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Σιντίπας [Sindipas]

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The Mythologicon Syntipa [= Sindipatou philosophou (Book of fictional stories about the philosopher Sindipas) was one of the well known and most appreciated by readers prose "Readings of the New Hellenism", or "Popular Literary Modern Greek Printed Books". It saw many editions in Venice and Athens, and had interesting written and oral "fortunes" from the beginning of the 18th c. till the Interwar period of the 20th c.

As a text it was the last in time Greek version of the so-called Book of Sindipas / Book of Sindbad (the Philosopher), an older Weltbuch of oriental – and most probably Middle Eastern/Persian – origin, containing also short-story material known previously into a wider geographical area, from Central Asia till the Hellenistic and Greco-Roman world. It was formed as a kind of novel combining a royal court thriller, a "mirror of princes" or even Erziehungsroman, and a set of "utilitarian teachings and questions-and-answers"; made up of a "narrative-frame" and of more than two decades short stories of love and adventure, it explored a wide range of relationships between the two sexes in an instructive, yet often unusual, daring and even scabrous way. Translations and imitations of this book are witnessed throughout the Middle and Near East, and Europe during the middle- and late- Middle Ages and the first centuries of the Modern Times.

Although the Modern Greek version contained in the Mythologicon Syntipa tou philosophou was created rather as a "compromising", and sometimes linguistically mixted (and unappealing for most of us today) product of the 17c., it is nevertheless the only printed result of a rich previous Greek manuscript tradition that seems to have started in Melitene (today Malatya) during the multi-ethnic (and multicultural) environment of East Asia Minor/Anatolia of the tumultuous end of the 11th c.

Focused on the needs of a first philological-"handy" edition of this novel, the new I.N.S. book, edited by G. Kechagioglou and furnished with rich illustration, offers an extensive Introduction, an analytical Glossary, a Selection of bibliography, as well as a series of Appendices that also allow a quite comprehensive overview of the thematic structure and contents, the language and style of the earlier Greek manuscript versions of the Book of Sindipas, and of a late-Byzantine collection of "myths" (about animals, people and other beings) doubtfully judged my some scholars as being associated with the first known translator of the novel into Greek, the "grammarian" Michael Andreopoulos in Melitene.

The editor, G. Kechagioglou, is Professor Emeritus at the A.U.Th.


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