IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 1120: Spiritual Nourishment: Late Antique and Early Medieval World Chronicles, II - East and West

Wednesday 6 July 2016, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
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:Hans-Werner Goetz, Historisches Seminar, Universität Hamburg
Paper 1120-aShortage of Fish or Lack of Wine: Greek and Roman Mythological Elements in the Easter Chronicle
(Language: English)
Erika Juhász, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / ELTE Eötvös József Collegium, Budapest
Erika Juhász, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / ELTE Eötvös József Collegium, Budapest
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Daily Life, Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Greek
Paper 1120-bWhy Reporting Catastrophes: The Case of the Easter Chronicle
(Language: English)
Christian Gastgeber, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Christian Gastgeber, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
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.

Session II is centered around early chronicles in the East and the West; for Byzantium, the mention of lacking nourishment and catastrophes that caused radical changes are analyzed in the unique Easter chronicle (Chronicon Paschale) whose author selected data under a Christocentric perspective. The religious motif is furthermore bridging to the West, as for a Christian the question arises: what makes him/her a true Christian besides religion?