• Elizabeth A. Fisher


Resources available for Byzantine scholarship in general and for studying Psellos in particular have improved greatly in recent years. Electronic databases assist editors of texts in isolating an author’s stylistic habits and in identifying parallel and source texts, while increasingly sensitive search engines provide wide access to scholarly articles, online manuscript catalogues, online publications of texts and translations and great potential for further expansion. Teubner has published Psellos’ extensive writings in genre-defined volumes such as poetry, philosophy, forensic orations and hagiographic orations that represent modern categories of literature but do not capture Byzantine conceptualizations. Two examples illustrate this observation. (1) Although the oration on the Miracle at Blachernae is among Psellos’ hagiographic writings, it contains a brief ecphrasis of a “living icon” prominent in art-historical discussions; however, the oration chiefly focuses upon the Byzantine court system and Psellos’ suggestion for designating a miracle to resolve a vexed legal case. (2) Psellos’ Encomion on Symeon Metaphrastes resembles a saint’s vita and his hymn/canon for Metaphrastes represents a step towards honoring a “new” Byzantine saint. This process continued for 400 years. The 14th-century Hesychast movement used Metaphrastes’ writings to validate their own views and expedited his inclusion in the Synaxarion of Constantinople in the 15th Century.

How to Cite
FISHER, Elizabeth A.. PSELLOS’ HAGIOGRAPHICAL WRITINGS: RESOURCES AND NEW DIRECTIONS. Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai Theologia Orthodoxa, [S.l.], v. 66, n. 1, p. 207-216, aug. 2021. ISSN 2065-9474. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 29 nov. 2021. doi:
The XXIIIrd International Congress of Byzantine Studies in Belgrade (2016)