Codi'nus, Geo'rgius or Geo'rgius Curopala'tes
surnamed CUROPALA'TES (Γεώργιος Κώδινος ὁ Κυροπαλάτης
), a Greek compiler, who held the office of curopalates, lived during the latter period of the Byzantine empire, and died probably after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453.
Codinus has compiled two works, which, although written in most barbarous Greek, are of considerable importance, inasmuch as one of them treats of the various public offices in the church and in the administration of the empire, and another on the antiquities of Constantinople.
The principal works from which Codinus has taken his accounts, and which he has copied in many instances to a considerable extent, are those of Hesychius Milesius, Glycas, Julius Pollux, the Chronicon Alexandrinum, &c.; his accounts of the statues and buildings of Constantinople are chiefly taken from Phurnutus, Joannes Lydus of Philadelphia, and from the Antiquities of Constantinople, written by an anonymous author, who in his turn has plundered Theodorus Lector, Papia, Eusebius, Socrates, Marcellus Lector, and others.
The works of Codinus are--
1. By Nadabus Agmonius, 1588
2. the same reprinted by Junius
, who was also the editor of the first edition, but for some foolish motive adopted that pseudonym.
Both these editions are of little value; the editor, a man of great vanity and equivocal learning, had carelessly perused bad MSS., and though he was aware of all the errors and negligences he had committed in the first edition, he did not take the trouble to correct them when the public curiosity required a second. Junius confounded this work with another of the same author on the antiquities of Constantinople.
3. By Gretserus, Ingolstadt, 1620
: the editor perused good MSS. with his usual care, and added a Latin translation and an excellent commentary; still this edition is not without several defects, since the editor did not understand the meaning of many barbarous words employed by Codinus, and of which the glossary of Meursius likewise gives either an imperfect account or none at all.
4. By Goar, Paris, 1648, fol.
, in the Paris collection of the Byzantines. Goar revised both the text and the translation, and added the commentary of Gretserus, which he corrected in many passages, and to which he added his own observations.
5. By Immanuel Bekker, Bonn, 1839, 8vo.
, in the Bonn collection of the Byzantines.
This is a revised reprint of the Paris edition; the editor gives no preface.
This work of Codinus, although but a dry catalogue, is of great importance for the understanding of Byzantine history, since it explains the numerous civil and ecclesiastical titles and offices of the later Greeks, as the " Notitiae Dignitatum " does for the earlier period of the Eastern empire.
This work begins with an account of the origin of Constantinople (Byzantium); after this the author treats in different chapters on the size and situation of that city; on the province of Adiabene (!); on the statues, public buildings of Constantinople, and the like subjects, in an extensive chapter; on the church of St. Sophia; and the work finishes with a short chronicle from the beginning of the world down to the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks. If Codinus wrote this latter fact himself, he died of course after 1453; but the singular digression respecting the province of Adiabene is of itself a sufficient proof that an unknown hand has made some additions to it.
This work of Codinus is likewise of great interest.
The student, however, who should wish to make himself acquainted with that interesting subject, the antiquities of Constantinople, should begin with Petrus Gyllius, " Antiquitates Constantinopolitanae," of which a very good English translation was published by John Ball, London, 1729, 8vo., to which is added a " Description of the City of Constantinople as it stood in the reign of Arcadius and Honorius" (translated from " Notitia Utriusque Imperii"), with the notes of Pancirola.
After this the student will peruse with profit Du Cange's celebrated work, " Constantinopolis Christiana," where he will find numerous observations referring to Codinus.
1. By George Dousa, 1596, 8vo.
, the Greek text with a Latin translation.
2. The same, with notes by John Meursius, 1609, 8vo.
3. By Petrus Lambecius, Paris, 1655, fol., in the Paris collection, and afterwards reprinted in the Venice collection of the Byzantines.
Lambeck, a native of Hamburg, perused the best MISS. in France, revised the text, and added a new Latin translation and an extensive commentary ; he dedicated his work to the celebrated Cardinal Francesco Barberini.
First published by Morellus, Paris, 1595, 8vo.
, and also contained in the second volume of " Bibl. Patrlm Max."
Lambecius, Vita Codini,
in his edition of Codinus' Antiquities of Constantinople; Fabric. Bibl. Graec.