This 15th-century manuscript contains a Greek tragedy attributed to the Alexandrian scholar and poet Lycophron. Lycophron worked at the famous library of Alexandria and, beside his scholarly activities, he was also a prolific playwright. His celebrated tragedies, however, have not come down to us and the only one that survives under his name is the Alexandra contained in this manuscript, but its exact authorship by Lycophronis now debated.
The language of the play is a highly polished and difficult Greek which was extensively commented by later scholars. Marginal explications by a famous 12th-century Byzantine scholar, Isaac Tzetzes, are preserved around the play in this copy.
The manuscript, copied by three different scribes, originally formed one volume with a copy of Pindar's Odes and a geographical work (Burney MS 98) and was in the possession of George the Count of Corinth. It was at his sale in 1803 that the classicist Charles Burney acquired it with whose library it came to the British Museum in 1818.
- Article by:
- Julie Boeten, Sien De Groot
- Art, The makers of Greek manuscripts, Scholarship
Byzantines were famous for inscribing verses in and on important objects including books. In this article, Julie Boeten and Sien de Groot explore the content, function and value of these so-called book epigrams.