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The Concept of Linguistic Variation in Manuel Moschopoulos’s “Commentaries on Sophocles”

Andrea Cuomo, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Fellow 2016–2017, Fall

My second book, a critical edition of Manuel Moschopoulos’s commentaries on Sophocles’s Electra, focuses on the authorship of the comments on Sophocles and the teaching of Greek in the Palaiologan period. I think my edition will be an important source of reception and sociolinguistic studies, even if it is impossible to detect who the author of every single note was. This commentary had an impact on generations of students and their language. Specifically, I observed that the “Moschopoulean” comments on Sophocles were used for teaching Atticized Medieval Greek. These works taught Byzantine authors how to write, and audiences to read and to demand that poetical forms and conventions be respected; they show what the Byzantines considered to be Atticized Greek. During my stay at Dumbarton Oaks, I also started organizing a two-day workshop, “The Editing of Textbooks and the Study of Medieval Greek Literature,” which takes place in Vienna at the end of November. In addition, I also prepared two articles—on some interesting extra-Moschopoulean scholia on Sophocles’s Electra and on the sociolinguistic implications of studies on medieval textbooks, respectively—which have been accepted for publication.