Dreams, Memory and Imagination in Byzantium


This collection of studies on Dreams, Memory and Imagination in Byzantium covers four main themes: the place of dreams, imagination and memory in the Byzantine philosophical tradition; the political uses of prophetic dreams and visions in imperial contexts; the appearance and manipulation of dreams and memory in Byzantine poetry and histories, and changing commemorations of the saints over time in art, epigraphy and literature. These studies reveal the distinctive and important roles of memory, imagination and dreams in the Byzantine court, the proto-Orthodox church and broader society from Constantinople to Syria and beyond. This volume of Byzantina Australiensia brings together the work of senior and early career scholars from Australia, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and the United States.

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Bronwen Neil, Ph.D. (ACU 2000), FAHA, is Professor of Ancient History at Macquarie University, Sydney. She has published widely on Greek and Latin texts of the Byzantine period. She is co-author of Dreams, Virtue and Divine Knowledge in Early Christian Egypt.

Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides, Ph.D. (Kent 2002) is Associate Professor of Ancient History at Macquarie University, Sydney. She is currently working toward a monograph on Platonic inebriation and its reception in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
List of Illustrations

An Introduction to Dreams, Memory and Imagination in Byzantium
Bronwen Neil

Part 1: Dreams, Memory and Imagination in the Byzantine Philosophical Tradition

1 The Dangers of Purity: Monastic Reactions to Erotic Dreams
Inbar Graiver

2 Locating Memory and Imagination: From Nemesius of Emesa to John of Damascus
Ken Parry

3 Daydreaming and Lusting after the Divine: Clement of Alexandria and the Platonic Tradition
Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides

4 The Inner Source of Dreams: Synesius of Cyrene’s Reception in the Palaiologan Era
Francesco Monticini

Part 2: Prophetic Dreams and Visions in Imperial Contexts

5 Dynastic Dreams and Visions of Early Byzantine Emperors (ca. 518–565 AD)
Meaghan McEvoy

6 Dreaming of Treason: Portentous Dreams and Imperial Coups in Seventh-Century Byzantine Apocalyptic Discourse
Ryan W. Strickler

7 Desire, Dreams, and Visions in the Letters of Emperor Konstantinos VII Porphyrogennetos and Theodoros of Kyzikos
Mark Masterson

8 The Dream Come True? Matthew of Edessa and the Return of the Roman Emperor
Maximilian Lau

Part 3: Dreams and Memory in Byzantine Chronicles and Encomia

9 Dreams and Imaginative Memory in Select Byzantine Chronicles
Roger Scott

10 Dream Portents in Early Byzantine and Early Islamic Chronicles
Bronwen Neil

11 Psellos’ Use and Counter-Use of Dreams, Visions and Prophecies in His Chronographia and His Encomium for His Mother
Penelope Buckley

Part 4: Remembering the Saints in Hymns and Hagiography

12 Loyalty and Betrayal: Villains, Imagination and Memory in the Reception of the Johannite Schism
Wendy Mayer

13 “As if in a Vision of the Night …”: Authorising the Healing Spring of Chonai
Alan H. Cadwallader

14 Dreaming Liturgically: Andrew of Crete’s Great Kanon as a Mystical Vision
Andrew Mellas

15 Divine Fantasy and the Erotic Imagination in the Hymns of Symeon the New Theologian
Derek Krueger
General Index
Students and scholars of ancient history and its reception in Byzantine philosophy and religion, Byzantine studies, medieval literature and the history of ideas, including the cult of saints.
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