Type 4032
(formerly typ/2128)

Ἴσως βλέπων τις τήνδε τὴν σοφὴν βίβλον
πολυτελῶς μὲν ἐντὸς ἠγλαϊσμένην
παγκοσμίως δ’ ἔξωθεν ὡραϊσμένην,
ἐγκαλέσειε τῷ πόθῳ τετευχότι
μάλιστα δ’ ὄντι καὶ μοναστῇ τὸν τρόπον
ὡς δὴ περιττὰ ταῦτα κακίζειν θέλων.
"τί γὰρ" τυχὸν φράσειε "χρυσὸς εἰς βίον,
καὶ λεπτότητες ὑμένων καὶ γραμμάτων
καὶ χρυσομορφόγραφος αὐτῶν ἰδέα
ἐξ ἀργύρου τε κλεῖθρα κεχρυσωμένα
καὶ φαιδρόμορφον ἄμφιον τοῦ βιβλίου;
ὄνησιν εἰσφέροιεν εἰς ἀσκουμένους".
ἀλλ’ ἄνπερ ᾖ τέλειος ὃς ταῦτα βλέπει,
οὐ στήσεταί γε μέχρι τῶν ὁρωμένων
οὐδ’ ἐγχρονίσει τῇ κάτω θεωρίᾳ·
κἀν οὐκ ἀπεικὸς τὸν μέγαν ὑμνογράφον
τὸν πάνσοφον νοῦν καὶ καθωραϊσμένον
καὶ τοῖσδε κοσμεῖν τοῖς ὑλικοῖς ἐκ πόθου.
ἀλλ’ ᾗ μὲν ἐχρῆν θαυμάσει καὶ τὰς ὕλας
ὡς κτίσμα καὶ ποίημα τοῦ παντεργάτου
ὃς πάντα ποιεῖ πανσθενῶς καὶ πανσόφως·
ἄργυρον ἐκ γῆς ὑμένας δ’ ἐκ ποιμνίων
ἐκ δ’ αὖ γε σηρῶν καῖ βαφῆς θαλαττίας
ὕφασμα λαμπρόμορφον ἠγλαϊσμένον·
ὅλον δὲ τὸν νοῦν ἐμβαθύνας τοῖς ἔσω
τοῦς ψυχοκερδεῖς θηράσει μόνον λόγους
καὶ ταῖς προσευχαῖς ἐνδιατρίψει πλέον,
τρυγῶν ἀληθῶς ψυχικὴν σωτηρίαν
καὶ τὴν ἄνω φέρουσαν ἀπλανῆ τρίβον
εὐθυβόλῳ μάλιστα βαδίζων τάχει.
Text source G. Parpulov 2004, Toward a history of Byzantine Psalters, Chicago: 183-184
Text status Text completely known
Editorial status Not a critical text
Genre(s)
Person(s)
Poet
Markos (11th c.) (monachos)
Metre(s) Dodecasyllable
Subject(s)
Tag(s)
Translation(s) 'Maybe someone looking at this book of wisdom, which is expensively ornamented on the inside and beautifully adorned on the outside, could blame the one who has made it out of desire – (5) especially since he is a monk in his way of life – as he wants to condemn these things as vain. He might say: 'Of what interest is gold for life, and the delicacy of parchment and letters and their gold-written appearance, (10) and the clasps gilded with silver and the splendid wrap of the book? They should be useful to the ascetics'. Yet, if the one who looks at these things is truly accomplished, he will not stop at the visible things (15) nor will he linger over the earthly contemplation (even if it is not out of place to honour out of desire the great Psalmist, that very wise and beautiful mind, also with these material things). No, he will befittingly admire the material things too, (20) as a creation and an artefact of the creator of the universe, who makes all things with great might and wisdom: silver from the earth, parchment from sheep, beautifully adorned textile from silkworms and the dye from the sea. (25) And as he will have immersed his whole mind in the inner part, he will only seek after the salutary words and he will spend more time with the prayers. In doing so he will truly reap the salvation of the soul, and he will most definitely (30) walk with steady speed the straight path leading upwards'.
Language: English
K. Bentein, K. Demoen 2012, The Reader in Eleventh-Century Book Epigrams, in F. Bernard, K. Demoen (eds.), Poetry and its Contexts in Eleventh-century Byzantium, Farnham/Burlington, 69-88: 85
Bibliography
Number of verses 30
Occurrence(s) [16931] ἴσως βλέπων τις τήνδε τὴν σοφὴν βίβλ(ον)
OXFORD - Bodleian Library - Clarke 15 (f. 7v-9r)
(30 verses)
Acknowledgements
Identification Vassis ICB 2005, 368: "Librarii subscr. in psalterium"
Permalink https://www.dbbe.ugent.be/types/4032
Last modified: 2021-09-03.