Madrid Skylitzes

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The Madrid Skylitzes is a richly illustrated illuminated manuscript of the Synopsis of Histories (Σύνοψις Ἱστοριῶν), by John Skylitzes, which covers the reigns of the Byzantine emperors from the death of Nicephorus I in 811 to the deposition of Michael IV in 1057. The manuscript was produced in Sicily in the 12th century, and is now at the Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid, with the shelfmark MS Graecus Vitr. 26-2; it widely known as the Madrid Skylitzes, Codex Græcus Matritensis Ioannis Skyllitzes, or Skyllitzes Matritensis. It is the only surviving illustrated manuscript of a Greek chronicle, and includes 574 miniatures. It is unclear whether these illustrations are copies of earlier Byzantine images or were newly created specifically for this copy.

Depiction of Greek fire in the Madrid Skylitzes
Meeting between Emperor John Tzimiskes and Sviatoslav I of Kiev in the Madrid Skylitzes

Bibliography[edit]

  • Color facsimile edition by Militos (Μίλητος) Publishers, ISBN 960-8460-16-6.
  • Vasiliki Tsamakda, The Illustrated Chronicle of Ioannes Skylitzes, Leiden 2002.
  • Bente Bjørnholt and J. Burke, eds. "The Cultures and Contexts of the Madrid Skylitzes" International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 13 July 2004 (pub. 2005).

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