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Title: Bibliographia Historica Byzantina : a historical and bibliographical description of the early editions of the Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ (1556-1645)
Author: Della Rocca de Candal, Geri
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 6546
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis is concerned with the editorial, printing and marketing history of four Byzantine historical narratives, published between 1556 and 1645, and soon collectively identified under the name Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ (hereinafter, 'Byzantine Corpus'). The four Byzantine historians - Ioannes Zonaras, Niketas Choniates, Nikephoros Gregoras and Laonikos Chalkokondyles - enjoyed considerable popularity in early modern Europe, with a peak of interest in the second half of the sixteenth century. This thesis aims at highlighting how these four texts, despite being so popular in a number of early modern European countries (particularly in the German-speaking area, in Italy and in France), did not do so for the same reasons: in fact, depending on the country in which these books were printed, they were marketed, perceived and read in very different ways. This element is particularly relevant in light of the fact that the Byzantine Corpus represents the earliest predecessor of the Corpus Fontium Historiæ Byzantinæ, the modern resource for the study of Byzantine historical sources. Chapter 1 analyses the early formation of the Byzantine Corpus and, in particular, the figure of Hieronymus Wolf, first editor of the Byzantine Corpus, often considered the 'father' of Byzantine studies; his relation with his patrons, the Fuggers of Augsburg; finally, his relation with his publisher, the Basel printer Johannes Oporinus. It then provides contextualised bibliographical and paratextual descriptions of the editiones principes of the Byzantine Corpus, all printed in Basel. Chapters 2-5 reflect the same comparative approach, used to investigate how the later editions of the Byzantine Corpus were prepared and marketed in different European countries: each chapter provides a bibliographical and paratextual analysis of the subsequent German, Italian, French and Genevan editions respectively. The Conclusions draw together all the information collected in the previous chapters and investigate three pivotal aspects of the Byzantine Corpus: i) the formation of the Byzantine Corpus and the individual popularity of each of the four Byzantine historians based on the frequency and popularity of both individual and collective editions; ii) the distinctive reasons of their popularity, analysed through a comparison of the different approaches with which editors and publishers have presented these texts to their respective audiences in Germany, Italy and France; iii) the reasons for the rise and decline in popularity of the Byzantine Corpus in the early seventeenth century.
Supervisor: Lauxtermann, Marc ; Dondi, Cristina Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Publishers and publishing--Europe--History--17th century ; Book industries and trade--Europe--History--17th century ; Byzantine Empire--Civilization--Historiography ; Byzantine Empire--History--Sources