Tzetzes’ Letters and Histories: A Sample in English Translation with Notes and Introduction
By Aaron Heinrich
Master’s Thesis, University of Oregon, 2009
Abstract: The letters and commentaries of the 12th century Byzantine scholar John Tzetzes are an important source of literary material from classical Greece and offer an invaluable record of classical scholarship in his era. Tzetzes explained the myriad and often obscure literary references he makes in his letters as part of his Histories, a long poem on various literary, mythological and historical subjects. The first of Tzetzes’ letters and the accompanying section of his Histories incorporate subjects ranging from ancient Greek representations of idiocy, to the aspects of the god Hermes, to the friendship of Perithoos and Theseus, and incorporate material from authors including Herodotus, Aristophanes, and Homer. This translation of these sections makes a sample of Tzetzes’ work available for the first time in English, and is accompanied by explanatory notes and introduction.