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On the Imitation () of Antiquity in Byzantine Literature Author(s): Herbert Hunger Reviewed work(s): Source: Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Vol.

23/24 (1969/1970), pp. 15-38 Published by: Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1291289 . Accessed: 26/02/2013 05:40
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ON THE IMITATION (MIMHXII) OF ANTIQUITY

IN BYZANTINE LITERATURE
HERBERT HUNGER

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This paper, given at Dumbarton Oaks on January 10, 1969,does not deal at all withthe questionof the aesthetic value of Byzantinerhetoric, nor with the problemof the public forwhichthe Byzantineauthorswrote,both of these subjectshavingbeen treatedexhaustively by R. J. H. Jenkins in an articlepublishedin Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 17 (1963). obtained My purposehereis onlyto showhowthe Byzantines the imitation of antiquity in theirownliterature.

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modernpoetics,whichplaces the original work of the artistfar above how this imitation no matter imitation, good maybe, Greekantiqevery cared little for very "originalgenius." uity and the ByzantineMiddle Ages Even the anonymousauthorof the workT~epit 0Cous (Longinuson theSublime), of whomA. Lesky says, "er ist in seinemden Modernen unmittelbar anspreals chendenVerstandnis die Werte Dichtung genialerEinzelganger grosser fiUr seinerZeit weit vorausgeeilt"(as a solitarygenius he by far passed beyond of the values of great poetrywhich his own time through his understanding he even knowsand appreciates"die eifrige to directly appeals modernman),' und Dichter" (the zealous imitaNachahmungder alten grossenSchriftsteller tion of the greatancientwriters and poets) as a"zweitenWeg zu den H6hen" He believesin the possibilwriting])." (a secondway to the summit [ofcreative of and such this that imitation, ity inspiration inspiration may result through in literary of the Delphic Pythiaand the works-in analogyto the inspiration oraculardecreesresulting fromit. Like the priestessof Apollo,thoseaffected by the divine spiritwould also partake of the divine creative power, even before.3 thoughthey had not shownany signs of originality the two criticsand beforethisworkwas written, Yet, about twogenerations of Caecilius of Caleacte and had alHalicarnassus grammarians Dionysius ready developed a theoryof imitation.fTepi pvioecos by the latter,it is true, has been handed down to us in scantyfragments but it is clear that the only,4 imitation of Attic culture,which demanded a close study of the classical it. The young models,would also call forthpracticalinstructions concerning rhetorician wanted to know which authors he had to imitate,and in which in to be successful. Quintilian is convinced of the high value order way, of imitationand at the same time emphasizesthe importanceof exploiting severalmodels simultaneously and in an eclecticway (Inst. or., X.2.1): neque enimdubitari and (X.2.26): imitatione, potest, quin artispars magnacontineatur bona ut ante aliud ex haereat et oculos, alio quo quidqueloco plurium ponamus This sentenceby Quintilian already contains the recipe conveniat aptemus. whichhas again and again provedto be effective withthe numerous rhetoriand of the cians, epistolographers, poets Empire, of late antiquity,and of the Byzantine Age. The aliud ex alio haeretwas the magic formulafor the admirablyretentivememoriesof the authorswho wrote those much abused patchwork poems,the centos,ofwhichwe shall have to speak in greaterdetail later on.
1 A. dergriechischen 2nd ed. (Berlin, 1963), 886. Literatur, Lesky, Geschichte & KaI A? ris ... 686S I-rdrI T& Iinr x TEivl. wrroifa 6 Kal TIS a rr; h rcv rrpocSEv

in modern theories of art and ONTRARY to the opinion prevailing

IpEyAcov vyypaqgcovKca woiT-iyr&v lvpipaiS -rE KCaLLAcoaiS. T s Ibid.: KxaolfI Aiav ol~OtcworlKO -rij pcoy aoUEvvPovat1lOI aEy4SEI.

2 nrEpI OyovS, 13.2: ...

II (Munich,1920), 470. 4 Cf. W. Schmid and 0. Stahlin,Griechische Literaturgeschichte,

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compensateforthe old stage theatrewhichwas already dead at that time'0


Chrys., Arnim, [Berlin, 1896], 252): 'ricaov Yy&p alSiQt (ed. J. daircs1ayTvri -ris S &vacyyvcbctKEv d&XoAkas. Trept 'Ib Or. 18.8: "Opnpos 8 Kai 1TpWoTOSKai C~ S KKaiccrrcroS TavrTWrai Kat &vSpIKai ykpovrT, Troaoirov &' C6ov aiTroo 8tSoOs Ka-rGTOS 8VQOratI AaPEv. 8
6 Ibid., 457, note 11. 6 Dion Or. 18.6

it is frequently called ScTpov, presumably because in its functions it had to

Who has read much can considerably improvehis style: &v6cyvcaoms Tpo(p 7 catchword was followed ?ECos5-this certainly very often. Dion ofPrusa recommends to theadept ofgood stylethereadingof theworks ofMenanderand Euripides,not by himself but by havingthemrecited to him because in that way he could betterconcentrate.6 This shortspeech (No. 18) Dion is a for by particularly important testimony the theoryof imitationin the earlyperiod of the Empire. What is said here,forexample,on the significance ofHomerwas stillvalid throughout theByzantine millennium: "Homer is the first man meetshimin the middle poet everychild meets,the grown-up of his life,and the old man as the last one, and fromhis wealth he gives to each of them as much as he can possiblyhold."' In his judgementof other authorsand literarygenresDion usually proceedsfromthe standpointof a scarcelyveiled utilitarianism. From the centuries of late antiquityand of the ByzantineAge, by the way, we have onlya trifling numberof theoretical remarks on the subject of imitation.8 The reasonforthisis probablythat the tradition of imitating rhetorical modelshad fora long time become a customary practice.When customsand institutions have becomefirmly rootedin a continuous and stable convention, and of their existenceare seldom wanted. Of the explanations justifications we have evidencefrom the various however, practicalapplicationofimitation, centuries. From the Christian spherewe learn, forinstance,that the sermonsof St. of Nazianzus were not onlywritten downofficially Gregory by stenographerswhichmay have been of importance forthe later publicationof the text-but that also other churchgoers took notes of these sermons.Evidently,people endeavoredto collectbeautifulfigures of speech,similes,and imagesused by thefamouspreacher, in orderto use themoccasionally forthemselves.9 Gregory of Nyssa in his fourteenth epistletells how a letterwas passed around in his read and even learnedby heartby some, circle,whichwas repeatedly literary whereas others copied down excerptsin their notebooks.This situation of of the entireBypublicityin regardto literaryproductionis characteristic zantineAge: You met in a ratherlarge circleinterested in literary matters-

de

II

E. g., Syrianus, ed. H. Rabe, I (Leipzig, 1892), 98, 1. 20ff.,104, 1. 17ff. John Siceliotes, in Ch. Walz, Rhetores Graeci, 8 vols. (Stuttgart-Tiibingen-London-Paris, 1832-36), VI, 71f. A. Brinkmann, "Phoibammon TTEplt Rheinisches Museum f/. IupYiEcoA," Philologie,61 (1906), 117-34, gives the text of Phoibammon,who tries to invalidate the various objections against the practical possibilities of successfulimitation. It is always the imitationof style,of the three pos, 68p6S), XapKcr'ipEs (toxv6S, I that is discussed here. The excerpt of John Doxopatres is printedbelow the text. 9 Gregor.Naz., Or. 42.26 (PG, 36, col. 492 A). 10For examples for this use of the word,see H. Hunger, Reich der Neuen Mitte (Graz-ViennaCologne, 1965), 341.

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pieces of some kind -being an aestheteyou enjoyed the recitalof rhetorical letters,etc.), you were de(official speeches,practice speeches,descriptions, of with the contest the authors, lighted you participatedif possible in the acclamationconcerning the value of the recitedpieces-and you took notes of everything Thus Quintilian's that seemedusefulforyourown employment. aliud ex alio haeret intopractice.Thereis evidenceforthe continuawas turned tion of this institution fromthe fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.We also have references to the contest, the passingaroundof letters, and the acclamations fromthe later part of the period. We may assume that the excerpting and jottingdown of interesting were still practiced. phrases and expressions For the rest,the questionsas to the nature and the extentof imitationwill have to be judged fromthe texts of the ByzantineAge that have been preserved. Before we turn to the discussionof the different formsin which classical modelswereimitatedin Byzantineliterature we shall consider to what extent ancientsubject matterwas receivedintoByzantineliterature. First of all, it becomes evident that the introduction of ancient historicalor mythological and events into persons epic poems,plays,or novels,whichoccursso frequentin remainedrelatively rare in the Byzantine ly modernEuropean literature,11 in the The literaryproductions high language. mythological epic poems of Nonnus, Quintus Smyrnaeus, Colluthus,Musaeus, and MariaTryphiodorus, and sixth centuries, that is, to the early nus12belong entirelyto the fifth Byzantine Age. Later pieces of this genre are only the Carmina Iliaca, the and the verse chronicle of JohnTzetzes (twelfth Theogony, century).13 Apart from the verycommondidacticepic poems,the Byzantineson the whole preferredcontemporary subjects. The drama, which continuedto exist merely in the formof a few scanty productions intendedforreading,as well as the novels in the high language fromthe time of the Comneni,which adopted the backgroundand the motifsprevailingin the novelsthat were veryfreely written in the time of the Empire,are of no momenthere. It is only the literature in the demoticlanguage that shows signs of a certain traditionin themesthroughout the centuries.One respectto historicaland mythological has only to think of the Alexander prose romance or verse narratives,the poem on Belisarius, the Achilleid,or the Vita Aesopi. To what extent the factswereblurred in theseworksor preserved originalhistorical onlyin a sugis not our concernhere. gestionof classical atmosphere In Byzantinerhetorical we findclassicalsubjectsin practicespeeches writing
(pETaI),

that were continuously transmitted by the schools; with more or (iSo'rrotiat)


1 Many hundredsof such instancesof the effects of ancient mythology on even modernliterature are collected in my Lexikon der griechischen 6th ed. (Vienna, 1969). und rdmischen Mythologie, 12Presumablyfromhis circle are 211 trimeters on the Twelve Labors of Heracles, ed. B. Kn6s in 17 (1908), 406-21. Byzant.Zeitschrift, ed. I. Bekker (Berlin,1840),and epilogue, 13 CarminaIliaca, ed. I. Bekker (Berlin,1816); Theogonie, ed. H. Hunger,in Byzant.Zeitschrift, 46 (1953), 302-307; Verschronik, ed. H. Hunger, in Jahrbuch d. 4 (1955), 13-49. Althoughwrittenin verse, the Homer allegories of Oesterreich. Byzant. Gesellschaft, Tzetzes belong to the categoryof the commentaries, and therefore to nonfictional literature.

descriptions

(iKxppdts),

narratives (8tny1paTa), and character-drawings

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less extensivechanges they belonged to the standard material of rhetorical handbooks and instruction periods. Just as in the second centuryAristides had defendedthe old politiciansof Athens,Miltiades,Cimon,Themistocles, and Pericles in his work ITEpit historicalfigureslike Epaminondas TE-repcov, and Pelopidas or Alcibiades appeared in the Miscellaneaphilosophica et historica by Theodore Metochites.Similarly, his contemporary Thomas Magister, treatsthe old motifof the contention betweenthe fathersof the two heroes killed in battle near Marathon in imitationof the rhetorician Polemon (ca. A.D. 130).14 The same Thomas wrotea plea and a counterplea on the topic of exemption fromtaxes (drr4Etia), relyingcompletelyon Demosthenes' speech againstLeptinesas faras the contentsare concerned.15 In orderto offer a contemporary in his A6yos, example of a CuppovlAEUTIKT6 Outlineof Rhetoric half of the fourJosephRhacendytesthe Philosopher (first teenth century)feignsthe following situation: Somewhere in the Rhomaean in accordancewiththe ancient empirean isthmus(Io.p6s) is to be cut through; rhetorical he then the lists individual technique points on which the orator had to give his opinion.At that time,however,such an enterprise would or would not have been carriedout only in accordancewith the authoritative decision of the emperor.16 An attitudeanalogousto that of Thomas Magister and other Byzantines toward Demosthenes we find in John Chortasmenus toward Libanius, when,in the firsthalf of the fifteenth he answers century, fourlettersof the famoussophistin his correspondence.17 Of the seven recently publishedmodel specimensof rhetoric by Procopius of Gaza (sixth century)'8 two are character-drawings of Aphroditeand of Phoenix as he appears in the ninthbook of the Iliad; but in the otherfive of the spring,of a meadow, etc.) we findourselvesin pieces too (description the worldof the ancientGreekgods and heroes.This is the rulewiththe great mass of such productions the Byzantinecenturies. One might, for throughout to the "narratives" ofNicholasofMyra,'9 instance, point Severus,20 (SrTyilpara) or NicephorusBasilaces,21 which have been transmitted togetherwith the one also refer to the ofAphthonius22 Progymnasmata; might character-drawings and his imitators,which are collected in the firstvolume of the Rhetores Graeciby Walz. The shortallegorieson Tantalus, Sphinx,and Hephaestusby
New edition by F. W. Lenz, Fiinf Reden ThomasMagisters(Leiden, 1963). On p. viii, Lenz very commentson the natureof the imitation:"... in derWeise, dass wir auf den ersten characteristically Blick iiberall glauben, Polemon zu lesen, und doch nur ganz selten w6rtlicheEntlehnungenoder Zitate finden." (... in such a way that at firstsight we thinkwe are reading Polemon, and yet find verbatimadoptions or quotations very rarely.)A fundamental featureof Byzantine imitation I 15 Also edited by Lenz, op. cit., who, on the basis of manuscriptstudies, could deny to Aristides the authorship of these two speeches and attribute it to Thomas. The still unpublished speech "For the Olynthians" certainlybelongs to the same category of speeches with ancient historical contents. 16 Walz, op. cit., III, 516-21. 17 My edition of the lettersof JohnChortasmenus appeared in 1969. ed. A. Garzya and R.-J. Loenertz (Ettal, 1963), 83-98. 1sProcopii Gazaei epistolaeet declamationes, 19 Walz, op. cit., I, 269-72. 20 Ibid., 537-39.
14 21 22

ed. H. Rabe (Leipzig, 1926), 34ff. Aph thoniiProgymnasmata,

Ibid., 428-42.

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3 Ed. H. Flach, Glossenund Scholienzur HesiodischenTheogonie(Leipzig, 1876), 424-28. 2 Walz, op. cit., I, 466-525. The girl of Edessa who is deceived by a Goth (ibid., 519-22) is borrowed from the Passio SS. Guriae, Samonae et Abibi by Symeon Metaphrastes (PG, 116, col. 145 D-161; Bibliotheca HagiographicaGraeca, no. 736). 25 K. Krumbacher,Geschichte der byz. Litt., 2nd ed. (Munich,1897), 470 and 560. The ethopoeiaof John Geometreson the Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas (PG, 106, col. 932) comprises only a dozen lines. 26 Hunger, Reich der Neuen Mitte,355-69.

MichaelPsellus belonghere as well.23 In the case of the ethopoeia, Christian or two dozen contemporary topics were exceptions.Yet, of the approximately of NicephorusBasilaces (twelfth character-drawings century)in Walz's collection,about twelve are concernedwith subjects taken fromthe Old or the New Testaments,one dealing even with a "modern" topic.24 In addition to we should like to mentionone ethopoeia these, by NicephorusChrysoberges "What (twelfth-thirteenth century),namely, might a Christianphilologist have said when Julianthe Apostate forbade[the Christians] to read Hellenic books?" and one on the Virginby Nilus Diassorenus (fourteenth century).25 and official rhetoric(speeches to the emperorand official Historiography orationsof all kinds)werethoroughly rootedin the classical tradition, yet the main emphasis was never laid on classical contents.Most of the Byzantine historians were interested in a more detailed account of the time they themselves were livingin, that is, of contemporary history.Ancienthistorythey as did the chroniclers, who always began treated,if at all, as conscientiously theiroftenrathersketchyoutlineswiththe creationof the world. In conclusionwe can say that only a relativelysmall part of Byzantine literature is determined of classical contentsand subject by the reproduction matter. Much greateris the numberof those works that are in some other extent-characterized respector even in a numberof ways-and to a varying ofthe ancients.This long-known factwhich,as faras I know, by the imitation has neverfounda specific and coherent musthardlybe understood treatment, as if the Byzantineshad consciouslyconceived the hundredfold application of ancient motifs,figures, and quotations as imitation.The fact is rather that the Eastern Empire had not experienceda break in its historicaland culturaldevelopment as had the West, wheresuch an interruption had been caused by the establishment of Germanicempireson formerly Roman soil. and one discovers from remarkable in details the Again again literature, art, and architecture ofByzantiumthat the culturalcontinuity had been preserved since antiquity. Much of this situation was due to that intellectualdevelopmentin the course of which highlygiftedas well as learned ChristianFathers-I am to ClementofAlexandria,Origen,Eusebius, and above all the Capreferring the new Christianvalues into the long padocians-succeeded in introducing formsof pagan antiquity, and could eliminate approved literary-stylistic betweenthese two elementsin the course every thoughtof the discrepancy of the development. Thus they created that intellectualattitudeof Christian humanism whichat all timesclaimedthe loyaltyof the mostnoble mindsand the mostoutstanding writers ofByzantium.26 A particularly original testimony

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of this intellectualattitude, whichreachesfromthe literature of the educated farinto the realm of folklore, are those supposed propheciesof pagan philosophers on the Trinity,the Incarnation,and other Christiandogmas, which not onlyoccurin the form ofshortpassages in numerous but also manuscripts, are knownin the formof characteristic in large frescocyclesof presentations lateand monasteries and churches of monasteries.27 meta-Byzantine many In an essay on the "Vorbildqualitait und Lehrfunktion der byzantinischen the Demus the and Kunst," O. naturalness, universality, recently emphasized the representativeness of this art whichhe rightly calls a livingChristian art.28 Thus we usuallyfeelthat the imitation of this "intellektuellen Kunst, die ihre Mittelder analytischen des antikenErbes mit bewusster MeisterBewailtigung schaft anwendete" (intellectualart that applied its means of analytically the classical inheritance with consciousskill)29is a survivalrather mastering than a revival.Analogousconditions have to be kept in mindin regardto the literatureof the Byzantines. Since one knew one's Homer, the tragedians, Plato and Demosthenes, Plutarchand Lucian so well, Herodotus,Thucydides, one used quotations and allusions and adopted motifsand various associations veryfreely, and was quite unaware of utilizingforeign or of property even committing The mutual penetrationof the old Hellenicplagiarism.30 and Christian in traditions accordancewith the principles of Christian pagan humanismusually enabled authors to introduce mythological or historical of without to offense examples antiquity giving anybodyby doing so. Those cases wherepersonalenmityor extremezealotrydid bringabout attacks on the "Humanists" shall be disregarded in this context.31 Some examplesof thisnaive imitation of classicalmodelsare foundin those cases whereChristian or contemporary are replacedby Byzantinepersonalities The elementof this pagan-Christian mythologicalfigures. "as-if-by-chance" mixturegives a particularcharmto the works of art we here referto. The substitution of mythological rankedfrom drawncomfigures circumstantially or allusions. parisons to mere references In his sixth hymn (countingaccording to Terzaghi), Synesius presents Christas a second Heracles, withoutmentioning the name of the Greeknational hero. Like Heracles,Christ"cleaned up" the earth,the sea, the air (the
27 Amongthe "prophets" in the refectory of the Lavra on Mt. Athos are depicted Socrates, Pythagoras, Hypatia, Solon, Cleanthes,Philon, Homer,Aristotle,Galen, Sibyl, Plato, Plutarch.Cf. Hunger, Reich der Neuen Mitte,303. N. A. Bees, "Darstellungen altheidnischer Denker und Autoren in der Kirchenmalereider Griechen," Byzantinisch-Neugriechische 4 (1923), 107-28; K. SpetJahrbitcher, sieres, EIK6veS eIS eAciaS, in 'ETrn-rMp. 'EXfvCov cpqiho6qpcov rfis thXos.Xo~isToo l"Taverna-r. 'ETerirpIs Ser. 2, Vol. 14 (1963-64), 386-458; I. Dujiev, "Die Begleitinschriften derAbbildungenheidni'ASrlvov, scher Denker und Schriftsteller in Baikovo und Arbanasi," Jahrbuch d. Oesterreich. Byzant. Gesell16 (1967), 203-209. Of great interestwould also be a study of the abundant material offered schaft, by the frescoesof the Romanian monasteriesof Moldavia. 28 0. Demus, "Vorbildqualitit und Lehrfunktion der byzantinischen Kunst," Ahtendes 21. Intern. in Bonn, 1964,Vol. I: Epocheneuropdischer KongressesfiirKunstgeschichte 92-98. Kunst (Berlin,1967)., 29Ibid., 98. is not to be understood 30 That imitation as KhoTr1 is emphasizedalreadyby the author of ITpt Eypovs, 13.4. On writings cf. E. Stemplinger, Das Plagiat in der griechischen Literatur wrpi KAowTis, (LeipzigBerlin, 1912), 33-80. 31 Cf. Hunger, Reich derNeuen Mitte,359ff.

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32 Cf. K. Weitzmann, GeistigeGrundlagenund Wesen der MakedonischenRenaissance (CologneOpladen, 1963), 39f., pls. 37, 38. 3 A reference froma lectureof O. Demus, givenat the Oesterreichische ByzantinischeGesellschaft. Cf. H. Cohen,Descriptionhistorique des monnaies sous l'Empire Romain,I-VIII (Paris, 1880frappdes 1892): ConstantineI (C 237), Constans (C 133), Julian (C 75ff.),etc. R. Ratto, Monnaies byzantines (Lugano, 1930; reprint, Amsterdam,1959), 161ff. " Heraclias, 1.65-70, ed. A. Pertusiin Giorgiodi Pisidia, Poemi, I (Ettal, 1960). 3 Ibid., 1.76.

domain of the demons), and the netherworld and eventuallydescended to Hades as the "helperofthe departed"and as a god. The descentto the netherworldand the victoryover hell are also portrayed as the deeds of a Christian Heracles: Christdefeated Hades and Thanatus just as Heracles overcame Cerberusand rescued Alcestis fromdeath. Some years ago K. Weitzmann connection betweenthe figureof Heracles with pointed to the iconographic Cerberuson a second-century sarcophagus in the BritishMuseum and the Resurrection in the treasury of the Lavra picturein the lectionary preserved on Mt. Athos.32 the as link between these two ancient One may regard missing the reverse monuments side of coinsthatdepicttheemperor a captive dragging afterhim, a representation whichwas popularon coinsin the fourth and fifth centuries." a numberof epic poems glorifyGeorgiusPisides is knownto have written book of his Heraclias he ing his imperiallord Heraclius (610-641). In the first worksout a ory/KptIat between the (comparison) Emperor and the Greekhero which is suggested of the names. Homershouldnot Heracles, by the similarity have addressedHeracles as a god, since the meritof havingslain a boar and a lionwerenotas important for as was thesalvationoftheworld mankind through the Koavop~ions(savior) Heraclius.34 The poet then juxtaposes the individual labors of the 8co606aSos and the achievements of his Emperor.In analogy to the Cerberusadventure,Heraclius descends to Hades, overcomesthe mad monster(the Sassanid ChosroesII), and raises Alcestis,i.e., the oikoumene (the Christian world) fromthe dead. Like Heracles, the Emperorhas killed a the dragon (of Hesperides) and a hydra (Chosroes).Just as Heracles cleaned up the Augean Stables, he has cleansed life which beforehad been covered with dirt (vrrwavra"r6v Trpiv a6TrpcoaEv piov)-here we have a reminiscence of the crusade motif of the war against the Persians!35 The Emperor has = the lion that the world strangled destroys Chosroes); he has (KooGPopS6pov secured the golden apples of the Hesperides,i.e., he has reconqueredthe Byzantinecities (r-ds Tr6AEtS 6XaS)that had been occupied by the Persians.The darkness(Chosroes)has vanished and the light (the imperialsun) has risen; a newlife, another a newcreation have begun:Kai cosmos, K6'cVOS MOS Kai veCoin As the of ancient Greek (1.83). writings ?Tpac xrfts philosophy,the word "cosmos" has here the meaningof world,but also of the great,tremendous order. As is so frequently found in Byzantine literature-a traditionthat goes back even to Clementof Alexandria-the mythological example is followed a Christian one fromthe Holy Scriptures.Pisides compareshis imperial by lord to the patriarchNoah (6 NG$E TrS vEaSoiKoudvCi S). Just as Noah had en-

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and his familyto the ark,Heracliusentrusted trustedhimself his existence to secure fromthe Kxa-raxvoua6 his army and was therefore As the dove Xoap6ou. broughtNoah an olive branchwhen the Flood was over,the Emperorcould now gain the olive branchof peace.36 The Byzantinepoet,however, does not simplycomparea Christian example with a pagan one. Repeatedlyhe stresses-quite in accordancewith imperial propaganda and the prevailingByzantine attitude-that this war had the characterof a crusade: A Christian basileus fought here against the heathen and Chosroes. fire-worshipper"3 astrologer Ironically Pisides asks: "Where are [now] the investigations into the secretsof the stars? Who drew up the of Chosroes' Heraclius, however,was victoriouswith the horoscope fall?'"38 who had once again provedhimself to be the"cornerstone."39 supportofChrist, Christ as the "door" the Through (mkmAn),40 Emperorfoundthe rightway and became the good shepherdof his people. The aim of the crusade, however, was the destruction of the Persiangods,not out of hatredagainstthe element of firebut in orderto offer the creation,freeand rescued,unto the Lord.4' Following a basic thoughtof Byzantineimperialideology,the poet has God act as "collaborator"of the Emperor: Heraclius appointsGod commander-inchiefand thussecuresthe victory.42 The role of the Holy Ghost is to overcome the languagedifficulties betweenthe variouspeoplescomposing the army.43 The victoriousstruggleof Heraclius with his predecessoron the imperial throne,Phocas, is also presentedin a mythologicalgarb by Pisides. The Phocas is portrayedas the "tyrannicalsea-monsteron usurper (-r*pavvos) land".44The poet deliberately does not give the name of the girl threatened so as to leave it to the educated reader to choose between by the monster, Andromedaand Hesione,both of whom were chained to a rock as sacrifices to such a monsterand afterward set free,the one by Perseus,the other by Heracles. Again Pisides combinesthis substitution of contemporary persons with the Christian of his work and by ancientmythological figures tendency with an entirelytopical allusion: Heraclius is said to have confronted the "debaucher of virgins" Phocas with the picture of the ImmaculateVirgin tale whichevidently refers to the factthat (a pun upon the word TrrapSbvos)-a the fleet of the two Heracliuses, father and son, sailing fromCarthage to forthe overthrow of Phocas carriedwith it a picture of the Constantinople and Child as a palladium.45 Virgin
38Ibid., I.61f.
36 Ibid., 1.84-92. ibid, 1.14, 22ff.,181. 37 rvpqoAdrpTS,

2:20. Her., 1.184. 10:7, 9. Her., 1.193. 41 Her., 11.213-30. 42Exped. Pers., II.118f., ed. Pertusi. Cf. H. Hunger, Prooimion(Vienna, 1964), 88. Idem, "Kaiser Akademied. Wissenschaften, JustinianI.," Anzeigerd. Oesterreich. Phil.-hist.Klasse, 102 (1965), 346. 43Exped. Pers., II.170-76. Her., II.11; KITOS S44Tfi yii r6b ibid., 11.22. Kj'ros, 'nTpavvov, A urtT&nrat 45 Ibid., II.13f.: &~' S / br6 ESoTs Trf qpSop T-rCv wrrapSvcov 9ptKT'v i&Xpdvrrov u axpvov. Cf. Theophan., ed. C. de Boor, I (Leipzig, 1883), 298, 1. 15ff.; Pisid., Exped. Pers., 1.139ff.,with the of commentary Pertusi,p. 142f.
9 Ephes. 40 John

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Ko dOTrif0S oaio

Agathias, IV.23 (ed. R. Keydell [Berlin, 1967], 151f.). rrGv rrpoiryoupivcov at; by doing so, might he not want to create nmpinv~a the impressionthat he has been quoting frommemory? di Tessalonica,ed. S. Kyriakides (Palermo, 1961), 14, 1. 31-16, 1. 1. 48 La espugnazione 49 Nicetas Choniates, Bonn ed., 687. 5 Nic. Chon., Speech No. 9, trans. F. Grabler, in Byzantinische Geschichtsschreiber, Vol. 11 (Graz, 1966), 156. 51 Ducas, 12.3 (ed. V. Grecu [Bucharest, 1958], 73, 11.8-12). 52Liban., Ep. 432.4 (ed. R. F6rster,X [Leipzig, 1921], 422, 11.10-14). 53 Idem, Ep. 18 (ed. F6rster,X, 10, 1. 6ff.). 54Idem, Ep. 1105 (ed. F6rster,XI [Leipzig, 1922], 212, 1. 13f.). Cf. the same motifin Ep. 754.7 (ed. F6rster,X, 680, 1. 4ff.). 5s Idem, Ep. 1433.4 (ed. F6rster,XI, 472, 1. 6ff.): E6psa 68~V rEa*TrrTriS AlavTosuETraSoOvai aov
46

To the historian event of his time proAgathias the relatingof a historical vides an opportunity forincluding a mythological examplein his account.King ChosroesI has his defeatedgeneral Nachoragan flayedand the emptyskin put up on a pole. Agathias then tells the storyof Apollo and Marsyas,not withoutrationalisticcriticismof the myth and particularly of the disproWith a relevant quotation he portionatecrueltyof the god (&'rravSporria).46 refers to the Dionysiaca by Nonnus (I.42f.), adding casually that he cannot the contextand the immediately remember lines in Nonnus'work.47 preceding In his attempt to describethe character of the Emperor Andronicus I, of Eustathius Thessalonica compareshim to Proteus and Empusa.4 Nicetas Choniateslikensthe EmpressEuphrosyne, the wifeofAlexiusIII, to Penelope because she succeeded in "undoing" the plot contrived by Contostephanus,49 whereasIsaac II Angelus, who superseded the old Andronicus I on the throne, seems to him like Heracles who saved Andromeda(Constantinople) fromthe monster(AndronicusI) threatening her.50Ducas compares AndronicusIV who imprisoned his fatherand brothers, to Zeus who kept his fatherCronus and his brothersPluto and Poseidon withinbounds in order to secure the powersof rulerforhimself.51 The mythological examplemay be regardedas a stockelementofByzantine With Libanius, forinstance,the examplesare legion.Usually epistolography. are introduced as modelsforthe author'scontemporaries, mythological figures for his addressees. Thus, as a model to an addressee,Libanius particularly who did not rebukeOdysseus for having failedin presentsthe Agamemnon his missionto Achilles(II., IX.676f.).52In the eighteenth letter,the Athena of the first book of the Iliad, who appeases Achilles'wrathby orderof Hera to Tatianus.5 On (II., I.194ff.),serves as a model forLibanius' relationship another occasion Libanius challengeshis addressee to imitateAchilles,who first inflicted the wound upon Telephus and then healed it again: "May you becomean Achillesunto Telephusand heal the consequences of wraththrough The shows-here as well in as other instances-that in clemency."54 wording the mind of the writer the mythological has takenthe place of his configure Thus Libanius on one occasion: "We beg you, Ajax, to lend temporary. says him [Salvius] yourshieldand help himin a seemlyway."55Odysseus'relationserves Athena, which is characterizedby confidence, ship to his protectress as a model for the relations between contemporaries of Libanius, namely
47 Ibid.: o*0 y&p8 1 rTv

r Ofj'al T EK6Tya.

"oG

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Tatianus and Hesychius,56 and Theodore and Eusebius.57 As a model forthe between children and their the similarity parents, story of Odysseus and Telemachusin the fourth book of theOdyssey is used.58 In all theseexamples, the numberof whichcould be enlargedat will,mythological in characfigures teristicand representative situationstake-at least foran instant-the place oftheaddressees.The modern readerthusreceivesthe impression of an ancient atmosphere. similarcan also be foundin epigrams;here two examplesfrom Something the Palatine Anthology dedicates may serve our purpose. Paul the Silentiary a poem to the mythof Danae, to whichhe gives this rationalistic interpretation: Basically, every woman can be bought withgold. In factthe epigrammatistwants to confirm a generalexperience(the venalityof love) by means of the storyof Danae.59In the poem immediately following, Agathias Scholasticustells (or feigns?)that a rival has alienatedthe affections of his girlfrom titlesof comediesby Mehim. To illustratethe situationhe uses well-known nander: the girl corresponds to Perikeiromene (The Shorn Girl),the rival to Misoumenos(The Odious One), the authorhimself to Dyskolos (The Malcontent). In a second groupof examplesthe imitation of antiquitypertainsto whole to and finally to mere associationsand slightalluscenes, individualmotifs, sions.All thesemay,but need not,be accompaniedby quotations from classical authors. A particular in thisconnection are variouspassages from problem Byzantine historianswho provably borrowedalso fromthe contentsof some classical recordwhichtheymay originally have wishedto imitatein its formalaspects In such cases there of is, course,the danger that the historicaltruth only. a problemto which G. Moravcsikrecently mightbe falsified, gave his attenOur and friendwas able to demonstrate tion.60 distinguished colleague by means of severalexamplesthattheidentification of a classicalmodelwhichwas used by a Byzantineauthorforhis reporteven in respectto its contents, does not necessarily discreditthe Byzantinehistorian.Thus, forexample, Priscus relates the conquest of Naissos (Nig) by the Huns in 441 in the formof a narrative61 whichin manyrespects reminds and coloring, us, in its phraseology of Thucydides'description of the conquest of Plataea (II.75f.), and whichis reminiscent too of the conquest of Philippopolisdescribedby Dexippus.62 the remarkthat the Huns used siege engineson the occasion Nevertheless, need not too readilybe doubted,forProcopius,for instance,gives the same account of the Sabirs,who wererelatedto the Huns.63
855.1 (ed. F6rster,XI, 13, 1. 15ff.). 905.1 (ed. F6rster,XI, 54, 1. 5f.). N Od., IV.141ff.Liban., Ep. 93.1 (ed.iF6rster,X, 92, 1. 15ff.). 59 A. P., V.217 (ed. H. Beckby, I [Munich,1957], 234). 60Gy. Moravcsik, "Klassizismus in der byzantinischen FestGeschichtsschreibung," Polychronion, F. DBlgerzum 75. Geburtstag schrift (Heidelberg,1966), 366-77. 6e HistoriciGraeciMinores,ed. L. Dindorf,I (Leipzig, 1870), 278-80: fr.lb.
56 Idem, Ep. 57 Idem, Ep. 68 Procop., De 6s Ibid., 184-86: fr. 19.

bellis,VIII.11 (ed. J. Haury, [Leipzig, 1963], II, 539ff.)Moravcsik,op. cit.,370.

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Classical reminiscences are very likely to occur in the historicalepisodes who based theirimitations authors on Herodotusand Thucydipresentedby des. When the same Priscus, referring to the conclusionof peace between of and chief of the KidariteHuns, tellsthat the Kunchan, Persia, king PerOz, Persian deceived the Hun by givinghim not his sister-as had been agreedbut a servant as a wife,64the anecdote in Herodotus (III.1), whereAmasis but some otherwomanto Cambyses, itself as a givesnot his daughter suggests model. Nevertheless, the fightsbetween Persians and Huns as well as the which followed are not to be doubted,since they can be verified marriage by means of Orientalsources.Priscus,however, adopted the formof a shorttale fromHerodotus in orderto give his presentation a classical touch and offer his audience associationswiththe famousfather of historiography.65 in a about of the Procopius, telling stratagem Hephthaliteswho built wellhas obviously in mind the camouflagedpitfallsagainst hostile horseman,66 Herodotus on a similar reportby (VIII.28) stratagemof the Phocians;67 but, his account can be verified again, by Orientalsources,as Haury was able to show.68In such cases the historicalcredibility should not be prematurely on the of the Byzantineauthorpertains questioned groundsthat the imitation even to the contentsof his model. In orderto presentcertainqualities of theirheroesmorestrikingly, historians and rhetoricians introduce and historical the sake for mythological figures of comparison.In presenting the heir to the throneConstantine(X) Ducas and the nobilityof his birth,Psellus goes back as far as Achilles,the latter's father Aeacus.69For the reigning Peleus, and his grandfather famous emperor, rulersof antiquityare preferably used as patterns, forexample Alexanderthe Great, Caesar, Augustus,Pyrrhus, Epaminondas,and AgesilausforConstantine IX,7o Alexander the Great for Alexius I Comnenus;71 Cato the Stoic, whose equanimitycould not be disturbed by his fever,appears as a counterfromside to side in part to Isaac Comnenus,who ceaselesslytossed himself his fever.'7 To impressmoreeffectively the reader'smindthe fascinating upon effect beauty of her motherIrene,Anna Comnenaeven invokesthe petrifying of the Gorgon'shead,73 and in describing the battles of her father Alexiusshe introduces betweenthe Giants and the gods by way Typhonand the struggle of comparison.74 As a resultof the tradition whichhad remainedunbroken since antiquity,
de legat.,ed. C. de Boor, I (Berlin, 1903), 153, 1. 25-154, 1. 32. R. Benedicty,"Die historische eines Berichtesdes Priskos. Zur Frage der historioAuthentizitat graphischenNovellisierungin der friihbyzantinischen Geschichtsliteratur," Jahrbuchd. Oesterreich. 13 (1964), 1-8. Byzant. Gesellschaft, 86 Procop., De bellis,1.4 (ed. Haury, I, 15, 11.6-20). 67Cf. also Polyaen., Strateg., VI.18.2 (ed. E. Woelfflin and I. Melber [Leipzig, 1887], 297).: 68 Cf. Moravcsik,op. cit., 375f. 69 Psell., Chron.,ed. E. Renauld, II (Paris, 1928), 134.
65

64 Exc.

Renauld, II, p. 79Anna Comn., 111.2.4. 7' Idem, 1.7.3.

51 f. 71Anna Comn., XV.7.8 (Bud6 Coll.). 72Psell., Chron.,ed. 130.


70oIbid.,

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a great numberof mythological and historicalsituationsand motifshad so deeply penetratedthe minds of all educated Byzantinesthat we findthem Some exagain and again in the works of the historiansand rhetoricians. is repreFirst, those frommythology:ideal friendship amples may suffice. sented by the pairs Orestes-Pylades and Theseus-Pirithous, quarrelsomeness by the apple of Eris, a time of peacefultranquillity by the "halcyon days"; the union of Alpheus and Arethusastands forall-conquering love, Ixion and Hera forunfulfilled-today we should say frustrated-love, the Heliads' tears that were turned into amber stand for never-ceasing grief,the "helmet of Hades" forinvisibility; is represented cunning changeableness by the versatile the of "Gardens etc. Proteus,rapid transitoriness Adonis", Second, motifs by from and legislator stand Numa Pomhistory:forthe wisdomof the emperor or for the of murder the Brutus or Harmodius and pilius Lycurgus, tyrant, for Aristogiton, fear of God, Publius CorneliusScipio, forpresumptuousness, fora capriciousdisposition, the Xerxes, forsecurityof the walls, Semiramis, current of the changing Euripus,etc. A limitednumberof mythological motifsbecame particularlypopular in in these one can cases epistolography; speak of specifically epistolographic There first of of the was is, all, Hermes, who, rhetoricians, topoi. being god at the same time regardedas the divinefriend of letter-writers. Libanius, for instance,writeson one occasion: "If Hermes and the othergods permitit, we shall meetwithin thismonth,'"5 and another time: "By Hermes,do remove thatprooimion from letter to one used to ."76 hoyiouT-rvfros your 'Epovio me.... of to whom one wished to a say correspondents pay compliment.77 To the stock themesin Byzantineletter-writing belongsthe unquenchable desire to visit the addressee. To reduce the sometimesgreat distances one frequently longed for the wingedsandals of Perseus.78The wish to visit his friend is alreadyexpressed of a papyrusletter.79 by way of flight by the writer Libanius speaks several timesof the desiredwings, but onlyonce ofPerseus.80 of on the other the motifin a clearly prohand, presents Procopius Gaza, nounced way: "Could I but become a Perseus and sail throughthe air on wingsand be carriedacross the sea, so that I might-as soon as I wish-be with you and enjoy your love."81Later, we come across this motifin Niceand Michael Psellus.83 Basil the Great uses the words of the phorusUranuss2 Psalm (54:7): "Oh, that I had wingslike a dove!" in the same connection.84
75Liban., Ep. 894.3 (ed. F6rster,XI, 44, 1. 18ff.). Idem, Ep. 1497.1 (ed. F6rster,XI, 524, 1. 21f.); cf. also Epp. 199, 269, 338, 884, 1145, 1400. Graeci [Paris, 1873], 699, 739); Thom. Synes., Epp. 101 and 159 (ed. R. Hercher,Epistolographi Mag., Ep. 1 (PG, 145, col. 405.2). 8 On this motif,cf. G. Karlsson, Iddologieet cdrimonial 2nd ed. dans l'epistolographie byzantine, (Uppsala, 1962), 57f. 79 U. Wilcken, Chrestomathie der Papyruskunde(Leipzig-Berlin,1912), No. 481.
76 77

Procop., Ep. 58.6-8 (ed. Garzya and Loenertz); cf. also Epp. 29, 90, 123. sidcle(Paris, 1960), V, 47, 1. 55f. 83 Psell., Ep. 14 (ed. E. Kurtz and F. Drexl, II ([Milan, 1941], 17, 1. 15). 84Basil., Epp. 47 and 140 (ed. Y. Courtonne,I, II [Paris, 1957, 1961]); cf. also Niceph. Basilaces, 56 [1963], 232). Ep. 3, 1. 4 (ed. A. Garzya, in Byzant.Zeitschrift, du Xe 82 J. Darrouz6s, Epistoliersbyzantins
81

so Liban., Ep. 44.2.

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"'T&oxEiv (II., III.156f.); 85 Cf. Synes.,Epp. 32,146 (ed. Hercher, 654, 729); Procop.,Epp. 57,92, 110 (ed. Garzya and Loenertz, 33, 49, 57); Theoph. Sim., Ep. 82 (ed. Hercher,785f.). V (Paris, 1876), 296. BaptoSjK)n, s6C. N. Sathas, MEaaicVtKwl 81 Psell., Ep. 17 (ed. Kurtz and Drexl, 21, 1. 11). "*Planud., Ep. 68, 1. 8f. (ed. M. Treu [Breslau, 1890], 85). Cf. Epp. 21, 1. 27ff.; 113, 1. 68: here exand Tluy. ceptionallythe singular Eiplv, in the same meaningas 'OpE6s 89 Dem. Cyd., Ep. 27, 1. 33f. (ed. R.-J. Loenertz, I [Citth del Vaticano, 1956]), at the end of the letter. 90 Idem, Ep. 84, 1. 23ff., also at the end of the letter. 91Idem, Ep. 106, 1. 7ff.Cf. also Epp. 10, 1. 5f.; 17, 1. 42f.; 18, 1. 10; 33, 1. 38f. 92Idem, Ep. 237, 1. 33f. (ed. Loenertz, II [Citthdel Vaticano, 1960]). 93Cf. Hunger, Reich derNeuen Mitte,342f.

toKvipit6as 'AXato0Cis rotoi6'&pqi yuvaxlKi'rrohv Xp6vov 7yea

Two components unite in the topos of the Sirens,whichfrequently recursin Byzantine letters. In the earlierliteraturethe moral motive seems to predominatewhich-sometimeswith a reference to the ethicalinterpretation of the myth-sees the Sirensas temptations that beset man.85 Later, the Sirens with theirenticingsong are understoodas the voice, or ratherthe letter,of the correspondent, whichhas completely betwichedthe writer.Examples of this interpretation are offered alreadyby Synesius(Epist. 146) and Procopius of Gaza (Epist. 120); in Psellus,Planudes,and DemetriusCydonesit definitely predominates. Occasionally,the writeris proudlyaware of the fact that his own letters, findsdifficult to evade. Thus, too, cast a spell which his partner forinstance,Psellus writes: "Sail past my Sirens!"86 and in anotherpassage he owns: "I am not able, as was the son of Laertes,to sail past yourSirens."87 to a woman,admitsthat it would betraylack of education Planudes,writing ifhe weredeafto the Sirens,i.e., her letters.88 and even be offensive Demetrius that in a of his he will letter have the reading Cydoneshopes correspondent of like his Sirens.89 Another he time, Psellus, speaks ofthese impression hearing Sirensongsas beingreciprocal,9 the importance ofthose or,again, emphasizes letters whichhe receivedon a longtravel,a further tertium identicomparationis the writer with to the Sirens.91 we meet In a few cases fying Odysseuslistening withrelations of a different for when Simocattes kind,as, example, Theophylact the with a of the Sirens lament of the Muses enchantingsong juxtaposes or when the understands Sirens as the of (Epist. 21), Cydones personification homesickness.92 Finally, quotations fromclassical authors contributetoward intensifying the impression of imitationon the reader or listener.Here we would like to recallthatthe Byzantinesusuallyquote without thename ofthe author, giving or by givingit in a more or less encoded form.That "thepoet" was Homer, the son of Olorus,Thucydides,and the man fromPaeania, Demosthenesone learned in elementary school. Titles of works or even hints as to the more context of the specific quotation are foundvery seldom. Since one obviously used to quote frommemory, inaccuraciesand misunderstandings were inevitable. The identification of quotationson the part of the audienceseemseven to have been a kind of roundgame in Byzantium.93 therewere Furthermore, certainquotations,especiallyfromHomer,that enjoyed a special popularity, e.g., o0IKdyaS6v T'rroXxKOpavl"i ETIKOipavos orcO (II., 11.204); oO veo' Tp'cas Kai

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8 povrq6pov v6pa, cB 'A-rpoS avVi(Xtov ESEtV ESEits, V1iSCatpovoS oOXP rr twfroS&&oo-o" = o -r' rE 11.23-25 V-v i (II., 11.60-62); v wrrs Xao( warle'rpa'garatKai r6aac p o-rtv drr -rrwrpns 8pu6so0t5' &drr6 (II., XXII.126; Od., XIX.163), etc. Since Byzantineauthorswriting in the highlanguage liked to parade their sometimes which learning, theyquoted abundantly, usinga mass ofquotations, one mightcall a kind of mannerism. Here I may also recall the fact that in such cases the mixtureof pagan and Christian quotationswas a patternthat was popular with many writersand can be traced back even to Clementof As late as the early fourteenth Alexandria.94 century,Joseph Rhacendytes the Philosopherexpressed his opinion on this "pasting together"of quotations-in connectionwith the epistolarystyle-in his Synopsis Rhetorices, chapter14.95 Sometimesit is a hardlyextraordinary allusion or word combination that a quotation.Yet, whenProcopiusin hisAnecdota signalizes says oftheEmperor one will Justinian,6T-ri immediatelythink of rETopos ppSdirKai dpopa-rofi-, Socratesin his basket,in Aristophanes' Clouds.96 in the same When,however, the verbs or and are chapter jointlyused, only a dyptlavopal, drypt6opla, aaipco will referthem to a corresponding Redictionary passage in Aristophanes.97 to with KUKC~v ferring Justinian y&p &de K~a uvvrTap&aacov Et ~(pEiS &rravTa, &vEo'63 Procopiusalludes to a passage in the Knights.98 We now have to turnto that kindof imitation whichconcentrated, without to the on on style.For the Byzantineauthor contents, classical forms, regard therewas, of course,no consciousdivisionbetweenthe different possibilities of imitationthat we have pointed out. On the contrary, they usually went Our divisionwas made only forthe sake of a betterarrangement of together. the material. Formal imitationpertains1) to all linguistic phenomena,2) to meter. In regard to the language, the strictlyand stiffly preservedAttic model affected and Until the end of the Byzantine phonetics, morphology, stylistics. educated authors took with to Empire pains, though varying consistency, writedouble tau instead of double sigma in qur-rco, ya-rra, etc., as KllpTrrT, well as occasionally?uv instead of ovv, and yfyvopai instead of yfvopat.99 The Attic dual, which had already fallen out of use in the literarykoine of the Ptolemaicperiod, Aristides the pride was,from up to the fallof Constantinople, of many an authorwho boasted of his learning.100 Authorswriting in the high language retainedthe dative to a much greaterextentthan was requiredby
" Ibid., 302f. Examples of clusters of quotations, for instance,in Nicetas Choniates: Bonn ed., 336 and 640; Speech No. 9, trans. Grabler,op. cit.,151-f. See furthermore F. Grabler,"Das Zitat als Stilmittelbei Niketas Choniates,"in AktendesXI. Internationalen Miinchen Byzantinistenkongresses, 1958 (Munich,1960), 190-93. * Walz, op. cit., III, 558f. 9* Procop., An., 13.11 (ed. J.Haury, III, pt. 1 [Leipzig, 1906]); Arist.,Nub., 225. 97 Procop., An., 13.3; Arist.,Pax, 620. 98Procop., An., 9.50; Arist.,Equ., 692. 9 Statistics of individual authors should be set up only on the basis of a thoroughknowledgeof the entiretradition.Even then it would be difficult to decide what exactly has to be attributedto the author and what to the copyist. E. Schwyzer, Griech. I (Munich,1939), 127. Grammatik, 10o

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101 In the case of Cinnamus,this was demonstrated by F. Hbrmann,Beitragezur Syntax des Johannes Kinnamos,Diss. Miinchen(1938), 85-105; in the case of Eustathius of Thessalonika, by P. Wirth, zur byzantinischen Rhetorik des 12. Jahrhunderts, Diss. Miinchen(1960), 60-74. Untersuchungen 102Cf. G. B6hlig, Untersuchungen zum rhetorischen der Byzantiner,mit besonderer Sprachgebrauch der Schriften des Michael Psellos (Berlin, 1956), 1ff. Beriicksichtigung 103 Ibid., 34ff.,67f., 72ff.,85, 94ff.,98ff.,162f., 201ff.,215, 228, 234ff. 104 On this familiarphenomenon, cf. Gy. Moravcsik, Byzantinoturcica, 2nd ed. (Berlin, 1958), II, 13ff.Idem, in Polychronion, 372f.

the conditionsof the actual development of the language.'0'What was to be or even solecistic was decidedby the grammarregardedas Attic,or un-Attic, who on the whole the followed doctrine that had been developedin the ians, time of the Empire.'02 Contracted forms of nouns and verbs,Atticdeclension, the indefinite in shortened its forms pronoun(particularly Tov,Tcp),reduplicationinsteadof the pluperfect withauxiliaryverb (rETtXa-ro), the middlevoice, the optative, the accumulationof negations,the pleonastic use of particles (especiallyKal),the use of abstracts(T6 rrKrioov, -r Si6u) instead of concretes, the perfectwith presenttense meaning,the figuraetymologica, and many otherswerepreferred because theywereheld to be Attic.103 An important, imitationwas althoughnegative,elementof this linguistic the avoidance of all colloquialwordsand forms, and also ofthoseoftentechnical termswhich-in the course of the developmentof the koine and later, duringthe centuriesof the Empire-had penetratedfromLatin into Greek. Though not all Byzantine authors followedthis principlewith equal conmost of themendeavored, in accordancewiththe imitation of classisistency, cal models, to keep their own work free fromall elementsof the actually i.e., "sterile." Thus developinglanguage,to keep it, I should say, germ-free, the names of peoples and tribesthat had not been members of the Byzantine in taboo. had become Empirewere, everycase, known,it is true,in the They but had been unknownto the ancient early and middle Byzantinecenturies, historians.Now one tried,usually at random,to identify the contemporary tribeswiththoseraces whosenames could be foundin Herodotus,Thucydides, and otherancienthistorians, the spatial coordination or an imaginedkinship or identity the issue. Considering the methodsemployed, we evidently deciding are not astonished to findthat three,or four, or even more archaizingnames were attachedto everyethnicalgroupby different In a Byzantineauthors.'04 similar way the Byzantines renderedforeigntitles and offices:Seljuk and Serbian governors,'05 and even theirown generals, werecalled satraps simply because this termhad been familiar to the ancienthistorians.106 The name that was usuallyapplied to one of the Circusparties,the "Blues," is "explained" by Procopius pveTro in colloquial language, (8 6i1KVw6v Eaon)',107 who usually emphasizesalso the Latin origin of certaintermsas, forinstance, This attitude or, -ro~KAOUvVvov KOttccTrCopoS.109 TO-rrOV SOvtOT1KOV KcAO-at 'PcoIacol,'08 findsits particularly manneristic expressionwhen,in spite of the enormous

10e H. Hunger, Der byzantinische des Theodoros Katz-Mduse-Krieg.Die Katomyomachia Prodromos (Vienna, 1968), 113, on 1. 293. 107 Procop., De bellis,11.11 (ed. Haury, I, 203, 1. 3f.). 108 Ibid., III.11 (ed. Haury, I, 361, 1. 16f.). 109 Procop., An., 6.13; 9.41.

105 Ibid.

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in the wholeEast, and also in the capital, duringthe expansionof monachism fourthand fifth in the middle of the sixth century centuries, Procopius still the most common word for monk, paraphrasesconsistently by writing: vovax6s, and similarexamples."10 SimoovaXois Theophylactus KaXAEv VEVvoIKiaT, oo-arrEp cattes triesto avoid the offensive it colloquial gpvETrot by paraphrasing clumNicetas Choniates of the "one in sily."' chargeof the mixingjug," in speaks orderto avoid the title whichis of Latin descent,and (cup-bearer), mTryKdpvns talks of "internaltreasurehouses" (-rd Eo racolTaia) so that he would not have to use the technicalterm (oIKlaxK6v forthe privypurse of the emfPEo-nT&pov) it was In practice, ofcourse, peror.112 hardlypossibleto stickto thismannerism Eustathius, for instance,vivaciouslydeclares,in his reporton consistently. the conquest of Thessalonicaby the Normans,that he preferred to say K6OIS instead of K6cvros because he hated the barbaric,i.e., the Latin-Italic,expresLatin termslike d6voOVitov or rrp6pa sion."3 In the same work, however, occur, withwhichthe authorfoundno fault."14 From the time of the Empire,Attic dictionariesserved as an important device forthe avoidance of non-Attic words; in Byzantium,too, these lexica It has been estimated that about 2,500Atticglosses enjoyedgreatpopularity. fromolder dictionaries of this kind were includedin the Byzantinelexica."5 How great the interest in this subject must stillhave been at the time of the Palaeologi becomes obvious fromthe new compilations by Manuel Moschoand Thomas It meant the pulus highestpossible praise for a Magister."6 writerif his style was acknowledged to be perfectly Attic; such tributewas to Theodore Metochites his payed by pupil NicephorusGregorasin his epiand taphx"7 by NicephorusChumnus.11s The strongtrendtoward the imitationof classical literature in Byzantine also made itself felt in the of Byzantineprosody.Since writing development the classical iambic trimeter had been accepted as the most commonmeter, a grotesquesituation,thoughtypical of Byzantium,ensued duringthe early whengraduallythe accenting metersgained ground.AlByzantinecenturies, the were no measured but counted and the sense of though syllables longer in the unlongs and shortsbecame more and more lost, which is reflected as to the use of the so-called certainty dichrona (the vowels alpha, iota, ypsiof most the their classicistic triedto present ambition, poets, impelled by Ion), to the educated reader a trimeter that was perfecteven in the sense of the classical quantitativemeter.In thiscase the imitation of the ancientsresulted in a discrepancy betweenpoetryas it was read and poetryas it was heard,
110

14 Ibid., 66, 1. 17; 68, 1. 13. H. Erbse, Untersuchungen zu den attizistischen Lexika (Berlin, 1950), 6. 115 116 Manuel Moschopulus, XIvAoyA6voir&rcov ed. A. Asulanus (Venice, 1524); Thomas drTTwiKv, ed. F. Ritschel (Halle, 1832). V KadOTq&rcvw Magister,'EKAoyAl 6vopdrrc d-rt.IKV, 117 Nic. Greg.,X.2 (Bonn ed., I, 477). F. Boissonade, Anecdotanova (Paris, 1844), No. 133, p. 156; cf. also H. Hunger in Byzant. 118 J. 45 (1952), 9. Zeitschri/t,

112 Nic. Chon., Bonn ed., 384 and 708. di Tessalonica,ed. Kyriakides,110, 11.16-18. 13sLa espugnazione

1I1 Theoph.

Cf.theindex ofHaury's edition (III, pt. 2 [Leipzig, 1913]),387.


Sim., ed. de Boor, 296, 1. 24f.

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and developed a "poetry for the eye" which was no longerrelated to conThe frequently imitationsof occurring language and versification. temporary the classical dactylichexameterand elegiac distich,of trochaicoctosyllabics and anacreonticsshow the same tendency. Of course, it would have been ofthe rules of quantity,as betterhad secular poetrymade itselfindependent the had done religious hymn-poetry by following exampleofRomanusMelodus, and had it cultivatedthe genuineByzantine meter, namely the "political" line. Actually,however, the hexametric fifteen-syllable attemptsoflater scholhalfof the fifteenth are ars,like forinstanceJohnChortasmenus (first century), ofan utter indications of the to classical meter.119 inability appreciate peculiarity A characteristic feature of Byzantine art and literature, as yet perhaps to an acknowledged hardlynoticed,is the balance betweena strictadherence and accepted tradition-in our case the imitationof antiquity-on the one hand, and the greatestpossible variationof detail on the other; in the best worksof art and literature thisis excellently done. The ingenuity ofthe writer will expressitselfin an abundance of stylistic details and phrasings ofhis own observerwill see coinage,which, however,have to be sought; the superficial but the of well-worn I first cliches. to nothing repetition pointed thisphenomenon in my book on the prooimion, fiveyears ago; in studying the preambles of the documents, the composition of whichwas entrusted to men who were well versed in literary matters,I had noted this combinationof extremely traditionalism and abundant variation.120 The antinomy of strictimitationin regard to the whole and broad diversityin detail is of consequence in the much abused centos,the patchworkpoems, to whicha shortdiscussionshall be dedicatedhere fromthe viewpointof the Byzantineliterary historian. Two epigramsby the philosopherand mathematician Leo (fifth century) that are containedin the ninthbook of the Palatine Anthology shall be cited hereas examplesoftheGreekpagan cento.121 The first consists ofsix,thesecond oftwelvehexameters; each oftheselinesis a complete versefrom theIliad orthe In the first we can one trace minor deviation from this Odyssey. epigram only strict rule: in line4 thenominative had to replacetheoriginal yvpv6s accusative, and line 5 was composedof parts taken from two verses.The first wordof the last verse is used with a meaningdifferent fromthat in Homer, namely as an obscene homonym, which is the point of the whole epigram.The second epigram(Hero and Leander) is similarlycomposed of completeverses from Homer. Here the only deviation fromthe verbally renderedpassage from Homeroccursin line 6 (middleofthe epigram), whichagain consistsofpartsof two versestakenfrom the Odyssey; thesetwo lineswereof necessity retouched forgrammatical reasons,but remainedotherwise unchanged.In these twelve lines the poet succeeded in recounting the storyof Hero and Leanderbriefly, withoutapparent effort, and at the same time withoutgrammaticalerrors this without himself --all having troubledto compose a singleverse or part
P., IX.361 and 381 (ed. Beckby, III [Munich,1958], 222, 236). On pagan centos,cf. Stemplinger,op. cit., 193-95.
120 Hunger, 121 A.

119On

this problem,cf. Hunger,Der byzantinische 30ff. Katz-MAuse-Krieg,


Prooimion, 17 and 58.

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22Hieron., ludo similia. Ep. 53.7: Puerilia sunt haec et circulatorum chapters1-13 and 50 (approximately1950 lines in all) by A. Ludwich (Leipzig, 1897). 12 Ed. Ludwich, p. 87: nam huius generislibri,qui haud pauci adhuc in bibliothecis hodiea latent, nemine digni habentur, .... Emendatiunculaepaucae mihi fere invito (1) qui accuratiusexplorentur huncigiturcampum,quem videbamnimis sterilem exciderunt interscribendum: esse, aliis patientioribus colendum. diligentius permitto 125 Ed. J. G. Brambs (Leipzig, 1885); A. Tailier (Paris, 1969).
123 Edition of

A thirdof the 2610 lines of Christus Patiens (Xpto-rbs is borrowed rrroXcov)125 fromclassical models, mostly fromEuripides, the Medea and the Bacchae sharein the contribution, someothers havingthe greatest ofhisplaysfollowing in this order: Hippolytus,Rhesus, and, far less often,Orestes, Hecuba, and

the other partially, to the category of the centos in a wider sense.

of a sentence.A praiseofsuch methodswillhardlypass thelips of the modern reader who expects originalideas of a poet's genius. Whateverthe case for werepossible originality may be, one willhave to admitthatsuch achievements of on the basis a most intimate with the text of Homer,a deep only familiarity and knowledge of thelanguage,and an excellent After understanding memory. we cannot believe of that the writers centos kalamos in all, went, hand,through the whole text of Homer searching forsuitable lines-or that they even consultedcomputers! These patchwork testimonies of an extrapoemsare, rather, ofthe memory and of an activecontrol overthe material, ordinary performance faculties far from which-though indicatinggenius-belong withinthe range of a techne, in the classical meaningof the word. It is true that St. Hieronymus had condemnedthe centos as childishnonsense long beforethe publicationof these epigrams.122 In spite of this,Bishop Patriciusand the EmpressEudocia, the wifeof TheodosiusII, undertook the task ofmolding the Incarnation and the life of Jesusinto the shape ofHomercentos.123 This workundoubtedly than those requiredeven greaterversatility centos Leo the Philosopher which we have already dispagan composedby cussed: here it was a completely in disparatesubject that had to be rendered Homeric lines. Thus, it is not astonishing that thingsdo not end up nearly as smoothlyas they do in Leo's centos. In fact, non-Homeric elementsare and the as repeatedlyinserted, style well as the grammarleave much to be desired.I shouldsuppose,however, thataftera closerstudyof themanuscripts a bettertext could be produced.A. Ludwich, the editor,took no interestin this aspect; in the Latin prefacehe clearlyexpresseshis contemptfor such of the Bishop "bunglingpieces of work."124 In my opinion,in this enterprise and the Empress we must see neithernarrow-mindedness nor snobism-the lattercouldmuchbetter be appliedto theworkof Leo the Philosopher-rather, we shouldunderstand it as the naive and movingattempt to clothethe history of salvation,which is of fundamental to in that importance everyChristian, to everyGreek, the verses linguistic garbwhichwas themostvenerable namely, of Homer. It is the same spirit to which numerousByzantine and Russian icons owe theirmore or less precious,thoughartistically oftenuninteresting, metal covers. To a different orderbelongthe twoByzantinedramaticworksof the twelfth which were intendedto be read; of these the one belongscompletely, century

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The Trojan Women.About threedozen lines are taken fromAeschylus'Agamemnon and Prometheus Vinctus,as well as fromAlexandra by Lycophron. of Christian In accordancewiththe old tradition humanismand the methods of quoting discussed above, numerousborrowings fromthe Old and New Testamentsare insertedbetweenthe many hundredsof classical quotations. The author-whose identityremainsunknown-was certainlynot a genius, but he was a well-versed writer and an experton ancienttragedyas well as on the Holy Scriptures. The following example should help to illustratethe nature of these adoptions:
1127 Ti TacrT'&AXco;rETa-rTov TroTS aoT-s 6yoti //Hipp., 1182 Ti ra0TC'&Aico; wEta-rTov A6yots ra-rp6S 1128 Epyots S', 6o'" rrr8ltas pap-rIpfav, Es //John10:25 T& pya & ~ycb -rolc&&v Tra 6v6panl -ro00warp6s pou, pap'rpEIT 1pt Apoi0 1129 cbsEOcrtv B vaT6-rv. rrav aot SEXrr6v 2 110: Ps. // pr:Eya -rT pya Kupiov, ~ rlETr~vac EIS r&vcSE?Oci Trr

"raO'ra

1130 l"ToXXcv &AmcOv OE6s, -rapas oTrlv ZE5s v 'OXprrc9 Med., 1415 TrroMJcv // TraClas

a-ra aOTro-

1134f. Kaip~lv 68' 'lIcorroSvowrov8i wrro86s

1131 wo Oo5, A?& r' &" rTTOS wo&M6Kl5m KXpaIVEi 1416 Med., SEol // rroANa -r'&rr&TTWS KpafivoUoa O 1132 -r&8' ai 8OKtSVT' OK (p6C p Kal T?AoS" 80ox3vrr' Med., 1417 xal Tcir~ // oOx< iA-TSEar 1133 aV 8' &OxOKi~rCOV E~pots ipot Tr6pov. a"r6oS Med., 1418 T-rv8' 68O Tc-rov rr6pov vrp FE65. // tipv 68' AiEvas Rhes., 85f. ai xai ~pd&ao-rovu8i6 ro86S //
orFiXEit, v~ov-t wpa~ypC' ioas EXcVqp&Oaat.

-r68' &?o SavCUa //Bacch., 248 Zov TEpacK6WTrO d-r&p 1137 poorrv v~Xtov T-r~8ovvrpXov-rd& rrcO 6 S3cbv John19:39 iMSEv86KaciNiK6Bilpo, rrp6 // O" VV~KT6S T"rrpC-TOV. aOcr6vv 1138 x pI)povirC oKEor "poo'pu TaiKGxS685c. 19:39 John dh6bS S Mrpas a~KcT6v. 6l Kai qpcov iy~ca rl0ipvrs I//

1136 'A-r&p Sa0pa Kal Tr68' &AAo

o-riXet, vov -rVt wrpa"ry' EXCV pfAots 9p(daat.

Wap'ikrri8a,

A6yots is changed to Trorstoos A6yots, in 1130 Zeus has become

The alternationof pagan-classicaland biblical elementsis throughout observed.Wherelinesfrom are adopted,the changing of one wordoften tragedies suffices to establishthe necessarymeaning.Thus, forinstance,in 1127 rwarp6s
eE6s, in 1131

SEof has been turnedinto eE6s. In 1134 the name is changed (Joseposinstead of Aineas), in 1135 the unsuitableqixotis is replacedby ios. The prose text of the Gospel of St. Johnhad to be transformed into twelve-syllable lines,which was probablyeasier work fora somewhatskilledrhymer than finding corres-

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Lines 1136-38 containsuch a passage, joined pondinglinesin pagan literature. to a line from the Bacchae. In the Katomyomachia by Theodore Prodromusthe imitationof antiquity is a parody of ancient Greek tragedy,as I have triedto demonstrate in my edition of this work.'26 The structure of the recentlypublished play which consistsof elements that are characteristic of classical tragedy, the messenger and rheseisin the mannerof the classical models,as well scenes,stichomyths, as an abundance of quotations and linguisticreminiscences confirmthis thecircumstance thatactions, opinion.The comicaleffect emerges mainlyfrom and behavior of and men in ancient speeches, typical gods, heroes, great in the play to small,timidanimals,namelymice. The tragedyare attributed diction the heroismof human beingsproducesa comicaleffect tragic befitting in the mouthsof timidlyshivering mice. With regardto all of this,I refer to edition and here one characteristic verse my quote only (218): KoA6v-r VlKav ' XEt: "It is wonderful to be victorious(= Eur., Phoen.,1200)--dX& SElXia but I am a coward." As far as language is concerned, the imitationof classical tragedyin the is found in certain formsof words and in whole phrases; Katomyomachia are listedin my edition.With the accumulationof such quotations these,too, and borrowings in the second half of the Katomyomachia, the text in some 240ff. and 323ff.) has almostthe character of a cento. 11. passages (particularly When studyingthese imitations one discoversin many details the variation mentionedabove. One would search in vain fora personagepickingup the whereit is always KAMCS dialogue with a Kah0xs io~nas (122) in tragedy, De~as. The quotation from Hecuba (689), =rrrltor' abracraKacv& KIava 8"pKomal, has the in the Phoenissae MyEIs.The of the messenger changedending9Iot KiaKA nilvacral has been turned into (1218) (315). Thoughts KaKQv p~lVvUsin theKatomyomachia in are the frequently expressed tragedy presented by Byzantineauthorin his own words: Eur.,Alc. 1076 S 9xosoVoMETv TovS o0K o'-rt Sav6vTraS j 297 Eur., Heracles, Sav6vrcovi~ASEv "AiSov KacTris wrditv; When the lady mouse in the Katomyomachia does not immediately see the second messenger because she is so agitated over the death of her son, a similarthinghappens to her as to Euripides' Electra,who,due to excitement, does not recognizethe messenger:
Kat., 269
oo56isCSav6vras eydpxay t ro rqCovu.

f. Kat., 275

Eur., El., 767

What is more, the expressionK6patlr 6ic &r&.V occurs three times in the Tv Orestes of Euripides (469, 1261, 1319). In the essay quoted above O. Demus has touched upon the interchangeablenessoftheiconographic schemata(e.g.,Ascension ofChrist FortyMartyrs of Sebaste) and of the elementsof different pictures. Art historianshave
12 51-65. Hunger,Der byzantinische Katz-Mduse-Krieg,

SGvyvoo(WavETXov EipaTOS rrpoc?rrov. 7K To. Trr(90uS Kax ovvrpi v 6Xco0a TCOv KaCTaS K6paS ?1pAuva TraC 61p&rcov. 0ro1

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^ ^ LacbVlV... aI cbS vEiOUaa Kdrrco vEiEtSK"rco; Cblv ... KdxpoATreis; "&KpoAUrTES a ri v6opti rr~st finally, variation: vEsuart K5-rptBo o~, otK v al6cb KOnrpts; Triv SETov The extensions p 6vov. TTlaq)iv potXapiLou K&v by T6 vSop& ouv OwEpXonop - to are unessential the trainof

noticed transpositions of groupsof figures, of individualfigures, and even of individualgestures.127 thisseemsto apply also to someproMutatis mutandis, ducts of Byzantineliterature in the highlanguage. If we turnfroma studyof the Katomyomachia to the contemporary novel we will find that passages such as the "leader's speech" of Kreillos,deliveredat the mobilization of the mice, the lamentationof the lady mouse over her dead son, or one of the in messengers' reportscould easily be taken out of theircontextand inserted the novel of Prodromus and Dosicles= RD)128 or in that of Nicetas (Rhodanthe Eugenianus (Drosillaand Charicles = DC).129 If one takes a closerlook at these twonovels,one findsthat both containelements thatindeedfitthe respective context but could just as well stand forthemselvesor occur in some other context.In RD thisis the case withthe speechesof the military commanders, severalletters, and theHelios hymnofSatyrion, in DC it is thecase witha considerablenumberof "lyrical"insertions; laments, amongthe latterare lengthy of love, love letters, confessions and songs,as well as all sortsof K~ypaois (deinterest because of the kind of scriptive epic). These passages are of particular imitationemployedby the author.The letters(in twelve-syllable verses),for are little of Byzantineepistolography. One lamentand instance, masterpieces two songs are written in dactylichexameters;occasionallya refrain occursin whichone soon recognizes Theocritusas the model. The conscious mannerism of the poet, who varies his use of imitation, becomes obvious fromthreepassages imitatingepigramsthat are containedin the Anthologia Palatina. A close correspondence exists betweenA.P., V.253 and DC, III.163-72. The train of thoughtis the same in both cases: the girl looks to the ground,yet is fumbling withher belt; Kyprisis not in bashfully accord withbashfulness;the girl should nod in assent. Eugenianus used ten lines in place of the two distichsof the model and thus his twelve-syllable version turnedout to be somewhat longer.The decisivecatchwords correspond:

Eugenianus thought. The imitation ofA.P., V.259, in DC, 111.243-54, is done slightly differently. but also the vocabularyof the two passages Here, not onlythe main thoughts In thiscase fourdistichs are transformed intoeighttwelvelargelycorrespond. no roomfor syllablelines;consequently, extensions was left: 6ppa-r o'w OapiSouoI TO ~3apVErTCoIoVv

av 6ptlcaca wravwvXi,

6pptlar; "r60ou TVEiovTra

Xpos y)'ov; ,N s "rr6vou cxawavvyXot; 6Aou r.Xp6-ns; wrraafiorpats warrcAaiorpaptoS; pMiha~ -

variations: IotKaS Wrrvov with v&E1S ETvat, yvact has only a distant similarity the corresponding in the model passage used; XE rrfXEaL is os aE rrEptWrrA~ysv
Ed. R. Hercher, in Erotici Scriptores Graeci,II (Leipzig, 1859),289-434. 129
128

In spiteofthisremarkable aKKEKCupiV?. thereare also unexpected correspondence,

1" Demus,

op. cit., 95.

Ibid., 437-552.

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changed to 6 Xspas acis xcAvats. Finally, the whole passage is [ppaXcbv extendedat the end aortas by fourlines whichare dedicatedto the Telephus-motif The thirdexample of imitation, A.P., V.273 - DC, 111.174-96,is limited to the basic thought(old age takes revenge on coy beauty) and to a few ^&-,pjKE... X&ptv; - aa r6s lexicalcorrespondences: i X&ptv d&iKE -paL6s mrrrEKAfv3 ,yipacAov T-6 ... K?mxiS rl; r~cov qNyva; 69pYse iTr.rrcomv 6cppis; (pSyIvacXtL yrlpaXi?t line but the ' aopapds one)^(last (at beginning); (last line) wroktw'v wrro<ta aopapats (fourth line). The quantitydiffers (fourdistichs twenty-three twelve-syllable ethe sequenceis partlyaltered:theconcluding statement of the epigram verses), is prefixedas a motto in Eugenianus' passage. A number of lines are ingreatlyaltered.The last thirdof Eugenianus' passage is skilfully tentionally enlivened of asyndetic half-lines-rhetorical by a seeming stichomyth questions to the and ironical this passage has no put girl repliesimmediately following; in the model used. counterpart One could extendthissurveyof the "insertions" in DC, and soon one would have quite a numberof structural elements whichcould at will be inserted in othernovels.Here we are confronted witha peculiarity ofByzantineimitation of antiquity whichhas its striking parallelsin the visual arts.As a particularly instructive the famous object here, ivorycasket of Verolishouldbe mentioned to whichErika Simon dedicated a thorough interand, I believe,pioneering expretationa few years ago.130Mrs. Simon succeededin finding convincing planationsforall the individualscenes on the casket by usingthe epic poem of Nonnus as a basis of comparison.Her explanationsproved some of the former to be completelyimmaterial.In the group of men interpretations declared stones, hurling by Weitzmannto be a mechanicaladoption fromthe Roll of Joshua, whichturnedout insteadto signify the assault ofTyphonupon and ambiguity heaven, we have again an example of the interchangeability of such groups of figures.Similar considerations are relevantin the case of the "quotations" fromEuripides-which are of particularinterestto usand Bellerophon-Stheneboea. Withgood namelythe pairs Phaedra-Hippolytus reasonE. Simondoes not regardthese as illustrations ofplays but as symbolically condensedpictureswhich are in some way or otherrelatedto the purpose of the object (nuptial casket). The occasionallyChristian interpretation of pagan-mythological scenes (boy extracting thorn and Phaedra entangled in sin) also fitverywell into the frameof our argumentation. As in the case ofthe casketofVeroli,where-accordingto thisnewinterpretation-anumber of parts whichmighthave been used in different ways werecomposedto form a new unity (here a nuptial casket), so we may understand several worksof middle Byzantineliterature, the to novels, be similarlyconstructed. e.g., In conclusion it can be said that,howevermanifold and variedin respectto and the imitation of quantity intensity beantiquity mayhave been,it certainly ofByzantine longedto the essentialfeatures in thehighlanguage. works literary
E. Simon, "Nonnos und das Elfenbein-Kistchenaus Veroli," 130 d. Deutschen ArchdologiJahrbuch 79 (1964), 279-336. schenInstituts,

i rrat; here: val, wrcaov, cSb tpcoaas, xKal (6 -rpbcasX rw6vouS). TraTroS

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