The Macedonian dynasty ruled the Byzantine Empire from 867 to 1056, following the Amorian dynasty. During this period, the Byzantine state reached its greatest expanse since the Muslim conquests, the Macedonian Renaissance in letters and arts began; the dynasty was named after its founder, Basil I the Macedonian who came from the Theme of Macedonia which at the time was part of Thrace. Claims have been made for the dynasty's founder being of Armenian, Slavic, or indeed "Armeno-Slavonic" descent. Hence, the dynasty is referred to by as the Armenian Dynasty by several scholars, such as George Bournoutian and Mack Chahin. Zachary Chitwood suggests it is the term Macedonian dynasty is "something of a misnomer" because of Basil I's Armenian origin; the author of the only dedicated biography of Basil I in English has concluded that it is impossible to be certain what the ethnic origins of the emperor were, though Basil was reliant on the support of Armenians in prominent positions within the Byzantine Empire.
Basil I the Macedonian – married the Varangian Eudokia Ingerina, mistress of Michael III. Deposed by his sons and entered monastery Romanos II the Purple-born – son of Constantine VII Nikephoros II Phokas – successful general, married Romanos II's widow, regent for Basil; the Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. Obolensky, Dimitri; the Byzantine Commonwealth: Eastern Europe, 500-1453. London: Cardinal. Ostrogorsky, George. History of the Byzantine State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Runciman, Steven; the Emperor Romanus Lecapenus and His Reign: A Study of Tenth-Century Byzantium. Cambridge University Press. Stephenson, Paul. Byzantium's Balkan Frontier: A Political Study of the Northern Balkans, 900-1204. Cambridge University Press. Stephenson, Paul; the Legend of Basil the Bulgar-Slayer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Thurn, Hans, ed.. Ioannis Scylitzae Synopsis historiarum. Berlin-New York: De Gruyter
Jordanes written Jordanis or, Jornandes, was a 6th-century Eastern Roman bureaucrat of Gothic extraction who turned his hand to history in life. Jordanes wrote Romana, about the history of Rome, but his best-known work is his Getica, written in Constantinople about AD 551, it is the only extant ancient work dealing with the early history of the Goths. Jordanes was asked by a friend to write Getica as a summary of a multi-volume history of the Goths by the statesman Cassiodorus that had existed but has since been lost. Jordanes was selected for his known interest in history, his ability to write succinctly and because of his own Gothic background, he had been a high-level notarius, or secretary, of a small client state on the Roman frontier in Scythia Minor, modern south-eastern Romania and north-eastern Bulgaria. Other writers, e.g. Procopius, wrote works which are extant on the history of the Goths; as the only surviving work on Gothic origins, the Getica has been the object of much critical review.
Jordanes wrote in Late Latin rather than the classical Ciceronian Latin. According to his own introduction, he had only three days to review what Cassiodorus had written, meaning that he must have relied on his own knowledge; some of his statements are laconic. Jordanes writes about himself in passing: The Sciri and the Sadagarii and certain of the Alani with their leader, Candac by name, received Scythia Minor and Lower Moesia. Paria, the father of my father Alanoviiamuth, was secretary to this Candac as long. To his sister's son Gunthigis called Baza, the Master of the Soldiery, the son of Andag the son of Andela, descended from the stock of the Amali, I Jordanes, although an unlearned man before my conversion, was secretary. In the Mommsen text edition of 1882, it was suggested that the long name of Jordanes' father should be split into two parts: Alanovii Amuthis, both genitive forms. Jordanes' father's name would be Amuth; the preceding word should belong to Candac, signifying that he was an Alan.
Mommsen, dismissed suggestions to emend a corrupt text. Paria was Jordanes' paternal grandfather. Jordanes writes that he was secretary to Candac, dux Alanorum, an otherwise unknown leader of the Alans. Jordanes was notarius, or secretary to Gunthigis Baza, a magister militum, nephew of Candac, of the leading Ostrogoth clan of the Amali; this was ante conversionem meam. The nature and details of the conversion remain obscure; the Goths had been converted with the assistance of Ulfilas, made bishop on that account. However, the Goths had adopted Arianism. Jordanes' conversion may have been a conversion to the trinitarian Nicene creed, which may be expressed in anti-Arianism in certain passages in Getica. In the letter to Vigilius he mentions that he was awakened vestris interrogationibus - "by your questioning". Alternatively, Jordanes' conversio may mean that he had become a monk, or a religiosus, or a member of the clergy; some manuscripts say that he was a bishop, some say bishop of Ravenna, but the name Jordanes is not known in the lists of bishops of Ravenna.
Jordanes wrote his Romana at the behest of a certain Vigilius. Although some scholars have identified this person with pope Vigilius, there is nothing else to support the identification besides the name; the form of address that Jordanes uses and his admonition that Vigilius "turn to God" would seem to rule out this identification. In the preface to his Getica, Jordanes writes that he is interrupting his work on the Romana at the behest of a brother Castalius, who knew that Jordanes had had the twelve volumes of the History of the Goths by Cassiodorus at home. Castalius would like a short book about the subject, Jordanes obliges with an excerpt based on memory supplemented with other material he had access to; the Getica sets off with a geography/ethnography of the North of Scandza. He lets the history of the Goths commence with the emigration of Berig with three ships from Scandza to Gothiscandza, in a distant past. In the pen of Jordanes, Herodotus' Getian demi-god Zalmoxis becomes a king of the Goths.
Jordanes tells how the Goths sacked "Troy and Ilium" just after they had recovered somewhat from the war with Agamemnon. They are said to have encountered the Egyptian pharaoh Vesosis; the less fictional part of Jordanes' work begins when the Goths encounter Roman military forces in the third century AD. The work concludes with the defeat of the Goths by the Byzantine general Belisarius. Jordanes concludes the work by stating that he writes to honour those who were victorious over the Goths after a history of 2030 years. Several Romanian and American historians wrote about Jordanes' error when considering that Getae were Goths. A lot of historical data of Dacians and Getae were wrongly attributed to Goths. Christensen A. S. Troya C. and Kulikowski M. demonstrated in their works that Jordanes developed in Getica the history of Getic and Dacian peoples mixed with a lot of fantastic deeds. Caracalla received "Geticus Maximus" and "Quasi Gothicus" titles following battles with Getae and Goths. History of the Roman Empire Mierow, Charles Christopher, The Gothic History of Jordanes: In English with an Introduction and a Commentary, 1915.
Reprinted 2006. Evolution Publishing, ISBN 978-1-889758-77-0. Carlo Troya. Storia d'Italia del medio-evo. Tip. del Tasso stamp. Reale. Pp. 1331–. Retrieved 5 April 2013. Kulikowski, Rome’s Gothic Wars, p. 130. Arne Søby Christensen, Cassiodorus and the History of the Goths. Studies in a Migration Myth, 2002, ISBN 978-87-7289-710-3 Kai Brodersen, Könige im Karpatenbogen: Z
Theodorus Lector was a lector, or reader, at the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople during the early sixth century. He wrote two works of history; the other is Theodorus' own work, retelling events from the death of Theodosius II in 450 to the beginning of Justin I's reign in 518. The former work is important to scholars editing the authors quoted by Theodorus. While a lector at Hagia Sophia, Theodorus collected the works of the fifth-century historians Socrates Scholasticus and Theodoret of Cyrrhus to create a chronicle of church history from Constantine to Theodosius II; the resulting work, Selections from Church History, known better by its Latin title Historia Tripartita, is a single narrative in four books which gives Theodorus' preferred reading for each section of history related, with notes and comparisons in the margins. Theodorus continued his chronicle, using other available sources to write his Church History from the death of Theodosius II down to 518; the date of composition is not known, though it was finished before 543, as it can be conjectured that Theodorus would not have spoken of the "holy memory" of Theodoret following the onset of the Three-Chapter Controversy.
The chronicle has not survived. It is believed that a badly damaged manuscript of this work survives in the Library of St. Mark's in Venice, however no scholarly research has yet been done into it. Theodorus Lector - Catholic Encyclopedia article Theodorus Lector - Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A. D Theodorus Lector in Migne, Patrologia Graeca, vol. 86a View online
John Skylitzes, Latinized as Ioannes Scylitzes, was a Greek historian of the late 11th century. Little is known about his life; the title of his work records him as a kouropalatēs and a former droungarios of the Vigla, whereby he is identified with a certain John Thrakesios. His major work is the Synopsis of Histories, which covers the reigns of the Byzantine emperors from the death of Nikephoros I in 811 to the deposition of Michael VI in 1057. There is a continuation of this work, known as Scylitzes Continuatus covering 1057 to 1079; the most famous manuscript of the Synopsis was produced in Sicily in the 12th century known as the Madrid Skylitzes, is now at the Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid. It features 574 miniatures, while some 100 have been lost, is the only surviving Byzantine illuminated chronicle in Greek, providing an invaluable primary source for the visualization of contemporary Byzantium. Text: Thurn, Hans, ed.. Ioannis Scylitzae Synopsis historiarum. Berlin-New York: De Gruyter.
The Thurn edition supersedes the much older one by Migne, below. A popular edition is being prepared for Kanakis books and a facsimile edition of the Madrid is available from Militos Publishers. AHRB Skylitzes Colloquium, Belfast, 21–22 September 2002, Institute for Byzantine Studies, Queen's University, Belfast. John Wortley, John Scylitzes, a synopsis of histories: a provisional translation, Centre for Hellenic Civilization, University of Manitoba, 2000. B. Flusin, J.-C. Cheynet, Jean Skylitzès: Empereurs de Constantinople, Ed. Lethielleux, 2004, ISBN 2-283-60459-1. Kazhdan, Alexander, ed.. Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford University Press. P. 1914. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6. W. Seibt: Johannes Skylitzes: Zur Person des Chronisten, Jahrb. Österr. Byz. 25 81-85. Eirini-Sophia Kiapidou, Ἡ Σύνοψη Ἱστοριῶν τοῦ Ἰωάννη Σκυλίτζη καὶ οἱ πηγές της. Συμβολὴ στὴ βυζαντινὴ ἱστοριογραφία κατὰ τὸν ΙΑ΄ αἰώνα, Αthens 2010 Notes by Paul Stephenson Biography of Basil II with notes on Scylitzes by Catherine Holmes Opera Omnia by Migne Patrologia Graeca with analytical indexes Synopsis of Histories
Evagrius Scholasticus was a Syrian scholar and intellectual living in the 6th century AD, an aide to the patriarch Gregory of Antioch. His surviving work, Ecclesiastical History, comprises a six-volume collection concerning the Church's history from the First Council of Ephesus to Maurice’s reign during his life. Evagrius Scholasticus was born in Epiphania, a Syrian town located next to the Orontes River in the heart of the Eastern Roman Empire. Controversy exists as to the date on which Evagrius was born, since historian G. F. Chesnut asserts that he was born in either 536 or 537, yet the researcher Whitby claims that he was born in 535, his first written work addressed the plague outbreak which infected a vast segment of the population. Evagrius himself was infected by the outbreak yet miraculously managed to survive this disaster during his youth. According to his own account, close members of his family died from the outbreak, including his wife at the time. Michael Whitby reasons that Evagrius was born into a wealthy aristocratic family with close ties to the political elite.
His education was long-ranging and comprehensive since early childhood, starting with a specialization in Grammar and transitioning to classical Greek literature. This culminated in Evagrius’s pursuit of legal studies, which upon completion, earned him the prestigious title of “Scholasticus” when he was in his late 20s, his first notable official endeavor was accompanying Gregory of Antioch to Constantinople in order to defend him against charges related to sexual misbehavior. Evagrius again remarried in Antioch, where his own records testify to his prestige among the professional elite since displays of grandeur and a massive audience were present during this wedding ceremony. Dedicated to the emperor Maurice Evagrius wrote many works on theological matters, but none of these survives, his remaining work, The Ecclesiastical History was complete in 593, a six-volume compilation of Christian history from the first Council of Ephesus to his own present time. Evagrius was explicitly a Christian in the Chalcedonian tradition, critiquing both Zacharias Rhetor and Zosimus for theological differences, two popular historians during his own time.
He respected the former scholar for his contributions to the histories of the 5th and 6th centuries AD but chastised him for his Monophysite position. However, he was hostile towards Zosimus, a pagan historiographer, for his vehemently anti-Christian views, stating “ ‘You, O accursed and defiled one, say that the fortunes of the Romans wasted away and were altogether ruined from the time when Christianity was made known”, challenging Zosimus's assumption that Rome’s fall began with Constantine’s conversion. Evagrius’s only surviving work, Ecclesiastical History, addresses the history of the Eastern Roman Empire from the official beginning of the Nestorian controversy at the First Council of Ephesus in 431 to the time in which he was writing, 593; the book’s contents focus on religious matters, describing the events surrounding notable bishops and holy men. The editio princeps was published in 1544 under the name of Robertus Stephanus. John Christopherson, bishop of Chichester, made a Latin translation of the Ecclesiastical History, published after his death in 1570.
Translations into English appeared much later: the first was by Edward Walford, published at London in 1846. Some historians Pauline Allen, allege that Evagrius’s Chalcedonian theological stance directly influenced his selection of information, in order to defend Chalcedonian-aligned political agents against negative reputation. Whitby, emphasizes the legal scholar's acceptance and inclusion of information written by other historians who adopted opposing stances, when he discerned that their accounts were reliable. For example, Evagrius Scholasticus relies on Zachariah’s textual study of history though he was a monophysite omitting minor facets of his work that explicitly promote his theology, but considering him to be dependable. Allen reasons that Evagrius built on Zachariah’s work because his was the only comprehensive historical account of events taking place from Theodoret of Cyrus’s time till his own era. However, Zachariah’s original manuscripts have been lost. Evagrius is much less critical of the Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora, in comparison with Procopius, who described the two as physically manifest demons.
Because of regional affiliations Evagrius depicts the emperor in a more sympathetic light, praising his moderate approach to justice and his restraint towards excessive persecution, yet still decrying his heresy and displays of wealth. Evagrius’s ambivalence to Justinian is evident when he describes him as a virtuous man yet blind to impending defeat in his self-initiated war with Persia. Chesnut comments on how the Roman historian and scholar endues his Ecclesiastical History with a dramatic style, using themes from classical Greek tragedies to characterize Justinian’s life Fortune’s grand fluctuations. Evagrius builds upon the documents written by Zachariah, Symeon Stylites the Elder, Eustathius of Epiphania, John Malalas and Procopius of Caesarea; the Ecclesiastical History is considered an important and authoritative account of the timeline it traces, since Evagrius draws on other scholars’ material, explicitly acknowledging his sources. He meticulously organizes information taken from other written historical works in order to validate his account more than other theologic
Michael I Cerularius
Michael I Cerularius or Keroularios was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1043 to 1059 AD. He is most notable for his role in the events that led to the Great Schism in 1054. Michael Cerularius was born in Constantinople around 1000 AD, being ordained into the Church from a young age, he is noted for disputing with Pope Leo IX over church practices in respect of which the Roman Church differed from Constantinople the use of unleavened bread in the Eucharist. Notable disagreements were exchanged over other theological and cultural issues, ranging from the issue of papal supremacy in the Church to the filioque clause and other disagreements between the Patriarchates. In 1054, Pope Leo IX sent a letter to the Patriarch, citing a large portion of the Donation of Constantine believing it genuine. "The first pope who used it in an official act and relied upon it, was Leo IX. 143, coll. 744-769, was never despatched, but was set aside, that the papal reply sent was the softer but still harsh letter Scripta tuae of January 1054.
Leo IX assured the Patriarch that the donation was genuine, not a fable or old wives' tale, arguing that only the apostolic successor to Peter possessed primacy in the Church. This letter of Pope Leo IX was addressed both to Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, Leo of Ohrid, Archbishop of Bulgaria, was in response to a letter sent by Leo, Metropolitan of Achrida to John, Bishop of Trani, that categorically attacked the customs of the Latin Church that differed from those of the Greeks. Criticized were the Roman traditions of fasting on the Saturday Sabbath and consecration of unleavened bread. Leo IX in his letter accused Constantinople of being the source of heresy and claimed in emphatic terms the primacy of the Bishop of Rome over the Patriarch of Constantinople, who would have none of it, it can be argued that in 1054, the Patriarch's letter to Pope Leo IX initiated the events which followed, because it claimed the title "ecumenical patriarch" and addressed Pope Leo as "brother" rather than "father."
Pope Leo IX sent an official delegation on a legatine mission to treat with the Patriarch. Members of the papal delegation were: cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida, papal secretary Frederick of Lorraine, Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria in Domnica, Peter, Archbishop of Amalfi. Soon upon their arrival in Constantinople, news were received. Since official position and authority of papal legates was dependent upon the pope who authorized them to represent him, the news of Leo's death placed his envoys in an awkward position. In spite of that, they decided to proceed with their mission, but before any religious discussions were held, problems arose regarding some basic formalities and ceremonies. During the initial audience, Patriarch refused to meet with papal envoys in their official capacity and left them waiting with no further audience for months. During that time, from April to July 1054, cardinal Humbert and his colleagues continued with their activities in Constantinople, taking part in informal religious discussions on various issues.
Their behavior was seen as inappropriate by the Patriarch. Despite the fact that their legatine authority ceased after popes death, cardinal Humbert and his colleagues decided to engage in open confrontation with the Patriarch. On Saturday, 16 July 1054, they produced a Charter of Excommunication, directed against Patriarch Michael of Constantinople, Archbishop Leo of Ohrid, all of their followers. On the same day, cardinal Humbert and his colleagues entered the church of the Hagia Sophia during the divine liturgy and placed the Charter on the altar. Soon after that, Patriarch decided to react. On 20 July 1054, a synod of 21 metropolitans and bishops was held in Constantinople, presided by Cerularius; the council decided to excommunicate his colleagues. Only the three men were anathematized, a general reference was made to all who support them, but there was no explicit excommunication of the entire Western Christianity, or the Church of Rome. On Sunday 24 July the conciliar anathema was proclaimed in the Hagia Sophia Church.
The events of 1054 caused the Great Schism and led to the end of the alliance between the Emperor and the Papacy, caused Popes to ally with the Normans against the Empire. Patriarch Michael closed the Latin churches in his area. In 1965, those excommunications were rescinded by Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, when they met in the Second Vatican Council. Although the excommunication delivered by Cardinal Humbert was invalid, this gesture represented a significant step towards restoring communion between Rome and Constantinople; the short reign of the Empress Theodora saw Michael intrigue against the throne. Michael Psellus notes that while their initial relations had been cordial, once Theodora took the Imperial throne, they entered into open conflict, as Michael "was vexed because the Roman Empire was being governed by a woman", on this topic "he spoke his mind freely.". The historian suggests that Theodora would have deposed Michael for his open effrontery and sedition, had she lived longer.
Cerularius had a hand in negotiating the abdication of Michael VI Stratiotikos, convincing him to step down on 31 August 1057, in favour
Peter the Patrician
Peter the Patrician was a senior East Roman or Byzantine official and historian. A well-educated and successful lawyer, he was sent as envoy to Ostrogothic Italy in the prelude to the Gothic War of 535–554. Despite his diplomatic skill, he was not able to avert war, was imprisoned by the Goths in Ravenna for a few years. Upon his release, he was appointed to the post of magister officiorum, head of the imperial secretariat, which he held for an unparalleled 26 years. In this capacity, he was one of the leading ministers of Emperor Justinian I, playing an important role in the Byzantine emperor's religious policies and the relations with Sassanid Persia, his historical writings survive only in fragments, but provide unique source material on early Byzantine ceremonies and diplomatic issues between Byzantium and the Sassanids. Peter was born in Thessalonica about the year 500, was of Illyrian origin according to Procopius. After studying law, he embarked on a successful career as a lawyer in Constantinople, which brought him to the attention of Empress Theodora.
In 534, on account of his rhetorical skills, he was employed as an imperial envoy to the Ostrogothic court at Ravenna. At the time, a power struggle was developing there between Queen Amalasuntha, regent to the young king Athalaric, her cousin Theodahad. Following the death of Athalaric, Theodahad usurped the throne, imprisoned Amalasuntha, sent messages to Emperor Justinian hoping for recognition. Peter met the envoys at Aulon, on his way to Italy, notified Constantinople, seeking new instructions. Emperor Justinian ordered him to convey the message to Theodahad that Amalasuntha was under the Emperor's protection and not to be harmed. At the time Peter arrived in Italy, Amalasuntha had been killed. Whatever assurances might have been given by Theodora to Theodahad, in public, Peter condemned the act, declared that there would be "war without truce between the emperor and themselves" as a result. Peter returned to Constantinople with letters from Theodahad and the Roman Senate to the imperial couple, bearing pleas for a peaceful solution, but by the time he reached the imperial capital, Emperor Justinian had resolved on war and was preparing his forces.
Peter returned to Italy in the summer of 535 conveying an ultimatum: only if Theodahad abdicated and returned Italy to imperial rule, could war be averted. A two-pronged Byzantine offensive followed soon thereafter, attacking the outlying possessions of the Ostrogothic kingdom: Belisarius took Sicily, while Mundus invaded Dalmatia. Upon hearing these news, Theodahad despaired, Peter was able to secure wide-ranging concessions from him: Sicily was to be ceded to the Byzantine Empire. Theodahad, fearing that his first offer would be rejected instructed Peter, under oath, to offer the cession of all Italy, but only if the original concessions were rejected by Justinian. In the event, Justinian rejected the first proposal, was delighted to learn of the second one. Peter was sent back to Italy with Athanasius, bearing letters to Theodahad and the Gothic nobles, for a time it seemed as if the cradle of the Roman Empire would return peacefully to the fold, it was not to be: upon their arrival in Ravenna, the Byzantine envoys found Theodahad in a changed disposition.
Supported by the Gothic nobility and buoyed up by a success against Mundus in Dalmatia, he resolved to resist, imprisoned the ambassadors. Peter remained imprisoned in Ravenna for three years, until released in June/July 539 by the new Gothic king, Witigis, in exchange for Gothic envoys sent to Persia, captured by the Byzantines; as a reward for his services, Emperor Justinian appointed Peter to the post of magister officiorum, one of the highest positions in the state, heading the palace secretariat, the imperial guards, the Public Post with the dreaded agentes in rebus. He would hold this post for 26 consecutive years, longer by a wide margin than any other before or after. At about the same time or shortly thereafter, he was raised to the supreme title of patrician and the supreme senatorial rank of gloriosissimus, he was awarded an honorary consulship. As magister, he took part in the discussions with Western bishops in 548 on the Three-Chapter Controversy, was sent as an envoy in 551–553 to Pope Vigilius, who opposed the emperor on the issue.
Peter is recorded as attending the Second Council of Constantinople in May 553. In 550, he was sent as envoy by Justinian to negotiate a peace treaty with Persia, a role he reprised in 561, when he met the Persian envoy Izedh Gushnap at Dara, to end the Lazic War. Reaching an agreement over the Persian evacuation of Lazica and the delineation of the border in Armenia, the two envoys concluded a fifty-year peace between the two empires and their respective allies; the annual Roman subsidies to Persia would resume, but the amount was lowered from 500 to 420 pounds of gold. Further clause