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Manasses, Constantine

MANASSES, CONSTANTINE, Byzantine chronicler, flourished in the 12th century during the reign of Manuel I. (Comnenus) (1143-1180). He was the author of a Chronicle or historical synopsis of events from the creation of the world to the end of the reign of Nicephorus Botaniates (1081), written by direction of Irene, the emperor's sister-in-law. It consists of about 7000 lines in the so-called " political " metre. 1 There is little to be said of it, except that it is rather more poetical than the iambic chronicle of Ephraim (about 150 years later). It obtained great popularity and appeared in a free prose translation ; it was also translated into Slavonic. The poetical romance of the Loves of Aristander and Callilhea, also in " political " verse, is only known from the fragments preserved in the *Po5wvia (rose-garden) of Macarius Chrysocephalus (14th century). Manasses also wrote a short biography of Oppian, and some descriptive pieces (all except one unpublished) on artistic and other subjects.

EDITIONS. Chronicle in Bonn, Corpus scriptorum hist. Byz., 1st ed. Bekker (1837) and in J. P. Migne, Patrologia graeca, cxxvii. ; Aristander and Callilhea in R. Hercher s Scriptores erotici graeci, ii. (1859) ; " Life of Oppian " in A. Westermann, Vitarum scriptores graeci minores (1845). A long didactic poem in " political " verse (edited by E. Miller in Annuaire de I'assoc. pour I' encouragement des Etudes trecques en France, ix. 1875) is attributed to Manasses or one of his imitators. See also F. Hirsch, Byzantinische Studien (1876); C. Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur (1897).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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