Database of Byzantine book epigrams

Start - End 
2010 - 2015 (completed)
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Greek literature
Paratexts

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Abstract

Byzantine book epigrams do not currently receive the attention from the scholarly world that they certainly deserve. This is due to several reasons. The corpus of epigrams presents itself currently in a very fragmented way. The place where they mostly appear in printed form is in manuscript catalogues. The quality of these catalogues and their attention to our poems vary considerably. Additionally, there have been some studies that collected epigrams grouped around the same subject, but there has been no attempt to gain a broader view of the genre as a whole. In traditional philology, manuscripts were only interesting as testimonies to ancient texts. Many of them were simply put aside when not offering a 'good' text. However, one has now begun to consider manuscripts as cultural products in their own right. Furthermore, all forms of textuality have been brought to the attention, lifting the barrier between high literature and other texts. This brings the focus more on book epigrams, and especially on their original state as embedded in manuscripts. Our database wants to respond to these needs. It is not only about unearthing new texts (although this is an important issue), but it is especially about presenting each epigram as it is embedded in its manuscript. The digital world offers unique new opportunities to fulfill this aim: the user can search an extensive corpus for several parameters, and the material can be represented and structured in any way he/she wants.

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