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In: A Companion to Byzantine Illustrated Manuscripts

Abstract

Byzantine epistolography has been associated with rhetoric from the outset. The letter as an expression of the soul of the writer and as a conversation conducted at a remove needs rhetorical tools to achieve its objectives. Standard epistolaries and brief treatises on the letter guided letter-writers in their composition. The public reading of letters made the Byzantines look to rhetoric for the means to impress their correspondents and subsequent readers of their collected letters. Figures of speech, quotations from earlier writers and rhetorical devices contribute to the elaborate presentation of their message and meet their purpose of communication with friends and fellow practitioners, even when they are excessively short, as in the case of laconic letters.

In: A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography

Abstract

Byzantine epistolography has been associated with rhetoric from the outset. The letter as an expression of the soul of the writer and as a conversation conducted at a remove needs rhetorical tools to achieve its objectives. Standard epistolaries and brief treatises on the letter guided letter-writers in their composition. The public reading of letters made the Byzantines look to rhetoric for the means to impress their correspondents and subsequent readers of their collected letters. Figures of speech, quotations from earlier writers and rhetorical devices contribute to the elaborate presentation of their message and meet their purpose of communication with friends and fellow practitioners, even when they are excessively short, as in the case of laconic letters.

In: A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography
In: A Companion to Byzantine Illustrated Manuscripts
Volume Editor: Sofia Kotzabassi
What was happening in Byzantium as the Turks drew ever closer to Constantinople and an interest in classical Greek studies had been rekindled in the West? What was the role of the Byzantine scholars in an Empire facing multiple political and economic problems, and what were the matters that engaged them? What was the importance of teachers, libraries and monasteries to the so-called Palaeologan Renaissance, and what the significance of the theological disputes?

These questions and more are addressed in the twelve essays authored by international experts of this Companion, which advances our understanding of the intellectual milieux, trends, and achievements of the Palaeologan period.

Contributors are: Giuseppe De Gregorio, Pantelis Golitsis, Eleni Kaltsogianni, Apostolos Karpozilos, Sofia Kotzabassi, Sophia Mergiali-Sahas, Ioannis Polemis, Alexander Riehle, Demetra Samara, Ilias Taxidis, and Ioannis Vassis.