalypsis Joannis, and some others not included in our canon, viz., the Apoca­lypsis Petri, Barnabae Epistola, and the Evangelium secundum Hebraeos. 15. Spurious Books of the Old Testament. 16. Spurious Books of the New Testament, among which are classed the Writings of Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, and Hernias. 17. The Genealogy of the Roman Emperor Valen-tinian I. Lambecius, and, after him, Fabricius, doubted if all these tables were to be attributed to Scylitzes : but Lambecius (according to Kollar) subsequently changed his opinion, and thought they were his. (Kollar, Supplement, p. 618.)

The Jus Graeco-Romanum of Leunclavius (vol. i. p. 132, &c.) contains, 'VirofAvrja-ts rov KovpoiraAd-rov kcu /jLeyd\ov fipovyyapfov rrjs (3iy\r)s 'ladvvov rov ©paKirjcriov /xerct rr)v irepl /j.vr]o~rfias veapdv ye-vofjisvt] Trpbs rov o.vtqv &a(Ti\ea Kvpiov 'AAe^tov trept twos d/j.(pi€o\ias 67rt tccutt? dva^vdafis^Suggestio Cu-ropalatae, Magnique Drungarii Vigiliarum, Domini Joannis Tliracesii post promulgatam de Sponsalibns Novellam oblata eidem Principi, Domino Alexio, de ambiguitate quadam super kaec enata. According to Possevino (Apparatus Sacer. Catalog, ad fin. torn, iii. p. 42), there were extant in MS. in the library of a convent of the monks of St. Basil, in the isle of Patmos, some other works of Scylitzes : — Joan­nis Scylitzae Varii Sermones Philosophici et Theolo-gici) of which the first was, Tiepl KoV/uou /cat rfjs Kary auroV (pva'ews, De Mundo et ejus Natura : also Ejusdem quaedam Epistolae. The dissertations would be curious, as Scylitzes appears to have had little respect for the property, whatever he may have had for the doctrines of the Church. He vin­dicates in his history (p. 808, ed. Paris, p. 642, ed. Bonn) the conduct of Isaac Comnenus, in seizing the superfluous wealth of the monasteries, and wishes that he had been able to treat the whole Church in a similar way. (See, however, Mont­faucon, Bibl. Coisl. p. 206.) Possibly, however, the Patmos MSS. may contain the works of a younger Joannes Scylitzes, different from the historian, who is mentioned by Nic. Comnenus Papadopoli, but whose writings Fabricius had

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of