New Book: Reading in the Byzantine Empire and Beyond

Editors: T. Shawcross & I. Toth

From Cambridge University Press:

Offering a comprehensive introduction to the history of books, readers and reading in the Byzantine Empire and its sphere of influence, this volume addresses a paradox. Advanced literacy was rare among imperial citizens, being restricted by gender and class. Yet the state's economic, religious and political institutions insisted on the fundamental importance of the written record. Starting from the materiality of codices, documents and inscriptions, the volume's contributors draw attention to the evidence for a range of interactions with texts. They examine the role of authors, compilers and scribes. They look at practices such the close perusal of texts in order to produce excerpts, notes, commentaries and editions. But they also analyse the social implications of the constant intersection of writing with both image and speech. Showcasing current methodological approaches, this collection of essays aims to place a discussion of Byzantium within the mainstream of medieval textual studies.Read more
I. Byzantium: a bookish world Teresa Shawcross
II. Modern encounters with Byzantine texts and their reading publics Ida Toth
PART I. Love for the Written Word
The emotions of reading
1. John Mauropous and the benefits of reading Marina Bazzani
2. The autobiographies of the Patriarch Gennadios II Scholarios Michael Angold
Centre and margins
3. The role of the speeches of John the Oxite in Komnenian court politics Judith R. Ryder
4. The liturgical poetics of an elite religious confraternity Paul Magdalino
5. Manuscript notes and the Black Death in rural Cyprus Tassos Papacostas
PART II. Contact with a Living Culture
The power of rhetoric
6. Ancient Greek rhetorical theory and Byzantine discursive politics: John Sikeliotes on Hermogenes Panagiotis Roilos
7. Memoirs as manifesto: the rhetoric of Katakalon Kekaumenos Jonathan Shepard
8. Performative reading in the late Byzantine theatron Niels Gaul
Religious texts
9. The religious world of John Malalas David M. Gwynn
10. Oikonomia in the hymns of Romanos the Melode Johannes Koder
11. Quotation and allusion in Symeon the New Theologian Manolis S. Patedakis
12. Scriptural citation in Andronikos Kamateros Alessandra Bucossi
Secular texts
13. Aristocratic family narratives in twelfth-century Byzantium Peter Frankopan
14. Historiography, epic and the textual transmission of imperial values: Liudprand's Antapodosis and Digenes Akrites Günter Prinzing
15. Intertextuality in the Late Byzantine romance Tale of Troy Ulrich Moennig
PART III. Communication and Influence
Educational practices
16. Late Byzantine school teaching through the iambic canons and their paraphrase Dimitrios Skrekas
Text and image
17. Eros, literature and the Veroli Casket Liz James
18. Object, text and performance in four Komnenian poems Margaret Mullett
19. Textual and visual representations of the Antipodes from Byzantium and the Latin West Maja Kominko
Interlingual circulation and transmission
20. Basil I, Constantine VII and Armenian literary tradition in Byzantium Tim Greenwood
21. Bilingual reading, the Alexiad and the Gesta Roberti Wiscardi James Howard-Johnston
22. Transplanting culture: from Greek novel to medieval romance Roderick Beaton
PART IV. Modern Reading as Textual Archaeology
Traces of authorship
23. Anonymous textual survivals from Late Antiquity Fiona K. Haarer
24. Authorship and the Letters of Theodore Daphnopates John Duffy
25. Authorship revisited: language and metre in the Ptochoprodromika Marjolijne C. Janssen and Marc D. Lauxtermann
Recovered languages
26. The lexicon of horses' colours in learned and vernacular texts Erich Trapp
27. Multilingualism and translation in the edition of vernacular texts Manolis Papathomopoulos
Afterword: Reading and hearing in Byzantium Elizabeth Jeffreys and Michael Jeffreys


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