But he is chiefly memorable for his so-called Myriobiblon or Bibliotheke (Library), a huge corpus of Greek texts arranged in 279 sections (called codices), which contain excerpts from authors both pagan and Christian, many of whom are otherwise unknown. The Byzantines were far less interested in satire, which was undoubtedly inhibited by the absolutistic character of the imperial power. A fourth, Aristandros and Kallithea, by Constantine Manassses survives only in excerpts. This appeared due primarily to the educational system that employed and resulted in literary values similar to those of the ancient Greeks, and this was reflected within the genres of literature that came out of authors within the empire: prominently within lyric poetry and drama. Gregory of Nazianzus, known as "the Theologian" because of his five theological orations, was less prolific than Gregory of Nyssa. Throughout, he focused attention upon theological questions, especially upon Hesychasm, of which he was a determined but unsuccessful opponent. A new era in historical writing began with the accession of Alexius I Comnenus (1081–1118) to the throne. Nature and Illusion is the first extended treatment of the portrayal of nature in Byzantine art and literature. At the time of the second iconoclastic controversy flourished Joseph the Hymnographer (c. 816–886), who was born in Sicily and was then driven by circumstances all over the Mediterranean world. Nevertheless, for the sake of simplicity, this article is limited to the materials written in Greek, which was the dominant language of the empire, at least from the time of Justinian I. However, if the boundaries between history and chronicle are blurred, as they probably should be, then the work of Symeon Logo-thetes (covering 842–948 and surviving in many versions) gives valuable insights. Then, after another brief interruption, the historical continuum was taken up once again by Michael Attaliates (from Attalia in Pamphylia), who wrote on the period between 1034 and 1079. It was the inspiration for this podcast and for much of my renewed fascination with the Ancient world. Their religion, their art and architecture, and their literature all derive from various cultural origins, notably the Greeks and Romans upon whom much of their civilization is founded. These canons, which were taken over by Jerome in the Vulgate translation, are found in many medieval Gospel Books and New Testaments (both Greek and Latin), and are usually adorned with handsome representations of animals, flowers, arcades, arches, columns, and with decorative patterns of many types. j. darrouzÈs, ed., Épistoliers byzantins du X e siècle (Archives de l'Orient chrétien 6; Paris 1960). In the course of its history, this Atticizing language had to make concessions on a large scale to modernisms of many sorts (originating in the speech of the people, the army, imperial chancery, etc.). Of his critical editions, the most celebrated was that of the Greek Anthology, which he augmented and improved by the use of manuscripts that are no longer accessible. Apart from a host of anonymous pieces (adespota ), some 364 poets are represented by compositions primarily in epigrammatic verse but also in a great variety of other meters. The best philologist and textual critic of the Palaeologan era was Demetrius Triclinius (c. 1280–1340), who devoted himself to the principal poets of antiquity (Hesiod, Pindar, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Theocritus), whom he studied, annotated, and edited. Despite a tendency toward prolixity, Evagrius's Ecclesiastical History is well written (in Greek), and imitates the ancient Greek historian Thucydides. But the questions discussed after 843, though often hotly contested, were not so significant as the dogmas of the Trinity and the Incarnation, to the definition of which the ecumenical councils had addressed themselves. The chief defenders of the strictly Chalcedonian dyophysite Christology were hypatius of ephesus (fl.532) and leontius of byzantium (fl. The greatest and most renowned of the Byzantine liturgical poets was romanus me lodus, who was born in Emesa in Syria. Though more derivative than the historians, the chroniclers are by no means devoid of significance. They also ignored the classical insistence on fixed limits on the length of the lines. Paradoxically, despite these frantic efforts to achieve originality of form, the Byzantines had no problems about paraphrasing or even copying out whole paragraphs and pages from the works of other authors without acknowledgment or fear of censure for so doing: plagiarism is a meaningless concept in a Byzantine context. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list. Constantine believed that an abridgment of this kind was necessary in order to simplify the study of history, the bulk of which, he felt, had grown to such enormous proportions that it was impossible for any ordinary person to encompass or understand it. The interpretation of history thus presented would be extremely one-sided if it were not possible, as it usually is, to compare the views of the historians with contemporary chronicles, legal documents, theological treatises, the typika (foundation charters of monasteries, etc. Beyond the Arab world, it is in the very core of the Byzantine world, i ... (Quṭb ql-surūr) is supposed to be one of the latest and fullest treatises on Bachic literature. The epic could be popular, represented by the songs of deeds or cults related to epopee. All of which seemed to draw their origins from Alexandrian influence mentioned earlier as the speculative birthplace of Greco-Christian values. Did The Byzantine Government Help Disabled Workers? More interesting is the Historia nova of Zosimus, an imperial fiscal officer (fl. As another example of the link between political and religious power and its influence on Byzantine art, the governors representing the Byzantine Empire in Ravenna were the city’s own archbishops. In most liturgical poetry they abandoned the quantitative system altogether and introduced rhythm on the basis of accent. More memorable than Blemmydes was Maximus (born Manuel) Planudes (c. 1260–1310), who wrote poems on theological and secular subjects, essays on grammar, an Encomium of Winter, and an idyll in 270 hexameters in the form of a dialogue between two farmers, Cleodemus and Thamyras. b. rubin, Das Zeitalter Justinians (Berlin 1960–). If somehow you are on this page and don’t know what The History of Rome podcast is then go check it out immediately. Very similar to Theodore Prodromus in lively language, grim humor, and passionate complaints about poverty was Michael Haplucheir, who flourished at the end of the 12th century and was responsible for a socalled Dramation in 122 iambic trimeters, in which a rustic, a wise man, fate, the muses, and a chorus were the dramatis personae. Romanus's kontakia deal with the Nativity, the massacre of the Innocents, the presentation in the Temple, Epiphany, the woman of Samaria, the man possessed by devils, the woman with an issue of blood, Pentecost, the Last Judgment, etc. Of interest also in this genre, to choose only one example out of many, was Abp. The origins of the political verse remain a matter of debate. b. knÖs, L'Histoire de la littérature néo-grecque (Stockholm 1962). Characteristic examples are studied, beginning with historical accounts of the events and continuing with texts of rhetoric or poetry (monodies, Threnoi, etc.). and the middle of the 4th century of the Christian Era. It is coarser and less elegant than the Timarion, but nevertheless a useful source for the early years of the 15th century. Berlin 1958),v. 1. j. quasten, Patrology, 3 v. (Westminster, Md. Zosimus did not fail to touch upon the great Greek victories over the Persians at Marathon (490 b.c.) Their emperor, who was, according to them, chosen by God himself, was the ruler of the whole of the inhabited world; and the Byzantine Church was in their sight the divinely appointed custodian and champion of the only true faith, just as their language was the sole respectable medium for communication. He wrote a prose Exegesis of the Iliad, a whole volume of political verses on the allegorical interpretation of both the Iliad and the Odyssey, hexameter poems on other Homeric subjects, a long prose commentary on Hesiod's Works and Days, and a poem in political verse on the traditional pagan Theogony. ." f. conca, ed. Later on, he found her and discovered that she was the girl to whom in the Castle of Love he had presented the prize for beauty. In the next century, on the eve of the collapse of the empire, Byzantine classical scholarship rose to an even higher level. That is, they were Atticizers. and tr. 2 of Histoire de la philosophie, ed. Almost entirely concerned with religious expression, Byzantine art is known for the mosaics covering the interior of domed churches. The Timarion reveals a sense of humor, which is exceedingly rare in Byzantine literature. Beginners For someone… Moreover, on the evidence of the New Testament, in which Christ is represented both as a divine being (i.e., one who performed miracles, conquered death, and rose to heaven) and as a true man (who ate, drank, slept, wept, etc., like other men), the theological definitions contained in these creeds are logically inevitable. Most astounding of all are his Chiliades, a poem of 12,674 political verses, which he wrote as a commentary on his own letters, and then reissued with marginal annotations in prose and verse, dedicatory letters, and supplementary poems of abuse directed against his enemies. The Byzantines found this type of scholarly activity particularly congenial, and many theologians had devoted a great deal of energy to encyclopedic résumés or analyses of various kinds. During the years that he was excluded from actual power by his father-in-law, Emperor romanus i leca penus (920–944), he set his subordinates the task of assembling, excerpting, and summarizing documents, while he and his most trusted collaborators collected intelligence from ambassadors, merchants, and spies. He often managed to achieve poetic imagery of high order, but also displays the usual Byzantine addiction to plays on words and the ornate style. Moreover, not a few of the chronicles, like that of john malalas, for instance, which deals primarily with the history of anti och, preserve local information and traditions, concerning which the Constantinopolitan writers were uninformed. https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/byzantine-literature, "Byzantine Literature The entrance to the palace was barred by seven obstacles, which represented the snares that block the path to virtue. A third Byzantine imitation of Lucian, Mazaris's Journey to Hades, was written by a certain Mazaris (c. 1414–16). During the early Byzantine period (330-700), the Empire included Eastern Europe, the Roman Near East, Egypt and portions of North Africa. He was one of the great polymaths of his age. The most famous of the kanons is the Great Kanon of Andrew of Crete, which has 250 troparia divided into four sections. (See theological encyclopedias above.). w. von christ and m. paranikas, eds., Anthologia Graeca carminum Christianorum (Leipzig 1871). Byzantine literature combined Greek and Christian civilization on the common foundation of the Roman political system. Apparently before 1470, the fourth of the historians in this group, Critobulus, a Greek of good family from the Island of Imbros, composed a panegyrical history of the Sultan Mohammed II from 1451 to 1467. Scholarly activity of a somewhat different nature is associated with the name of John Stobaeus (fl. The kontakion was a melodic homily and was crowded out of the liturgy from about the end of the 7th century by the kanon, the first example of which was said to have been composed by Andrew of Crete (c. 660–740). Many of these poems were adaptations or imitations of medieval Western models: examples are Phlorios and Platziaphlora (the Old French Floire et Blancheflor ), Imberios and Margarona, and Apollonius of Tyre, … t. klauser (Stuttgart 1941 ). The iconoclasts were led by Emperors leo iii (717–741), constan tine v (741–775), and leo v (813–820), but in the end they were defeated, largely through the efforts of Empresses irene (in 787) and theodora (in 843). The former, a free Greek version of the Provençal romance of Flore and Blanchefleur, of which several versions exist in French and Italian, dates from the late 14th century or the early 15th. Actually, Platonic and Aristotelian studies were pursued virtually without interruption through the whole of the Byzantine period. But not even the most determined classicists were able to reproduce this ancient language with complete fidelity, and their use of the Attic idiom invariably fell short of their ideal. Hagia Sophia, the most famous and most spectacular example of Byzantine architecture, was built between 532 and 537 to replace an early 5th century church that was destroyed by a fire during the Nika riots in 523. He had nothing to say about foreign affairs, but compensates for this serious omission by full and accurate reporting of the lives and characters of the emperors and their families. On the heterodox side of the great theological debates of this era, however, there is not much information. The Art of the Byzantine Empire, 312–1453: Sources and Documents. ." He not only blamed them personally for earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters, but also berated them for all manner of debauchery and vice. Art and literature grew and artists took on more natural styles with composite techniques that are from ancient Greek and Roman art that also included Christian themes. The modern critic occasionally has difficulties with the tediousness of some liturgical poetry, its repetitiousness and artificiality of manner. The body of medieval Latin literature would be rather small if it were limited to literature in its narrower and more usual meaning of belles-lettres…, The effect of the philosophical and scientific teachings of aristotle upon subsequent intellectual history through the transmission of his writings,…, RENAISSANCE Nevertheless, the orthodox prejudice against him was so great that very little of what he wrote is extant, save in Syriac translation. Priscus of Panion (on c. 411–472), the Christian sophist Malchus from Philadelphia in Palestine (on the period 306 to 480), and the Christian Candidus from Isauria (on 457–491). Theological writing, of course, derive from Hellenistic and Oriental influences that also contributed to the thriving of Greco-Christian thought and to the Byzantine empire as a whole. The unknown author wrote c. 969, and was so successful in imitating the ancient satirist Lucian that the Philopatris was once included among the latter's works. Hardly less characteristic of Byzantium than the dogmatic decrees of the ecumenical councils was the Byzantine interest in mystical theology, which is closely connected with ascetical practices of various kinds. In the next century flourished Nicephorus Blemmydes (c. 1197–1272), a philosopher and theologian who wrote a lengthy handbook in two books on logic and physics, a treatise favoring the Latin doctrine of the double procession of the Holy Spirit, two short geographical essays, two autobiographical sketches, and several poems, one of them a very spirited and vituperative reply to slanderous charges made against him by one of his students. in Greek. Hence, even when they fail to cite the authors whom they copy or follow, Byzantine writers had no intention to deceive. Photius's disciple, arethas, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia (c. 850–944), is noted for his rich library of classical authors, and for the interesting information he provided on the cost of transcribing codices from uncial to minuscule. 1096), who, though he complained that men of learning were scarce in his day, nevertheless succeeded in locating an excellent teacher named John Mauropus, who proved to be a thoroughly competent in classical literature. The last unhappy days of the Byzantine Empire, culminating on May 29, 1453, in the collapse of Constantinople, and of the Byzantine Empire, formed the subject for four excellent historians, each of whom wrote from a different point of view. p. waltz et al., 6 v. (Paris 1928–60). (Munich 1982). But only fragments remain in his Historical Memoirs (on 270–404), as of the works by the pagan Olympiodorus of Thebes in Egypt (on 407–425), the pagan(?) The Greek Anthology. They take many forms, almost invariably in prose, and vary in length from a paragraph in a service book to a bulky volume in a modern edition. Were There Contested “Elections” In The Byzantine Empire? Art produced in the Byzantine empire (or Eastern Roman Empire)—at its height, a territory that spanned large swaths of the Mediterranean, present-day Turkey, Southern Spain, and Italy—between the 4th and 15th centuries, when it fell to the Ottoman Turks.
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