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Mount Athos, Iveron Monastery, 166


Additional Information

  • Appr. Date: 17th c. (17th c.)
  • Genres: Histories and chronicles
  • Illustrations: Yes


Two chronicles, the first beginning with a year-by-year table and being, or quoting from, George the Monk or his continuator; perhaps the anonymous Historia Imperatorum in PG 100 (see Sakel in the bibliography, esp. p. 244).  For "βίβλος γρανικός" read "βίβλος χρονικ[ή]".

A beautiful ms. in double columns in, unfortunately, a far from ideal or consistent reproduction.  The description below is from Lambros (#4286, p. 44sq.), with spelling standardized.

Manuscript given a decorated binding in what seems to be impressed/imprinted leather. Before the text proper are several pages with drawings, practice-sketches, calligraphy-practice and practice in musical notation, drawn from both directions (“right side up” and “upside down”). A picture of the Christ-child includes what is now known as a photoshop disaster, and in some drawings of the Virgin the artist seems to have anticipated Picasso by a few centuries.  There are many lovely decorative capitals throughout and several nicely done smaller pictures, such as, among others, fish (11v, 163v, 172r, et alibi), a capital Alpha with legs and a bum (43v), and at the end of one column a mighty he-man, holding the text up with his hands like Hercules filling in for Atlas (54v). Whether or not the monastic lifestyle was the artist’s true vocation in life is not explicitly indicated.

After the end of the text (and the main roll) are: an anatomy with labels (236r, including oddly-shaped genitalia and possible 17th-century attestations of the words ἀρχίδια and ψωλή, vel sim.); practice hands coming down, with extensive notes in Arabic script (236v); and more practice hands, facing down from the viewer’s perspective, but perhaps part of an image of a person, drawn from the other direction (237r).

Chronicle 1 (fol. 2r). «Βίβλος γρανικὸς παρὰ τῶν παλαιῶν ἱστοριῶν καὶ ἡ κτίσις τοῦ κόσμου.» Vernacular chronicle from creation to the reign of Nicephorus III Botaniates (Nikiforos Votaniatis).

Incipit:  Πρὸ πάντων καὶ σὺν πᾶσι [vel σύμπασι] καὶ διὰ πάντων χρῆ τὸν ἀληθῆ Χριστιανὸν ἐπίσταστθαι τί Θεὸς καὶ ὁσαχὸς [οὕτω] Θεός. Τὰ κατὰ τὸν Βοτανειάτην ἄρχ. Καὶ ἐφόρεσε τὸ διάδημα καὶ τὴν χρυσόπαστον ἀλουργίδα· ἐλησμόνησε δὲ τὸ πολυχρόνιόν του γῆρας καὶ ὡρμάσθη μὲ τὴν γυναῖκα τοῦ Μιχαὴλ νέαν καὶ τρυφερὰν παίδαιναν.

Desinit:  ...καὶ ἄλλην κἂν μίαν ἔννοιαν οὐδὲν εἶχεν οὔτε ἂν κουρσεύων τὰ κάστρα του, οὔτε ἐὰν καταλύσωσι τὰ ἔθνη τὸν κόσμον του οὐδὲ ἂν στενοχωροῦνται οἱ ἄνθρωποί του οὔτε ἂν ἦσαν φουσᾶτα, τὸ εἶχεν τίποτε· οὔτε ἐὰν οὐδὲν ἦσαν ἀμὴ ὁ σκόπος του ἦτον εἰς τοὺς παραδιαβασμοὺς καὶ εἰς δουλείας τοιαύτας ὁποὺ ἐδηλώσαμεν."

Chronicle 2 (fol. 234r).  «Διήγησις παλαιὰ καὶ ἱστορία ἀπὸ ποίαν ἀφορμὴν ἐγένοντο οἱ Βούργαροι [οὕτω] Χριστιανοί· ἔχει δὲ οὕτως.»

Incipit:  Οἱ Βόλγαροι ἦσαν πρῶτα ἄνθρωποι ἄθεοι καὶ ἐπίστευαν εἰς ξύλα καὶ ἄστρα καὶ δένδρη καὶ εἴδωλα καὶ ζῷα.

Desinit:  ...διὰ  νὰ ἀκούουσι τὴν θείαν γραφὴν ὅλοι νὰ τὴν γροικοῦσι, καὶ ἀπὸ τότε ἐστερεώθη ὁ Χριστιανισμὸς ἀπάνω τους, καὶ ἔμειναν Χριστιανοὶ ὀρθόδοξοι.

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