Lamenting for the Fall of Jerusalem in the Seventh Century CE

Ioannis Papadogiannakis

in Greek Laughter and Tears

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2017 | ISBN: 9781474403795
Published online January 2018 | e-ISBN: 9781474435130 | DOI:

Series: Edinburgh Leventis Studies

Lamenting for the Fall of Jerusalem in the Seventh Century CE

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The capture and sack of Jerusalem by the Persians in 614 CE was a momentous event in the eyes of the local Christian communities. The most extensive account of this event comes from Strategius’, Capture of Jerusalem which purports to be an eyewitness account. Read often almost exclusively for the historical information that it provides this work is an avowed, sustained, carefully composed lament for the fall of the city and the fate of its Christian community. Thus, the significance of this work lies not only in its degree of correspondence to historical facts but also in the intensity of mourning that Strategius seeks to induce in his readers. For he was involved in an economy of emotional expression that also helped to shape, maintain and manage an emotional community. Through an examination of this account the aim of this contribution is: a) to survey the sort of emotions that these events aroused in Christian communities and b) to show how Strategius, through an array of emotive techniques, invites the reader to join an emotional community of mourners and to feel empathy for the loss and affliction that befell his community in Jerusalem.

Keywords: Capture of Jerusalem; Strategios; City-laments; Eastern Christianity; Emotions; Byzantium

Chapter.  4849 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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