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Symeon Metaphrastes

Born: fl. 10th c. AD
Died: fl. 10th c. AD
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Christian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Religion

Nationality: Byzantium
Executive summary: Byzantine hagiographer

Symeon Metaphrastes, the most renowned of the Byzantine hagiographers. Scholars have been very much divided as to the period in which he lived, dates ranging from the 9th century to the 14th having been suggested; but it is now generally agreed that he flourished in the second half of the 10th century. Still greater divergences of opinion have existed as to the lives of saints coming from his pen, and here again the solution of the problem has been attained by studying the composition of the great Greek menologies. The menology of Metaphrastes is a collection of lives of saints for the twelve months of the year, easily recognizable among analogous collections, and consisting of about 150 distinct pieces, some of which are taken bodily from older collections, while others have been subjected to a new recension. Among other works attributed (though with some uncertainty) to Symeon are a Chronicle, a canonical collection, some letters and poems, and other writings of less importance. Symeon's great popularity is due more particularly to his collection of lives of saints. About his life we know only very few details. The Greeks honor him as a saint on the 28th of November, and an office has been composed in his honor.



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