Greek Literature in Late Antiquity: Dynamism, Didacticism, Classicism

New Themes and Styles in Greek Literature, A Title Revisited

Averil Cameron, Keble College, Oxford

Some years ago I published a paper with the title ‘New Themes and Styles in Greek Literature, 7th and 8th Centuries’. [1] Readers commented in response that some of the characteristic literary types I pointed to were not in fact new; for example, dialogues, questions and answers and florilegia all seem to be already established in the fifth century. Dialogues and debates, moreover, were not only religious: they might also for example be philosophical. [2] But the broader dating raises the question of whether one should instead posit a more continuous series of developments in Greek literary texts, from the fourth or fifth centuries onwards. [3] Historians and archaeologists have spent much of their time in recent years discussing the structural and social changes of the late antique period, and it would indeed be strange if literature did not in some way also reflect them.

It is surely a fair question to ask where literature fits in the context of the ‘long late antiquity’—the model of the period which Wolfgang Liebeschuetz has called the multi-culturalist, which rejects decline in favour of transformation, which sees late antiquity as extending as late even as the eighth century, and as encompassing the first phase of Islam, and which prevails in current scholarship. [4] It is true that in all the mass of methodological essays on the interpretation of late antiquity, literary criticism and literature per se get very little if any attention. A new French textbook on the period 312–641 covers the ‘written culture’ of the Greek East in the period in a few pages, and without linking it in any systematic way to general historical issues. [5] In contrast, Liebeschuetz in his book The Decline and Fall of the Roman City is brave enough to include chapters on literature in West and East and to ask big questions about quality and/or ‘decline’, [6] while H. Inglebert reads the history of late antique culture as a history of Christianization. [7]

I will argue here that we do need to put back consideration of late antique Greek literary culture into the general historical context. After all, late antiquity, defined as the fourth to seventh centuries, was a period which saw not only the rise to prominence of bishops, [8] and the development of the cult of saints and Christian pilgrimage centres, but also the opening of a gap between East and West, and the dramatic shrinkage of educational possibilities with the collapse of eastern cities. In the East the state came under extreme pressure and had to reinvent itself. Disappointingly for us, then, the recent collection by Simon Swain and Mark Edwards, Approaching Late Antiquity, with a chapter by Alan Cameron on ‘Poetry and Literary Culture in Late Antiquity’, does not go much later than 400—though admittedly its subtitle is The Transformation from Early to Late Empire. [9]

Periodization, and even simple nomenclature, at the moment offer many traps for the historian or literary critic concerned with late antiquity. For instance, Anthony Kaldellis, in his book on Procopius, is scathing about ‘Byzantinists’, especially British ones, [10] but is Procopius and is the sixth century Byzantine or late antique? Indeed Kaldellis’s own book title refers not to Byzantium but to the ‘end of antiquity’. Conversely, Alexander Kazhdan’s history of Byzantine literature begins only with the later seventh century. [11] On the other hand the hymns of Romanos in the sixth century are equally commonly taken as marking a new departure, even the beginnings of modern Greek literature. [12] Likewise, Inglebert imposes a strongly chronological schema on his presentation of late antique culture. The French editors of Le monde byzantin do not worry about this question of nomenclature and periodization, but I think we must be conscious of it, even if only in judging the existing modern approaches, for while it may seem unimportant in itself, the terms ‘late antiquity’ and ‘Byzantium’ both carry a heavy charge of association and connotation, and this affects modern reactions to the texts in question. To be termed ‘Byzantine’ is all too likely indeed to be the kiss of death for an author, as Ruth Webb implies when commenting on the absence of Byzantine literature from the western canon. [13]

A fundamental question, of course, is what do we mean by ‘literature’?, or better, what counts as ‘literature’? Is it justifiable to consider ‘high’ literature only, in the traditional way, [14] or should we include the whole range of writing in late antiquity, of which high literature is a part? Kazhdan debates this issue in some detail. He distinguishes ‘literature’ from Schrifttum, mere writing, and distinguishes between literary and non-literary texts. He is aware of the mass of modern theoretical discussion as to what constitutes literature. Literature, he says, is not ‘the accumulated mass of written texts’, but ‘the system of ways and means employed by the authors to express themselves’. [15] He goes further: ‘without images and figures, there is no literature’; his own work will be a history of the development of litterarité, ‘the modes and ways of poetical expression’. He is not afraid to include religious writing such as apocalyptic, miracle stories, hagiography or hymnography, in a history of literature. He may still be on the look out for ‘real life’, but he has allowed himself to range widely. Among late antique writers in Greek the historians, both secular and ecclesiastical, have traditionally been well studied. [16] But let us not approach late antique literature with an already existing agenda which says that certain sorts of literature—more ‘historical’, or realistic—are by definition more worth studying, or more worthy of the label ‘literary’. Let us abandon both these views, and take a broad approach, including in our thoughts about late antique literature all kinds of written texts, from the high-level histories to the unpretentious saint’s Life, and, moreover, admit into the realm of literature homilies, theological treatises and even conciliar acts. [17] Such histories of late antique literature as have been written take a narrower focus, or separate ‘Christian’ literature as part of patristics from literature written in secular and classicising mode. Elizabeth Clark is a notable scholar who has pioneered a different approach, with her argument that literary theory also belongs in the fields previously fenced off as ‘patristics’ or ‘church history’. [18]

I believe we need to look beyond the binary oppositions which have seemed to be inherent in the writing of the period, especially those between Greek and Latin and pagan (or secular) and Christian, and give more attention to the striking growth of Syriac, Coptic, Georgian and Arabic as literary languages, to the complex relation between elite, high-style and highly cultured writing with less formal and often more practical types of expression, [19] and (something which I think is vital) to the integration of theological and other religious writing into our understanding of later Greek literature in general. [20] Greek literature in late antiquity has not only to be related to the availability and type of education, [21] to the powerful influence of rhetoric, [22] and to social and political change in general, but also to the demands of, for instance, Christian liturgy, Christian cult centres, Christian edification, homiletic and catechism. It is striking, for example, how much late antique Christian literature was actually written by monks and bishops—why was it written and for whom was it intended? [23] The same bishops composed homilies and exegetical works and operated within social networks maintained not least by means of letter-writing— but if we think of Libanius, for example, or Augustine and Paulinus of Nola, we can soon see that this was not confined to Christians, nor to Greek.

These competing influences were not always easy to resolve. The sixth-century epigrammatists of Agathias’ Cycle evidently had an excellent training in verse composition, and in the early seventh century, Sophronius was using quite decent anacreontics to write about Jerusalem and about the Persian invasion of Palestine. But a whole monastic literature also grew up in Greek (and other languages), from the lives and sayings of the fathers to ‘centuries’, florilegia, ascetic writings and more. Andrew Louth has recently presented the writings of John of Damascus in this light. [24] The circulation of books, including classical manuscripts, is a vital subject for the period, [25] but so too are the translation, rewriting and retelling of stories at all literary levels from the simplest to the quite elevated, [26] and the ways in which the vast quantity of ecclesiastical and theological material was kept, maintained and controlled. Both censorship and the fabrication of texts were techniques used by ecclesiastics in our period: texts were themselves, as I have suggested, used as weapons. [27] Not surprisingly, then, books were also burned by imperial order.

Religion still poses problems for some critics of late antique literature. Kazhdan, a scholar who spent his formative years in the communist system, was also the editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, a great achievement in terms of the dissemination of knowledge of Byzantium, but a work low on spirituality, icons, orthodoxy and the like and strong on material culture, drains and parts of the body. [28] The joint survey of the source material for the Iconoclastic period (ca. 680–850) by John Haldon and Leslie Brubaker is also determinedly secular in focus, against the norm of nearly all writing on this period. [29] The first section, by Brubaker, is labelled uncompromisingly ‘Material Culture’, and begins with architecture. Icons take up only one chapter, along with manuscripts, sculpture, textiles, metalwork, coins, seals, inscriptions, archaeology and historical geography. In John Haldon’s part of the book, on the written ‘sources’, we start sternly with historiography and chronography. Hagiography is described as ‘a dangerous source’, because ‘always informed by a clear ideological programme’, but saints’ Lives and miracle collections are included because ‘they can reflect popular and unofficial views and attitudes’, or ‘beliefs, everyday life and [even] the development of the Greek language’. [30] Such a principled stand is nowadays uncommon, yet it is only since the publication of Arnaldo Momigliano’s The Conflict between Paganism and Christianity in the Fourth Century in 1963 [31] (a year before A.H.M. Jones’s Later Roman Empire) that the previous separation of scholarly work in English on Christian and on secular (or of course, usually pagan) literature has been broken down. It had been a tradition which had created many difficulties, not least the constant attempt in a given author’s writing to identify the ‘classical’ and the ‘Christian’, or the often futile because inconclusive effort to determine an author’s own religious point of view in this way. Yet another obstacle to anyone attempting to find an adequate critical response to later Greek literature is the deep-seated suspicion that Christianization went along with a decline in ‘classical’ rationalism. An extreme form of this was expressed by Ramsay MacMullen, pointing to the detection of a loss of ‘rationalism’ among late antique historians. [32] Equally, in discussing the hiatus in Greek secular historiography from the seventh century onwards, Michael Whitby is not alone in suggesting a contraction of horizons. [33] Viewed from the perspective of secular historiography, Christianization inevitably takes on negative literary connotations; yet it has been one of the major changes of the last generation that people who would once have considered themselves ‘ancient historians’ now see Christian and other religious material as forming a central part of their concerns, indeed in some cases the central part. However, while Christianization as a subject is inseparable from the study of late antique literature, it is not identical with it.

It has been suggested that this period saw an increasing ‘democratization’ of culture, with the development of literary forms less confined to the old elites, and with subject matter appealing to a wider range of the population. [34] If that is true (which remains debatable) the obvious question arises as to whether this trend was connected with Christianization (and where for example Jewish texts, or indeed Christian monastic texts, fall on the spectrum). If it is true, again, it also raises interesting questions about the relation between written texts and visual images, and about the changes in educational availability, the possibilities of travel and the existence of new foci of literary composition. Certainly the latter can be traced. Cyril Mango and others have shown the prominence of Greek writing from Palestine in the seventh century, with for example the works of such writers as Sophronius, John Moschus, Maximus Confessor and Anastasius of Sinai. Mango and others have also brought out the cultural impact that Greek monks and clergy had on Egypt, Sicily and South Italy as they left Palestine under the pressure of invasion. [35] Their writings stemmed largely from monastic backgrounds, but clearly from backgrounds where, as at the S. Sabas monastery near Jerusalem, there were good libraries. Seen in this light, we can say that Greek literature spread westwards in the later part of our period, with quite striking cultural effects. And the impact of Palestinian Greek writings in Constantinople is a feature now well explored, especially through the lively debates about the chronicles of George Syncellus and Theophanes. [36]

Greek literature in late antiquity was dynamic and subject to considerable change, just like the historical context from which it came. But though this volume is about Greek literature, we should not forget the amount of Latin literary activity going on even in Constantinople, certainly up to the sixth century, or the interplay which still existed between Latin and Greek traditions—one can cite Marcellinus Comes, Priscian, Cassiodorus, John the Lydian, Junillus, Corippus—all active in sixth-century Constantinople and writing in Latin; however the influence of Latin literature can also be seen in Greek works, for instance the anonymous ‘On political science’, [37] and would be a good subject for further work. Do we count in any survey of later Greek literature the many works originally written in Greek but now surviving only or partly in Syriac or other languages? This phenomenon is found in a wide range of literary fields, from hagiography and apocryphal texts and theological works to historiography. [38] Even more important, of course, is the emergence of important literatures in Syriac, Coptic, Armenian and Georgian. But translation is also key: Eusebius, Theodoret of Cyrrhus and Severus of Antioch are only some of the authors of Greek works surviving mainly or entirely in translation, while the debate about the authorship of the Life of Antony, one of the seminal works of late antique literature, is made more difficult by the existence of an early version in Syriac and the issue of the relationship between this and the Greek and Coptic versions. [39] Such permeability had other repercussions, for instance in the increasing influence of Greek on the Syriac language. It makes sense in formal terms to confine an enquiry to works in Greek, but only at cost of losing part of the bigger literary picture. Finally, if the relation between texts and translations is often difficult, so is that between text and image. Art historians of the period are highly involved with texts, using texts to explicate visual material, and constantly debating the relation of text and image; but are literary historians equally aware of images and visual art?

There remain real problems about the interpretation of late antique literature. One such problem lies with the common perception of rhetoric as problematic or even negative. In the older view, rhetoric could be seen as a sort of add-on, bolted on to the ‘facts’—if anything, an impediment rather than a help to real reporting. Yet without rhetoric, in all senses of the word, late antique literature cannot be approached, whether it is religious or secular.

It is indeed rash to speak of ‘new’ features in later Greek literature: looking at overall characteristics or developments is safer. My own view is that given where we now are, the traditional binary line between ‘classical’ and ‘non-classical’ features (which are often identified with pagan or secular) and Christian is much less useful than it used to be as a hermeneutic tool, and that it is better to start from a more open-minded position in facing an individual writer. Looking instead at what links writers in late antiquity is more likely to produce interesting results, and more likely to help locate them in their cultural background. A more nuanced idea of their individual formation and education would help in many cases too—at the moment there are just too many generalizations.

For reasons of space I must leave the Roman and Greek issue for another time, and would like to focus for the rest of this paper on something which people do find difficult, yet which cuts across many types of Greek writing in late antiquity. We could perhaps call it ‘the panegyrical mode’. The recent collection by Tomas Hägg and Philip Rousseau is indeed called Greek Biography and Panegyric in Late Antiquity, [40] but of the two, biography has seemed much more interesting, and has received much more attention. The search for ‘the biographic’ is indeed a hallmark of current writing on late antique literature, especially since Patricia Cox Miller’s book on the subject in 1983. [41] It is of course fundamental to understanding saints’ Lives. Saints’ Lives are also central to understanding late antique religious culture. [42] But while the problems of using hagiography to provide historical evidence are well recognized, saints’ Lives also continue to pose literary problems right through the Byzantine period. [43] It seems to me that the contribution of the panegyrical mode to this recurring dilemma still needs some work. It takes us back to the realm of ‘rhetoric’, or more exactly, rhetorical education, for panegyric, as a component of epideictic oratory, was and remained one of the basic components of Greek literary education in late antiquity and Byzantium. This recurring feature in Byzantine writing, not confined to panegyrics as such, is of course in no way new; but it is one of those ‘characteristic ways or means of expression’ which I would regard as typical of late antique writing and which find their way across genres. [44]

That panegyric and the concept of a panegyrical mode form a difficult subject can be seen from the fact that Kaldellis in his book on Procopius leaves the Buildings deliberately out of account in arriving at his revisionist assessment of Procopius’s views on Justinian, having dismissed the work as ‘insincere flattery’. [45] ‘Panegyrical’ is here a dirty word. [46] Understandably, Robert Penella, in an essay on Themistius, finds it necessary to defend his subject. [47] Other critics have also found Procopius’s Buildings difficult, whether in terms of genre, historical reliability or compatibility with Procopius’s other works. [48] In a recent paper Jaś Elsner argued that the Buildings should be read not as a historical description of actual buildings but as a lengthy ekphrasis , [49] a form of epideictic with a strong panegyrical element. Compare Paul the Silentiary on S. Sophia, [50] or other contemporary descriptions of churches, for example by the early sixth century Gaza school, not to mention the poem on Anicia Juliana’s church of St. Polyeuktos [51] or the inscription round the church of SS. Sergius and Bacchus, [52] to name only a few sixth-century examples. Descriptions of buildings are a special case, and the question of how far they are usable by historians for the reconstruction of the actual buildings remains. [53] But there is no binary opposition between literary description and historical reliability. Sabine MacCormack recognized that descriptions of buildings or physical objects had a structural role in imperial panegyric, and this is certainly true: [54] Corippus provides an outstanding example of this in his poem praising Justin II, which gives us the literary equivalent of such works of art as imperial diptychs, or the Trier ivory, or the Ravenna mosaics. [55] It is well recognized indeed that ekphrasis of a work of art, often a Christian icon, mosaic or church, is an extremely common literary form in late antiquity; [56] bishops were builders, after all, and the new Christian constructions called for admiring description. Not all ekphraseis were positive about their subject: there was also an art of denigration. But much surviving ekphrasis can be seen as a particular (though elastic) example of the wider panegyrical mode. [57] The market, if we put it that way, for panegyric, was lively: as well as Procopius and Corippus, both Priscian (in Latin) and Procopius of Gaza (in Greek) wrote panegyrics on Anastasius, and many others wrote on lesser men than emperors. But panegyric or encomium is also the very foundation of hagiography, from the Life of Antony onwards. The funeral oration of Basil by Gregory of Nazianzen described by George Kennedy as ‘probably the greatest piece of Greek rhetoric since the death of Demosthenes’, [58] is a classic encomium, and is imitated as such in the late sixth century by Eustratius in his highly rhetorical Life of the patriarch Eutychius. [59]

We are fortunate that much good work has been done in recent years in the direction of understanding conventional panegyrics better. [60] But if composing exercises in this mode is part of the general education of the literary elite, the panegyrical mode is not confined to writers of ‘high’ style. That holy men in hagiography are presented as iconic exemplars has much to do with the habitual turn to the panegyrical mode. [61] Patricia Cox Miller traces a similar tendency in group or collective biographies such as the Lives of the Sophists by Eunapius. [62] It also pervades other sorts of narrative, for instance historiography, as in Procopius’ presentation of Belisarius, or, inversely, of Justinian, Theodora and the Persian king Chosroes. [63] The kontakia of Romanos, and the Akathistos hymn to the Virgin, are full of it. [64] This pervasiveness happens at a deeper level than in overtly panegyrical works. But understandably, it leaves some works hard to classify, for example Eusebius’ Life of Constantine (biography, narrative history or panegyric?) or Corippus’ Iohannis (epic or panegyric? A recent book devotes a whole chapter to this question, considering it essential to settle it before embarking on any actual literary criticism). [65]

To emphasize the panegyrical mode may not strike anyone as new, but I feel that its centrality has not yet been appreciated as it should be. Some have seen a characteristic of the late antique aesthetic in fragmentation, the breaking up of styles and genres, the use of spolia, ‘an aesthetics of discontinuity’. [66] Others have observed the preponderance of debate, dialogue and competition in late antique discourse. [67] Against this, panegyric, in its obedience to rhetorical rules and well-learned vocabulary and imagery, represents pure and disciplined form. This form crosses over into all kinds of literature, where it might be least expected. Rhetoric is fundamental to late antique literature, and yet it does not dominate. Moreover, rhetoric has influenced (dare I say it) new forms, outside the old repertoire. Our challenge is to see how and why.

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[ back ] 1. Cameron, 1992: 81–105. The present paper draws on material presented at Cambridge and at the Central European University, Budapest, and I wish to thank Richard Miles and Peter Brown for those invitations.

[ back ] 2. See for example on the anonymous De politica scientia (sixth century), O’Meara, 2004: 49–62, and see below n. 36. If theological writing should be regarded as literary, the same question arises with regard to philosophical writing; food for thought for example in Athanassiadi, 1999: 39–42, 58–60.

[ back ] 3. 3 Publications on the subject are still rare, but see Winkler, 1982. The terminological divide between ‘late antique’ and ‘Byzantine’ is a hindrance to anyone trying to approach this subject, and it is therefore noteworthy that despite its title Odorico (ed), 2002 contains several relevant contributions, including Chrysos, 2002: 13–24; M. Mullett, 2002: 37–60; P. Odorico, 2002: 61–80.

[ back ] 4. For discussion and references see Cameron, 2002: 165–191.

[ back ] 5. C. Morrisson, 2004; see B. Flusin, 2004: 255–276—this is not meant as a criticism, since it is the inevitable result of books of multiple authorship, which have to divide up the material somehow. The focus here, given the overall field of the book, is noticeably different from the common focus on the classical (see next note).

[ back ] 6. J.H.W.G. Liebeschuetz, 2001, chapter 7: 223–248, ‘The Transformation of Greek Literary Culture under the Influence of Christianity’. Liebeschuetz places literature firmly within general culture, and within the context of visual art, and he gives space to new features such as the rise of the kontakion (p. 241), but he sees a ‘dramatic’ change which is clear by the seventh century, brought about by the ‘excision’ of classicising literature in the second half of the sixth century in favour of a Christian and Biblical emphasis (p. 245). Since he refers to this process as ‘the end of the tradition’ (p. 239) and follows this chapter with another on ‘Conflict and Disorder in the East’, it is fair to say that he sees the process in terms of decline, though that is indeed to over-simplify a nuanced and even pioneering discussion.

[ back ] 7. H. Inglebert, 2001.

[ back ] 8. See Claudia Rapp, 2005.

[ back ] 9. Swain and Mark Edwards (eds), 2004; see Cameron, 2000, contains only one contribution on ‘later Greek literature’, which is mainly concerned with the imperial period; cf. introduction, p. 16: ‘by 550 CE, in the West entirely, and in the East largely, a literary “dark age” had closed in. No one could claim that more than minimal literature was being made any more’.

[ back ] 10. Kaldellis, 2004, e.g. p. 13, p. 38 and frequently; these Byzantinists are also often equated by him with ‘positivists’. For recent scholarship on Procopius see Geoffrey Greatrex, ‘Recent Work on Procopius and the Composition of Wars VIII’, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 27, 2003, 45–67.

[ back ] 11. Alexander, 1999.

[ back ] 12. See Margaret Alexiou, 2001; Alexiou passes from the New Testament and its legacy to Romanos and then to the twelfth century, with little coverage of the period between. But Romanos needs to be read in context, even if the poetic quality of his kontakia is given special acclaim. Romanos continues to puzzle scholars: is his work to be read as Syrian or Greek? Is he a liturgical poet or a rhetorician in the Greek tradition? Where does he stand in relation to the Justinianic regime? For a start see the excellent article by Derek Krueger, ‘Writing and Redemption in the Hymns of Romanos the Melodist’, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 27 (2003): 2–44.

[ back ] 13. Webb, 1999: 146.

[ back ] 14. As in Hunger, 1978.

[ back ] 15. Kazhdan, 1999: 2.

[ back ] 16. See the useful recent collection of papers in Marasco, 2003.

[ back ] 17. For the argument see Cameron, 1997: 665–707.

[ back ] 18. Clark, 1999.

[ back ] 19. In a paper which is much more wide-ranging and relevant to our concerns here than its title suggests, Claudia Rapp also draws attention to the non-literary transmission of ideas which then find their way into written works: Rapp, 1994: 1248–1266.

[ back ] 20. On which see Cameron, ‘Education and Literary Culture’.

[ back ] 21. As is done by Rapp, 2005: 376–397; see also the remarks of Inglebert, 2001: 562–563, and the paper by Elizabeth Jeffreys in this volume.

[ back ] 22. On which see Jeffreys, 2003; most of the emphasis in the contributions is on later periods, but see for example the papers by Cunningham, Ljubarskij, Mullett and Mary Whitby. Rhetoric is a turn-off for modern critics, who feel the need to see beyond it: there is useful material in Stanley E. Porter, 1997, for instance Kinzig, 1997: 633–670.

[ back ] 23. For the place of writing in a religious life see Krueger, 2004.

[ back ] 24. Louth, 2002; for a more philosophical reading of one of the same texts see Frede, 2002: 63–96. For monastic literature see also Flusin, 1992; Louth, 2004: 373–381.

[ back ] 25. See Cavallo, 1978: 83–132; contrast Cavallo, 2001: 131–138.

[ back ] 26. Many of the volumes in Translated Texts for Historians (Liverpool University Press), a series devoted to making late antique texts available in English translation, deal with surviving versions in several languages; see also the essays on translation in Mullett, 2004.

[ back ] 27. Averil Cameron, 1994: 198–215.

[ back ] 28. Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (3 vols, New York: 1991); see, on Kazhdan, Talbot, 2002: 125–132; Anthony Cutler, 1992: 1–4.

[ back ] 29. Brubaker and Haldon, 2001.

[ back ] 30. Brubaker and Haldon, 199.

[ back ] 31. Momigliano (ed.), 1963; the title betrays the concerns of the time, but the collection gave an important place to Christianity and therefore to Christian writing at a time where it was generally passed over by ancient historians, especially British ones. It has been pointed out more than once that the way had already been shown by H.-I. Marrou, who is one of the contributors to the volume.

[ back ] 32. MacMullen, 1997: 100, with n. 70; for a strong statement on the supposedly increasing level of superstition and irrationality from which Constantine and Christianity profited (or of which their success was a symptom), see MacMullen, 1968: 81–96.

[ back ] 33. See Whitby, 1992: 25–80, with reference at pp. 70–73 to ‘general contraction’, ‘loss of contact with the past’, ‘restricted horizons’ and ‘lack of incentive’.

[ back ] 34. For the history of the debate since Santo Mazzarino first proposed the idea in 1960 see Carrié, 2001: 27–46; Averil Cameron, 2004: 91–107.

[ back ] 35. Mango, 1974:683–670, reprinted in Mango, 1984: VI.

[ back ] 36. See also the Life of Michael Syncellus: Cunningham, 1991. For recent discussion and references on the Palestinian origin of George Syncellus and the possible transmission of his eastern sources to Theophanes, see Adler, 2002: 81–83. Theophanes preserves material in common with Syriac chronicles, whether or not mediated by Syncellus.

[ back ] 37. Mazzucchi, 1982. The work draws on Cicero and cites Cato, Livy, Cicero, Seneca and Juvenal; see also Fotiou, 1981: 533–547. On Latin in the East see also Rapp, 1994: 1221–1242.

[ back ] 38. For the latter see Whitby, 2000: 449–496.

[ back ] 39. See the cautious conclusions on authorship of Rousseau, 2000: 89–106, at pp. 101–104; for this old problem see also the critical edition of Bartelink, 1994.

[ back ] 40. Hägg 2000: 1–28.

[ back ] 41. Cox, 1983; see for instance Swain, 1997: 1–17.

[ back ] 42. And thus essential to introductory books on Byzantine culture, for instance Cavallo, 1997: 255–280 (by Cyril Mango).

[ back ] 43. See Hackel, 1981; Uytfanghe, 2001: 201–218. Krueger, 1996 is an example of how to read hagiography.

[ back ] 44. Averil Cameron, 1991: 13, also cited by Miller, ‘Strategies of Representation in Collective Biography: Constructing the Subject as Holy’, in Hägg 2000: 250.

[ back ] 45. Kaldellis, 2004: 51–52, 54–55, calling Procopius’s claims that it is a ‘history’ deception; he defends himself at p. 241 n. 128. Incidentally this view of the Buildings is itself revisionist, going back to Gibbon, whom Kaldellis usually dismisses.

[ back ] 46. Kaldellis: 241 n. 25.

[ back ] 47. Penella, 2000b: 201: ‘Oration 30: more than a trite encomium?’; see also Penella, 2000a.

[ back ] 48. See the papers in Roueché, 2000: 7–180, especially those by Mary Whitby, Michael Whitby (who are confused by Kaldellis) and Howard-Johnston. For the insincerity view see also Downey, 1947: 171–183; this usually leads to the conclusion that the work’s ‘evidence’ is untrustworthy.

[ back ] 49. Elsner, 2004; also Whitby, 2000: 48–57.

[ back ] 50. See Macrides,1988: 47–82.

[ back ] 51. AP I.10; see the detailed discussion by Mary Whitby in this volume.

[ back ] 52. Whitby. I.8; Mango, 1972: 189–193. See Mary Whitby’s paper in this volume for further bibliography; also her earlier paper ‘The Vocabulary of Praise in Verse-Celebrations of 6th-Century Building Achievements: AP 2.398–406, AP 9.656, AP 1.10 and Paul the Silentiary’s Description of St Sophia’, in D. Accorinti and P. Chuvin (eds), Des Géants à Dionysos. Mélanges offerts à F. Vian (Alessandria: 2003), pp. 593– 606.

[ back ] 53. Eusebius’s descriptions of churches are a classic example of obscurity: see especially Vigiliae Christianae III.25–51 on the churches in the Holy Land; IV. 58–60, on Constantine’s mausoleum. This is perhaps why the subject has been so taken up by art historians.

[ back ] 54. MacCormack, 1976: 29–77.

[ back ] 55. Ed., trans. and comm. by Averil Cameron, 1976, with discussion.

[ back ] 56. See the examples translated in Mango, 1972.

[ back ] 57. See e.g. Webb, 1999: 7–18.

[ back ] 58. Kennedy, 1983: 237. See also Norris, 2000: 140–159, also comparing Gregory’s eulogy of his brother Caesarius, pp. 148–149; Norris is concerned with ‘the fascinating interplay between rhetoric and history’, p. 155; see also Konstan, 2000: 160–179.

[ back ] 59. Laga, 1992: 103 (Index fontium).

[ back ] 60. Pernot, 1992; L’Huillier, 1992; Rees, 2002; Ma. Whitby, 1998; Webb, 2003: 127–135.

[ back ] 61. Brown, 1983: 1–25; Av. Cameron, 1976: 141–152.

[ back ] 62. Cox Miller, 1998: 241–250.

[ back ] 63. For Evagrius Scholasticus in this light, see Mi. Whitby, 1998: 321–344.

[ back ] 64. For Romanos see Krueger, 2001.

[ back ] 65. Zarini, 2003.

[ back ] 66. For visual art see Elsner 2000: 149–184; ‘Late Antique Art: The Problem of the Concept and the Cumulative Aesthetic’, in Swain 1997: 304–309; in literature: Cox Miller, 1998: 124–130; Roberts, 1998: 66–121.

[ back ] 67. See Lim, 1999: 196–218.