The Middle Byzantine Historians


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Chrome On the Control button top right of browser , select Settings from dropdown. Under the header JavaScript select the following radio button: Allow all sites to run JavaScript recommended. The Middle Byzantine Historians by W. Treadgold Hardcover November 22, Prices and offers may vary in store. This volume, which continues the same author's Early Byzantine Historians , is the first book to analyze the lives and works of all forty-three significant Byzantine historians from the seventh to the thirteenth century, including the authors of three of the world's greatest histories: Michael Psellus, Princess Anna Comnena, and Nicetas Choniates.

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For example, in a letter to Caliph al-Muqtadir of c. Borders, strongholds and populations-centres in their vicinity, and rights of overlordship ranked high in the imperial order of priorities. That forts and fortified settlements were often the subject of diplomatic correspondence might be inferred from the stray references to them in extant letter collections and also from the sections of the DAI devoted to imperial expansion. Symeon is warned that his conduct will be compared unfavourably with theirs. Far more frequent in communications emanating from the Byzantine authorities are references to Constantine the Great.

This figure from the past could serve multiple purposes, more or less simultaneously. Besides furthering the salvation of mankind through adoption of Christianity for the empire above, p. Such, at least, is the inference that may be drawn from the incidence of abbreviated forms of the name among the Pechenegs. According to the envoys, the axe-bearers of their own day — the Varangians - stemmed from those Britons who had accompanied Constantine to the east.

Few extensive narratives or analyses of causation were needed for constructing the very recent or the distant past in imperial communications with outsiders. As already noted above, p. For the era preceding their own time, they did not need myth or victory bulletins so much as reliable data about exchanges, agreements and borders with a given power.

For these purposes, the texts of treaties, records of embassies and correspondence relating to them probably seemed sufficient. The account of ibn Shahram suggests that this was necessary: variant drafts of agreements emerged in the course of his negotiations and retention of them would have been indispensable for determining and comprehending the final form of a treaty. It has reasonably been suggested that copies of such notes together with transcripts of the tenth-century Russo-Byzantine treaties were sent to Rus at some later date, to be used by the compilers of the Rus Primary Chronicle 81 The notes would have given later generations of Byzantine diplomats a sense of the situation at the time when a treaty was concluded, supplementing points of fact in the text itself.

Their details could help refute counter-claims or the special pleading of present-day potentates who challenged the status quo. It is likely that other sources of information were available to officials trying to fathom the texts of treaties concluded well beyond living memory. Records were probably kept of the dates of despatch and return of embassies, their personnel and financial accounts. Such a debriefing would have been the corollary to the questioning which they apparently underwent before the outward journey.

In any case, their sheer profusion will not have made them easy for later generations to retrieve, collate or comprehend. The fore-mentioned letters from the governors of Macedonia, Thrace and Cherson were accompanied by oral messages. At the same time, comprehensive yet comprehensible data about the internal affairs and history of foreign peoples or dynasties was readily available from oral sources, in the form of the many fugitives, exiles and invited guests whom the emperor harboured in his city. This in turn will have rendered syntheses or surveys written from the vantage-point of imperial officialdom more or less superfluous.

Here, too, the DAI seems to be the exception proving the rule, in that its ample details about, for example, the location and leadership of the Hungarians in the mid-tenth century or the family of Hugh of Aries probably derive from expatriates, whether or not now permanently lodged at court. Families of Armenian descent entered the highest imperial circles, and officials of Armenian stock could be sent on missions to Armenia. These works might have been available to Frankish border commanders and others who dealt with outsiders.

For its dealings with such neighbours, the Byzantine government was not under heavy pressure to produce a full, accurate, narrative of past relations or its own affairs: few regimes were capable of challenging its version of things. He translated the Chronographia tripertita, avowedly to provide materials on the Eastern Church for the Church History planned by John the Deacon.

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It is no accident that the letter makes a devastating critique of eastern imperial claims, or that it draws extensively on recent Byzantine history to this end. More characteristic of critical outsiders was, I suggest, Liudprand of Cremona. The episodes involving Anastasius and Liudprand also show, in their different ways, how seldom the Byzantine authorities had need of full accounts or appraisals of their recent past for the purpose of conducting foreign relations.

The stimulus to maintain a detailed continuous record of imperial res gestae was lacking. In fact the use which Anastasius made of his knowledge of recent Byzantine history could even have served as a dis incentive to attempts at historical writing in Byzantium, at least so far as dissemination of narrative compositions was concerned.

Leib , II, Paris , p. Cogent grounds for identifying the eclipse with that of February 16 , were presented by P. Phil, thesis, , p. Chiesa , Turnhout Corpus Christianorum. Continuatio Mediaevalis , p. Brandes , Liudprand von Cremona Legatio cap. Studies dedicated to Donald M. Nicol, ed. Beaton , C. McCormick , Eternal Victory, Cambridge , p. Angelov , K. Kodov , Sofia , p. Magdalino The medieval Mediterranean 45 , Leiden , p. Vogt , Paris , p. Professor Magdalino is investigating further aspects of this subject for publication. Callu , Paris , I, p. Lefort et al.

Dulaurier , F.


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Macler , II, Paris , p. On world chronicles in general, see H. Hunger , Die hochsprachliche profane Literatur der Byzantiner, Munich ,1, p.

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See Hunger, Profane Literatur as in n. See also Markopoulos , Byzantine History Writing as in n. See also ibid.

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Shepard , S. Franklin , Aldershot , p. Shepard , Imperial information and ignorance: a discrepancy, BSl. Moravcsik , R. Renauld , I, Paris , p. Hunger , Profane Literatur, I, p. Littlewood , Exeter Hagenmeyer , Die Kreuzzugsbriefe aus den Jahren , Innsbruck , p. Dindorf , Historici graeci minores, I, Leipzig , p. Lee , J. Shepard , A double life: placing the Peri presbeon, BSl. That an envoy needed debating skills and powers of oral persuasion was noted by N. Koutrakou , Logos and pathos between peace and war: rhetoric as a tool of diplomacy in the Middle Byzantine period, Thesaurismata 25, , p.

Many later Byzantine envoys to the West were competent Latin-speakers, if not of western origin: S. Mergiali-Sahas , A Byzantine ambassador to the West and his office during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries: a profile, BZ 94, , p. Chrysos , Byzantine Diplomacy, A. Whitby , Liverpool , p. Kurze, Hanover , p. Grat, J. Vielliard , S. Shepard , The Rhos guests of Louis the Pious: whence and wherefore? Dostourian , Lanham , p. Davis , M.

Chibnall , Oxford , p. Stubbs , II, London , p. Maksidi , Paris , p. Maguire , Washington , p. Brubaker , Aldershot , p. Vasiliev , Byzance et les Arabes, II. Canard , Brussels , p. Jenkins , L. Adrianova-Peretts , D. Likhachev , Moscow , rev. Leib , III, Paris , p.

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On the mosque, see S. Ahrweiler, A. Laiou , Washington , p. Also tr. Amedroz , D. That rights over fortresses were pivotal to the negotiations was noted by M. See also J. Eastmond , Aldershot , p.

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Abulafia , N. Berend , Aldershot , p. VI, Berlin , p. Rouche , Clovis, Paris , p. III, Berlin , p. Gordon , Anglo-Saxon Poetry, London , p. Bately , Oxford , p. MGH SS, nov. Kresten , Zur Rekonstruktion der Protokolle kaiserlichbyzantinischer Auslandsschreiben des Jahrhunderts aus lateinischen Quellen, Polypleuros Nous. Geburtstag, ed. Scholz , G. Makris , Munich-Leipzig , p.

Given-Wilson , Oxford , p. Westerink , Leipzig , p. Shepard , Marriages towards the Millennium, Byzantium in the Year , p. Besides such records specific to treaty-making, it is most probable that a kind of register of higher-level outgoing imperial communications was kept. The questions of which types of communication were copied in full and the form in which the copies were collected are not our prime concern, but it would seem that cartularies only became common practice in the thirteenth century: I.

Medvedev , Ocherki vizantiiskoi diplomatii, Leningrad , p. Historici graeci minores, I as in n. Shepard , Placing the Peri presbeon as in n. Leib , I, Paris , p. A Political Study of the Northern Balkans. Shepard, Information, disinformation and delay in Byzantine diplomacy, Byz. Shepard , Byzantine Diplomacy, A. The likely sources of this information have long been recognized: De administrando imperio, II, Commentary, ed.

Jenkins , London , p.

The Middle Byzantine Historians The Middle Byzantine Historians
The Middle Byzantine Historians The Middle Byzantine Historians
The Middle Byzantine Historians The Middle Byzantine Historians
The Middle Byzantine Historians The Middle Byzantine Historians
The Middle Byzantine Historians The Middle Byzantine Historians
The Middle Byzantine Historians The Middle Byzantine Historians

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