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How the Past was UsedHistorical cultures, c. 750-2000$
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Peter Lambert and Björn Weiler

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266120

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266120.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Imagining Rome in Medieval Constantinople

Imagining Rome in Medieval Constantinople

Memory, Politics and the Past in the Middle Byzantine Period

(p.49) 2 Imagining Rome in Medieval Constantinople
How the Past was Used

Dimitris Krallis

British Academy

This chapter suggests that interest in the Roman past during the middle Byzantine period was not evidence of idle antiquarianism but rather a meaningful ingredient in the creation of the Byzantines’ imagined community. Focusing on the modulations of Roman themes within the context of Byzantine writing we may therefore better map medieval processes of identity formation. This chapter explores instances of such engagement with the Roman past, and more specifically with the history of the Republic in Byzantine texts from the early tenth to the mid-twelfth centuries. It thus looks at the ways in which distant history was woven onto the fabric of contemporary political narrative, becoming a newly familiar component of an evolving political and more broadly cultural identity.

Keywords:   Byzantine writing, Roman past, middle Byzantine period, Roman themes, cultural identity

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