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Basil II and the Governance of Empire (976-1025)$
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Catherine Holmes

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279685

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279685.001.0001

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The Revolts of Skleros and Phokas: Historiography and the Skleros Manifesto

The Revolts of Skleros and Phokas: Historiography and the Skleros Manifesto

(p.240) 5 The Revolts of Skleros and Phokas: Historiography and the Skleros Manifesto
Basil II and the Governance of Empire (976-1025)

Catherine Homes

Oxford University Press

This chapter broadens the book's discussion of the relevant medieval historiography of Basil II's reign by comparing the testimonies of historians writing in Greek with the Arabic historiographical tradition and an important Georgian hagiographical text. It focuses on the different ways in which this multiplicity of voices reports on the first thirteen years of the reign: that period which was dominated by the revolts of the generals Bardas Skleros and Bardas Phokas. It is argued that the Greek testimonies of John Skylitzes (the Synopsis Historion) and Michael Psellos make use of an apologetic manifesto produced by the general Bardas Skleros at the time of his capture by Basil II in 989. This source has never previously been identified.

Keywords:   Byzantine historiography, Byzantine diplomacy, Arabic historiography, Georgian hagiography, Bardas Skleros, Bardas Phokas, John Skylitzes, Synopsis Historion, Michael Psellos

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