Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.588428
Title: Envisioning Byzantium : materiality and visuality in Procopius of Caesarea
Author: Turquois, Elodie Eva
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract:
The three works of Procopius of Caesarea, the History of the Wars, the Buildings and the Secret History, form a corpus which can be profitably studied as a whole. My thesis is a typology of the visual in Procopius’ corpus, which is embedded in a study of narrative technique. It concerns itself with the representation of material reality and the complex relationship between materiality and the text. It utilises the digressive and the descriptive as an indirect entry point to expose Procopius’ literary finesse and his use of poikilia. In the first half of this thesis, the main object of my study is the representation of the material world in Procopius. The first chapter is devoted to the first book of the Buildings as it depicts the city of Constantinople. The second chapter moves to the representation of space and the third chapter to that of objects of all sizes and kinds. From these three different angles, I demonstrate how the visual is deeply charged with both ideological and meta-textual intentions. The second half of the thesis goes beyond materiality to examine what I discuss as the imaginaire of Procopius. The fourth chapter examines the way violence is depicted in a material and spectacular manner as well as its meta-textual implications, and the fifth and final chapter addresses the omnipresence of the supernatural in the corpus as well as Procopius’ self-representation as narrator and character. While preoccupied to some extent with ideological and political concerns, this thesis is first and foremost centred on the text itself and how its relationship to the description of material culture throws light on a crucial author on the cusp between the classical and the medieval imaginaire, one of the most significant authors in Byzantine literary culture.
Supervisor: Elsner, Jas; Whitmarsh, Tim Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.588428  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Classical Greek ; Hellenic (Classical Greek) literature ; Late antiquity and the Middle Ages ; Procopius ; ancient historiography ; ancient rhetoric ; Greek literature - history and criticism
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