This is one of several translated excerpts from Byzantine sources produced and mounted with historical introduction and commentary by Paul Stephenson. He lived and wrote towards the end of the eleventh century, probably in the early years of the reign of Alexios I Komnenos His work, which covers the period AD , was conceived as a continuation to the chronicle of Theophanes Confessor, which was in turn a continuation of the chronicle of George the Monk. Skylitzes praised both George and Theophanes, but condemned the subsequent histories by Psellos and 'the didaskalos Sikeliotes' as overly brief and inaccurate. He is clearly referring to Psellos' Epitome, not his Chronographia; Sikeliotes' work has not survived.
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The final section comprises a short bibliography pp. ISBN This book is a welcome addition to the translations of mid-Byzantine histories, especially as it is one of our principal sources for the era it covers — from the death of Nikephoros I CE to the abdication of Michael VI CE.
Skylitzes elaborates in his own prooemion that his attempt was to follow the works of George Synkellos and Theophanes the Confessor, whose works he greatly admired, but unlike the works of his predecessors, which were composed as chronicles, Skylitzes instead chose to form his own work along the lines of regular history, although he does provide a plethora of precise dates and different calendar era years for major events.
His work was divided into chapters, each covering individual reigns, and the focus of his interest was primarily on the imperial administration. Rather than being a work of a more original nature, the work, as its name Synop- sis implies, was a compilation or a digest of previous works, many of which have not survived to the present day.
It is in fact from the work of Skylitzes that we know of many of these Byzantine 6 For reasons of space, the following alphabetical list is limited to monographs: G. Fain, Writing Epigrams.
Neger, Martials Dichtergedichte. Salanitro, L'arguzia di Marziale, Urbino ; J. This translation began as a group effort, with John Wortley translating the text into English, Bernard Flusin translating it into French, and Jean-Claude Cheynet providing the editorial notes to both translations. The introduction pp. VII—XXXIII provides essential information on the life of Skylitzes or at least on the little we know about him , his self-proclaimed intentions, the sources he used, his adopted narrative method, and also on the manuscript tradition.
The translation itself is highly readable, while not deviating from the original Greek, a feat that is laudable in itself. The text follows the chapter divisions of the Greek edition, while the page numbers of Thurn's edition have also been provided within square brackets. The subnotes are plentiful and full of essential informa- tion for the understanding of the events that are being described by Skylitzes. One can only conclude by observing that this translation is a superb work, and that it will be a great asset to anyone studying either the history or historiography of the middle Byzantine era.
Kai Juntunen Rudimenta linguae Finnicae breviter delineata: Suomen kielen varhaiskielioppi ja sen tausta. Ed- ited by Petri Lauerma. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, Helsinki ISBN 3. EUR The discovery of the anonymous Rudimenta linguae Finnicae breviter delineata in proved a sensation for the study of Finnish literature. The previously unknown and unpublished text turned up in a small booklet auctioned at Sotheby's as part of the Macclesfield library, bound between two pub- lished 17th-century works: Linguae Finnicae brevis institutio by Bishop Aeschillus Petraeus and Synopsis Chronologiae Finnonicae by Laurentius Petri.
The compilation had presum- ably been made on the basis of its subject matter, and the Rudimenta's companions are pioneering works in their own right: Petraeus's Institutio is the first published Finnish grammar, whereas Petri's brief Synopsis is the earliest extant Finnish-language text on the history of Finland. Although the provenance and authorship of the Rudimenta remain shrouded in mystery, it has emerged that it may, in fact, be the very earliest grammar of the Finnish language.
This edition, with its thorough discus- sion of codicological, palaeographical, grammatical and linguistic aspects of the manuscript reads like a mystery novel: how did this text, with its 16th-century content, written on midth-century paper and bound around , come about and why has it previously been unknown?
As the authors1 of the articles in this volume point out, the writer can hardly have been any of the early Finnish authors known to us: he was obviously unacquainted with the early grammars of Petraeus and Matthias Martinius , and the absence of the "Melanchthonian" features of 1 Ilkka Paatero and Sirkka Havu on the most recent history of the manuscript and its acquisition pp.