5. An EROTIC writer, or novelist whose name is written in some MSS. " Eumathius."
With regard to his native place, he is called in the MSS. of his work Μακρεμβολίτης
, which is usually referred to Constantinople, or Παρεμβολίτης
, according to which he would be a native of the Egyptian town of Parembole.
He appears to have been a man of rank, and high in office, for the MSS. describe him as πρωτονωβελέσιμος
and μέγας χαρτοφύλαε
, or chief keeper of the archives.
The time at which he lived is uncertain, but it is generally believed that he cannot be placed earlier than the twelfth century of our era, so that his work would be the latest Greek novel that we know of.
Confusion with Eustathius, the archbishop of Thessalonica
Some writers, such as Cave, confound him with Eustathius, the archbishop of Thessalonica, from whom he must surely be distinguished.
The Story of Hysminias and Hysmine
The novel which he wrote, and through which alone his name has come down to us, bears the title, Τὸ καθ᾽ Ὑσμίνην καὶ Υ῾σμινίαν δρᾶμα
, and consists of eleven books, at the end of the last of which the author himself mentions the title.
It is a story of the love of Hysminias and Hysmine, written in a very artificial style.
The tale is monotonous and wearisome; the story is frigid and improbable, and shews no power of invention on the part of its author.
The lovers are of a very sensual disposition.
It was first edited with a Latin translation by Guilbert Gaulmin, Paris, 1617, 8vo., who published, the year after, his preface and notes to it.
The Latin translation is reprinted in the Leiden edition of Partheniis. (1612,12mo.)
Somewhat improved reprints of Gaulmin's edition appeared at Vienna, 1791, 8vo. and Leipzig, 1792, 8vo.
There is a very good French translation by Lebas, Paris, 1828, 12mno., with a critical introduction concerning the author and his novel.
Comp. Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. viii. p. 136, &c.; Th. Grässe. in Jahn's Jahrbücher
for 1836, fourth supplement. vol. p. 267, &c.