George Syncellus: the Manuscripts of the "Chronography"

This work was composed between 808-810 AD, and ran from the creation up to the death of Diocletian.  The work ends suddenly, and seems never to have been finished or revised.  A continuation by Theophanes Confessor took the story from 285 up to 813.  The text has been described as the greatest work of Byzantine historical scholarship.  Syncellus used the lost second-century Chronography by Julius Africanus extensively, as well as other now lost sources such as Manetho, and also the Chronicon of Eusebius.

 Mss. A and B alone contain the whole work: all the others commence with Pompey's seige of Jerusalem.

Siglum

Location

Shelfmark & Notes

Date /
Century

A Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale Codex Parisinus Bibl. Nat. Graecus 1711.  Complete text.  Discovered by Isaac Casaubon. 11
B Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale Codex Parisinus Bibl. Nat. Graecus 1764.  Complete text.  First become known in the second half of the 17th century.  Usually better than A. 11
C Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale Codex Parisinus Bibl. Nat. Coislinianus 133 12
M Münich: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Codex Monacensis 391.  Derived from P. 16
O Oxford: Corpus Christi College Codex Oxoniensis Aed. Christi Wake 5 9
P Rome: Vatican: Bibliotheca Apostolica Codex Vaticanus Palatinus 395 16
Q Rome: Vatican: Bibliotheca Apostolica Codex Vaticanus Graecus 979.  Derived from P. 16
R Rome: ??? Codex Romanus Vallicellianus 92.  Derived from P. 16
S Basle: ??? Codex Basiliensis 82.  Derived from P. 16
T Rome: Vatican: Bibliotheca Apostolica Codex Vaticanus Graecus 154 12
V Rome: Vatican: Bibliotheca Apostolica Codex Vaticanus Graecus 155 9/10

A and B derive from a common ancestor. Ms. P is the ancestor of MQRS. COPVT all derive from a common ancestor quite different from that of AB.  

AB have indications of a break in the text at the point where the others commence.  It is therefore suggested that the text was early split into at least two codices.  The earlier portion, larger and containing less familiar material, was less copied and so survives only in AB.   The split may even reflect a division in the autograph. 

Bibliography

William Adler & Paul Tuffin, The Chronography of George Synkellos: A Byzantine Chronicle of Universal History from the Creation.  Oxford University Press (2002).  Checked.  This page is derived from this English translation, which does not include Theophanes.

A.A.Mosshammer (ed.), Georgius Syncellus, Ecloga Chronographica.  Leipzig: Tübner (1984).  Not checked.  Standard modern Greek text.

Constructive feedback is welcomed to Roger Pearse. Corrections and additions are very welcome.

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