Scriptor Incertus

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The Scriptor Incertus de Leone Armenio ("Unknown writer on Leo the Armenian") is the Latin title given to an anonymous 9th-century Byzantine historical work, of which only two fragments survive.

The first fragment, preserved in the 13th-century Vat. gr. 2014 manuscript (interposed into descriptions of the Avaro-Persian siege of Constantinople and the Second Arab Siege of Constantinople, as well as hagiographical texts) in the Vatican Library, deals with the 811 campaign of Emperor Nikephoros I (r. 802–811) against the Bulgars, which ended in the disastrous Battle of Pliska.[1] Discovered and published in 1936 by I. Dujčev, it is also known as the Chronicle of 811, or the Dujčev Fragment.[2][3]

The second, which is preserved in the early 11th-century B.N. gr. 1711 manuscript in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris along with the chronicle of the so-called "Leo Grammaticus", deals with the reigns of Michael I Rhangabe (r. 811–813) and Leo V the Armenian (r. 813–820) that followed after Nikephoros I.[1] The date of authorship is disputed, but the vividness of the narrative suggests that it was written by a contemporary of the events described.[1]

The two fragments were identified[4] as forming part of the same work by Henri Grégoire based on similarities in style. Although generally an unreliable indicator, this hypothesis has since been commonly accepted.[1] Both fragments provide information not included in the contemporary histories of Theophanes the Confessor and Theophanes Continuatus, and Grégoire hypothesized, again based on style, that the Scriptor Incertus was a continuation of the work of the 6th-century historian John Malalas;[1] the second fragment was known to, and used by, the late 10th-century Pseudo-Symeon Magister, but he does not appear to have used it for the sections of his history before Michael I.[1]

Editions[edit]

  • 1st fragment, critical edition with French translation, I. Dujčev, "La chronique byzantine de l'an 811", in: Travaux et Mémoires 1, 1965, pp. 205–254. English translation in Wikisource-logo.svg WikiSource.
  • 2nd fragment included in the Bonn series edition of "Leo Grammaticus", Bonn, 1842, pp. 335–362 (archive.org link); corrections and commentary on the Bonn edition by Robert Browning.[5]
  • Critical edition of both fragments with Italian translation, Francesca Iadevaia, Scriptor incertus: testo critico, traduzione e note., Messina, 1st ed. 1987, 2nd ed. 1997, pp. 149

Additional literature is given by Paul Stephenson.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Kazhdan 1991, pp. 1855–1856.
  2. ^ a b Stephenson 2010.
  3. ^ Neville 2018, p. 81.
  4. ^ Grégoire 1936, pp. 417–420.
  5. ^ Browning 1965, pp. 389–411.

Sources[edit]

  • Browning, Robert (1965). "Notes on the «Scriptor Incertus de Leone Armenio»". Byzantion (in French). 35: 389–411.
  • Grégoire, Henri (1936). "Un nouveau fragment du «Scriptor incertus de Leone Armenio»". Byzantion (in French). 11: 417–420.
  • Kazhdan, Alexander (1991). "Scriptor Incertus". In Kazhdan, Alexander (ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 1855–1856. ISBN 0-19-504652-8.
  • Neville, Leonora (2018). Guide to Byzantine Historical Writing. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-108663946.
  • Stephenson, Paul (2010) [2003]. "The Chronicle of 811 and the Scriptor Incertus". Retrieved 12 September 2018.