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Leontios Makhairas

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Leontios Makhairas or Machairas (in Greek: Λεόντιος Μαχαιράς) was a mediæval Cypriot historian.

The main source of information on him is his chronicle, written in the mediæval Cypriot dialect. The chronicle documents events from the visit of Saint Helena to Cyprus until the times of the Kingdom of Cyprus. Makhairas was Orthodox Christian but wrote with respect for the pope and the Catholic ruling class of Cyprus for whom he was working. He is the only source on "Re Alexis" rebellion of Cypriot serfs, which he condemned. He only used the word 'basileus' (Greek for sovereign) for the emperor at Constantinople, and referred to the king of Cyprus as "regas" (from Latin rex king). Makhairas was also present at the Battle of Khirokitia. The text as we have becomes abbreviated after 1432, and historians believe the remainder of the text is a subsequent accretion.

There are manuscripts of the Chronicle at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice, and Ravenna. The Oxford manuscript was copied in Paphos in June 1555, according to an additional paragraph after the end of the chronicle. The chronicle was published by Konstantinos Sathas as part of his "mediæval library" in Venice in 1873. The chronicles of Cyprus by Francesco Amadi and Diomede Strambaldi published by Rene de Mas Latrie in Paris in 1891 were translations of Makhairas's chronicle into Italian.

The chronicle was published again by Richard M. Dawkins with an English translation as "Recital Concerning the Sweet Land of Cyprus Entitled 'Chronicle'-- The chronicle of Makhairas" in Oxford in 1932. The Ravenna manuscript has not yet been incorporated into a critical edition.

External links

  • [1] Text (Nick Nicholas)
  • [2] Text (Univ. of Athens)

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