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Readers’ perspectives on Early Christian texts : book epigrams in the Byzantine manuscripts of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite

Sien De Groot (UGent)
(2021)
Author
Promoter
(UGent) and (UGent)
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Abstract
This thesis offers an edition, commentary and analysis of the book epigrams present in the Byzantine manuscripts of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. These short metrical paratexts, written as reactions to the main text or the production of the books, testify to habits of reading and copying the texts of the corpus in several ways. Some of the epigrams were designed to accompany the main texts, and hence offer us an insight into the reception of the texts and their author. The epigrams are found support and affirm the authenticity of the corpus, and assert the views expressed in the texts. Other epigrams comment on the activities of scribes and patrons of manuscripts. These poems offer unique information on the production of the manuscripts, and Byzantine attitudes towards this. Moreover, the research presented here demonstrates that a careful examination of the manuscript context in which the epigrams were copied is indispensable for our understanding of their readership. By looking at the position in the manuscript, the visual presentation, and additions to the epigrams, we can gain insight into the ways in which scribes presented the poems to the readers, and how the readers, in turn, engaged with these texts. In general, we have found that the corpus was transmitted together with some book epigrams from the sixth century onwards. These poems were closely related to the main texts and have found their way into the majority of the witnesses. Some of these epigrams were also transmitted into the medieval Latin translations of the corpus. Later scribes and readers, in particular from the eleventh century onwards, added a variety of different verses to the books, in which they express their own views on the texts and the activity of copying the texts. The collection of epigrams presented here offer a picture of a lively practice of reading, copying and writing: they constitute unique spaces in the manuscripts where scribes and readers communicate with each other and with the texts.

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Citation

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MLA
De Groot, Sien. Readers’ Perspectives on Early Christian Texts : Book Epigrams in the Byzantine Manuscripts of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, 2021.
APA
De Groot, S. (2021). Readers’ perspectives on Early Christian texts : book epigrams in the Byzantine manuscripts of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent, Belgium.
Chicago author-date
De Groot, Sien. 2021. “Readers’ Perspectives on Early Christian Texts : Book Epigrams in the Byzantine Manuscripts of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.” Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Groot, Sien. 2021. “Readers’ Perspectives on Early Christian Texts : Book Epigrams in the Byzantine Manuscripts of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.” Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy.
Vancouver
1.
De Groot S. Readers’ perspectives on Early Christian texts : book epigrams in the Byzantine manuscripts of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy; 2021.
IEEE
[1]
S. De Groot, “Readers’ perspectives on Early Christian texts : book epigrams in the Byzantine manuscripts of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite,” Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent, Belgium, 2021.
@phdthesis{8724750,
  abstract     = {{This thesis offers an edition, commentary and analysis of the book epigrams present in the Byzantine manuscripts of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. These short metrical paratexts, written as reactions to the main text or the production of the books, testify to habits of reading and copying the texts of the corpus in several ways. Some of the epigrams were designed to accompany the main texts, and hence offer us an insight into the reception of the texts and their author. The epigrams are found support and affirm the authenticity of the corpus, and assert the views expressed in the texts. Other epigrams comment on the activities of scribes and patrons of manuscripts. These poems offer unique information on the production of the manuscripts, and Byzantine attitudes towards this. Moreover, the research presented here demonstrates that a careful examination of the manuscript context in which the epigrams were copied is indispensable for our understanding of their readership. By looking at the position in the manuscript, the visual presentation, and additions to the epigrams, we can gain insight into the ways in which scribes presented the poems to the readers, and how the readers, in turn, engaged with these texts.
In general, we have found that the corpus was transmitted together with some book epigrams from the sixth century onwards. These poems were closely related to the main texts and have found their way into the majority of the witnesses. Some of these epigrams were also transmitted into the medieval Latin translations of the corpus. Later scribes and readers, in particular from the eleventh century onwards, added a variety of different verses to the books, in which they express their own views on the texts and the activity of copying the texts. The collection of epigrams presented here offer a picture of a lively practice of reading, copying and writing: they constitute unique spaces in the manuscripts where scribes and readers communicate with each other and with the texts.}},
  author       = {{De Groot, Sien}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{XXVIII, 473}},
  publisher    = {{Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy}},
  school       = {{Ghent University}},
  title        = {{Readers’ perspectives on Early Christian texts : book epigrams in the Byzantine manuscripts of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}