Codex Baroccianus graecus 131, a thirteen century miscellany, contains among other things a rare sample of philosophical teaching material (fols. 397v-446r) which can be dated in its compilation stage to the eleventh and twelfth centuries A. D. The collection as a whole seems to be unique and its importance has been recognized as such for some time. Its similarity with other collections of the eleventh century, necessitated a comparative study with them and in particular M. Psellos' "Omnifaria doctrina". After a careful analysis of the material of both collections one iclines against the hypothesis of Psellos being the author of the miscellany; nevertheless, textual evidence suggests that it must belong to his philosophical tradition. The first chapter of the introduction, therefore, deals with the problem of authorship and date of compilation.
The second and third chapters explore the re-awakening of a philosophical and scientific interest as the result of a scholarly learning among Byzantine intellectuals and stress the definition prevalent among them of philosophy as the "art of arts and science of sciences". The return also to the Aristotelian physical theory helped in providing a rational explanation for natural phenomena, in contrast to pietistic accounts based on biblical exegesis. This renewed philosophical and scientific interest had its counter-part in the rediscovery of Neoplatonic philosophy wherein, as it is known, transcendent and immanent modes of thought are reconciled. This Christian Neoplatonic renaissance as it is displayed in the works of M. Psellos and I. Italos, encouraged a comparative study of pagan and Christian thought, leading to an attempt at a construction of a metaphysical system.
The fourth chapter considers the nature and purpose of the collection and whether it can be regarded as a school compendium. In order to arrive at a conclusion, the method of composition of Byzatine school-texts had to be investigated.
Finally, the findings of the preceding chapters are brought together in the conclusion, to assess the importance of this collection in so far as it reflects a significant aspect of the intellectual milieu and the compiler' s activity as teacher of higher education at work in the eleventh century.
Paleographical comments and textual difficulties, as well as the editorial principles that were followed in publishing the material of the "Anonymous" are discussed in the small section at the end of the introduction, under the heading Editorial Remarks.
I am indebted first of all to Prof. R. Browning for his guidance in paleographical matters when I was transcribing the Greek text, as well as for his learned and stimulating ideas on the history of intellectual life of the period to which this philosophical miscellany belongs. I am also greatful to Prof. A. C. Lloyd for his help and advice concerning the theological and philosophical part of the work.
Ilias N. Pontikos