IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 1007: From Boethius to Byzantium: Literature and Identity between East and West

Wednesday 11 July 2012, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Aglae Pizzone, Department of Classics & Ancient History, Durham University
Paper 1007-aCourting Treason, Skirting Heresy: Boethius's Consolatio at the Crux of East/West Relations in the 6th and 13th Centuries
(Language: English)
Leslie A. Taylor, Independent Scholar, Colorado
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Language and Literature - Latin, Politics and Diplomacy, Theology
Paper 1007-bThe Common Trojan Origin of Franks and Turks in the Chronicle of Fredegar
(Language: English)
Alessandro Gnasso, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Thomas J. MacMaster, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Historiography - Medieval, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1007-cNicephorus Callisti Xanthopulus, Historia Ecclesiastica: The Role of Dogmatic Rules in the Method of Working of a Late Byzantine Historian
(Language: English)
Sebastiano Panteghini, Institut für Byzanzforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Ecclesiastical History, Historiography - Medieval, Theology

Paper -a:
Boethius wrote the Consolatio while in prison awaiting execution on the charge of conspiring with the Eastern Empire. Eight centuries later, Maximos Planudes made a widely-circulated Greek translation of the Consolatio which arose from initiatives to strengthen ties between Byzantium and the Latin West. One important link between the Consolatio and Byzantine culture is Boethius’s strong arguments justifying human free will and divine omniscience, subtly defying the Augustinian determinism that had triumphed in the West. Hence, in the early 6th and late13th centuries, Boethius’s text attempted to reconcile differences that go to the heart of both theology and politics.

Paper -b:
The first post-classical appearance of descent from Trojan exiles is found in the Merovingian Chronicle of Fredegar. The author describes the Franks as sharing a common ancestry with the Turks. This connection seems absurd but could have originated with Byzantine diplomacy in the late 6th or early 7th century. While it was retained in Frankish origin myths for nearly a millennium, its original significance appears to have been neglected very soon. Fredegar reports the return of named ambassadors from Constantinople in 629, who could be the source for many of his eastern stories as some details fit that specific time. While the ambassadors’ sojourn coincided with Heraclius’s alliance with the Göktürks, Fredegar seems unaware of Turkish involvement in the Persian wars.

Paper -c:
Abstract withheld by request