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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

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

Ioannes Laurentius Lydus

(361 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
[John of Lydia] 6th century. Byzantium. Administrator and author of works on divination and on history. Ioannes was born ca 490 at Philadelphia in Lydia (today Alasehir in Turkey). Apparently he came to Constantinople around 510, and there he began his official career as a high functionary of the Early Byzantine State during the reign of Emperors Anastasius (490-518) and Justinian I (527-65). He retired in 552 and, like many Roman nobleman, he became a writer and took particular pride in teaching Latin. We do not know when he died.Two of his works deal with history. The first, on th…
Date: 2016-10-17

Akropolites, Konstantinos

(228 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
13th-14th century. Byzantium. The son of the historian Georgius Akropolites. Little is known of his biography. He followed his father, who was tutor to the Emperor Theodoros II Doukas Laskaris (1254-58), in a series of high positions in the civil administration of the Byzantine Empire. From 1282 to 1294 he was finance minister ( logothetes tou genikou) and from 1305 to 1321 "prime minister" ( megas logothetes). Apparently he must have been died after 1324/25.Besides his rhetorical and hagiographical writings Konstantinos began to compile a Roman and Byzantine history …
Date: 2016-10-17

John of Nikiu

(581 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin | Wood,Philip
mid-7th century. Egypt. John was a Coptic bishop of Nikiû, a former city in the south-western part of the Nile delta, and author of a chronicle that extends from Creation to the 640s. In 689 he took part in the election of the Coptic pope Isaac (689-92) at Alexandria, and in the same year he was sent in an official mission of his church to the Arab governor at Cairo. Under pope Simeon I (692-700) he was general supervisor of Coptic monasteries. But after indirectly causing the death of a monk in the 690s, John was deposed from his bishopric and from his office as supervisor. He may have died around 700.J…
Date: 2016-10-17

Scriptor incertus de Leone Armenio

(332 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
9th century. Byzantium. The text with the title Συγγραφὴ χρονογραφίου τὰ κατὰ Λέοντα υἱὸν Βάρδα τοῦ Ἀρμενίου περιέχουσα (Compiled chronicle containing what happened to Leo, the son of Bardas the Armenian) is a record on the reigns of the Byzantine Emperors Michael I (811-13) and Leo V (813-20). Leo himself was a son of the Byzantine patricius Bardas, whose family originated from Armenia. Modern scholars are not sure if the text was composed as an independent chronicle or if it was intended to continue Ioannes Malalas or Theophanes Confessor. The auth…
Date: 2016-10-17

Candidus of Isauria

(279 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
second half of the 5th century. Byzantium. On record as a notary or clerk in the service of certain noble families of his native Isauria, Candidus was the author of a History (Λόγοι ἱστορίας, Logoi historias), which according to the information supplied by the patriarch Photios I (9th century), originally consisted of three volumes ( l ogoi). From the whole text only a short summary in the so-called Bibliotheke of Photios has come down to us. Photios reports some autobiographical comments from Candidus's work, recording that he was born at Tracheia in Cilicia (A…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ephraem of Ainus

(490 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
early 14th century. Byzantium. Author of a verse chronicle of Roman and Byzantine Emperors, written in iambic trimeters and in highest level of Greek language. Unfortunately we have little exact information about Ephraem, though he was probably born at Ainus (now Ezes in European Turkey). This assumption is based on the old library catalogue of the Vatican, which has listed the work since the 16th century as Ἐφραὶμ Αἰνίου χρονικὴ ἱστορία (Chronicle of Ephraem from Ainos); presumably this must have been taken from earlier catalogues or from the manuscript it…
Date: 2016-10-17

Agathias of Myrina

(454 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
[Agathias Scholastikos] 6th century. Byzantium (Asia Minor). Author of a History (Ἱστορία) of Byzantine affairs 552-59. Agathias, whose biography we know quite well from the preface of his History and from his poetry in the famous Palatine Anthology, was from Myrina (now Sandarlik) in Mysia, Asia Minor (approx. 40 km from Pergamon). There he was born about the year 532. Like many of his contemporaries he completed a rhetorical education which allowed him to take over a higher function in the administration of Smyrna (İzmir…
Date: 2016-10-17
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