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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 28, 2017

Recollection, reevaluation, distortion: Symeon Metaphrastes’ narrative techniques in retelling the history of iconoclasm

Lev Lukhovitskiy
From the journal Byzantinische Zeitschrift


Four Metaphrastic Lives dealing with the saints of the iconoclast epoch are considered alongside their source texts: the Lives of Ioannikios the Great (BHG 937), Stephen the Younger (BHG 1667), Andrew ‘en Krisei’ (BHG 112), and Theodoros Graptos (BHG 1746). A discussion of the methodological framework and a brief introduction to the texts and their sources are followed by a presentation of the metaphrastic shifts: attenuation of polemical devices, compression of historical time, psychologization, new aspects of Kaiserkritik, thematic elaboration of theological issues. The conclusion argues that it were non-historical literary goals that stood behind the recodification of the cultural memory of the iconoclast period in the Metaphrastic Menologion. Aiming to set the original story free from redundant elements and retell it in a more clear way Symeon Metaphrastes’ team demythologized the iconoclast emperors, interiorized the clash between iconoclasts and iconophiles, and shifted the focus from heresiological issues to emotions and inner development of the saint.

Online erschienen: 2017-3-28
Erschienen im Druck: 2016-12-1

© 2017 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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