The Excerpta Constantiniana and the Byzantine Appropriation of the Past

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Oct 11, 2018 - History - 352 pages
The Excerpta project instigated by the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII turned the enormously rich experience offered by Greek historiography into a body of excerpts distributed across fifty-three distinct thematic collections. In this, the first sustained analysis, András Németh moves from viewing the Excerpta only as a collection of textual fragments to focusing on its dependence from and impact on the surrounding Byzantine culture in the tenth century. He introduces the concept of appropriation and also uses it to study some other key texts created under the Excerpta's influence (De thematibus, De administrando imperio and De ceremoniis). Unlike world chronicles, the Excerpta ignored the chronological dimension of history and fostered the biographical turn in Byzantine historiography. By exploring theoretical questions such as classification and retrieval of historical information and the relationship between knowledge and political power, this book provides powerful new ways for exploring the Excerpta in Byzantine studies and beyond.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Imperial Court and Knowledge Production
20
Theory and Practice of Excerpting
54
Constructing a Research Engine of the Past
88
Information Management in Constantine VIIs Treatises
121
Renewal of Historiography under Constantine VII
145
Distortion and Expansion of the Past in the Excerpta
165
Classification of the Past in the Excerpta
185
The Reading of the Excerpta
212
The Lexicographer and the Excerptor
238
Appendices
266
Bibliography
278
Manuscripts Index
322
Subject Index
336
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2018)

András Németh is one of the two curators of Greek manuscripts at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. Previously, he was a research scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and a research librarian at the National Széchényi Library, Budapest. He coordinates various activities concerning palimpsests at the Vatican Library and is preparing the catalogue of a select group of Greek manuscripts of this library. He studies the cultural history of the Middle Byzantine period and the reception of Greek manuscripts in Renaissance libraries in Europe and is preparing a monograph on the Greek manuscripts of the Bibliotheca Corviniana.

Bibliographic information