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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 4, 2022

Performance, ceremonial and power in the basilikoi logoi by Theophylact of Ohrid

  • João Vicente de Medeiros Publio Dias
From the journal Byzantinische Zeitschrift


In this article, we analyse two basilikoi logoi by Theophylact of Ohrid addressed to the emperors Constantine Doukas (1081-1091?) and Alexios I Komnenos (1081-1118) and contest recent scholarship which traces criticism to Alexios I by the use of subversion of traditional rhetorical topoi. We do not question the presence of such subversions, but rather their function in the text. For that, they are studied in their performative contexts: ceremonial events, performative practices and the political circumstances in which their composition possibly took place and when they were performed. By doing so, it is noticeable that criticism to the emperor in such situations is hardly conceivable and the inadequacies of the praises present in the texts can be interpreted as a response to already existing criticism to current imperial policy. Moreover, by comparing both orations as autonomous works, it is possible to perceive a clear shift both in the power balances in the recently established Komnenian consortium and in the relationship between Theophylact and major political player of his time

Online erschienen: 2022-10-04
Erschienen im Druck: 2022-09-01

© 2022 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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