Roger Scott

The paper draws attention to three aspects of Byzantine chronicles: their enormous length, despite the huge cost of book production, their reliance on previous chronicles (plagiarism was a virtue, being evidence of reliability), and especially the ubiquity of good stories in Byzantine culture, their use as a means of propaganda and the effect of this on chronicles. This is illustrated by exploring three versions of the story of Theodosius and his apple (one orthodox and two Monophysite) to show how a fictitious but powerful story was used and adapted first for propaganda and then became history. This in turn helps show that history was considered important in Byzantium, which helps explain the size of Byzantine chronicles, while public acceptance of what were perceived to be true stories of the past obliged chroniclers to give at least an appearance of copying their predecessors while making their own adaptations.

Byzantine Macedonia

Identity Image and History


Edited by John Burke and Roger Scott

This is volume 1 of the proceedings of the Byzantine Macedonia conference held in Melbourne in 1995. These nineteen papers are invaluable to anyone interested in the Macedonian heritage or in the economy, administration, history and representation of Macedonia during the course of the Byzantine empire. Vol. 2, Byzantine Macedonia: Art, Architecture, Music and Hagiography, edited by R. Scott and J. Burke, is published separately by the National Centre for Hellenic Studies and Research, La Trobe University, Melbourne.