The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Megalochronograph

In the early 1980s two Byzantine scholars Michael and Mary Whitby wrote a few articles about eighth-century sources. Abstract of one in 1983ish:

At two places in the tenth-century manuscript of the Chronicon Paschale extracts from an anonymous chronicle have been added, with the attributions ἄλλως ἀπὸ τοῦ μεγάλου χρονογράφου, and περὶ τεράτων ἐκ τοῦ μεγάλου χρονογράφου. At the first place a series of fourteen extracts, recording natural catastrophes and other disasters from the late fifth century to the mid-eighth century, is inserted in the context of the account of the Nika Riot. At the second place a single extract is inserted in the margin in the context of the account of Phocas' deposition of Maurice.

The manuscript in question is a Vatican MS. Since then in 1989 the two have translated the whole thing, with these extracts at the end. Since it's snippet-view, I cannot yet read all of these; just parts of extract 12 and all of 13. I can report that extract 12's earthquake and plague correlate to Theophanes AM 6238 and 6241 - note, Theophanes separates them which the Great Chronicle apparently does not. I can also report that when the future Leo IV was born, which Theophanes puts in 25 January "6241" (750), there was a meteor shower. Note the use of a Roman month and not the Hellenistic months used in Syria.

I did find a Greek version of the full Chronicon Paschale, with Latinate translation. This annotates the V marginalia upon its own base MS pp. 336 B and 379 C, at pages 620 and 694 respectively. The latter is even excerpted for us. Unfortunately it's the former that has what I want.


posted by Zimri on 18:02 | link | 0 comments

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