[Electronic Antiquity]


Current Editor
Terry Papillon, Terry.Papillon@vt.edu
Volume 1, Number 1
June 1993

DLA Ejournal Home | Electronic Antiquity Home | Table of Contents for this issue | Search ElAnt and other ejournals


University of New England, Armidale, Australia

Eighth Conference of the Australian Association for Byzantine Studies

2nd-4th July 1993

CONVENOR: Dr. L. Garland,
Department of Classics & Ancient History,
University of New England,
Armidale, NSW 2351,


Traditions of Constantinopolitan Preaching: towards a new assessment of where Chrysostom preached what

J.A. BENTZEN The Epigrams of Kassia

J. H. BODLEY Jewish Life in Byzantium during the Reign of Justinian

H.E.J. COWDREY The Eleventh-century Western Reformers' View of Constantine

B. CROKE Marcellinus the Byzantine

T. DAWSON Academic Historiography and Historical Re-enactment

G.T. DENNIS Were the Byzantines Creative or Merely Imitative?

L. GARLAND Imperial Women and Social Conformity in Eleventh and Twelfth- century Byzantium

P.T.R. GRAY The Nature of the Quest for Religious Conformity in the Age of Justinian

S. GRISHIN Bars'kyj's Stranstvovanija: conformity and non-conformity in byzantine travel literature

R.L. HOHLFELDER Building Harbours in the Early Byzantine Era: the persistence of roman technology

A. HOHLWEG Three Byzantine Texts in Search of an Author

E.M. JEFFREYS Maximo the Non-conforming Amazon

M.J. JEFFREYS Lady Eirene's New Party-dress

W. JOBLING A New Byzantine Grafitto from the Hisma of Southern Jordan

R. LIM Consensus and Dissensus on Public Spectacles in Early Byzantium

S. MacALISTER Another Twelfth-century Reading of the Novel: the voice of spirituality

M. MILOJEVIC Retrofit Ekklesia: form, reforming and conforming

A. MOFFATT Variations in Imperial Ceremonial: the de ceremoniis

J.A. MUNITIZ Wonder-working Ikons and the Letters to Theophilos

V. PROTOPOPESCU Bessian Monks, Scythian Monks and the Struggle for Orthodoxy in Sixth Century Byzantium

A.J. QUINLAN Classification of Byzantine Liturgical Documents: triodia and the a- typical

P. ROUSSEAU Eccentrics and Coenobites in the Late Roman East

R. SCOTT Making the Past Conform in Theophanes' Chronicle

R. SEAGER (Ex-) Soldiers and (Ex-) Greeks: Ammianus and Libanius on Julian


Outsiders by Taxis: perceptions of non-conformity in eleventh-and twelfth- century literature

A.F. STONE The Amphibious Serpent: Manuel I and the Venetians

A. SUNDERLAND A Sixth Century West Syrian Interpreter of the Psalms

R.G. TANNER The Historical Method of Constantine Porphyrogenitus

H. TARRANT The Retreat of Paganism: Christian influences on Olympiodorus' presentation of Plato

J. TAYLOR Constantine's Basilica of the Holy Cross: a re-examination of its architecture and localisations

G.W. TROMPF The Logic of Retribution in Post-Eusebian Greek Church Historians

S-A WALLACE Liturgical Organisation in Middle Byzantine Ecclesiastical Structures

M. WILCOX The Targum of Psalms: a report


PAULINE ALLEN (Australian Catholic University, Qld.)

Traditions of Constantinopolitan Preaching: Towards a New Assessment of Where Chrysostom Preached What

It has long been recognised that John Chrysostom's homilies present a vivid picture of many levels of life and culture in early Byzantium. Yet the student of Chrysostom is still confronted by the necessity of distinguishing between the homilies which John delivered as a presbyter in Antioch (AD 386-397), and those he preached when patriarch of Constantinople (AD 398-404), in order to obtain a differentiated picture of social history in the capitals of Syria and Byzantium. From a desire to be relevant and effective, the early homilists, expert rhetoricians that they were, invariably conformed to local expectations and traditions in their preaching. At first sight, then, it would seem possible to determine whether Chrysostom delivered a homily in Antioch or Constantinople, even though he remained faithful to the practices of the Antiochene exegetical school throughout his preaching career. In this paper I discuss the question of provenance in relation to more than forty series of Chrysostom's homilies, indicating the problems one can expect to encounter in establishing a touchstone of sure homiletic evidence that can be ascribed to his Constantinopolitan period. On the basis of his twelve homilies on Paul's Letter to the Colossians, I attempt to assess John's conformity to the homiletic traditions of Constantinople, and to suggest a methodology for determining where he preached what.

JANE HALL BODLEY (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Jewish Life in Byzantium during the Reign of Justinian

In this paper I explore various aspects of Jewish life during the reign of the Emperor Justinian. The interaction between Greeks and Jews predated the establishment of the eastern capital and, during the expansion of the military might of Rome, the Jews figured significantly. It would appear that the lineal descendent of Hellenistic Judaism is Christianity; this observation stimulated a curiosity about how Jews lived in the Christian Roman Empire, as viewed from a conformity/non-conformity viewpoint. This paper is a result of this curiosity.

JOHN COWDREY (St. Edmund Hall, Oxford)
The Eleventh-century Western Reformers' View of Constantine

Later medieval writers, like Dante, tended to be critical of Constantine's impact upon the papacy and western Christianity, but eleventh-century reforming popes and papal propagandists showed no such reservations. The paper sets out to explain why the eleventh-century view was favourable and to examine the benefits that were seen to have flowed from Constantine's conversion and its circumstances. First, it will be indicated how, from the first, writers like Eusebius created a picture of a pious emperor. Secondly, the growth of legends of the pious emperor will be illustrated from such sources as the Actus Silvestri, the Acts of Judas Cyriacus, the Constitutio Constantini ('Donation of Constantine'), and the Pseudo-Isidorian Decrees. Thirdly, the eleventh-century notion of Constantine will be examined (a) in writing centred upon the events of 1054 (Pope Leo IX, Cardinal Humbert), (b) in reforming writers (De ordinando Pontifice, Cardinal Humbert, Cardinal Peter Damiani, the Liber canonum contra Heinrici IV, Bonizo of Sutri), and (c) in the letters and actions of the popes, especially Gregory VII and Urban II.

TIM DAWSON (Melbourne)
Academic Historiography and Historical Re-enactment

The introduction will briefly describe the historical re-enactment scene in Australia and some previous very mixed interaction between medievalists and academic historians. An outline of my own background as a founder of the N.V.G., and professional experience as a free-lance history educator before coming to academic study will lead into reflections upon a profound difference of outlook which often exists between academic historians and re-enactors, abstraction versus practicality, with some practical demonstrations of this, one example being drawn from P.H. Sawyer and I.N. Wood (eds.) Early Medieval Kingship. How this can be employed to the benefit of both through specific collaborations? Examples will be drawn from Australia and overseas and past literature, for example John Coates Archaeology by Experiment. Limitations of scope, applicability and resources will be discussed. The usefulness of re-enactment to education will be elaborated: services provided to primary and secondary educational institutions have been very successful in raising students' enthusiasm for historical study, and could be further exploited to mediate between younger students and the more rigorous and detached tertiary and further study. Reference will be to the raising of awareness among the general public of areas of history neglected in traditional education and popular culture, such as the debt western Europe owes to Byzantium and Islam, by re-enactment society displays, and again to the potential for mediation between the oft perceived irrelevancy of academic history to the public.

GEORGE DENNIS (Catholic University of America, Washington)
Were the Byzantines Creative or Merely Imitative?

The people we call Byzantines seem obsessed with their past, as is clear from the very name they used for themselves and their nation: Roman. They constantly appeal to the venerable authority of antiquity, whether it be in literature, law, or medicine. Their theology was that of the great church fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries. In theory, there was no break between the ancient Roman empire and their own. Theirs was still the one and only Roman Empire, as willed by God. Such was God's plan, and to challenge it or to think of changing it would be blasphemous. This theory, of course, had corollaries in all spheres of life. Does it mean, as some have asserted, that Byzantine civilization was the end of the line, that it merely continued and imitated antiquity, that it might even be called stagnant? On the other hand, Constantinople was a great cosmopolitan city, filled with strangers and visitors, and the provinces were subject to vast demographic changes. Did these new people bring new ideas with them? Did the Byzantines themselves produce anything new? To answer this we must look at a wide range of Byzantine achievements, their political and legal system, their literature, buildings, fortifications, military tactics and technology, medical knowledge and hospitals, commercial and economic activity, theological developments, and a host of other subjects. Then we can ask the question which the Byzantines themselves would never think of asking: did they manifest any originality or creativity?

LYNDA GARLAND (University of New England)
Imperial Women and Social Conformity in Eleventh and Twelfth-century Byzantium

Despite the prevailing social conventions which regulated the behaviour of the female members of the imperial family, life at the Byzantine court in the eleventh and twelfth centuries can hardly be said to have conformed, even ostensibly, with the moral and behavioural code prescribed by the Orthodox establishment. Indeed, court life at this period emphasises the fascinating dichotomy between Byzantine moral and ethical theory and social practice. While chastity, modesty, piety, and decorous deportment were considered by convention to be the social norm for women of imperial rank, this is immediately gainsaid by a study of the women of this period, for Zoe Porphyrogenita was not the only imperial woman in this period to be seen to possess a surprising degree of sexual and social liberty, nor was Anna Dalassena the only redoutable lady to wield considerable political power at court, either overtly or behind the scenes. Even the inevitable stereotyping of descriptions in the accounts of imperial women of this period can not conceal that they were possessed of considerable social freedom, enhanced by the paraphernalia proper to their rank. What degree of social and sexual liberty was in fact possessed by imperial women in these two centuries, and to what extent were they controlled by conventional limitations? The cases of two empresses, in particular, Mary of Antioch and Euphrosyne, wife of Alexios III, will be discussed to show that the forces of conventional morality could still be a dangerous weapon against women in such a position. In most respects these women seldom if ever lacked social and political importance, and could even share their male relatives' liberation from established conventions of behaviour: nevertheless there were limits which could not be overstepped, and these to some extent were controlled by the middle-class standards inherent in popular opinion.

PATRICK GRAY (York University, Ontario)
The Nature of the Quest for Religious Conformity in the Age of Justinian

The quest for religious conformity in the age of Justinian demanded conformity with the past. That truth is banal and misleading. What needs to be recognized is that the age was constructing the past as what it ought to have been like, while at the same time revering that past as a divinely- ordained pattern of religious truth which could not and did not ever undergo any change or development. This schizophrenic process was expressed by the age through the story of the drunkenness of Noah (Gen. 9:20-27): the good sons of Noah walked backwards-so as not to see to cover their father's nakedness; the ill-fated Ham looked at his father's nakedness and was cursed. Once recognized, the phenomenon can be seen everywhere: in the legislation of Justinian - so symptomatic of, and responsive to the age - attempting to eliminate non-Christian religions; in the struggles of pro-Chalcedonians and Monophysites to establish a certain vision of what cyrillian orthodoxy comprised, on one hand, and of what various councils meant on the other; in the gradual elimination, culminating in the Fifth Council, of the antiochene tradition as ever having been part of the tradition of the church. Moreover, it can be seen that this forging (in both senses of the word!) of a constructed past involved projecting on the past the age's own obsession with a consistent and indeed monolithic religious position, an obsession requiring its own explanation- which involves the effect of unadmitted trends from the past towards a Christian self-understanding focused in doctrinal orthodoxy.

ROBERT HOHLFELDER (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Building Harbours in the Early Byzantine Era: the Persistence of Roman Technology

Little is known of the building of harbours after the early Roman Empire. To call the study of Byzantine maritime construction an arcane subject is a gross understatement, given the state of our literary sources and the absence of archaeological field work at sites that might provide relevant information. This is certainly not an area of Byzantine studies likely to explode with new data in the very near future. In a recent published article, I offered a suggestion that at least one important building practice of Roman harbour engineers may have survived to the sixth century ('Procopius De Aedificiis 1.11.18-20: Caesarea Maritima and the Building of Harbours in Late Antiquity', *Mediterranean Historical Review* 3:1 [1988], 54-62). I argued that a passage in Procopius, De Aedificiis might mirror the technology used in the building of Caesarea Maritima by Roman engineers in King Herod's service. Procopius's account of constructing a breakwater by sinking chests or cribs corresponds well with a similar practice used at Caesarea to build the pierhead of the Northern Breakwater of the Outer Basin, the main harbour installation of the port complex. The physical evidence from beneath Caesarea's sea did not agree precisely with his text, but was close enough to suggest that Procopius, who was not an engineer himself, might have been describing a Roman building technique that had survived to his own age. Recent underwater discoveries in 1990- 1992 from another section of the Outer Basin at the terminus of the Southern Breakwater have revealed a variant method of transporting and setting concrete employed by Herod's engineers that conforms even more closely with Procopius's text. Single-use barges, featuring the same elaborate mortise-tenon joint system that was commonly used by shipwrights of antiquity, were constructed on land and partially filled at quayside with pozzolana that was then allowed to cure. When this initial pouring of concrete had hardened sufficiently, the barges were towed into position where aggregate and additional pozzolana, in a liquid state that would subsequently set underwater, was added to sink them into place. Whatever his understanding might have been of the building technique he was describing, Procopius' account does provide an excellent literary explanation of what actually was done at Caesarea to build major components of both breakwaters of the Outer Basin. His text seems to provide evidence for the continuity of an important aspect of Roman technology into the early Byzantine era.

ARMIN HOHLWEG (University of Munich)
Three Byzantine Texts in Search of an Author

In a publication which came out about three years ago, it is claimed that the physician (Aktuarios) John Zacharias is the author of three writings to which scholars have so far attributed different dates and ascribed to different Byzantine authors. It is to be proved why John Zacharias cannot be the author of these writings. Moreover, an attempt will be made to date the texts anew and carry through a new ascription.

Elizabeth JEFFREYS (University of Sydney)
Maximo: the Non-conforming Amazon

Scenes involving the Amazon Maximo appear in both the G(rottaferrata) and E(scorial) versions of Digenis Akritis. This paper will explore the differences between the two representations and discuss why Maximo conforms to the standards neither of a well brought up young lady nor of a mythical Amazon.

MICHAEL JEFFREYS (University of Sydney)
Lady Eirene's New Party-dress

The paper will be based on Poems 56 and 57 of Manganeios Prodromos. These give an unusual view (for Byzantium) of a young girl whose grandmother has bought her a lovely new dress. But the attractive picture of the first few lines soon gives place to a view of the girl's sexual prospects which does not conform to conventional Orthodox morality. The accuracy of this view is, in fact, confirmed by another of Manganeios Prodromos' poems. The paper will end with speculation about the position of the women of the Comnenian dynasty in its last years, and the resultant morality of the gynaikonitis.

BILL JOBLING (University of Sydney)
A New Byzantine Grafitto from the Hisma of Southern Jordan

The Hisma of southern Jordan is one of the most important trade routes of the North West Hejaz and links the Levant and the Mediterranean world with the Arabian peninsula. It also linked up with the ancient Biblical Kings' Highway which ran from Damascus to the Gulf of 'Aqaba and formed the backbone of transport and communication systems for areas east and west of the Jordan Rift Valley. Recent archaeological surveys and excavations in Jordan provide new evidence for the depth and rich diversity of the centres of Christian occupation which clustered around the Kings' Highway and reached their zenith in the Byzantine period. Khirbet Humayma with its complex of several Byzantine churches was one such site. Now identified as Roman Avarra, Humayma provides important evidence for the history of the occupation of this marginal desert area from the Nabataean through to the Byzantine and early Abbasid periods. During the 1990 season of the 'Aqaba-Ma'an Archaeological and Epigraphic Survey a Greek graffito was discovered on the wall of a large rock shelter some sixty kilometers south of Humayma and not far south of Wadi Ramm. Preliminary analysis of this inscription suggests that it belongs to the Byzantine period and may be evidence for a network of small sites which were part of the infrastructure which serviced the camel caravan trade which passed through the Hisma during the Byzantine period. The solitary nature of the site may also suggest that it provided a retreat from the larger centre at Humayma. The curious combination of Greek and Semitic elements in the proper name recorded in this new graffito also contribute to the exploration of the Nabataean-Aramaic elements in Byzantine archaeological realia recently recorded elsewhere in the region.

RICHARD LIM (Smith College, Massachusetts)
Consensus and Dissensus on Public Spectacles in Early Byzantium

The persistent anti-spectacles rhetoric articulated by Christians from the third century onwards (Novatian, Tertullian) did not disappear with the Theodosian settlement at the end of the fourth century. While some Christians tried to present their objections to the spectacles on the basis of the incompatibility of pagan customs with a Christian society, they often had to resort to antiquarian lore (e.g. Varro, Callimachus) to emphasize the pagan origins of the games. Unlike the situation in the realm of doctrinal definition, there was no firm consensual or orthodox position concerning the spectacles and games, neither in ecclesiastical circles nor among the secular elites, at least until the Council in Trullo (692). The vacillating laws in the Theodosian Code suggest an active process of negotiation on such matters. Anastasius' banning of beast hunts (AD 499) and mime theatre were mere episodes and had little longstanding significance. More usually, the temporary suspension of games such as chariot races were routinely used by emperors to punish misbehaving cities, and was never meant to reflect a permanent change in the nature of public life. Thus the sharp Christian anti-games rhetoric represented a dissensual voice in early Byzantium. This minority advocacy repeatedly failed to overcome the reluctance of the secular elites to accept and work through the logical conclusions of its arguments. The renewed emphasis on the Brumalia as an imperial festival during the reign of Justinian brought to the fore the tensions between a consensual acceptance of the secularization of Greco- Roman traditions and a dissensual view rejecting such accommodation. My paper will address these issues, and will focus on possible reasons for the varied reception of the Brumalia, originally a wine festival sacred to Dionysus, and other similar festivals.

SUZANNE MacALISTER (University of Sydney)
Another Twelfth-century Reading of the Novel: the Voice of Spirituality

The paper argues that the twelfth-century revivalists of the ancient Greek novel genre - through their appropriation of the discourse of the ancient novel and their integration into it of the voices of other diverse discourses (for example, spirituality) - strove to make special and sometimes controversial statements which they directed towards a contemporary Christian reading of the genre. One of the means by which the new novelists confronted their contemporary audience in this way was through their adoption and reformulation of those established conventions of the genre which could lend themselves to ethical reinterpretation and re- evaluation within the spiritual sphere: for example, the central characters' passivity and lack of initiative. In their use of this convention, the revival novels maintain - and exaggerate - what had become established in the ancient novel and what a contemporary audience might read as the passive suffering a Christian is taught to endure. But all three of the complete extant works share in subtly reformulating the convention in such ways as to make it function also as a medium for a fundamentally humanist questioning of issues to do with control and responsibility: when are external forces responsible for controlling an individual's destiny and when are purely human processes responsible. The novelists might thus be seen as contributing to an active discussion which was taking place in their contemporary environment about the degree to which Tyche is responsible for controlling history and human affairs.

MICHAEL MILOJEVIC (University of Auckland)
Retrofit Ecclesia; Form, Reforming and Conforming

At one, albeit extreme, pole of architectural design and construction procedure are the problem-free mail order basilicas available from large quarries and shipped anywhere in the Mediterranean. At the other is the acquisition, excorcism and conversion of pagan cult buildings re-using spolia requiring continuous on-site decision making with respect to the extent of re-configuration of the pre- existing building as well as considering the sensitivities of both the Christian and pagan communities with respect to which materials but also how and where spolia might be re- deployed. Since Deichmann's broad study (1939) considering the re-use of temples as early Christian churches there is much new evidence giving both a larger and a more accurately identified corpus of this scenario. Composed of temples and churches from all contexts and all regions (urban and pilgrimage centres au courant with architectural orthodoxies and avantgardes as well as the remote and less regulated and self-conscious cultural-political enclaves) the corpus draws both historical and architectural questions to do with conformity or non- conformity with orthodox taste and custom in the planning and detailing of these retro-fit ecclesiae. Historical questions such as: what were the conditions pertaining to the Theodosian rescripts pertaining to the closure of temples; does the re-use of Graeco- Roman temples suggest a taste for classicism known in the mid- seventh century as the Heraclean renaissance; how were buildings and building materials excorcised, are unique to this architecture. Analytical architectural surveys of some key sites corroborate textual accounts that architects, patrons and bishops had a pro-active role in providing an accommodation for Christian communities enhanced in some significant way, either an unusually lavish scale, with detailing redolent conservative sophistication, but all having an 'authenticity' (comparable to making of a convert) which purpose-built ecclesiae could not claim by their architecture alone.

JOSEPH MUNITIZ (Campion Hall, Oxford)
Wonder-working Ikons and the Letters to Theophilos

More and more attention is being given by scholars (1) to the 9th century documents that proliferated at the time of the definitive restoration of ikons (AD 843). Among these there are at least three versions of a so- called Letter to Theophilos. The longest version, frequently regarded as the most authentic, is not easily available and deserves a new edition.(2) The second, known as the Pseudo- Damascene version, was first published by Combefis and is readily available in Migne (PG 95) but unfortunately is the most corrupt of the three. The third has never been fully published and was discovered quite recently in a late (15th c.) Athos manuscript.(3) A significant portion of the Letter is devoted to a list of wonder- working ikons. The list is important in several ways: as evidence about particular ikons, as testimony to the type of argument being used, and as indicative of the beliefs of the time. The purpose of this communication is to analyse the list, and to discuss its role in the Letter. The problems of authenticity and date will require attention. At the same time, the place of the Letter among other documents of the time may be of interest for a better understanding of the whole phenomenon of Byzantine iconoclasm.

1. R. Cormack (Writing in Gold: Byzantine Society and its Icons, George Philip, London 1985, pp. 121-131, 261-262) brought the key document to the attention of the general public; before him, C. Mango (The Brazen House, Copenhagen 1959, pp. 61-72) had referred to its undeserved obscurity, and after him P. Speck has devoted much of his book (Ich bin's nicht, Kaiser Konstantin ist es gewesen: Die Legenden vom Einfula des Teufels, des Juden und des Moslem auf den Ikonoklasmus [Poikila Byzantina 10], Dr Rudolf Habelt GMBH, Bonn 1990) to a study of this particular text.

2. First published by I. Sakkelion, Euaggelikos Kerux, pp. 9-47 (and as a pamphlet) Athens 1864; reprinted by L. Duchesne, Roma e l'Oriente 5, fasc. 27-30, 1912-1913, pp. 225-239, 273-285, 349- 366, with some errors and one lacuna.

3. For a less important alternative, cf. J.A. Munitiz, 'An Alternative Ending to the Letter of the Three Patriarchs (BHG 1386)', Orientalia Christiana Periodica 55, 1989, pp. 411-419.

Bessian Monks, Scythian Monks and the Struggle for Orthodoxy in Sixth Century Byzantium

The author believes that a relation can be established between the so- called Scythian Monks, well known for their role in the defence of Orthodoxy against Monophysitism and a group of 'Bessi' monks in Palaestina. The relation can throw an interesting light on the spread of Christianity in the regions of the Lower Danube.

ANDREW QUINLAN (University of Melbourne)
Classification of Byzantine Liturgical Documents: Triodia and the A- typical Typica

The paper wishes to outline the difficulties confronted by scholars of the 'Byzantine Liturgy' in the classification of manuscripts of hymnographic material in general and of manuscript Triodia in particular. The basic trends in the study of the liturgy of Byzantium over the past century will be discussed as well as some of the longer term interest in the Greek liturgical tradition in Post-Tridentine Italy. The need for greater co- operation between historians, musicologists and liturgists will be demonstrated from a variety of studies made by specialist in the past. The various aspects covered in the paper will be illustrated by reference to three manuscripts of Triodia: Vatican Greek 771, Sinai Greek 734-735 and Grottaferrata D.b.1. It is to be hoped that, by examining in depth one specific 'type' of liturgical document, a model of the complexity of the development of other later printed liturgical texts will be provided.

PHILIP ROUSSEAU (University of Auckland)
Eccentrics and Coenobites in the Late Roman East

The writings of Theodoret of Cyrrhus, John of Ephesus, and to some extent Cyril of Scythopolis have been used to illustrate the prominence and influence of startling ascetics, noteworthy most for their exaggerated self- denial and independence of character. This paper suggests that the careers described in these works are overwhelmingly coenobitic in their context, and often jealously controlled by bishops.

ROGER SCOTT (University of Melbourne)
Making the Past Conform in Theophanes' Chronicle

Pauline Allen has drawn attention to the difficulties in unearthing hard facts about heresy in Byzantine church historians and the need for detailed work to unmask their less than candid use of heresy ('The Use of Heretics and Heresies in the Greek Church Historians' in G.W. Clarke, Reading the Past in Late Antiquity, Canberra 1990, pp. 265-289). This paper will not unearth new facts about heresy but will attempt to provide some further detail on how the ninth- century chronicler Theophanes adapted his source to ensure that his chronicle revealed a picture of the past in which (a) failure could be linked to heresy, particularly Arianism; (b) heroes were not tainted in any way by heresy; and (c) failure or weakness could not be attributed to heroes, even if the sources were less flattering. Theophanes manages this despite following his sources almost verbatim for most of the time. The paper will thus be concerned with the attempt by a chronicler to rewrite the past where necessary to present a history of conformity to an ideal in which orthodoxy is linked with success and heresy with failure.

ROBIN SEAGER (University of Liverpool)
(Ex-) Soldiers and (Ex-) Greeks: Ammianus and Libanius on Julian

Comparison will concentrate on four areas: (i) Julian as Caesar and commander in Gaul; (ii) his usurpation and succession; (iii) the revival of paganism; (iv) the Persian expedition. Julian's own utterances will also be taken into account. (i) Both exaggerate Julian's standing as Caesar, but Ammianus shows greater understanding of Constantius' predicament. As yet only Julian himself stresses the will of the gods. Both he and Ammianus set the Gallic command in the context of a defensive frontier policy; Libanius is ambiguous. (ii) Both present Julian as the victim of his troops' enthusiasm, but Ammianus clearly saw through this. In general he is fairer to Constantius, yet sometimes spectacularly partisan. The most striking contrast lies in the religious factor: the stress laid on the divine will by Libanius and Julian himself arises in a context of Hellenic culture from which Ammianus' reference to the genius publicus is totally divorced. (iii) For Libanius this is Julian's prime objective and supreme achievement, but Ammianus' treatment is sporadic, often critical and lacks context: his civilised values are not Libanius' Hellenism. (iv) Ammianus (like Julian) sets the expedition in a context of defence against and revenge for Persian aggression. Libanius is less clear on this, much clearer that the objective was the absorption of the Persian empire. Ammianus is readier to criticise Julian's personal performance and ascribes failure to fate rather than betrayal by the gods. Both present disaster as coming out of the blue, but Ammianus is clearer that it came before Julian's death. In brief and speculative conclusion two questions: what did Greek and soldier really think of the half-educated lout with the strategic acumen of Augustus, and what, if anything, might their judgements be worth?

DION SMYTHE (Queen's University, Belfast)
'Outsiders by Taxis': Perceptions of Non-Conformity in Eleventh- and Twelfth-century Literature'

A convenient starting-point for how my work joins the mainstream of Byzantine Studies is the entry by Kazhdan on 'Foreigners' in The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. This brief entry sets out the view that Byzantium was a closed society that looked down on foreigners and strangers as inferiors, but that the late eleventh and twelfth centuries saw a change in attitude. It is the nature and extent of this change in attitude that I explore. Since the late nineteen-sixties, Byzantinists such as Beck, Browning, Dagron, Lopez and Patlagean have raised the problem of Byzantine attitudes to non-conformity and 'the other'. More recently Diether R. Reinsch in his 'Auslaender und Byzantiner im Werk der Anna Komnene' [Rechtshistorische Journal 8, 1989, pp. 257-74] and Angeliki E. Laiou in her 'Foreigner and the Stranger in 12th-century Byzantium: Means of Propitiation and Acculturation' [in Fremde der Gesellschaft ed. Marie Theres Fugen, being Studien zur Europaeischen Rechtsgeschichte 56, 1991, pp. 71-97] have attempted - unsuccessfully I feel - to come to grips with the question of Byzantine attitudes to 'the other'. My method has a two- fold aim. Firstly it regards Byzantium as a complex society, and derives its models of non-conformity and alienation [of 'outsiderness'] from sociology, specifically from the labelling orientation of deviancy. Outsiders, therefore, are people successfully defined as deviants by the elite; deviant behaviour is whatever they do. The second intention is to 'treat texts seriously' (Meg Alexiou). The Byzantine sources with which I work were written as 'literature'; it is only proper to attempt to interpret them as literature. I seek to locate the text in Jakobsen's speech-event nexus of addresser (author), context (surrounding social conventions), content, contact (occasion), code (level of language and rhetorical commonplaces) and addressee (audience). I have applied this method to the examination of the portrayal of outsiders by gender, religion, race and taxis (which may be understood as 'class') in Psellos's Chronographia, Komnene's Alexiad and Choniates's Narrative. The analysis of the three texts in depth, word by word, allows the identification of those groups identified as non- conformists by these expositors of the dominant ideology. In this paper, I shall set out my sociological and 'literary' methodology and then apply it to the matter of outsiders by taxis from the three works as time allows. The conclusion is that these authors used sterotypes to conceptualise and encode in the linguistic and lexicographic complexities of their texts the exponents of non-conformity they identified in their societies. As part of a wider attempt to answer questions about Byzantine prejudice, xenophobia and ethnocentrism in the period which saw an ever- increasing close interaction between individuals from the two culturally-distinct societies, these authors' presentation of what they saw as non-conformity uses stereotypes, but does not descent into prejudice.

ANDREW STONE (University of Western Australia)
The Amphibious Serpent: Manuel I and the Venetians

This paper takes a brief look at a short passage from one of Eustathios' oration to Manuel I delivered on 6 January 1174. It deals with the Venetians ('to peiratikon ethnos to ex Adriados') and with the unsuccessful siege of Ancona in 1173, in which they helped the German besiegers. A brief resume of the changes in relations between Byzantium and Venice during Manuel's reign will be given before focussing on the siege of Ancona, for which other primary sources exist, both in Greek and in Latin.

ANNE SUNDERLAND (University of Melbourne)
Daniel of Salah: A Sixth Century West Syrian Interpreter of the Psalms

The tenth century manuscript BL Add 17187 contains the first volume of the Psalms commentary of Daniel of Salah, an exegetical treatment of the first fifty of the Psalms of David presented in a series of homilies or memras. Although this manuscript does offer a modicum of biographical and stylistic information, there is little known about the author beyond his title and thus his reputation stands, both for us and for those later writers of the Syrian church who cited him, on his great, three-volume commentary on the Psalter. The work itself has survived in a number of different versions, and there are references to it in the work of Antonius Rhetor, the Auzer Raze of Bar Hebraeus and in the Catena of Severus. This first volume of the work commences with a brief introduction and concludes with some correspondence between the author, who is generally referred to as the bishop of the town of Salah in the region of Tur 'Abdin in Mesopotamia, and the Abbot John of the convent of Mar Eusebius at Kephar Barta in the region of Apamea in Syria. Although the information provided is scant, what does exist may at least suggest an hypothetical context for the composition of what appears to be a work of remarkable originality. An interpreter of the Psalms writing in the sixth century was following a tradition already enhanced by the works of Origen, Athanasius, John Chrysostom and Theodore of Mopsuestia. The commentary of Daniel of Salah is, however, of special interest because it is possibly the earliest known commentary on the Psalter originally written in Syriac. Further to this it appears to be the earliest example produced within the Syrian church by an author who adhered to a Monophysite theology and who sought to interpret scripture in a way that went beyond 'the literal and the simple' (see BL Add 17187 f.120 Rb).

HAROLD TARRANT (University of Sydney)
The Retreat of Paganism: Christian Influences on Olympiodorus' Presentation of Plato

The paper will contribute to the discussion of Alexandrian Neoplatonism's accommodating attitude towards Christianity. As a rival teacher of practical ethics, moral theory, metaphysics and theology, Olympiodorus might easily have come into conflict with the local Christians. His message, however, is frequently assimilated to theirs. While this involves the down- playing of several elements of Neoplatonism and classical culture that Christians might have found offensive, and even the passing over of certain Platonic dialogues important to Athenian Neoplatonism, there is an important theoretical foundation for the attempt to communicate across the religious divide. The basis of this is the Stoic theory of 'common notions', read back into the Platonic Theory of Recollection. For Olympiodorus this meant that a variety of pagans and christians alike shared fundamental moral and religious awareness, as long as they were attentive to some inner voice. The awakening of that voice is the important first step of Platonic education. The viciousness of the interlocutors in the Gorgias is explained in terms of their remoteness from common notions. The inner voice might manifest itself somewhat differently when it came to religion's symbolism and detailed doctrine, but those who listened to it shared the same underlying vision. Widely shared beliefs were supposed to owe something to the common notions, which were the true foundations of knowledge. Christianity's success thus placed Olympiodorus under an obligation to listen sympathetically to its widespread doctrine, and encouraged tolerance rather than criticism. Such tolerance may have been interpreted as lack of conviction. Paganism was thus at a disadvantage, since its rivals did not share this theory-induced obligation to listen sympathically.

JOAN TAYLOR (Waikato University)
Constantine's Basilica of the Holy Cross: a Re-examination of its Architecture and Localisations

According to several Byzantine church histories, the Constantinian Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem was erected on the site where the empress Helena uncovered the actual cross of Christ, c. AD 325. The construction of the basilica served to glorify the 'saving sign', which had become Constantine's personal symbol and emblem of battle. It is highly unlikely that the edifice did in fact stand on Biblical Golgotha, and the Tomb of Christ was clearly an afterthought. It was more important that the basilica stood on the site of a temple of Aphrodite, which was destroyed by Constantine before the discovery of the cross was made. Thanks to archaeological excavations in and around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the general lay-out of the basilica is clear. The discovery of the cross was probably located under the apse, and Golgotha itself seems to have been identified as the partially artificial mound on which the basilica stood. There was no chapel around the 'Rock of Calvary' until the seventh century. It is unlikely that Constantine believed that this rock outcrop was the precise place where Christ was crucified. He placed a crucifix there to replace a statue of Aphrodite, which indicated the triumph of Christianity in the Roman world. Crucifixes were probably part of the general decoration of the church structures. As time went by, specific localisations were identified within the basilica and around it, and the identification of the rock as the locus of the crucifixion took place as part of this trend. A single reference in Egeria's fourth-century Itinerarium to an altar 'behind the cross' distinct from the basilica seems to have been a mistake.

GARRY TROMPF (University of Sydney)
The Logic of Retribution in Post-Eusebian Greek Church Historians

This paper examines the distinctive ways in which Greek ecclesiastical historians - Philostorgios, Socrates, Sozomen and Theodoret - represent the distribution of divine rewards and punishments in past events.

Electronic Antiquity Vol. 1 Issue 1 - June 1993
edited by Peter Toohey and Ian Worthington
ISSN 1320-3606

DLA Ejournal Home | Electronic Antiquity Home | Table of Contents for this issue | Search ElAnt and other ejournals