Center for Studies on Literature and the Reception of Byzantium

An Intellectual History of Twelfth-Century Byzantium - Appropriation and Transformation of Ancient Literature

The main aim of this project is to study views on and uses of ancient literature in twelfth-century Byzantium. In order to do so, this project seeks to explore the following aspects of twelfth-century intellectual history:

The approach will be wide-ranging- the analyses of the texts will be conducted with the help of close reading and in terms of intertextuality. In order to discuss the interrelationship between the ancient and Byzantine texts, the theory of Harold Bloom (the anxiety of influence) will be employed. Since this project will also analyse the imitation of ancient writings in twelfth-century Byzantine texts, the methodology is inspired by general works on a mimesis (Auerbach, Genette) as well as works relating specifically to mimesis of Antiquity in Byzantine literature (Hunger, Nilsson).

This project will contribute to our better understanding of the twelfth-century Byzantine intellectual life and the way of coping with ancient literary heritage, its findings will be of interest not only for Byzantinists but also Classicists and western medievalists.

The project is funded by the National Science Centre Poland within the scheme of the Programme 'Sonata - Bis 3'.

Research team