The book epigrams of codex Scorialensis gr.  X. IV. 8
BYZANTINE manuscripts contain many hidden poetical treasures among which the so-called ‘book epigrams’, a textual genre that is yet not fully explored. As the term reveals, book epigrams are found in books, but at the same time they have these very books as their subject. They form a large group of texts that can be distinguished into various subcategories (colophons, dedicatory epigrams, laudatory epigrams and structuring epigrams). As regards authorship, it is almost impossible to retrieve the names of the ‘authors’ of book epigrams. Even when the author speaks in the first person, it is doubtful who stands behind the words of the poem, since these verses may have been borrowed from an earlier manuscript.
Most of these book epigrams are traced in Gospels, Psalters and other church books. Such is the case of codex Scorialensis gr.  X. IV. 8, a manuscript consisting of two distinct parts, one dated in 1276 and another dated possibly in the 11th century. The manuscript is a hymnographic florilegium of mostly canons and stichera chosen out of the production of various hymnographers. Among the folios of the first part we have traced the work of an unknown hymnographer named Meletios the monk, who might possibly be identified with Meletios of Mt Galesion. In most cases the canons by Meletios are introduced or followed by book epigrams (often indicating authorship) which are here published for the first time. Moreover, in this paper along with the publication of the epigrams I also try to reach some conclusions concerning the authorship, the structure and the context of these texts as well as their connection to the canons they are related to.
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