WEMSK37:Byzantine (Medieval Greek) Literature

                 WEMSK 37-- Byzantine (Medieval Greek) Literature

1. Surveys:

a. A general and easy to read survey by Robert Browning,
"Byzantine," in The Penguin Companion to Classical, Oriental &
African Literature, ed. David M. Lang and Donald R. Dudley, vol. 3
(Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969), 179-216. Some bibliography with
each item + a general bibliography.

b. Andre Mirambel, "Litterature byzantine," Histoire des
litteratures, I, sous la direction de Raymon Queneau. Encyclopedie
de la Pleiade 1 (Paris: Gallimard, 1955), 697-750. Reads well. Nice
general bibliography.

c. A more scholarly survey: Hans-Georg Beck, "Ueberlieferungs-
geschichte der byzantinischen Literatur," in Geschichte der
Textueberlieferung der antiken und mittelalterlichen Literatur, ed.
Herbert Hunger et al., vol. 1 (Zurich: Atlantis Verlag, 1961), 423-
510.  Do not forget to look in the bibliography at the end of the
volume for individual authors and works.

2. Bibliographic indices:

a. Author index of Byzantine Studies [Microform] (Zug, Switzerland:
IDC, 1986). 160 microfiches, index to Byzantinische Zeitschrift,
Krumbacher, Migne's Patrologia Graeca, etc.  Very useful. Done by
the Center for Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. With this and
Krumbacher, you have a fairly complete, if difficult to use,

b. Dumbarton Oaks. Dictionary Catalogue of the Byzantine Collection
of the Dumbaarton Oaks Research Library, Washington, DC, 12 vols.
(Boston: G. K. Hall, 1975). Outstanding.

c. Luci Berkowitz and Karl A. Squitier, Thesaurus Linguae Graecae.
Canon of Greek Authors and Works, 2d ed. (Oxford: OUP, 1986).
Intends to be a list of works in Greek up to 600 AD, and even
beyond. Can be of great use.

3. Guides:

a. Franz Joseph Doelger and Alfons Maria Schneider, Byzanz.
Wissenschaftliche Forschungsberichte. Geisteswissenschaftliche
Reihe 5 (Beern: Francke, 1952). Still worth looking at.

b. H. W. Haussig, Kulturgeschichte von Byzanz. Kroeners
Taschenausgabe 211 (Stuttgart: Kroener, 1959.  Good survey. English
translation: A History of Byzantine Civilization, tr. J. M. Hussey
(NY: Praeger, 1971).

c. Otto Mazal, Handbuch der Byzantinistik (Graz: Akademische Druck-
und Verlagsanstalt, 1989. Good discussion and bibliographies,
broken up by subject.  This ought to be your first port of call.
Occasional schnitzer, e.g. p. 230: Vocabulary of the Geek
Testament. Bibliographies use initials for first and second names.
A very useful "Verzeichnis ausgewaehlter Fachausdruecke," 246-265,
in case you wonder what a "Mandylion" is.

d. Gyula Moravcsik, Einfuehrung in die Byzantinologie, transl. Geza
Engl (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1976). Not
much on literature.

e. Brigitte Gullath, Wie find ich altertumswissenschaftliche
Literatur: Klassische Philologie, Mittel- und Neulatein,
Byzantinistik ...? (Berlin: Berlin Verlag, 1992), "Byzantinistik
und neugriechische Philologie," 165-181.

4. Handbooks and Encyclopedias:

a. Byzantinisches Handbuch, section XII of the Handbuch der
klassischen Altertumswissenschaft (Munich: Beck). Warning! In my
library, Handbuch der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft is not
analyzed, so we ostensibly do not have this.

b. Reallexikon der Byzantinistik, ed. Peter Wirt (Amsterdam:
Hakkert, 1970-76). Did not get past vol. 1, but is good.

c. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, ed. Alexander P. Kazhdan, 3
vols. (NY: OUP, 1991). "Prepared at Dumbarton Oaks." Signed
articles, bibs. Occasionally disappointing.

d. Encyclopedia of the Early Church, ed. Angelo di Berardino,
transl. Adrian Walford, with a foreword and bibliographic
amendments by W. H. C. Frend, 2 vols. (NY: OUP, 1992).  Good.

5. Histories of Literature:

a. Wilhelm von Christ's Geschichte der griechischen Literatur, ed.
Wilhelm Schmid and Otto Staehlin, 2d part, 2d half, 100 to 530 AD,
6th ed. Handbuch der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft, 7th
section, vol. 2.2 (Munich: Beck, 1961; repr. of 1924 ed.).
Excellent for those parts of our period it covers.

b. Karl Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Literatur von
Justinian bis zum Ende des Ostroemischen Reiches (527-1453), 2
vols. Handbuch der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft 9 (Munich:
Beck, 1897).  Still the first port of call. Repr., Burt Franklin
Bibliographical Series XIII (NY: Burt Franklin, n. d.)

c. Boerje Knoes, Histoire de la litterature neo-grec. Studia Graeca
Upsalensia 1 (Stockholm: Almquist & Wiksell, 1962). Byzantine
literature, 39-157. Thin.

d. Hans-Georg Beck, Kirche und theologische Literatur im
byzantinischen Reich, 2d ed. Handbuch der klassischen
Altertumswissenschaft XII.2.1 (Munich: Beck, 1977). Replaces
Krumbacher for religious literature.

e. Herbert Hunger, Die hochsprachliche profane Literatur der
Byzantiner.  2 vols. Byzantinisches Handbuch. Handbuch der
Altertumswissenschaft XII.5.1&2 (Munich: Beck, 1978).

f. Hans-Georg Beck, Geschichte der byzantinischen Volksliteratur.
Byzantinisches Handbuch. Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft XII.2.3
(Munich: Beck, 1971).

6. If you need a translation:

a. Emily Albu Hanawalt, An Annotated Bibliography of Byzantine
Sources in English Translation (Brookline, MA: Hellenic College,
1988). Based on Farrar & Evans and Ferguson.  Not all annotated.

b. "Byzantine Literature, AD 300 to 1453," by Procope S. Costas, in
The Literatures of the World in English Translation. A
Bibliography. Vol. 1, The Greek and Latin Literatures, compiled by
George B. Parks andd Ruth Z. Temple (NY: Ungar, 1968), 147-182.

7. If you need some Greek help (Middle Greek is not always easy,
even for those who know Ancient or even Koine Greek); WEMSK will
have a section on the Greek language, but in the meanwhile:

a. Geoffrey Horrocks, Greek. A History of the Language and its
Speakers. Longman Linguistics Library (London: Longman, 1997). Has
interlinear translations and even a `phonetic' rendition. No
Xatzidakis, but good.

b. Robert Browning, Medieval and Modern Greek, 2d ed. (Cambridge:
CUP, 1983). A good readthrough.

8. WEMSK has a section on liturgies, but you might like to consult
for the moment: Joseph-Marie Sauget, Bibliographie des liturgies
orientales (Rome, 1962).  Own, but cannot find at the moment.

             Lagniappe - Some Milestones on the Way

1. Greek Romance. The Greek romances are grand sources for romance
in the West and elsewhere.  These will get you started:

a. Roderick Beaton, The Medieval Greek Romance, 2d ed. (London:
Routledge, 1996). Good book. Intends in the bibliography to bring
Beck and Hunger up to 1994.  The bibliography is not always to be
trusted in small matters. It cites authors by initial, e.g. "O.
Smith," and occasionally has annoying schnitzer, e.g.
"Byzantinische Handbuch," p. 280. "Gregoire, H. 1942. Ho Digenes
Akritas. New York."

b. Panagiotis A. Agapitos and Ole L. Smith, The Study of Medieval
Greek Romance: A Reassessment of Recent Work. Opuscula Graecolatina
33 (Copenhagen: Museum Tuscalanum Press, 1992). Mostly a critique
of Beaton; in spite of the first author's name, often quite

c. Ben E. Perry, The Ancient Romances: A Literary-Historical
Account of their Origins (Berkeley: UCal, 1967).

2. Constantine Porphyrogenitus (905-59):

a. Constantine Porphyrogenitus, De administrando imperio, Greek
text ed. Gyula Moravcsik, Engl. tr. Romily J. H. Jenkins, rev. ed.
Dumbarton Oaks Texts 1 (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1967.

b. Constantine Porphyrogenitus, De administrando imperio, II.
Commentary, ed. R. J. H. Jenkins et al. (London: Athlone, 1962).
Great! Just look at the stuff on the Dniepr Rapids, 38 ff.

3. Byzantium and the Vikings:

a. Sigfus Bloendal, The Varangians of Byzantium, transl, revised
and rewritten by Benedikt S. Benedikz (Cambridge: CUP, 1978).

b. Byzantium and Islam in Scandinavia: Acts of a Symposium at
Uppsala University, June 15-16, 1966, ed. Elisabeth Piltz. Studies
in Mediterranean Archaeology 126 (Jonsered: Estroem, 1998).

c. H. R. Ellis Davidson, The Viking Road to Byzantium (London:
Allen & Unwin, 1976).

c. Marchand on Byzantium and the Vikings, Medtextl archives.

4. Digenes Akritas, a grand heroic poem of a border watcher,
"Twyborn the Borderer," who "guarded the marches of the Byzantine
Empire in the tenth or eleventh century."

a. Digenes Akrites, ed. with an introduction, translation and
commentary, John Mavrogordato (Oxford: Clarendon, 1956).

b. I bought this when I was an undergraduate and have always liked
it: Digenis Akritas, The Byzantine Epic in History and Poetry, by
Henri Gregoire (NY: The National Herald, 1942). Maps, bibliography,
good introductory material.

c. If you get interested: S. Kyriakides, "Forschungsbericht zum
Akritas-Epos," Berichte zum XII. internationalen Byzantinisten-
Kongress (Munich, 1958).

d. Roderick Beaton and David Ricks, eds., Digenes Akrites: New
Approaches to Byzantine Heroic Poetry, (Brookfield, Vt.: Variorum,

5. Anna Comnena.

a. The Alexiad of Anna Comnena, trans. Edgar R. A. Sewter
(Harmandsworth: Penguin, 1969). Anna (1083-1153) wrote this about
her father's reign. Her style is quite personal and comes through
in Sewter's translation.

b. Anna Komnene and Her Times, ed. Thalia Gouma Peterson & Angeliki
Laiou, Garland Medieval Casebooks 29 (NY: Garland, 2000). A
collection of articles.

6. Michael Psellus:

a. Michael Psellus, Fourteen Byzantine Rulers, trans. by Edgar R.
A. Sewter (Harmandsworth: Penguin, 1966). This is a translation of
his Chronographia, covering ca. 976-1078. He lived 1018-1096.

b. Look at Emmanouel Kriaras's article in Pauly-Wissowa.  Normally,
I will not mention such a standard source, assuming you will
consult it.

7. Journals:

a. Byzantinische Forschungen (Amsterdam : A.M. Hakkert, 1966-).

b. Byzantinische Zeitschrift (Munich: Beck, 1892-).  Contains the
standard periodical bibliography.

c. Jahrbuch der oesterreichischeen Byzantinistik (Vienna: Verlag
der Oesterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (1951-).

d. Byzantinoslavica (Czech Academy of Sciences, 1929-).

e. Dumbarton Oaks Papers (Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine
Studies, 1941-).

f. Byzantion (Brussels: Fondation Byzantine, 1924-).

g. Revue des etudes byzantines (Paris, Institut Francais d'Etudes
Byzantines, 1943-).

                  Golden Oldies and Paperbacks

a. Charles Diehl, Byzantium: Greatness and Decline, transl. Naomi
Walford (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1957).  Good bibliography,
by Peter Charanis, 301-57.

b. Byzantium: An Introduction to East Roman Civilization. Ed.
Norman H. Baynes and H. St. L. B. Moss. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1948;
Oxfore Paperbacks, 1961). A collection of signed articles by
authorities; good bibliography.

c. The Cambridge Medieval History. Vol. IV: The Eastern Roman
Empire (717-1453). Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1923. Repr. rev. 2d ed.
by Joan M. Hussey, 1964, in 2 parts: 1. Byzantium and Its
Neighbours; 2. Government, Church, and Civilization. Plates, maps,
bibliography. Always good to consult.

d. Herbert Hunger, ed., Byzantinische Geisteswelt, von Konstantin
dem Grossen bis zum Fall Konstantinopels (Baden-Baden: Hohe-Verlag,
1958). With a nice list of German translations, pp. 303-311.

e. Joan M. Hussey, The Byzantine World. Hutchinson's Universal
Library (London: Hutchinson, 1957; Harper Torchbook paperback,

f. George Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State, Tr. Joan
Hussey (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers, 1957). A newer German version
in the Handbuch der Byzantinistik.

g. Alexander A. Vasiliev, History of the Byzantine Empire,
324-1453, 2 vols., 2d ed. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press,
1952; paperback, 1958).

h. Egon Wellesz, A History of Byzantine Music and Hymnology, rev.
& enl. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1961). Still THE authority. Hymnology is
important for Byzantine studies.

i. Not old, but not bad: Warren Treadgold, A History of the
Byzantine State and Society (Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1997).
Good bibliographical guide with a Stichtag of 1992. He has also a
short version of this book.