The rewriting of hagiographical texts was a common activity in Byzantium. From at least the ninth century until the end of the Byzantine era, ecclesiastical and non-ecclesiastical writers turned repeatedly to this form of writing, in some cases evidencing an astonishingly prolific textual output. Metaphrasis is the only word found in Byzantine titles to indicate a rewritten text but never used to indicate the process, as it often does in modern expositions. Such metaphraseis are mostly prose texts, but there is at least one case of a versified rewriting of a saint’s life. Scholarly studies of metaphrastic activities are as old as the study of Christian hagiography, and caught the attention of the Bollandists from their first publications. The first instance of an extant rewritten text being called a metaphrasis is found in the title of the early ninth-century Life of the martyr Nikephoros by John of Sardis.