Emmanuel C. BOURBOUHAKIS (Princeton University)

9. Juni 2021 17:00 (CEST)

Beyond Transmission: Neglected Tales of Byzantine Classical Reception

Though credited with having preserved the bulk of ancient Greek literature and learning, Byzantium has paradoxically not figured in the proliferating narratives of Classical Reception which have increasingly assumed center-stage in contemporary (Anglo-American) Classical Studies. This absence has been interpreted by some Byzantinists as symptomatic of long-standing neglect and/or an ideologically driven erasure of Byzantium's contribution to cultural classicism and canon formation. But might Byzantine engagement with antiquity offer an alternative rather than a corrective to the story of Classical Reception?

Far from being a protagonist in this reappraisal, palaeography has usually been enlisted to tell a story of transmission instead of reception. Yet every conspectus codicum, stemma, and manuscript tells a story of mediaeval entanglement with ancient literature, often in unexpected or enigmatic ways. A series of palaeographical puzzles surrounding the works of Plato and Aristotle at the beginning and end of Byzantium may reveal both the unacknowledged magnitude of Byzantine classical reception and how muchof it we still do not understand.

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