Byzantine Epigrams and Icons of John of Euchaita

14TH century codex manuscript


Original in Personal Library of Felipe -II . Royal Library of the Escorial

One of the most important literary works from the Greek collection of de Real Monasterio del Escorial Library. Size 32 x 23,5 cm. 136 pages. A literary text written with devout intention in a city where the minority inherited a legacy of centuries of pagan and Christian literature.

A work made in the 11th century, a vital time in the history of the Byzantine Empire by Jhon of Euchaita or John Mauropous, follower of the Byzantine hymnographic tradition whose hymns continue to be chanted, like the work Akanthistos.

The Epigrams constitute the most ancient poetical Greek work, and the author in this case uses them for the development of the exposition of the Twelve Great yearly Feast days of the Byzantine Orthodox church: the Birt of the Virgin, Presentation of the Virgin, Annunciation, Nativity, Presentation in the Temple, Baptism, Transfiguration, Palm Sunday, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost.

The codex reached the Royal Escorial Library in 1567, sent by Philip II and belonging to his own personal library, a copy of the original made by Nicolas de la Torre, the emperor´s favourite copyist. Bound in velvet on board with clasps.