Translations of Byzantine texts into modern languages find a ready welcome, especially when they are accompanied by a revised Greek text and by explanatory notes. The present book by Stratis Papaioannou fully meets these expectations. Six texts with female protagonists have been chosen out of the Menologion of Symeon Metaphrastes, i.e., the late tenth-century Byzantine liturgical collection of hagiographical texts. With a few exceptions, these texts were systematically rewritten in a certain, in most cases higher, linguistic register. It is this special nature of the texts that wakens the Byzantinists’ particular interest in the so-called Metaphrastic Menologion, in addition to research in Byzantine hagiography.
Altogether, this volume is a good example of making Byzantine hagiographical texts accessible to a wider audience. For those studying Byzantine literature, Papaioannou’s book demonstrates in an encouraging way how to lay a foundation for future studies on Symeon Metaphrastes’ Menologion.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review