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Michael Psellus (1018-after 1078):

Complete Text | Introduction | Book 1 | Book 2 | Book 3 | Book 4 | Book 5 | Book 6 | Book 7

The entire translated text of the Michael Psellus' Chronographia is available. The edition used is that of E.R.A Sewter published by Yale University Press in1953 [and by Routledge in Britain.] This copyright on this 1953 text was not renewed. Extensive inquiries were made in the records of copyright renewals, and a correspondence with Yale University Press (on file) confirmed the situation.

There is a later and revised 1966 edition of the translation, published by Penguin. The text is "substantially unaltered". It includes an introduction by Sewter rather than Joan M. Hussey, a different numbering of notes, a slightly updated bibliography, and, unhelpfully, the removal of paragraph and section numbering from the text.

The text here is presented as either one complete file, or in "book" length files.

Additional Bibliography

Since Sewter's 1953 edition, and even since the 1966 edition, there has been considerably more work done one Psellus, and about his period.

Texts by Psellus [Psellos]

Note, only One 12th centuyy manuscript of the Chronographia survived. 

Michael Psellus. Chronographia, ed. Konstantinos N. Sathas, Bibliotheca greaca medii aevi, vol 4, (Paris: 1874) 

Michael Psellus. Chronographia, ed. J.B. Bury, (London: Methuen, 1899) 

Michael Psellus. The History of Psellus, edited with critical notes and indices by Constantine Sathas. 1st AMS ed. (New York : AMS Press, 1979), Reprint of the 1899 ed. of Chronographia, published by Methuen, London 

Michael Psellus. Chronographia, ed and French trans E. Renauld, 2 vols, (Paris: 1926-18) 

Michael Psellus. Chronographia, English trans. as Fourteen Byzantine Rulers, trans. E.R.A. Sewter, rev. ed., (New York: Penguin, 1966) 

Michael Psellus. Imperatori di Bisanzio : (cronografia): introduzione di Dario Del Corno ; testo critico a cura di Salvatore Impellizzeri ; commento di Ugo Criscuolo; traduzione di Silvia Ronchey. 1a ed., (Milan: Fondazione L.Valla : A. Mondadori, 1984) 

Michael Psellus. ChronographiaKhronografiia, perevod, stat'ia i primechaniia IA.N. Liubarskogo, (Moskva : "Nauka", 1978) 

Michael Psellos, Bysantinska porträtt, trans S. Linnér, (Stockholm, 1984). (Swedish translation)

Michael Psellus. Historia syntomos, recensuit, Anglice vertit et commentario instruxit W.J. Aerts. Editio princeps, Corpus fontium historiae Byzantinae ; Series Berolinensis, Vol 30., (Berlin; W. de Gruyter, 1990), edition with English translation.

Michael Psellus. Monody on the Emperor Andronicus Ducas, French trans. Paul Gautier, Revue des études byzantines 24 (1966), 154-56

Michael Psellus. A Chrysobull of Confirmation, French trans. Paul Gautier, Revue des études byzantines 34 (1976), 77-99

Michael Psellus. Monodies, French trans. Paul Gautier, Revue des études byzantines 36 (1978), 83-151

Michael Psellus. Peri paradoxon akousmaton/ De mirabilibus auscultationibus, ed and Italian trans. Nozioni paradossali; testo critico, introduzione, traduzione e commentario by Olimpio Musso, (Naples: Universita di Napoli, Cattedra di filologia bizantina, 1977)

Michael Psellus. Speeches. Selections. Michaelis Pselli Orationes hagiographicae, ed Elizabeth A. Fisher, (Stuttgart: B.G. Teubner, 1994).

Michael Psellus. Michaelis Pselli Scripta Minora, ed. E. Kurtz, (Milan: 1936)

Michael Psellus. The Essays on Euripides and George of Pisidia and on Heliodorus and Achilles Tatius, ed. and trans. Andre R. Dyck, Byzantina Vindobonensia 16, (Vienna: Ostereichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1986)
-English translation of some essays:

Michael Psellus. Encomio per Giovanni, piissimo metropolita di Euchaita e protosincello / Michele Psello ; introduzione, traduzione e note di Rosario Anastasi, (Padua:: CEDAM, 1968)

Michael Psellus. Orazione in memoria di Costantino Lichudi, introduzione, traduzione, commento e appendici a cura di Ugo Criscuolo, (Messina : Edizioni Dott. A. Sfameni, 1983)

Michael Psellus. In Mariam Sclerenam, testo critico, introduzione e commentario, by Maria Dora Spadaro, (Catania : Universita di Catania, Facolta di lettere e filosofia, 1984)

Michael Psellus. "Eloge inedit du lecteur Jean Kroustoulas par Michel Psellos", ed. Paul Gautier, Rivista di Studi Bizantini e Neoellenici 17-19 (1982) [translation?]

Michael Psellus. To monacho kyr Ioanne kai gegonoti Patriarche to Xiphilino. Italian trans, Epistola a Giovanni Xifilino, testo critico, introduzione, traduzione e commentario, by Ugo Criscuolo, (Naples: Universita di Napoli, Cattedra di filologia bizantina, 1991).

Michael Psellus. Pros ton Patriarchen kyr Michael ton Keroularion.
Italian trans. Epistola a Michele Cerulario: testo critico, introduzione, traduzione e note, by Ugo Criscuolo, (Naples: Universita di Napoli, Cattedra di filologia bizantina, 1973)

Michael Psellus. "Letter to the Sultan Malik-Shah", French trans. Paul Gautier, Revue des études byzantines 35 (1977), 73-97

Michael Psellus. Liber de quatuor mathematicis scientiis.
-Pselli, doctiss. uiri, Perspicuus liber de quatuor mathematicis scientijs : arithmetica, musica, geometria, & astronomia Grace& Latine nunc primum editus, Guilielmo Xylandro Augustano interprete ; cum nonnullis eiusdem annotationibus , (Basel: Per Ioannem oporinum, [1556])

Michael Psellus. Psellou ton peri Arithmetikes synopsis = Pselli Arithmetices compendivm, (Paris: In officina Christiani Wecheli, 1538).

Studies in English since 1966

The Cambridge Medieval History. 2d ed.. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966-67), Vol 4: Pts 1 and 2, ed. Joan Hussey
Vast, with good bib and maps

Angold, Michael, The Byzantine Empire 1025-1204 : a Political History, ( London ; New York : Longman, 1984)
-perhaps the best place to start.

Angold, Michael, Church and society in Byzantium under the Comneni, 1081-1261, (Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1995)

Hussey, J. M. (Joan Mervyn), The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986)
Sums up the issues well

Kazhdan, Aleksandr Petrovich and Ann Wharton Epstein, Change in Byzantine Culture in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries, (Berkeley : University of California Press, c1985)

Laiou, Angeliki E., and Henry Maguire, eds., Byzantium, a World Civilization, (Washington, D.C. : Dumbarton Oaks, 1992)
Short introduction

Obolensky, Dimitri, The Byzantine Commonwealth: Eastern Europe, 500-1453, (London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971)
Perhaps modeled on optimistic ideas of the "British Commonwealth" after World War II

Ostrogorsky, George, History of the Byzantine state, translated from the German by Joan Hussey. Rev. ed., (New Brunswick, N.J., Rutgers University Press, 1969)
Still the standard history. Good bibliographies. Concentrates on political history.

Papadakis, Aristeides, The Christian East and the rise of the papacy : the Church 1071-1453 A.D, (Crestwood, N.Y. : St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1994)
This is less convincing than Meyendorff's Imperial Unity.

Treadgold, Warren T. Byzantium and its army, 284-1081. (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1995)

Complete Text | Introduction | Book 1 | Book 2 | Book 3 | Book 4 | Book 5 | Book 6 | Book 7


Michael Psellus: Chronographia, trans E.R.A Sewter, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953)

This copyright on this text was not renewed. Extensive inquiries were made in the records of copyright renewals, and then a correspondence with Yale University Press (on file) confirmed the situation.

Note that there is a later and revised edition of the translation, published by Penguin, and that should be referred to for scholarly purposes.


This etext slightly alters the organization and much of the typography of the printed edition.

Page numbers of the printed edition are indicated in the texts by numbers in brackets, e.g. [57].

Some short notes are placed in the text in brackets [*like this].

Longer notes are marked in the text with two asterisks **, and placed at the end of each chapter

Text scanned by Hanna Orr.

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

Paul Halsall, January 1999