Wednesday, September 16th 2020
On this sixth day of the Annual School of Byzantine and post-Byzantine Studies, Dr Adrian Dumitru (University of Bucharest) presented the attempts to reconstruct the lost original Greek text of Eusebius of Caesarea’s Chronicle, from Scaliger to Schoene in his intervention describing The Wonders of a Wandering Book: The Chronicle of Eusebius of Caesarea and its Importance for the Study of the Chronology of Antiquity, Dr Dumitru highlighted the potential pitfalls that await the careless or hurried researcher in their rapport with a fundamental text for the chronology of the Ancient world, a text whose transmission and structure still remain scarcely understood.
Lecturer Manuela Dobre (University of Bucharest) presented The Image of Romanians in Byzantine Sources of the 15th century, a comparative analysis of Byzantine sources that mention the Vlachs – Laonikos Chalcocondil, Doukas, Sphrantzes, Critobus – which highlighted the stereotypes, literary motifs and political motivations that colour the portrayal of Vlachs, often viewed through the spectre of Otherness.
PhD c. Adrian Negoiță presented the articulation of anti-Islamic discourse in Greek polemic literature (16th-18th centuries) – one aspect of his doctoral thesis – with particular attention to a compilation of texts suggestively titled Saracenica, attributed to Nikolaos Karatzas (c. 1705-1787) and to the Dialogue between Panagiotis Nikousios (1613/21-1673), a great dragoman of the Ottoman Porte and Vani Efendi, a renowned Muslim preacher.
The day was concluded by the magisterial presentation of Professor Claudia Rapp (University of Vienna, Austrian Academy of Science) titled Daily Life, Religion and Manuscript Studies: Researching Byzantine Prayer Books (Euchologia), which presented the results of field research conducted by a team from the Austrian Academy of Science (Eirini Afentoulidou, Daniel Galadza, Ilias Nesseris, Giulia Rossetto, Elisabeth Schiffer). The aim of the Euchologia project is to compile a census of all extant manuscripts dated until around 1650 that contain books of prayer (euchologia) used daily by local priests. Thus, the book of prayer itself is seen as an object of everyday use, and prayer, beyond its spiritual dimension, becomes a text reflecting the daily lives of Byzantines of all stations, and therefore a precious source of study for social history.
Dr Adrian Dumitru (University of Bucharest), The Wonders of a Wandering Book: The Chronicle of Eusebius of Caesarea and its Importance for the Study of the Chronology of Antiquity (in English)