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Photius: The Bibliotheca
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Photius: The Bibliotheca

by ,

Bloomsbury 1994

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Photius, patriarch of Constantinople in 858–867 and 878–886, is one of the most important figures of the Middle Ages. His stand on doctrinal matters brought closer the schism between Catholic and Orthodox Churches, with fateful consequences for the history of Europe.

Photius was also a scholar of exceptional ability who contributed greatly to the revival of learning, and among his many writings the book which shows his learning to best advantage is the Bibliotheca, a set of notes and essays which make up a record of his private reading. In the ninth century it was still possible to read vast quantities of ancient literature, both pagan and Christian, that has since been lost, and Photius is often out best or only source of information about these lost books. Though he may have had too great a liking for fantastic tales and trivial detail—he preserves the earliest account of a truth-drug and of the mimetic ability of parrots—his summaries are of great interest. And most of them are not just summaries: Photius was a keen critic of style and content, and can be credited with taking a decisive step towards the invention of the book review.

Nigel Wilson’s scholarly and readable translation of a substantial selection of passages from the Bibliotheca, some never before translated, makes this, the most important work of Byzantine literature, accessible to the English-speaking public.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Presents Photius’ notes and essays which contain a record of his reading
  • Provides a valuable source of information about lost ancient literature
  • Offers a scholarly and readable translation of an important Byzantine work

Product Details

About N.G. Wilson

N.G. Wilson is emeritus fellow of Lincoln College at the University of Oxford.

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