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Novelization in Byzantium

Novelization in Byzantium

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94.Kytheraanditsgeographicalsetting.57395.TheAPKASstudyarea.57396.Distributionofmaterialofmedievaldate,contemporarywith573theefflorescenceofPaliochora.97.DistributionofmaterialofVenetiandate,afterthedestruction574ofPaliochorain1537.98.Distributionofchurchesdatedtopriorto1537inAPKASstudy574area.99.Distributionofchurchespriorto1200inAPKASstudyarea.574100.Distributionofchurchespriorto1300inAPKASstudyarea.574101.MapofMacedonia.575102.MapofthePelagonianregionintheRomanperiod.575103.Leadsealofthe
Sebastos
GeorgePalaiologos[A.Ristevski],575104.LeadsealofAnonymous[A.Ristevski].576105.LeadsealwithStDemetrios[A.Ristevski].576
MargaretMullett
NovelisationinByzantium:NarrativeaftertheRevival
ofFiefion
ThispaperwaswrittentoinauguratetheconferenceonByzantinenarrative,whichisbothintheseriesofAustralianAssociationofByzantineStudiesconferencesandinhonourofRogerScott.Asmyearliestcollaboratorheinstilledinmeaconfidenceinandtasteforcollaborativeendeavourswhichhasstayedwithmeeversince.Everyonewhohaseverworkedwithhimwillknowwhy.Inthispaper
I
wanttoreturntothatearlycollaborationandtakeupsomeofthepointsmadebyRogerinhisarticleon'TheClassicalTraditioninByzantineHistoriography"which-inafielddominatedbyAustralianscholars-remainsthebestsinglestudyofthewritingofhistoryinByzantium.Now,
I
amnotahistoriographer,andhaveonlyrecentlybeguntoworkinnarrative:mywork,asforeshadowedinthatvolume,hasbeenintheinteractivegenres,inrhetoricandinparticularinletter-writing.ButIdoworkinthetwelfthcentury,anditoccurstomethat
I
maybeabletooffersomeslightclarificationofsomeofthequestionsRogerScottposedinthatarticle,whathesawasthepuzzling,andnon-classical,statementsofJohnTzetzesandAnnaKomnenewithregardtohistoryandtruth.YouwillrememberthatTzetzes'spoemonThucydidesastranslatedbyW.B.Stanford"ends:Nowhearthebestmethodofwritingahistory:Begraveandbeclear,bepersuasiveandbland,Befiercewhenit'sneeded,andsometimesexpand.andRogerseizedontheword'persuasive'asneedingexplanation.Anna;'ontheotherhand,complainsthatshehadnowrittenmaterialaboutherfathertoworkon:exceptworthlessandaltogethertriflingcompositions,simpleindictionandartlessandadheringtotruth,notdisplayinganyaffectationortrailingalonginrhetoricalbombast(Roger'stranslation)."Truthhereseemsanundesirablefeatureinahistory.Roger'sgreatexpertise(afterhismagnificent
Theophanes)
isinthesixthcentury,aperiodwhichsharesonecharacteristicwiththecenturyofAnnaandTzetzes:itsinnovationandfluidity,itsmixingofgenres.'Importantrealignments',
I
havesaid,'findan
I.
R.Scolt,'TheClassicalTraditioninByzantineHistoriography'
ByzantiumandtheClassicalTradition:UniversityofBirminghamThirteenthSpringSymposiumofByzantineStudies
ed.
IvI.Mullett
&
R.
Scott(Birmingham1981)61-74.2.W.B.Stanford,'Tzetzes'FarewelltoThucydides'
GreeceandRome
11(1941-2)40-1.3.AnnaKomnene,
Alexiad
ed.B.Leib(3volsParis1937-45);ed.D.Reinsch
&
A.Kambylis,
AnnaeComnenaeAlexias.
CFHB40(2volsBerlin2001);tr.E.R.A.Sewter,
TheAlexiad
of
AnnaComnena
(London1969).
4.Alexiad
14.7.7(Leib3:175-6).
 
2
MargaretMullettNovelisationinByzantium
3expressioninliterature,tensionsareresolvedwiththenewalliancesofthelatesixthcentury'.'Thegreatestworksoftheperiodarehybrids,whichmaybeseeneitherasbrilliantlyoriginalattemptstobreakthelawofgenreorassymptomsofaneducationaldeclinethatwillleadwithinacenturyintotheByzantineDarkAge."Thetwelfthcentury,foralongtimedisparagedas'anageofuncreat~veerudition,ofsterilegoodtaste'?hasnowcometobeseenasevenm?recreatl~ethanthesixthcentury,evenmoredaringinitshybrids,Itsgenerrcexperimentation,anditsrichveinofsatireandparody,whichagainprecededaruptureoftheeducationalsystemwiththecaptureofConstantinoplebytheFourthCrusadein1204,aneventwehaveallbeenrecentlyre-evaluating."Mytitlesuggestsageneraltreatmentofabroadsweepofnarrative.InfactIshallconcentrateonthreetexts:oneahistory,the
Alexiad
ofAnnaKomnene,oneasaint'slife,the
Life
ofCyrilPhileotesbyNicholasKataskepenos,"andthethirdistheclosestwecometoanepistolaryfictioninthetwelfthcentury,the
Diegesis
Merike."
Thesecondthinginmytitlewhichneedsexpl~ationis'therevivaloffiction',whichhasbeenacommonplaceofthewaywethmkaboutthetwelfthcenturysinceRoderickBeatonfirstwrote
TheMedievalGreekRomance.
II
Byzantineliteratureformuchofitsexistencehadcomprisedlargelyfactualworks,whethernarrative,paraineticorpsychophelitic.Asdramadroppedoutofthetheatreandintotheschoolroom,asepicheroesceasedtobethesonsofgoddessesandbecameemperors,thegapwasfilledwithhagiography,sermonsandhymns.Whattherhetoricofthesecondsophisticcalled
plasma,"
fiction,whichwemightcallpossibleworlds,':'wasapparentlyincreasinglyunused,sothattheencyclopaedicliteratureoftheperiodaftericonoclasmappearstobe
plasma-free.
Thisdoesnotmeanthatfictionwasnotread:.e.veryeducatedByzantinehadstartedhisgrammaronHomer,andtheHellenisticnovelswerereadrightthroughthisperiod."Whatwefindhoweverbeingwrittenintheeleventhandtwelfthcenturiesisratherdifferent.AsMichaelPsellosevaluatedthedifferentmeritsofHeliodorosandAchilles
Tatios,"
andtransformedeverygenreheturnedhishandto,easternadventureslikeSyntipasweretranslatedintoGreek,"versionsoftheexploitsofborderheroesfromthegreatdaysoftheArab-ByzantinewarswerebroughtbyexilestoConstantinopleintheformofheroicverse,"andinafter-dinneradvice-literaturebyaretiredgeneral,seriousdialoguesweregivenfictionalframes.
IS
AndAnna'sfather,Alexios[
Komnenos,
seemstohavecommissionedthetranslationfromtheArabicbySymeonSethofagroupofanimalfablescalled
Stephaniteskailchnelates.
19
Fournovelsofthetwelfthcentury,basedontheancientnovelswhichhadbeenreadsoavidlyinByzantium,setthesealonthisrevival.
HysmineandHysminias
byEustathiosMakrembolitestellsofapairofloversseparatedbyeventsandreunitedattheend,astorycloselyrelatedtoAchillesTatiosbutinproseandinthefirstperson,andwithahighlyoriginalfocusontwofourteen-dayperiodsandmuchinterplaybetweenlevelsofdiscourse,including
dream."
5.
M.Mullett,'TheMadnessofGenre'
HomoByzantinus:PapersinHonorofAlexanderKazhdan
ed.A.Cutler
&
S.Franklin,
DOP
46(1992)237.
6.
C.
Rapp,
'LiteraryCultureunderJustinian'
TheCambridgeCompaniontotheAgeofJustinian
ed.M.Maas(Cambridge2005)376-97.
7.
R.
Browning,'EnlightenmentandRepressioninByzantiumintheEleventhandTwelfthCenturies'
Past
&
Present
69(1975)
5.8.
Seeforexample,M.Angold,
TheFallofConstantinople,1204:Byzantium,theFourthCrusadeanditsConsequences
(Boston2003);
J.
Phillips,
TheFourthCrusadeandtheSackofConstantinople
(London2004).
9.Sfcs:KaLnosireia«aiIlcPlIojeaUlldT!J.J//SilIY1WLS"
TOO
ooiouttarpo;T/J1IJv
/(upDUov
TODcPl)cWT01I
ouyypacpci5"
trapaTOU00[011
NlKO:ldou
TOO
KaT{fOKcTTl)VoD
ed.
and
tr,E.
Sargologos,
LaViedesaintCyrille
Ie
Phileote,
moine
byzantin(f1110).
SubsHag39(Brussels1964).
10.Diegesismerike
ed.P.Meyer,
DieHaupturkundenfurdieGesch.ichtedesAthoskloster
(Leipzig1894,
rp.
Amsterdam1965)163-84;P.Uspenskij,
IstorijaAfona
vol.2.1(Kiev1877)35-78.I
I.
R.Beaton,
TheMedievalGreekRomance
(Cambridge1989,rev.ed.London1996).12.G.W.Bowersock,
FictionasHistoryNerotoJulian
(Berkeley1994).13.R.Ronen,
PossibleWorldsinLiteraryTheory.
Literature,Culture,Theory7(Cambridge1994).
14.
R.Browning,
'Horner
inByzantium'
Viator
8
(1975)15-33,
rp.
StudiesonByzantineHistory,LiteratureandEducation
(London1977)XVIf;onreadingofthenovelsseech.3ofS.MacAlister,
DreamsandSuicides:TheGreekNovelfromAntiquitytotheEmpire
(London1996)84-114.
15.
A.Dyck,
MichaelPsellus:TheEssaysonEuripidesandGeorgeofPisidiaandonHeliodorusandAchillesTatius
(Vienna1986).
16.
G.
Kehayioglou,
'TranslationsofEasternNovelsandtheirInfluenceonLateByzantineandModernGreekFiction(11th-18thCenturies),
TheGreekNovelAD
1-
1985
ed.
R.
Beaton(London1988)156-66.
17.
ForDigenesmostcomprehensively
R.
BeatonandD.Ricks,
eds,
DigenesAkrites:NewApproachestoByzantineHeroicPoetry.
PublicationsoftheCentreforHellenicStudies
(KCL)
2(Aldershot1993);fortheexileargument,R.Beaton,
'Cappadocians
atCourt:Digenesand
Timarion'
AlexiosIKomnenos;PapersoftheSecondBelfastByzantineInternationalColloquium
14-16
April
1989
ed.M.Mullett
&
D.Smythe.BBTT4.1(Belfast1996)329-38;foragoodnewtext,
DigenisAkritis:theGrottaferrataandEscorialVersions
ed.andtr.
E.
Jeffreys(Cambridge1998).
18.Kekaumenos,
Strategikon
ed.
B.Wassiliewsky
&
V.
Jernstedt,
CecaumeniStrategiconetincertiscriptorisDeojficiisregiislibellus
(StPetersburg1896,
rp.
Amsterdam1965).WeawaitCharlotte
Roueches
newtranslationandcommentary,butforprolegomenaseeher'ByzantineWritersandReaders:StorytellingintheEleventhCentury'inBeaton,
GreekNovel
123-33,andthetriptych'DefiningtheForeignin
Kekaumenos'
StrangerstoThemselves:TheByzantineOutsider
ed.D.C.Smythe.SPBS8(Aldershot2000)203-14;'TheLiteraryBackgroundof
Kekaumenos'
Literacy,EducationandManuscriptTransmissioninByzantiumandBeyond
ed,
C.Holmes
&
J.Waring(Leiden2002)111-38;and'TheRhetoricof
Kekaurnenos'
RhetoricinByzantium
ed.E.Jeffreys.SPBS
II
(Aldershot2003)23-37.
19.
L.-O.Sjoberg,
Stephanitesundlchnelates:Uberlieferungsgeschichteund
Text.
StudiaGraecaUpsaliensia2(Stockholm1962);fordisseminationsee
1.
Niehoff-Panagiotidis,
UbersetzungundRezeption:Diebyzantinischen,neugriechischenund
altspanischenVersionen
vonKalilawa-Dimna
(Wiesbaden,2003)andAlisonNoble'sunpublishedBelfastPhDontheEugenianrecension.,
20.
F.Concaed.,
IlromanzobizantinodelXI!secolo
(Turin1994)500-686;
I.
Nilsson,
EroticP;thos,RhetoricalPleasure:NarrativeTechniqueandMimesisinEumathios
 
4
MargaretMullett
TheodoreProdromes's
RhodantheandDosikles,
iniambictrimeters,starts
inmediasres
inRhodesandtakeshispairofloversintheendhometoAbydos."Aswellasaversechronicle,ConstantineManasseshasleftaromancein
politikosstichos,AristandrosandKallithea.
whichsurvivesonlyinfragments."Whatisnowthoughttobethelatestofthesenovels,the
DrosillaandCharikles
ofNiketasEugeneianos,Prodromos'spupil,againstarts
inmediasres
inBarzos,wherethestoryendshappilyaftermanyadventuresandincludedlyrics.Hisisthoughttobethemostparodic,themostawareoftheotherattempts."Allshareacloserelationshiptoancientexamples,ageneralizedclassicisinglandscapeandseascape,anemphasisonchastity,andahappyending.Thisisnottosay,ofcourse,thatthisrevivalcameoutoftheblue.TheclosestByzantiumhascometothemedievalframestorylikethe
Thousand-and-OneNights,
orBoccaciosplague-narratives,orChaucer's
CanterburyTales,
isJohnMoschos'saccountofhisjourneyaroundthemonasteriesoftheeasternMediterranean(whichwastoinspireadifferentkindofwritinginWilliamDalrymple's
FromtheHolyMountainr."
ApocryphalActsofferthesamekindofadventuretravelstoryastheHellenisticnovel;desertnarrativesofferfablesfortheByzantineworld;thebestChineseboxnarrativeofthemedievalworldisthe
Life
ofStThcoktiste";andSymeonMetaphrasteswroteasequeltoAchilles
Tatios's
LeukippeandKleitophon
intheformofthe
LifeandMartyrdomofSaintsGalakiionandEpisteme,"
Allthisiswellknown,notleastbecauseofAustralianscholarship."Thelastpartofmytitletobeexplainedistheconceptofnovelisati
all.
Bythis
1
meannotthepracticeofwritingthebookofthemovieaftertheevent,butthetheoryofMikhailMikhailovicBakhtin.Inhis'EpicandNovel:TowardsaMethodologyfortheStudyoftheNovel'hesuggeststhat'thenovelgetsonpoorlywithothergenres',andhesays:Ofparticularinterestarethoseeraswhenthenovelbecomesthedominantgenre.Allliteratureisthencaughtupintheprocessof'becoming,'andinaspecialkindof'genericcriticism'...Inanera
Makrembolities'Hysmine
&
Hysminias.
Studia
ByzantinaUpsaliensia7(Uppsala
2001).
21.
Conca,
II
romanzo
64-302.
22.
O.Mazal,
ed.,
DerRomandesKonstantinosManasses:Uberlieferung,Rekonstruktion,TextausgabederFragmente.
WByzSt4(Vienna1967);E.Tsolakis,
IVj.1j30AI]aTl]fJ.diTl)ToDTTOll)TlKOUfpyouTOUl\uwaTaVTlIJov
Mauaooii«ai
KplTlKr,hOoa!)TOUj.1u8WTOpI7j1aT05"TOU
'Ta
KaT''Ap[aTavopopKat
Ka,UdJiGl/'.
'E'IT.'ETT.<I>lA.2:xo.TIav.8ECY.0
(Thessalonica
1967).
23.
Conca,
Il
romanzo
306-496.SeealsothenewtranslationbylB.Burton,
A
ByzantineNovel:DrosillaandChariklesbyNiketasEugenianos
(Wauconda
III.
2004).
24.
John
Moschos,
PratumSpirituale
PG
87.3,
cols
2851-3116;
W.Dalrymple,
FromtheHolyMountain:AJourneyin{heShadowofByzantium
(London
1997).25.
'LifeofStTheoktisteof
Lesbos'tr.
A.C.Hero
TheHolyWomenofByzantium.TenSaints'LivesinEnglishTranslation
ed.
A.M.Talbot.ByzantineSaints'LivesinTranslation
1
(Washington1996)96-116.
26.
PG
116,
cols
93-108.
27.
MacAlister,
DreamsandSuicides110.
NovelisationinByzantium
5whenthenovelreignssupreme,almostalltheremaininggenresaretoagreaterorlesserextent'novelized':drama(...),epicpoetry(...),evenlyricpoetry(...).Thosegenresthatstubbornlypreservetheiroldcanonicnaturebegintoappearstylised...Inanenvironmentwherethenovelisthedominantgenre,theconventionallanguagesofstrictlycanonicalgenrebegintosoundinnewways,whicharequitedifferentfromthewaystheysoundedinthoseeraswhenthenovelwas
not
includedin'high'
literature."
Bakhtingoesontoexaminetheimpactoftheentryofthenovelintoaliterature:Whatarethesalientfeaturesofthis'novelisation'ofothergenressuggestedbyusabove?Theybecomemorefreeandflexible,theirlanguagerenewsitselfbyincorporatingextraliteraryheteroglossiaandthe'novelistic'layersofliterarylanguage,theybecome'dialogised',permeatedwithlaughter,irony,humour,elementsofself-parodyandfinally-thisisthemostimportantthing-thenovelinsertsintotheseothergenresanindeterminacy,acertainsemanticopenendedness,alivingcontactwithunfinished,still-evolvingcontemporaryreality(theopenendedpresent)."
r
haveacertainamountofdifficultyinacceptingonepremiseofthistheory,whichisthatgenresotherthanthenovelarebydefinitiondead,or'moreorlessfixed'.
I
aketheviewthateverytextchangesthegenreinwhichitiswritten,"butifweleavethisononeside[thinkyoucanalreadyseehowattractivethistheoryistoanyoneattemptingtoexplaintheremarkablegenre-mixing,innovations,andrevivalsoftheByzantinetwelfthcentury.Weshouldnot,ofcourse,imaginethatthenovelwasdominantintwelfth-centuryByzantiumonthebasisofonefragmentaryandthreecompletetexts,butitshouldberememberedthatthemanuscripttraditionof
HysmineandHysminias,
forexample,withfortythreesurvivingmanuscriptsfromthethirteenthtosixteenthcentury,compareswellwithhistoricalandindeedothertexts(wethinkofSkylitzesasbeingverypopularwithtwentyonemanuscripts,andtheclassicasceticanthology,the
Synagoge
ofEvergetis,ashavingaverylargetraditionwithovereighty)."Anystudyoftheperiodshouldtakeintoaccountthatthelargestsinglebodyofmaterialisreligiouspolemic,andthatinsecularliterature,rhetoric,particularlyfuneraryrhetoric,fulfilsthatrole.Thedozenorsohistoriesfromtheeleventhandtwelfthcenturiesaredwarfedincomparison.Novelsandhistoriesarefewinnumber,butmayhavebeen,ifnotdominant,influential.
28.
M.M.Bakhtin,
TheDialogicImagination
ed.
M.Holquist
If.
C.Emerson
&
M.l-Iolquist(Austin
1994)
5-6.
29.
Ibid.6-7.
30.A.
Fowler,
KindsofLiterature:AnIntroductiontotheTheoryof"GenresandModes
(Oxford
1982)23;
seealsoMullett,'MadnessofGenre'.
31.
OnSkylitzesseeC.Holmes,
Basi!IIandtheGovernanceofEmpire
(976-/025).
OxfordStudiesinByzantium
I
(Oxford2005)75-80;onthemanuscripttraditionof
Synagoge
seeE.Skaka,
TheMakingoftheSynagogea/PaulEvergetinos.
BBTT
6.8(Belfastin
press),

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