Michael Angold and Michael Whitby

in The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199252466
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History


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Byzantine historiography, which is heavily indebted to the classical tradition stretching back to Herodotos and Thucydides in the fifth century BCE, continued to evolve over more than a millennium, demonstrating the vitality of the genre and the stimulus provided by its roots. Historiography was a branch of rhetoric in the classical world, with its texts displaying events of the past to an audience in an attractive manner. Wars, with their associated diplomacy, had always been a dominant subject of historiography. Two important Greek world chronicles survive from Late Antiquity, both extending from Adam to the present: one produced by John Malalas in Antioch and the other by John of Antioch in the early seventh century. Eusebios of Caesarea created a separate genre of ecclesiastical history, which was continued in the East by Gelasios. The classicizing historians of Byzantium produced some of the most distinguished Byzantine literature.

Keywords: Byzantium; historiography; Gelasios; Eusebios of Caesarea; world chronicles; John Malalas; John of Antioch; Late Antiquity; Byzantine literature

Article.  6853 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Middle Eastern Languages

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