Byzantine Military Rhetoric in the Ninth Century : A Translation of the Anonymi Byzantini Rhetorica Militaris book cover
1st Edition

Byzantine Military Rhetoric in the Ninth Century
A Translation of the Anonymi Byzantini Rhetorica Militaris

  • Available for pre-order on December 19, 2022. Item will ship after January 9, 2023
ISBN 9781032006048
January 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
104 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Byzantine Military Rhetoric in the Ninth Century is the first English translation of the ninth-century Anonymi Byzantini Rhetorica Militaris. This influential text offers a valuable insight into the warrior ethic of the period, the role of religion in the justification of war, and the view of other military cultures by the Byzantine elite. It also played a crucial role in the compilation of the tenth-century Taktika and Constantine VII’s harangues during a period of intense military activity for the Byzantine Empire on its eastern borders. Including a detailed commentary and critical introduction to the author and the structure of the text, this book will appeal to all those interested in Byzantine political ideology and military history.


Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part A: the author and the work 1

Syrianos magistros and the compendium of Anonymus Byzantinus 1

Assigning a name to Anonymus Byzantinus 3

Assigning a date to the compendium of Syrianos 6

Dating the compendium and the geo-political background of the period 11

A note on the sources 21

The manuscript tradition 25

Part B: the contents of the work 28

The history of exhortation and exhortative speeches 28

The “practicalities” of exhortation speeches: where, when, how 35

The skills of a commander as a public speaker 37

Rhetorical topoi in building morale 39

Note on the translation 55

Hortatory public speeches: drawing their arguments from various sources 57

For the zeal for the faith 61

For the fatherland 62

For the love for our compatriots 62

For the punishment of evildoers 63

Other made-up arguments 67

From religion 70

From the mode of life 70

From the slander of the enemy army 70

From [the right] time 70

From the place 70

From the cause 70

From the past, in this way 71

From the present, such as 71

From the future, such as 71

From the fabrications, such as 71

The achievements of the audience 72

The achievements of the ancestors of the audience 73

The achievements of others 73

More examples about the useful 77

The preparation of weapons 77

The training in war tactics 78

Bravery 79

The endurance of pain 79

The obedience to the commanders 79

The study of the glorious 80

The study of the possible 80

The study of the outcome of the battle 81

Example of a consolatory speech, in the absence of the transposition of the cause [when the reproach

takes place, then the transposition of the cause is missing] 87

Bibliography 88


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Georgios Theotokis is a lecturer of European history at Ibn Haldun University, Turkey. His publications include Norman Campaigns in the Balkans, 1081–1108 ad (2014) and Byzantine Military Tactics in Syria and Mesopotamia in the Tenth Century (2018).

Dimitrios Sidiropoulos is currently PhD Student in Byzantine History (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki).