Edition of the Chronicon Paschale

(FWF-Project P 25485: 2014–2017)


The edition project addresses the long-standing need for a critical edition of a foundational text of late antique and early Byzantine historiography. The much-criticized 1832 edition published under the supervision of Ludwig Dindorf did not respect the manipulations in the main codex Vaticanus gr. 1941 of the end of the tenth century and thus presents a very problematic text. Moreover, this edition lacks a critical apparatus fontium and locorum. The project prepares a new edition according to the most exacting modern standards for the series Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae, Series Vindobonensis, as well as accompanying studies in scholarly journals. The sources of the text are also analysed, in part in co-operation with the “Forschungsstelle der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften Historisch-philologischer Kommentar zur Chronik des Johannes Malalas” (head Mischa Meier). The project also co-operates with other experts of late antique and early medieval / Byzantine historiography.

In addition to the editorial work, the project also engages with the text representation connected with the author’s intention to enforce his dating system against other concurring dating models through his “annuarium” with the precise dating of central events for Christianity. The descriptive part of the chronicle varies substantially in detail and thus offers an interesting research field of illocutionary aspects (apart from its dependence on relevant sources). The analysis of the sources and of the very arbitrary selection of facts provides insight into the functioning of a selective memorial culture while raising new questions of open text theory. The text opens up a wide range of textpragmatical special investigations.

Project progress: problems which the project leader came across during the edition project of the Chronicon paschale (Textstrata, Codex Unicus errors, previous misinterpretations) led to the preparation of two additional monographs accompanying the edition: "Studies on the Chronicon Paschale" and "Studies on the Byzantine computus". They will also relieve the otherwise necessary comment of the edition.

In addition to the Greek edition, a commented German translation will be published separately in the series “Bibliothek der Griechischen Literatur” (publishing house Hiersemann) by Christian Gastgeber.