Leo the Mathematician and Philosopher, Works, edited, commented on and introduced by Tatiana A. Senina (nun Kassia), 2017


in Scrinium

This little book addresses a large audience but is worth of attention of those scholars who have special interests in, at least, the following fields: the maze of the ninth-century Byzantine Church history, the phenomenon called by Paul Lemerle Le premier humanisme byzantin (the title of his seminal 1971 monograph where a whole chapter is dedicated to Leo), and, of course, Byzantine secular poetry.


The core of the book is the complete translation into Russian of Leo’s non-scientific works, that is, his only preserved homily (on the Annunciation), eleven epigrams ascribed to him with unequal likelihood, and the long poem on Job first published by L.G. Westerink in 1986. The notes of the translator indicate a number of direct and indirect sources overlooked by the previous researchers1 and, therefore, they should be consulted even by those who read Leo in Greek.


Senina has her own picture of the mutual relationship between the main actors of the ninth-century Byzantine Church history, which is summarized in her Introduction and notes [but previously defended in several papers; cf., among others, Scr 2 (2006), pp. 408-417, and4 (2008), pp. 260-298]. She considers Leo as a devout Christian throughout his life, even though he was an iconoclast bishop in his early career and, until the end of his life, much more involved into the secular culture than Photius. Senina supposes that Leo joined the Ignatian anti-Photian coalition in 867 and died before Photious’s return to the patriarchal see in 877.


The book contains two appendices. The first one is a commented translation of the poems of Leo’s former disciple Constantine of Sicilia against his own teacher, then already died (pp. 112-121). This author was accusing Leo of having rejected Christianity and adopted Greek paganism. The second one is also some poetry: the liturgical service to Leo as a saint written by Senina herself (or, better, nun Kassia) in Church Slavonic (pp. 122-136). It is appointed on October 30, the day when Leo is commemorated among the saints in the Synaxarium of Constantinople.2

1 For the most important case, the quotation of Gregory of Nazianzus in Leo’s homily, s. T.A. Senina, “Le Philosophe et le Théologien: à propos de l’homélie de Léon le Mathématicien sur l’Annonciation,” Scr 4 (2008), pp. 328-333.


2 Senina’s claim that, in my 2002 paper, I have “proven” the authorship by Cyr of Panopolis of the Paraphrase of the Gospel of John ascribed to Nonnus of Panopolis (p. 59, n. 53) is a misunderstanding. In fact, I put forward such guess and nothing more, although my aim was to point out the Sitz im Leben of the Paraphrase (the common milieu of the two poets of Panopolis, Nonnus and Cyr) rather than its author.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

Leo the Mathematician and Philosopher, Works, edited, commented on and introduced by Tatiana A. Senina (nun Kassia), 2017


in Scrinium

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 3 3 0
Full Text Views 14 14 14
PDF Downloads 3 3 3
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0