1st Edition

Understanding Byzantium Studies in Byzantine Historical Sources

By Sarolta Takacs, Paul Speck Copyright 2003
    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book was first published in 2003.Paul Speck's work is acknowledged to be of profound importance for the study of the history and culture of the Byzantine world. If at times controversial, it has proved highly influential in terms of the approaches to be taken to historical and literary sources. For many, however, it has remained largely inaccessible in its original German. To help overcome this, the selection of studies presented here have been specially translated into English. Taken together, they make a substantial contribution to a critical understanding of Byzantine writing, and to an interpretation of history free from prejudice and stereotyped conceptions. Their coverage extends from the foundation of Constantinople to current perceptions of Byzantine history, but they focus in particular on the period from the 6th to the 9th centuries - the 'Dark Ages' and the Byzantine renaissance - and the transformation of Byzantium that then took place.

    Contents: Foreword; Preface; The dating of the so-called Paradeisos; Review of P. Lemerle, Le premier humanisme byzantin. Notes et remarques sur enseignement et culture à Byzance des origines au Xe siècle; The iconoclast iambic verses on the Chalke; Peter of Sicily, his Historia and the Archbishop of Bulgaria; A Byzantine depiction of ancient Athens; Photios on the mosaic in the apse of Hagia Sophia; 'Contributions open to further illuminating discussion'; ’Graphais e glyphais’: on the fragment of Hypatios of Ephesos on images, with an appendix on the Dialogue with a Jew by Leontios of Neapolis; ’Interpolations et non-sens indiscutables’: the first poem of the Ptochoprodromika; Artabasdos, Boniface and the three pallia; Classicism in the 8th century? The homily of Patriarch Germanos on the deliverance of Constantinople; The origins of the Byzantine renaissance; A more charitable verdict: review of N.G. Wilson, Scholars of Byzantium; Further reflections and inquiries on the origins of the Byzantine renaissance, with a supplement: The Trier Ivory and other uncertainties; Interpretation of the Bellum Avaricum and the tomcat ’Mekhlempe’ in three parts; Was bronze a rare metal? The legend of the bull in the Forum Bovis in Parastaseis Ch. 42; Phokas’ raising on the shield; Marginalia to Corippus’ poem In Laudem Iustini Augusti Minoris; How stupid must Zosimos be? Proposals for a new assessment; Badly-ordered thoughts on philhellenism; Index.
    ’Sarolta Takács, who oversaw the translation and edition of the collection published in the series of the Variorum reprints, justly emphasised the significance of the project introducing thought provoking ideas and original scholarly approach of the German Byzantinist to a new public.’ Revue d’Histoire Ecclésiastique