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Showing posts from September 7, 2014

Updated list of translations and editions of Byzantine texts

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A New Book on Byzantine Literature: Writing and Reading Byzantine Secular Poetry, 1025-1081

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A new volume on middle Byzantine poetry was recently published at Oxford University Press:
Writing and Reading Byzantine Secular Poetry, 1025-1081, by Floris Bernard.

Here is the abstract:
In the mid eleventh century, secular poetry attained a hitherto unseen degree of wit, vividness, and personal involvement, chiefly exemplified in the poetry of Christophoros Mitylenaios, Ioannes Mauropous, and Michael Psellos. This book examines the various social occasions, opportunities, and constraints that motivated and influenced the reading and writing of poetic texts. It critically reconsiders modern assumptions about poetry, focusing instead on Byzantine conceptions of the role of poetry in society. By providing a detailed account of the various media through which poetry was presented to its readers, and by tracing the initial circulation of poems, it takes an interest in the Byzantine reader and his/her reading habits and strategies, addressing aspects of performance and visual representat…

Byzantine Gardens in Monasteries

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An interesting and detailed article about a topic good for those who enjoy spending time in a garden:
Byzantine Monastic Horticulture:The Textual Evidence, by A.-M. Talbot
From the introduction:
There is a paucity of evidence on Byzantine gardens, both textual and archaeological. Whenwe turn to monastic horticulture, however, the situation is somewhat less bleak, for bothfoundation documents (typika) and saints’ lives shed occasional light on the gardens, vineyards,and orchards that provided food, drink, and eucharistic wine for the use of the residentmonks or nuns. The surviving textual sources should ideally be supplemented by thefindings of archaeological excavation of actual monastic gardens. Such excavation, whichhas been carried out to date primarily in the late Roman monasteries of Palestine, can onlybe touched upon in this essay, in which I focus on the literary evidence. For the most part Ilimit my observations to those gardens situated in the immediate vicinity of monasterie…