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A twelfth-century cycle of four poems on John Klimax : editio princeps

Renaat Meesters (UGent) and Rachele Ricceri (UGent)
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Abstract
This contribution focusses on a group of twelfth-century poems on John Klimax. Namely, it provides the editio princeps of four poems in dodecasyllables (totalling over 470 verses), preserved in seven manuscripts. Although only one manuscript contains the four poems, the compositions occur in the same position within the codices and have recurrent motives and cross-references. Therefore, they can be considered as a poetic cycle. These poems are metrical paratexts (book epigrams) accompanying Klimax’s works: Poem 1 (102 vv.), inc. Ἔχουσιν οἱ λειμῶνες ἄνθη ποικίλα, is a spiritual comparison between the Ladder and a garden; Poem 2 (226 vv.), inc. Ψήγματα χρυσᾶ τοῖς Λυδοῖς αἱρεῖ λόγος, is a praise of Klimax and a summary of the Ladder articulated in six verses for each of the thirty steps; Poem 3 (19, 16 or 14 vv.), inc. Τέλος κλίμακος οὐρανοδρόμου βίβλου, is a laudatory colophon that closes the Ladder; Poem 4 (134 vv.), inc. Τούτων ἁπάντων τῶν καλῶν, καλῶν δότης, accompanies Klimax’s treatise To the Shepherd and is a laudatio of the Trinity, ending as a prayer. In this paper we provide a general introduction to the cycle, an overview of the manuscripts and of the poems, including a discussion on the authorship, a short metrical analysis, a critical edition and an English translation.
Keywords
Byzantine Literature / Poetry, Book Epigrams, John Klimax

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Chicago
Meesters, Renaat, and Rachele Ricceri. 2018. “A Twelfth-century Cycle of Four Poems on John Klimax : Editio Princeps.” In Middle and Late Byzantine Poetry : Texts and Contexts, ed. Andreas Rhoby and Nikos Zagklas, 14:285–386. Turnhout: Brepols.
APA
Meesters, R., & Ricceri, R. (2018). A twelfth-century cycle of four poems on John Klimax : editio princeps. In A. Rhoby & N. Zagklas (Eds.), Middle and late Byzantine poetry : texts and contexts (Vol. 14, pp. 285–386). Turnhout: Brepols.
Vancouver
1.
Meesters R, Ricceri R. A twelfth-century cycle of four poems on John Klimax : editio princeps. In: Rhoby A, Zagklas N, editors. Middle and late Byzantine poetry : texts and contexts. Turnhout: Brepols; 2018. p. 285–386.
MLA
Meesters, Renaat, and Rachele Ricceri. “A Twelfth-century Cycle of Four Poems on John Klimax : Editio Princeps.” Middle and Late Byzantine Poetry : Texts and Contexts. Ed. Andreas Rhoby & Nikos Zagklas. Vol. 14. Turnhout: Brepols, 2018. 285–386. Print.
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  abstract     = {This contribution focusses on a group of twelfth-century poems on John Klimax. Namely, it provides the editio princeps of four poems in dodecasyllables (totalling over 470 verses), preserved in seven manuscripts. Although only one manuscript contains the four poems, the compositions occur in the same position within the codices and have recurrent motives and cross-references. Therefore, they can be considered as a poetic cycle.

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In this paper we provide a general introduction to the cycle, an overview of the manuscripts and of the poems, including a discussion on the authorship, a short metrical analysis, a critical edition and an English translation. 
},
  author       = {Meesters, Renaat and Ricceri, Rachele},
  booktitle    = {Middle and late Byzantine poetry : texts and contexts},
  editor       = {Rhoby, Andreas and Zagklas, Nikos},
  isbn         = {9782503578866},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {285--386},
  publisher    = {Brepols},
  series       = {Byzantio\unmatched{03c2} Studies in Byzantine History and Civilisation},
  title        = {A twelfth-century cycle of four poems on John Klimax : editio princeps},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1484/M.SBHC-EB.5.115591},
  volume       = {14},
  year         = {2018},
}

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