Basil II and the Testimony of John Skylitzes: Textual Analysis
This chapter continues analysis of John Skylitzes' history (the Synopsis Historion) which was begun in the previous chapter. It seeks to uncover more clues about Skylitzes' methods, source materials, and preoccupations through a close comparative reading of John Skylitzes' narrative of the reign of Emperor Romanos Lekapenos (920-44) and his principal source for this period — the history known as Theophanes Continuatus. The chapter explains why the absence of any of Skylitzes' sources for the reign of Basil makes this close reading of an earlier section of the Synopsis Historion so vital. This close comparative analysis can shed light on Skylitzes' treatment of Basil II's reign, especially his preoccupation with the Byzantine aristocracy, Byzantine martial culture, and his interest in the emperor's campaigns in Bulgaria.
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