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Two lavish, illustrated histories confronted and contested the Byzantine model of empire. The Madrid Skylitzes was created at the court of Roger II of Sicily in the mid-twelfth century. The Vatican Manasses was produced for Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria in the mid-fourteenth century. Through close analysis of how each chronicle was methodically manipulated, this study argues that Byzantine history was selectively re-imagined to suit the interests of outsiders. The Madrid Skylitzes foregrounds regicides, rebellions, and palace intrigue in order to subvert the divinely ordained image of order that Byzantine rulers preferred to project. The Vatican Manasses presents Byzantium as a platform for the accession of Ivan Alexander to the throne of the Third Rome, the last and final world-empire. Imagining the Byzantine Past demonstrates how distinct visions of empire generated diverging versions of Byzantium's past in the aftermath of the Crusades.Read more
- Opens a fresh discussion of the rise of illustrated histories in the Mediterranean
- Provides a new appreciation of the roles of representation, authority, narration and cross-media adaptation in the Middle Ages
- Presents new ways of analyzing official Byzantine art
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- Date Published: November 2018
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107450011
- length: 352 pages
- dimensions: 245 x 170 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.63kg
- contains: 72 b/w illus. 20 colour illus. 3 maps
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Mystery, history and materiality
2. Engaging Byzantium, enraging Byzantium: Sicily, Bulgaria and the contestation of Constantinopolitan pre-eminence
3. Narrative emplotments and patterns of prioritization: analyzing visual codes and structural modes
4. Amplification as dialogue: the link between design and patronage
5. Iconoclasm as narrative experiment: religion, politics and memory
6. A headstrong case for getting ahead: scrutinizing narratives of de-capitation
7. Constantinople: story spaces or storied Imperial places
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