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THE Chronicle of George the Monk is a world-chronicle beginning with Adam and coming down to the first year of Michael III. (842-843). Of the writer we only know that he was a monk who lived in the reign of Michael III., and that he did not put the last touch to his work till after the death of that Emperor.1 His interest was entirely ecclesiastical; he had the narrowest of monastic horizons; and the latter portion of his work, which concerns us, is inordinately brief and yields little to the historian. His account of the reign of Theophilus, of whom he must have been a contemporary, is contained in three and a half short pages (in de Boor's edition), and of these more than a page consists of a quotation from Gregory of Nazianzus. For this portion (802-843) he made use of Theophanes; Theosteriktos, Vita Nicetae; Ignatius, Vita Nicephori; the Epistola synodica ad Theophilum; works of the Patriarch Nicephorus. (Cp. his Prologue, pp. 1-2, where he refers to modern histories, chronographies, and edifying works, which he laid under contribution). His account of the reigns of Leo V., Michael II., and Theophilus has no pretensions to be a historical narrative; it is little more than the passionate outpouring of a fanatical image-worshipper's rancour against the iconoclasts.
The text of this chronicle is preserved in a variety of forms which have caused great perplexity. A great many MSS. are largely interpolated, and in many of these a Continuation has been added, transcribed from the work of Simeon the Logothete (see next Appendix). These MSS. are derived from an archetype in which large additions were inserted in the margin, from the Logothete's chronicle, and the MSS. vary according as the scribes incorporated in the text various parts of these additions. From
1 The words μετὰ δὲ Θεόφιλον ἐβασίλευσε Μιχαὴλ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ἔτη κεʹ (p. 801) surely imply that Michael's reign was over. The author adds "he reigned for fourteen years with his mother Theodora and was sole Emperor for eleven years and three months." This gives twenty-five years three months; it should be twenty-five years eight months (Jan.
27, 842, to Sept. 23, 867). But it would be wrong, I think, to infer that George wrote this in April 867. Hirsch argued that the joint reign of Michael with Basil (from May 26, 866) was not included, and that the words were written before Michael's death, but he read 'ërŋ, whereas the evidence of the MSS. establishes la' eτn (see de Boor's critical note ad loc.).
Leo V. forward they furnish a tradition of the Logothete's text. In several of them the "Logothete's" authorship of the Continuation is noticed.
The later part of the composite chronicle, from A.D. 813-948, was printed by Combefis (1685) in the Paris ed. of the Scriptores post Theophanem, and was reprinted by Bekker in the Bonn Corpus. The text was based on a depraved Paris MS., but Bekker used Hase's collation of codex Coislinianus 134, which contains the Chronicle of George unadulterated by interpolations from the Logothete, and signalised its variants. The whole composite work was edited for the first time by Muralt (1859), who based his text on a Moscow MS., which, as de Boor has shown, is "ita interpolatus ut a genuino textu omnium fere plurimum abesse iudicandus sit" (Georg. Mon. pp. x, lviii). Muralt procured collations of many other MSS., including Coislinianus 310, but he did not reproduce them accurately, and he failed entirely to see their relations, or even to grasp the problem. De Boor's judgment on his edition is that "studiis Byzantinis non modo non profuit sed valde nocuit" (ib. p. x). Nevertheless it was of some use to Hirsch, who in his Byzantinische Studien (1876) made it generally clear that the Coisliniani 310 and 134 preserve the genuine text of George, and that the other MSS. with which he was acquainted present an interpolated redaction (cp. p. 14).
The difficult problem of determining the original text of George and explaining the interrelations of the numerous MSS. was attacked by C. de Boor, and his edition of the genuine Chronicle of George Monachus appeared in 1904 (see Bibliography, where his preliminary studies on the subject are noted). He arrived at the conclusion that George himself wrote out his chronicle twice. The first copy was rough and perhaps incomplete, and a large number of illustrative extracts from Biblical and other literature were added in the margin. This rough copy was not destroyed, and in the tenth century it was copied by a scribe who incorporated all the marginal additions in the text. This later copy exists to-day as Coislinianus 305 (the text only comes down to the reign of Constantine V.). Afterwards, George prepared a revised copy, in which he incorporated only parts of his marginal material and treated the text of the excerpts very freely. All the other MSS. are derived from this second edition (going back to an archetype which is most faithfully produced in the tenth-century Coislin. 310 and in Coislin. 134), and it is this which the edition of de Boor aims at reproducing. The hypothesis that these two distinct traditions are due to George himself explains the facts, but cannot be considered certain, as rehandling by copyists is a conceivable alternative. See the observations of Prächter in his review of de Boor's edition (B.Z. xv. p. 312).
THE CHRONICLE OF SIMEON, MAGISTER AND LOGOTHETE
THE author of the collection of Lives of Saints, Simeon Metaphrastes, undertook this compilation under the auspices of Constantine VII., and it may be included (as Gibbon observed) among the encyclopaedic collections which were formed at the instance of that Emperor. It was not, however, completed in his reign, for in one of the Lives, the Vita Samsonis, we find references to Romanus II. and John Tzimiskes, so that the compiler survived to the years 972-976. He held at one time the office of Logothete of the Course, for he is styled the Logothete by Psellos and by Yahya of Antioch. Psellos says that he was born in Constantinople of a distinguished family and was very rich.
This Simeon is almost certainly the same as Simeon, the magister, who was author of a world-chronicle, coming down to the middle of the tenth century. Their identity was held by Muralt and Rambaud, has been confirmed by the investigations of Vasil'evski (0 zhizni i trud. Sim. Met.), and accepted as highly probable by Krumbacher and Ehrhard (G.B.L. 200, 358).1 A number of Greek manuscripts contain chronicles ascribed to "Simeon magister and logothete," representing various recensions of the same original, and a Slavonic version is preserved which describes the author as "Simeon metaphrastes and logothete." Our material shows that the original chronicle ended in A.D. 944 or 948 (though in several of the MSS. the work is continued to later dates).2 The author was devoted to Romanus I. and his family, and an epitaph from his hand on Stephen (son of Romanus), who died in A.D. 963, is preserved (published by Vasil'evski, Dva nadgr. Stikh.). For the Greek chronicles which bear the name of Simeon, and
1 The chronological objections of Hirsch (310), founded on a passage of the Vita Theoctistae where the writer states that he took part in the Cretan expedition c. A.D. 902, are removed by the fact that this life was written not by Simeon but by Nicetas Magister.
2 Vasil'evski (Khronik Log. 133) argued that the chronicle ended in 944 and that the account of the years 944948 was an addition of Leo Grammaticus. The Slavonic translation expressly notes the termination of Simeon's work in 944.
their mutual relations to one another, information will be found in Krumbacher, G.B.L. 359-360, and in the discussions of de Boor (Weiteres, etc.) and Shestakov (0 rukopisiakh). Cp. also Zlatarski, Izviestiiata, 8 sq. The view of Vasil'evski (Khron Log.) that the Old Slavonic translation supplies the best tradition of Simeon's work is now largely held by Slavonic scholars. Shestakov (Par. ruk.) has given reasons for thinking that the anonymous chronicle in Cod. Par. 854 (of which the first part is printed, see below) is, of all Greek texts, closest to the original. This conclusion is questioned by de Boor (Weiteres, etc.), who doubts whether Simeon was really the author of the chronicle, conjectures that he wrote only the Koσμожoutа which is prefixed to it, and thinks that the original chronicle is most faithfully represented by the Chronography of Theodosius of Melitene.
Simeon's chronicle has come down to us under other titlesunder the names of Leo Grammaticus, Theodosius of Melitene, and partly in the expansion of George the Monk. These compilers copied it with few and trifling alterations.
(1) Leo Grammaticus. The text of this chronicle, which is preserved in Cod. Par. 1711, was written in A.D. 1013 by Leo, who in the notice at the end of the work, which comes down to A.D. 948, speaks of himself as a scribe rather than as an author. The latter part of the text has been printed (from the accession of Leo V.), and it was evidently transcribed from the Chronicle of Simeon. In his edition of Leo, Bekker printed (though without committing himself to the authorship) a portion of the chronicle of Cod. Par. 854, coming down to the point at which Leo's text begins. This had been originally printed by Cramer (Anecdota Parisina, ii. 243 sqq.), who assumed that the chronicles of the two MSS. were identical, and this view was accepted by Hirsch. It has been shown by Shestakov that the texts are different (Par. Ruk.); he made it clear that Leo and the Continuation of George are nearer to each other than either to Par. 854.
(2) The Chronography of Theodosius of Melitene, edited by Tafel, is likewise no more than a transcript of Simeon, and like Leo's text, it ends at A.D. 948. Vasil'evski called attention to a note in Bekker's Anecdota Graeca, iii. 465, where, in a passage cited from the commentary of Johannes Sikeliotes on the Пepì ideŵv of Hermogenes, & Meλitívns Oeodóotos is mentioned. Vasil'evski inferred that Theodosius flourished c. A.D. 1120, but it is probable that Johannes Doxopatres, called Sikeliotes, lived in the first half of the eleventh century (Krumbacher, G.B.L. 462), and if so, Theodosius may have lived in the eleventh century. The text of this version resembles that of Leo Gramm. and the Contin. of George more closely than it resembles Cod. Par. 854. For its relation to Leo Grammaticus see Patzig (Leo Gramm.) and de Boor (Die Chron. des
Log. 267). It is much closer to the Contin. of George than to Leo Gramm.; the differences are chiefly stylistic. It is to be observed that many of the omissions which occur in Leo and in the Contin. are accidental, due to homoeoteleuton.
(3) The Chronicle of Cod. Par. 854. The latter part is unpublished. See Shestakov, op. cit.
(4) It has been stated in the preceding Appendix that many of the MSS. of George the Monk contain a considerable amplification of George's text. His account of the reigns from the accession of Leo V. to the accession of Michael III. has been expanded by large additions from a chronicle of a different tone and character; and a continuation has been added coming down to A.D. 948 (in some MSS. to later dates). In some MSS., at the point where George's work ends in A.D. 843, we find the note ews de Tà χρονικὰ Γεωργίου· ἀπὸ τῶν ὧδε μόνον τοῦ λογοθέτου (ed. Muralt, 721); and at the year 948 Muralt's text has (851) Sóca T 0EQ πάντων ἕνεκα· ἀμήν. Τετέλεσται καὶ τὰ τοῦ λογοθέτου. The close
resemblance of the text of the continuation to the texts which have come down under the name of Simeon the Logothete renders it virtually certain that Simeon is meant by roû λoyoférov in these notes. This applies not only to the continuation but to the expansions of George's Chronicle from A.D. 813 to 843. For if these expansions are separated, they furnish a text which coincides with those of Theodosius and Leo. The word μóvov in the note cited above probably refers to this interweaving of the works of George and Simeon.
The portion of the expanded chronicle which concerns us, A.D. 813 to 948, was printed from one MS. by Combefis (1685) and reprinted by Bekker. Muralt's edition of the whole chronicle is based on a Moscow MS., but contains collations of some other MSS.1 See above, Appendix II.
The Old Slavonic translation of Simeon (preserved in a MS. in the Imperial Public Library of Petersburg), recently edited by Sreznevski, implies an original which was closer to Leo than to Theodosius (Sreznevski, p. xii.). A comparison with these chronicles shows both omissions and additions (ib. xi sq.).
One of the chief sources of Simeon, up to the year A.D. 813, was Theophanes; another was George the Monk. For the period A.D. 813-867, which alone concerns us here, Simeon is one of our most important authorities. Unlike George, whose attention is almost entirely directed to ecclesiastical affairs, he is interested in profane history and furnishes a good deal of information concerning the court intrigues; ecclesiastical affairs are quite in the background. (Cp. the analysis of Hirsch, 16-68.)
1 It would be useless here to enumerate or discuss the MSS. See de Boor's
articles cited, and the Preface to his ed. of George.