ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 45 (2008) 171-184 Child or Monk? An Unpublished Story Attributed to John Moschos in MS Coislin 257 Arietta Papaconstantinou Oriental Institute, University of Oxford Abstract This article presents an as yet unpublished edifying tale from the 11th-century manuscript Coislin 257 of the Bibliotheque nationale de France, which contains among other works a collection of stories from the Spiritual Meadow by John Moschos. To illustrate the monastic virtues of humility and obedience, the tale uses the motif of the separation between parents and their child, albeit in an unusual way, since contrary to most early monastic accounts, it is the child who finds the strength to break with its parents. The text also reflects the practice of transferring the legal authority over a child from the parents to the monastic community, which in the late sixth century was becoming widespread enough to be officially regulated. The manuscript Coislin 257 of the Bibliotheque nationale de France (of the 11th century) contains one of several collections of edifying tales attributed to John Moschos. These collections are never identical, and some manuscripts contain stories that seem unique. This is the case with a short text found on foll. 76v-77r of this manuscript, which has not been included in the extant edition of John Moschos' Spiritual Meadow or in the supplementary material published since.' It is inventoried in the Bibliotheca hagiographica graeca (BHG) 'The text used today is still the one in PG 87.2851-3116; several additional tales were published by E. Mioni, "Il Pratum Spirituale di Giovanni Mosco: Gli episodi inediti del Cod. Marciano greco II.21," OCP 17 (1951) 61-94, and by Th. Nissen, "Unbekannte Erzaihlungen aus dem Pratum Spirituale," BZ 38 (1938) 351-76. These are all translated in J. Wortley, John Moschos, The Spiritual Meadow (Pratum Spirituale) (Kalamazoo 1992). For an introduction to John Moschos and his collection, see H. Chadwick, "John
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