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Venice

(2,604 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars
Hoffmann, Lars [German version] A. Founding of the City: Legend and History (CT) In comparison with most other urban centres in Italy, which exist in a clearly identifiable historical and cultural context linked with Roman or even Greek Antiquity that is also a part of their inhabitants' lore, Venice (V.) occupies a special place insofar as it can be drawn on both on behalf of  a continuity as well as discontinuity with Classical Antiquity. This becomes apparent when one considers the historically documented…

Severianos

(154 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars
[English version] Bischof von Gabala (h. Ǧabla) in Syrien, trat ab 401 n. Chr. als Prediger in Konstantinopolis auf. Sein Name ist v. a. mit dem erbitterten Streit mit Iohannes [4] Chrysostomos nach dessen Ernennung zum ökumenischen Patriarchen verbunden. Beide galten als begnadete Prediger, wobei ihre durch gegenseitige Kränkungen und offenes Buhlen um die Gunst der Kaiserin Aelia [4] Eudoxia gekennzeichnete Rivalität letztlich zur Absetzung und Verbannung des Chrysostomos führte. Aufgrund der da…

Venedig

(2,280 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars
Hoffmann, Lars [English version] A. Stadtgründung: Legende und Historie (RWG) Im Vergleich zu den meisten anderen städtischen Zentren Italiens, die in einem eindeutig erkennbaren, auch im Wissen ihrer Bewohner fest verankerten kulturgeschichtlichen Zusammenhang mit der röm. oder gar der griech. Ant. stehen, nimmt V. eine Sonderstellung ein, da es sowohl für eine Kontinuität als auch für eine Diskontinuität zur Ant. in Anspruch genommen werden kann. Dies ergibt sich bereits aus dem Datum für eine histor. …

Patriarch

(634 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars
[English version] (πατριάρχης). Historisch läßt sich nicht genau nachvollziehen, wann aus dem urspr. Würdetitel des P. ein Amtstitel der christl. Ostkirche wurde. Erstmals belegt ist er in den Akten der Synode von Konstantinopolis (Concilium Constantinopolitanum 381, Canon 2), wobei dieser Begriff über die griech. Kirchenväter (vgl. Greg. Naz. or. 43,37 = PG 36, 545C) und deren alttestamentarische Exegese in die kirchliche Verwaltungssprache eingeführt wurde. Im spätant.-kirchlichen Sprachgebrauch bezeichnete patriárchēs den Ehrenrang des Funktionärs, der an der…

Patriarch

(707 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars
[German version] (πατριάρχης/ patriárchēs). It is impossible to determine precisely when the term patriarch, originally an honorific, became an official title in the Christian Eastern Orthodox Church. It is first documented in the acts of the Synod of Constantinople (Concilium Constantinopolitanum 381, Canon 2). The concept was introduced into the administrative language of the church through the Greek church fathers (cf. Greg. Naz. Or. 43,37 = PG 36, 545C) and their exegesis of the Old Testament. In the ecclesiastical usage of Late Antiquity, patriárchēs referred to the honor…

Cosmas of Jerusalem (Saint)

(195 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars M.
[German Version] (also Cosmas of Maiuma, Cosmas Hagiopolites, Cosmas the Melodist, Cosmas the Younger; 2nd half of the 8th cent. – c. 760), ¶ one of the most important hymnographers of the Byzantine church. His Vita displays markedly legendary elements and the typical hagiographical topoi. According to it, he was adopted by the father of John of Damascus, was educated in rhetoric by a Sicilian monk named Cosmas before entering, along with his adoptive brother, into the famed Great Laura of St. Sabas (Bethlehem). Ther…

Petros Patrikios

(387 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
500-570/80. Greece. Petros Patrikios, a high-ranking official as well as a man of letters of the sixth century, was born in Thessalonica. After a schooling in rhetoric he spent some years as lawyer at Constantinople, then from 534 he served Emperor Justinian I (527-65) several times on foreign diplomatic missions. Returning in 537 from Italy, where he had been held in captivity for three years, he was appointed to the office of the magister militum, which at that time was connected with the honorary title patricius. During the next three decades Justinian regularly called on him…
Date: 2016-10-17

Pseudo-Symeon

(212 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
10th century. Byzantium. Pseudo-Symeon is an anonymous universal chronicle apparently based on Symeon Magistros & Logothete. The text runs from Creation to 963, but often it is sparser than its model. For the years to 812, sources include Theophanes Confessor and Georgios monachos. Thereafter the author obviously made use of the so-called Scriptor Incertus de Leone Armenio and of Ioseph Genesios, but he also has some information, for example on the character of emperor Leo V (813-20) or on building activities at Constantinople, which we do not get from other sources, as Markopoulos has…
Date: 2016-10-17

Chronicle of Ioannina

(423 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
[Epirotica; Chronicle of Epirus] 15th century. Greece. A chronicle of the Epirus region in Northern Greece. About five fragments of this work survive, though it must once have been considerably more extensive. The first fragment incorporates the beginning of the chronicle of Ephraem of Ainus. The second, entitled Ἱστορία Πρελούμπου καὶ τῶν ἄλλων Δεσπότων τῶν Ἰωαννίνων, ἀπὸ τῆς ἁλώσεως αὐτῶν παρὰ τῶν Σερβῶν ἕως τῆς παραδόσεως εἰς Τούρκους (The history of Preljubović and of the other Despots of Ioanni…
Date: 2016-10-17

Niketas Choniates

(805 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
ca 1155 - 1216/17. Byzantium. The chronicle of Niketas Choniates should be hailed as one of the most significant and perfect productions of the Byzantine, if not of the entire medieval historiographical tradition. It bears the title: Χρονικὴ διήγησις τοῦ κὺρ Χωνιάτου Νικήτα ἀρχομένη ἀπὸ τῆς βασιλείας Ἰωάννου τοῦ Κομνηνοῦ καὶ λήγουσα μέχρι τῆς ἁλώσεως τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως (Chronicle narration of Niketas Choniates beginning with the reign of Ioannes Komnenus up to the sack of Constantinople).Niketas was born about 1155, probably at Constantinople. His family originate…
Date: 2016-10-17

Gregoras, Nikephoros

(591 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
ca 1295 – ca 1360. Byzantium. A famous Byzantine erudite, born at Heraclea Pontice (now Karadeniz Ereğli in Turkey). Orphaned as child Nikephoros Gregoras was educated by his uncle Ioannes, who became metropolitan of his home town and sent him about 1314 to Constantinople. On his uncle's recommendation he was instructed in rhetoric, astronomy and philosophy by the patriarch Ioannes Glykys and the later "prime minister" Theodorus Metochites. The young Gregoras enjoyed a successful poli…
Date: 2016-10-17

Doukas

(493 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
ca 1400 - after 1462. Byzantium. A member of the influential Doukas family, and grandson of Michael Doukas, who was important in the Civil War of the 1340s. Neither his first name nor precise dates are known.Doukas composed a kind of universal chronicle with the title Ἀριθμοὶ ἐτῶν ἀπὸ τοῦ πρώτου ἀνθρώπου ἕως τῆς ἡμετέρας γενεᾶς (The total of all years beginning from the first man up to our generation), which is commonly and rightly seen by modern scholars as a history of the relations between Ottomans and Byzantines between the ye…
Date: 2016-10-17

Brachéa Chroniká

(5,950 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
[Βραχέα Χρονικά (Short chronicles)] 10th-18th centuries. Byzantium and Post-Byzantium. Short lists of chronographical notes can often be found in Greek manuscripts of other texts, inserted by the scribes or by the owners of the manuscripts on free pages, on the end papers or in the margins. Taken together their contents span the years 313-1771. The term Short Chronicle (Βραχέα Χρονικά or Σημείωμα Χρονικό) was first coined about 1910 by the Greek Byzantonologist Sp. Lampros, who became aware of them and began to collect the texts systematically. This work was continued by R.-J. Loenertz…
Date: 2016-10-17

Procopius of Caesarea

(462 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
ca 500 – ca 565. Palestine. Procopius, who takes his cognomen from his native city of Caesaraea Maritima, was a historian par excellence, of enormous importance for the Byzantine traditions of historiography and chronography. Procopius was born about the end of the fifth century as member of the upper-class. Around 530, after completing studies in rhetoric and law, he assumed a position as lawyer (assessor) to General Belisarius, the magister militum in the east of the Roman Empire. When Belisarius was recalled by the Emperor Justinian I (527-65) in 542, Procopius…
Date: 2016-10-17

Joel historicus

(352 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
fl. early 14th century. Byzantium. All that is known of his person is that he was a monk. He was author of a scarce universal chronicle which modern historians seldom consult because it contains little information not available from other historical sources.In manuscript tradition the text is entitled Χρονογραφία ἐν συνόψει (Summarised chronicle). In form it is a long list of human generations from Creation to the kingdom of Israel and to Jesus Christ as well as of the Roman Emperors up to the year 1204, with no distinction made betwee…
Date: 2016-10-17

Patria Constantinoupoleos

(605 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
[Pseudo-Kodinos] 10th century. Byzantium. A group of works on the history and topography of Constantinople. Two of these texts in particular are designated as Patria Constantinoupoleos. The first, with the title Πάτρια Κωνσταντινουπόλεως κατὰ Ἡσύχιον Ἰλλούστριον (The origin and the history of Constantinople according to the illustrious Hesychius) was taken from the lost world chronicle of the 6th-century pagan Hesychius of Miletus and describes the history of the city of Byzantium from its foundation up to the time when it was renamed as Constantinopl…
Date: 2016-10-17

Malchus of Philadelphia

(375 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
[Malchos] 5th century. Byzantium. All we can definitely say of the life of Malchus is that he originated from Syria (perhaps the Philadelphia located near to modern Amman in Jordan) andlater lived in Constantinople. He is known as author of a History in seven books, bearing the title Βυζαντιακά (Byzantiaka) which began at the end of the reign of Emperor Leo I (457-74) in the year 473 and ran to the death of the Western Emperor Iulius Nepos in 480. The text should be regarded as a History of Emperors, continuing the work of Priscus of Panium.Today the Byzantiaka are lost except for twenty-eig…
Date: 2016-10-17

Chronicle of the Tocco

(486 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
[Χρονικὸν τῶν Τόκκων τῆς Κεφαλληνίας] pre-1429. Northern Greece (Ionian Islands of the Epirus region). A verse chronicle in vernacular Greek covering the years 1375/76 and 1422, and providing the main source for the events in Northern Greece and Southern Albania during this period.In the centre of the text, which has come down to us in about 3920 lines of verse, we find the history and the reign of Charles I Tocco. From ca 1376 his political influence in Northern Greece increased rapidly, so that in 1415 he was appointed by the Byzantin…
Date: 2016-10-17

Melissourgos, Macarios

(450 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
[Melissenus] d. 1585. Greece. Archbishop of Monembasia and author of a counterfeited Chronicon maius in vernacular Greek prose, which was long ascribed to the 15th-century chronicler Georgios Sphrantzes.The view that Sphrantzes composed this chronicle originates with Melisourogos himself, and is rooted in the manuscripts, which give the work the title Χρονικὸν τοῦ Γεωργίου Φραντῆ τοῦ χρηματίσαντος πρωτοβεστιαρίτου καὶ μετέπειτα Μεγάλου Λογοθέτου, διὰ δὲ τοῦ θείου καὶ ἀγγελικοῦ σχήματος μετονομασθέντος Γρηγορίου μοναχοῦ (C…
Date: 2016-10-17

Bryennios, Nikephoros

(337 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
1062-1137. Byzanitum. Nikephoros Bryennios was born close to Adrianople (Edirne, modern Turkey) and lived and died at Constantinople. He was a member of a noble and powerful family of the Byzantine capital whose personal merits in military affairs allowed him to approach rapidly the inner circle of the emperor Alexios I Komnenos, who married him to his daughter Anna Komnene. After Alexios' death in 1081, Anna incited her husband to play an active role in an insurrection against her br…
Date: 2016-10-17
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