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Theophanes Confessor

(558 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
[Theophanes Isaacius; Homologetes] ca 758/60–818. Byzantium. Saint and chronicler. Theophanes was born at Constantinople; his father was the Strategos Isaak, his mother a certain Theodora of whose family nothing is known. As he was orphaned at an early age, the Byzantine emperor Konstantinos V Kopronymos himself (740-75) took the guardianship over the boy, thus smoothing his way to a successful career. Soon after his marriage, he and his wife decided to embrace a religious life and Theop…
Date: 2016-10-17

Manasses, Konstantinos

(528 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
ca 1130 - ca 1187. Byzantium. Author of a world chronicle in a sophisticated classical Greek, written (unusually for the Byzantine tradition) in verse. Manasses was a member of the literary circle of the Sebastokratorissa Irene Komnene, the emperor's sister-in-law. His identity with the homonymous bishop of Naupaktos is today rejected. He acted as a minister to Jerusalem (ca 1160) and wrote his Hodioporikon about his adventures there. He also wrote the (now fragmentary) epic romance Aristander and Kallithea.His most important work is his Chronike synopsis, an epic world chronicl…
Date: 2016-10-17

Storie Pistoresi

(209 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
[Istoria Pistolesi] 14th century. Northern Italy. Anonymous prose chronicle in Italian on the history of the Tuscan city of Pistoia from 1300 to 1348. Finished in or shortly after 1348, it covers the period in 150 chapters. The first part ends in 1329, when Florence finally prevailed in Pistoia, the second in 1348. Whereas the first part describes the conflict between the GuelphCancellieri (partisans of the "Neri") and GhibellinePanciatichi (adherents of the "Bianchi") the second part gives an acc…
Date: 2016-10-17

Chronicon Paschale

(379 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
[Ἐπιτομὴ χρόνων; Chronicum Alexandrinum; Constantinopolitanum; Fasti Siculi] 7th century. Byzantium. The "Paschal Chronicle" is a world chronicle in Greek, probably written by a clergyman and intimate of Patriarch Sergios in Constantinople ca 630. The chronicle covers the period from Adam to 629, following a system of chronology based on the paschal cycle - hence the conventional name. Because the beginning and the final part of the most important manuscript, the 10th-century Codex Vaticanus græcus 1941, are damaged, it discontinues in ad 627.It is a voluminous compilation o…
Date: 2016-10-17

Anna Komnene

(496 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
1083–1153/54. Byzantium. A daughter of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, she wrote the Alexiad (Ἀλεξιάς), an encomiastic history of her father's reign, which was completed before she died. She was married to Nikephoros Bryennios, who himself wrote a kind of a family chronicle of the Comneni.The Alexiad is a record of recent Byzantine history in 15 books, covering the time from ca 1069-1118. Writing in an erudite and archaizing Greek that in parts is spiced with vernacular elements, Anna continued and completed her husband's unfinished chronograp…
Date: 2016-10-17

Menander protector

(266 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
before 550 - 582/602. Byzantium. Born in Constantinople, the son of a family of Syrian or possibly Mesopotamian origin. He wrote a Greek-language history covering the years 557/58-82. It was probably commissioned either by Emperor Maurice or by a high-ranking court-officer, since Menander had free access to the imperial archive. Menander confessed candidly that he needed to put his pen to parchment because he was short of money. Born to an uneducated man he and his brother Herodot stu…
Date: 2016-10-17

Skylitzes, Ioannes

(380 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
ca 1045 - after 1092. Byzantium. Having completed law school he made a successful career as a civil servant and having achieved the office of the megas droungarios tes viglas (a senior judicial position) under the reign of the second Comnenian emperor Alexios I he finally held the elevated rank of kouropalates (1092).His major work is the Synopsis Historion, written in the 1070s, which contains, in continuation of Theophanes Confessor, the Byzantine history from the death of Nikephorus I in 811 to the deposition of Michael IV in 1057. It is a key sourc…
Date: 2016-10-17

Laterculus Malalianus

(344 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
[Chronicon Palatinum] 7th century. England. A Latin work written between 669 and 690, which has tentatively been ascribed to Theodore of Tarsus (602-90), the Byzantine-born archbishop of Canterbury. The opening chapters (2-11) are history and follow very closely the Greek Chronographia of Ioannes Malalas, mainly Malalas' Book 10 on the life and times of Jesus, hence the title. The word laterculus, meaning brick or roofing tile in Classical Latin, acquired the meaning "list" or fasti in the early Middle Ages: the Laterculus Malalianus ends with a list of emperors from Augustus…
Date: 2017-04-11

Theophanes Continuatus

(390 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
[Scriptores post Theophanem] 10th century. Byzantium. Theophanes Continuatus or Οἱ μετὰ Θεοφάνην (those after Theophanes) is the name traditionally applied to a collection of biographies of emperors preserved in a single 11th-century manuscript (Vatican, BAV, vat. gr. 167) and a 16th-century copy (Vatican, BAV, barb. gr. 232). The prologue announces that it was commissioned by the emperor Konstantinos VII Porphyrogennitos, and intended as a continuation to Theophanes confessor. It is arranged in six books which modern scholars divide into four parts, and breaks down as follows:P…
Date: 2016-10-17

Leo the Deacon

(380 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
[Leon Diakonos] ca 950 - after 995. Byzantium. Author of a Greek-language history of emperors. Leo was bornin Kaloe in Asia Minor, in the southwest of Philadelphia (now Alaşehir). In Constantinople he received a higher education and was ordained deacon after 970, becoming member of the palace clergy. In 986 he accompanied Basileios II on his campaign against the Bulgarians. He was present at the siege of Triaditza, and after the defeat of the emperor he escaped the Bulgarians by a whisker.Leo's Ἱστορία (history) was probably written after 989/95, however before 1000, and run…
Date: 2016-10-17

Nikephoros Patriarches

(430 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
ca 758-828. Byzantium. Offspring of a family of imperial civil servants and later patriarch of Constantinople. Nikephoros began a career as an imperial civil servant like his father, but was consecrated patriarch in 806. In 814, confronted with Leo V's iconoclasm, he remained a steadfast iconodule and hence he had to resign in the spring of 815. He wrote a chronicle in Greek, and also a second short historical work which consists merely of a set of chronological tables. He also wrote theological invectives against the iconoclasts.Nikephoros' work with the title Ἱστορία σύντομος ἀ…
Date: 2016-10-17

Georgios monachos

(438 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
(George the monk) 9th century. Byzantium. Also known as Georgios Hamartolos (George the Sinner), he was the author of a very popular "monk's-chronicle", known under the title Chronikon syntomon, that was probably written after 876. It runs from the creation of the world until the reign of Michael III (842-67) in four books. The first book records profane history from the very beginning to Alexander the Great; the second covers the sacred history of the Old Testament; the third includes Roman history from Julius Caesar to C…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ioannes Malalas

(318 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
ca 490 – after 570. Byzantium. Ioannes Malalas (the name is Syrian for "rhetor", "orator") grew up in the Greco-Syrian cultural environment of Antioch where he studied literature and law. Until 535 he was possibly employed as a civil servant at the office of the Comes Orientis. Later he moved to Constantinople, where he continued in the same profession. Whatever we know about him we have to take from his own book.Ioannes Malalas wrote a Chronographia in 18 books, the beginning and the end of which are lost. Originally it covered the period of time from the Creation to ad 574. Its first part, …
Date: 2016-10-17

Synodikon Vetus

(336 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
10th century. Byzantium. The Synodikon Vetus is an anonymous chronicle listing all the councils of the church from the apostles up to the eighth ecumenical council, including the deposition of Patriarch Photios in 886. Since no mention is made of the affair of Leo VI's four marriages, it is supposed that it was written before 920. Each council is covered by a single chapter. The compiler took his material primarily from Eusebius, but also from the works of Irenaeus and Epiphanius (ch. 1-32). He also …
Date: 2016-10-17

10.11. Precious stones

(1,111 words)

Author(s): Bosselmann-Ruickbie, Antje | Greiff, Susanne | Albrecht, Stefan
A. Introduction Precious stones were often used by Eastern Roman and Byzantine  goldsmiths (10.10.) in a variety of objects, such as reliquaries, crosses, metal icons, jewellery, costume and weapon components, garments (esp. the imperial loros) and crowns (preserved only in illustrations), as well as in metal vessels and metal fittings on stone vessels. Besides the stones generally polished as  cabochons or pierced droplet-shaped pendants for jewellery or crosses, both vessels (cf. fig. 4) and, in the Middle and Late Byzantine periods, entire  icons were also made of preciou…
Date: 2019-10-14

10.11. Edelsteine

(1,037 words)

Author(s): Bosselmann-Ruickbie, Antje | Greiff, Susanne | Albrecht, Stefan
A. Allgemeines Edelsteine wurden in der oström. und byz. Goldschmiedekunst (10.10.) häufig verwendet, z. B. bei Reliquiaren, Kreuzen, Metallikonen, Schmuck, Tracht- und Waffenbestandteilen, Gewändern (v. a. dem kaiserlichen lṓros) und Kronen (Letztere nur bildlich überliefert) sowie für Metallgefäße und Metallfassungen von Steingefäßen. Abgesehen von den Edelsteinen, die meist als Cabochons oder durchbohrte tropfenförmige Anhänger für Schmuck oder Kreuze geschliffen waren, wurden auch Gefäße (vgl. Abb. 4) und in mittel- und spätbyz. Zeit ganze Ikonen aus Edelstein…
Date: 2019-03-15