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Recension Φ of John Moschos’s “Pratum Spirituale”: Critical Edition and Commentary

Marina Detoraki, University of Crete, Summer Fellows, 2018–2019

The edition of this tradition, well defined by P. Pattenden (1975), reveals, effectively, a much more reliable text, obviously the closest to the original text, free of the flaws and shortcomings easily detectable in the PG (Migne) edition. The research on the supposed supplements of the text that appeared as additional textual material (F. Nau 1902, L. Clugnet 1905, and especially Th. Nissen 1938 and E. Mioni 1957) brought forward further proof that the recensions μ and π (also defined by Pattenden), which correspond to the branches of the tradition represented by the additional texts published by Nissen and Mioni, do not originate from Moschos’s pen, and that φ, by contrast, constitutes a complete or near-complete text with strong evidence supporting an early date of origin. The literary commentary has been envisioned as an introductory essay of the literary genre of beneficial tales (ψυχωφελεῖς ἱστορίαι) in Byzantium, and attempts to address a range of questions concerning these spiritually edifying collections in Byzantine literature, capitalizing on and further developing remarks already set down in modern bibliography.