IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 1020: Spiritual Nourishment: Late Antique and Early Medieval World Chronicles, I - East

Wednesday 6 July 2016, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften
Organisers:Jonas Borsch, Seminar für Alte Geschichte, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen / Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Heidelberg
Christian Gastgeber, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Christine Radtki, Seminar für Alte Geschichte, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen / Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Heidelberg
Moderator/Chair:Mischa Meier, Abteilung für Alte Geschichte, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
Paper 1020-aWealth and Poverty in John Malalas
(Language: English)
Christine Radtki, Seminar für Alte Geschichte, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen / Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Heidelberg
Christine Radtki, Seminar für Alte Geschichte, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen / Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Heidelberg
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Daily Life, Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Greek
Paper 1020-bConceptions of Disaster in John Malalas: The Example of Food Shortage and Famine
(Language: English)
Jonas Borsch, Seminar für Alte Geschichte, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen / Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Heidelberg
Jonas Borsch, Seminar für Alte Geschichte, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen / Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Heidelberg
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Daily Life, Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Greek
Paper 1020-cOn the Scriptor Incertus and the Continuation of Malalas
(Language: English)
Federico Montinaro, Sonderforschungsbereich 923 'Bedrohte Ordnungen', Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
Federico Montinaro, Sonderforschungsbereich 923 'Bedrohte Ordnungen', Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Daily Life, Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Greek
Abstract

The three sessions will approach the conference theme from the angle of the ‘spiritual nourishment’ which following generations could derive and recompose with new ingredients. The point of departure will be late antique and early medieval chronography; the main issue up for discussion shall be how in this literary genre the past was constructed and used as a foil for the present. With a view to the authors’s provenance (Eastern or Western part of the Roman empire) it shall be analysed how the late antique and early medieval authors’s living conditions influenced their conception and interpretation of the past and how the description of past and present times could be used to provide potential addressees with ‘spiritual nourishment’. For several chronographers an intense confrontation with the own contemporary history can be noticed, in which particular events such as catastrophes (famines, earthquakes, epidemics) are treated with extraordinary interest and in which those events are associated with a meaningful impact – always related to the authors’s individual conception of the world.

The focus of the first session, with the spotlight on the East, shall be the 6th-century author John Malalas and his chronicle, in which Roman history unfolded over 18 books from the biblical creation to his own times. The last three books on ‘contemporary history’ in particular show a wide range of different disaster scenarios – among them several famines and droughts – which play a key role within the chronicle’s narrative. This session’s aim is to spotlight these descriptions of disasters and their meaning within the chronicle and for the author himself. Beyond that, and with an eye to the ‘spiritual nourishment’ with which potential addresses of the chronicle were provided, the chronicle’s afterlife shall be examined.