Madrid Skylitzes

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Depiction of Greek fire in the Madrid Skylitzes
Depiction of the baptism of Boris I of Bulgaria
Meeting between Emperor John Tzimiskes and Sviatoslav I of Kiev
Serbs massacre the Byzantines in the mountain passes at the Battle of Bar

The Madrid Skylitzes is a twelfth century illuminated manuscript version of the Synopsis of Histories (Greek: Σύνοψις Ἱστοριῶν, Byzantine Greek: [ˈsy̜.nop.sisˈon]), by John Skylitzes, which covers the reigns of the Byzantine emperors from the death of Nicephorus I in 811 to the deposition of Michael VI in 1057.[1] The manuscript was produced at the Norman court of Palermo in Sicily and is now housed in the Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid. It remains the only preserved Greek-language illustrated chronicle from the Byzantine period.[2] The chronicle includes 574 miniatures detailing depictions of everyday life in the Byzantine Empire such as boats, literary practices, sieges, and ceremonies,[1] in "both purely Byzantine and Western styles while also reflecting Islamic elements".[3]


  1. ^ a b Sussex Centre for Byzantine Cultural History, University of Sussex. "The Madrid Skylitzes Project". Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  2. ^ Tsamakda, Vasiliki (2000). "The Miniatures of the Madrid Skylitzes". academia. p. 127. Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  3. ^ Evans, Helen C. & Wixom, William D. (1997). The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era, A.D. 843–1261, p. 438. Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 9780810965072. Retrieved 8 September 2023.


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

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