Von der plagiierenden Imitation zum intertextuellen SPIEL

Literarischer Transfer in der byzantinischen Historiographie im Spiegel der Forschung

In: Imitationen
Diether Roderich Reinsch
Search for other papers by Diether Roderich Reinsch in
Current site
Google Scholar

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


The article deals with the different attitudes of modern critics towards the phenomenon of µίµησις in Byzantine historiography. Whereas in the 19th up to the middle of the 20th century µίµησις in most cases was disqualified as plagiarism, later on the verdicts on it were given in a more cautious manner, and in recent times literary theory paved the way for a general re-evaluation. After a short survey of how the Byzantines themselves understood plagiarism, authors of the three phases of Byzantine historiography are examined as to the practice of transferring linguistic and conceptual borrowings from their colleagues in antiquity and Byzantium to their own work. Obviously, the authors of the middle period did not rely anymore on Thucydides and Herodotus but on authors of late antiquity and of their own period, especially on Plutarch and Michael Psellos. In late Byzantium, we register a renewed turn to classical models, but this is done in a very sophisticated way and serves to an ideological interpretation of the Byzantine authors’ present as in the case of Doukas and Kritoboulos of Imbros.

  • Collapse
  • Expand


Systematische Zugänge zu einem kulturellen Prinzip des Mittelalters

Series:  Münstersche Mittelalter-Schriften, Volume: 83