Palaiologan scholars at work: Makarios Makres and Joseph Bryennios' autograph

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The paper explores the co-operation between two friends and fellow theologians, Joseph Bryennios (ca. 1350-1432) and Makarios Makres (1382/3-7.I.1431), concentrating on textual and palaeographical aspects discussed in the present volume, through an examination of evidence contained in their autograph codex currently housed in the «Ivan Dujčev» Centre for Slavonic and Byzantine Studies MS. D 268, preserving Bryennios’ theological works. In addition, the paper examines aspects of the written word related to orality, in the sense of oral communication, through evidence in this codex, including a rare example of a Latin passage by Thomas Aquinas transliterated in Greek by Bryennios, which reflects the acoustic reception and pronunciation of Latin by Greeks in this period, and Bryennios’ own description of the process of composition of a letter (and text), from its conception to its completion, and finally its dissemination. In our modern society dominated by the written word the element of orality is a key aspect which the editor of a Byzantine literary prose text ought to give serious consideration in an effort to understand the ‘inner life’ of the text and present it as accurately as possible in his/her edition. The paper concludes by offering suggestions on future electronic editions of Greek texts and pointing to the extant Byzantine textbooks as an area for further research, which would enable philologists, palaeographers and editors of Byzantinme texts not only to to explore in greater depth the methods and techniques used by the Byzantines in composing, writing, copying and delivering aloud Greek texts, but also to assess the role of the Byzantine educational system in the development and establishment of various aspects of the written Greek word, which shaped the linguistic preferences and writing habits of the Byzantine student, scribe and scholar.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Manuscripts to Books
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the International Workshop on Textual Criticism and Editorial Practice for Byzantine Texts (Vienna 10-11 December 2009)
EditorsAntonia Giannouli, Elisabeth Schiffer
Place of PublicationVienna
PublisherVerlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
ISBN (Print)978-3-7001-7132-4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternational Workshop on Textual Criticism and Editorial Practice for Byzantine Texts - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 10 Dec 200911 Dec 2009

Publication series

NameVeröffentlichungen zur Byzanzforschung
PublisherVerlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
NameDenkschriften der philosophisch-historischen Klasse


WorkshopInternational Workshop on Textual Criticism and Editorial Practice for Byzantine Texts


  • Greek manuscripts
  • Byzantine Autographs
  • Makarios Makres
  • Joseph Bryennios

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