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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter sketches the transmission of Aristophanes's plays from his lifetime through the Renaissance. Little can be said of their circulation until the end of antiquity, and though they may have been read in early Byzantium, the transmission can no longer be traced at the end of the eighth century. It revived in the ninth century, as Photius displays knowledge of Plutus and Frogs. Few manuscripts survive from the middle Byzantine period; the best is MS Ravenna (second half of the tenth century), which, apart from a Renaissance apograph now in Munich, alone contains all eleven plays. The Byzantine government's return to its former capital in 1261 was followed by a cultural revival, especially in ca. 1280-ca. 1350. Thomas Magister may have confined himself to the triad. Demetrius Triclinius's understanding of some basic principles of meter enabled him to make a significant contribution to improving the texts. Manuscripts copied after ca. 1350 offer little of value, but further research may provide a fuller picture of the handling of the text in the Palaeologan period and may accordingly overturn this negative judgment.

Keywords: MS Ravenna, early Byzantium, middle Byzantine period, Palaeologan period, Thomas Magister, Demetrius Triclinius

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