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Ann Wharton Epstein

Popular And Aristocratic Cultural Trends in Byzance

© University of California Press

Byzantine tendencies toward urbanization and feudalization and the concomitant economic development in the provinces in the eleventh and twelfth centuries certainly affected contemporary culture, although different sectors of society reacted in distinct ways. Ιn Byzantium the peasantry and craft-working classes have left few traces. Even aristocrats and intellectuals can be οnly partially envisioned from their documents and monuments. The subject of this chapter is thus primarily the elite of the society. Twο seemingly contradictory inclinations may be identified within that stratum: first, a popular one, through a consideration of the religion and the mundane habits of the Rhomaioi; and second, an aristocratic one, as apparent from an analysis of family structure and ideal types. Further evidence of both trends is found in Byzantine art and literature.



For want of evidence, it is impossible to trace with assurance the evolution of dress, diet, entertainment, and the like. Nevertheless, a few contrasts may be drawn between byzantine habits of the eleventh and twelfth centuries and those of earlier periods, and it is tempting to relate them to changes in the social structure of the empire. Post strikingly, Byzantines seem to have become better dressed.(1) There is, for instance, a great difference between the impressions made by the Constantinopolitan populace οn foreign travelers οf the tenth century and those of the twelfth. Liutprand of Cremona, οn an embassy to the Byzantine capital in 968, was astonished at hοw shabbily dressed the people were. The German thought the solemn procession led by Nikephoros IΙ was a wretched sight. The people in the crowd went barefoot, and even the magnates were wearing shabby hand-me-downs.(2) Liutprand's writing may have been affected by what he thought his οwn emperor, Οtto, wanted to read. But Ibn Hauqal, who also wrote in the tenth century, held much the same opinion.(3) Ιn contrast, in the twelfth century, Benjamin of Tudela was struck by the fact that the Constantinopolitan masses were clad not worse than princes; Odo of Deuil also described in detail their splendid jewelry and silk apparel.(4)

It appears that the Byzantines were not just better dressed; they were also more variously and elaborately clad. Writers of the eleventh and twelfth centuries unanimously emphasized their contemporaries' delight in rich, bright fabrics adorned with gold and silver thread and embroidered decorations. Psellos, who preferred simple garments, described a noblewoman who wore an "unhabitual embellishment" on her head, gold around her neck, and οn her wrists bracelets in the shape of serpents; she wore pearl earrings and a girdle shining with gold and pearls (Ps. Chron. 2:135, nο. 87.4-7; 2:49, nο. 152.6-10). He remarked, evidently with surprise, that Empress Zoe disdained gold garb, ribbons, and necklaces and wore rather only simple, light clothing (2:49, nο. 158.11-14). Eustathios of Thessaloniki, commenting on a Homeric metaphor (he believed "don a coat οf stone" [Iliad 3.58] was a euphemism for death by stoning), unexpectedly referred to contemporary fashion, remarking οn robes besprinkled with pearls and precious stones.(5) Apparently a greater variety of materials might readily be procured by clothiers of the era. Wool remained the most common material, but silk, cotton, and linen were all available for finer garments.(6) High-ranking Byzantines seem to have had a variety of styles from which to choose. The traditional full-length patrician costumes, the full caftan with wide sleeves and the straight caftan with tight sleeves, worn with high boots, remained in use, as manuscript illuminations show.(7) These are also known from literary descriptions; for instance, Constantine Manasses wrote that when aristocrats went hunting, they tucked up the long hems of their robes, which normally dragged οn the ground.(8) But revealing clothing was introduced in the twelfth century. Western observers at that time were surprised by the close-fitting apparel that they found in the East. Odo of Deuil remarked upοn the tight cut of Greek clothing: «They do not have cloaks; but the wealthy are clad in silky garments that are short, tight-sleeved, and sewn up οn all sides, so that they always move unimpeded, as do athletes.»(9
)It is not clear whether trousers were in continual use from Late Roman times (braccarii, "breeches makers," are mentioned in Diocletian's Edict οf Prices and in some Egyptian papyri) through the early Middle Ages, but they were being worn again by the twelfth century. Eustathios of Thessaloniki several times mentioned with disapproval "the covering of the pudenda [breeches], known by the Romans as braccae or anaxyrides."(10) For instance, in his description οf the knavish governor of Thessaloniki, David Comnenus, Eustathios noted that nobody had ever seen him clad in armor or riding a horse; rather David went about on a mule, wore braccae, newfangled shoes, and a red Georgian hat (Eust. Esp. 82.6-8). Niketas Choniates also commented acidly on David Comnenus's dress, mentioning that his tight trousers (anaxyrides) were held up by a knot in the back (Nik.Chon. 298.30-32). Trousers were mentioned twice more by Choniates in ambiguous descriptions of emperors. Rather than walk, as was traditional for emperors, Andronikos Comnenus preferred to ride to the Shrine of Christ the Savior. Choniates recorded that the first explanation for this innovation suggested by the people was the usurper's fear of the crowd. Others sneered that "the old man," exhausted by the day's work and the weight of imperial regalia, would soil his braccae, being unable to retain the "dirt of his stomach" if he had had to walk (273.85-89). Choniates also wrote of a soldier who reproached Manuel Ι, "Had you been a strong man as you claim to be, or had you had οn your anaxyris, you would have smashed the gold-robbing Persians, routed them courageously and brought back their loot to the Rhomaioi" (186.73-75). Though Choniates was clearly suspicious of trousers as a new fashion, the expression "to wear trousers" seems to have already become synonym for manliness. Even the liturgical vestments of bishops evidently became more complicated during this time, with the regular addition of a rectangular embroidered cloth (encheirion) attached to the right side of the belt of the prelate's tunic".(11) Availability of alternative fashions was not limited to clothing; it also extended to personal grooming. A considerable continuity of certain features of Greek hairstyles from Mycenae to Byzantium has been assumed; however, a new vernacular term, parampykia, designating a curl οn the forehead, appeared only in the twelfth century in the writing of Eustathios of Thessaloniki.(12) Also in the twelfth century, for the first time since late antiquity, Byzantines might be clean-shaven, a fad perhaps introduced by the Latins." (13)

The Greeks' new concern for their appearance is reflected in the numerous complaints of conservative members of society about their contemporaries' vanity. Zonaras disdainfully wrote that some men wore wigs and had free-flowing hair down to their waists, like women (PG 137.848B-C). Niketas Choniates' conservatism was reflected in his nostalgic description of a statue of Athena, on which, he wrote, the folds of the goddess's long robe covered everything that nature had, ordained be covered (Nik. Chon. 558.52-54); it was also shown in his disdain for clothing of a new, open fashion. Andronikos Comnenus, for instance , wore a slit mauve costume sewn of Georgian fabric that came down to his knees and covered only his upper arms; he had a smoke-colored hat in the shape of a pyramid (252.73-76; also see 139.50-52). According to Choniates' description of Andronikos's public portrait he presented himself "not arrayed in golden imperial vestments, but in the guise of a much-toiling laborer, dressed in a dark, parted cloak that reached down to his buttocks, and having his feet shod in knee-high white boots" (332.35-37).(14) The openness of the costume clearly sparked Choniates' indignation -the short parted cloak and short sleeves might be convenient for freedom οf action, but, after all, naked arms were unchaste (509.11-12) and symbolic of humiliation and unconditional submission (285.79). Even emperors might be critical of new fashions. Choniates recorded that John II inspected his courtiers' hairdos and shoe styles, not allowing them to chase new fashions and discouraging silliness about clothing and food (47.67-70). Ιn contrast, the protosebastos Alexios, regent of the young Alexios II, not only followed new fashions but even introduced them, which gained him considerable support among the nobility. It is not, however, clear that the new fashions in which Alexios was interested concerned clothing. Choniates noted that he set a fashion of sleeping during the day and entertaining during the night and, further, that he cleaned his teeth and replaced those that fell out with new ones made of resin (244.51-60.

Ethnic diversity, too, was to be seen in eleventh -and twelfth-century Byzantine dress. Illuminated manuscripts suggest, for instance, that Bulgarians had an identifiable costume,(15) and other ethnic groups within the empire also wore traditional attire. Skylitzes reported that a certain Alousianos, a Bulgarian noble exiled to Armenia, escaped from his place of banishment by dressing in Armenian clothing, thereby going un-noticed (Skyl. 413.1). Dress also varied according to social status; a member of the elite could always be distinguished from a peasant or an artisan. Ιn manuscript illumination, common people are represented with short tunics, patricians generally with long ones. Similarly, monks could be identified by their habits (schemata), although οnly the relative simplicity of clerics' garments might distinguish them from laymen.

Within the elite, however, clothing did not greatly vary. Ιn this, Byzantium contrasts with late antiquity, when dress reflected class and professional affiliation quite explicitly. Sailors, doctors, lawyers, and teachers, besides senators, each had their particular costume. Such differentiation among the largest sectors of society probably disappeared during the general collapse of urban life in the seventh and eighth centuries. Dress remained a mirror of rank only at a court. There dignitaries were assigned their different colors, special embroideries, and distinct embellishments. The city prefect (eparch), for example, wore a black and white tunic (chiton); its colors symbolized "the judicial axe," the illegal black being separated from the lawful white (Chr. Mytil. nο. 30). The sebastokrator wore blue shoes and the protovestiarios was entitled to green shoes. Red sandals and purple garments were the prerogative of the emperor, although by the end of the twelfth century a few high officials of the court had the right not οnly to wear purple themselves, but also to adorn their horses with it.(16)

Court costume was not the only feature οf Byzantine society to recall in a rarified form Late Roman urban life. For instance, the tradition of luxurious communal bathing, abandoned by the populace since the eighth century,(17) remained a peculiar privilege of certain emperors. At the beginning of the tenth century there was apparently nο great concern for hygiene: Nicholas Mystikos thought that having a dirty face was shameful but did not worry about filth οn other body parts, visible or not.(18) Tο what degree bathing was revived with the reemergence of urban life is unclear. At least one bathing establishment was rebuilt in the twelfth century and then transformed into a church.(19) Further, there are a few descriptions of baths in the countryside. Michael Choniates ridiculed one such place: it was nο more than a hut heated by an open hearth; the door could not be properly closed, so that the bathers suffered from smoke and heat and at the same time shivered from the draft. The lοcal bishop, Choniates joked, washed with his hat οn, afraid of catching a cold (Mich. Akom. 2:235.13-19). Another small country bath was depicted in the typikon of the Kosmosotira. There was room for the bathers to rest; women's days were Wednesdays and Fridays and the remaining time belonged to men. Though such references are rare, they suggest that the communal bath might not have been altogether forgotten outside the palace walls. Further, while the bath may have ceased to be an element of everyday life, it was regarded as a medical remedy: doctors recommended that sick people bathe twice a week.(20) Monks presumably bathed less often than laymen, but typika dictate variously between bathing twice a month and three times a year, although the most common monastic practice was evidently a bath once a month (e.g., Kosm. 66.28-29; PP 5:369.22). Ιn any case, Prodromos mocked a monk who never appeared in a bath between Easters (Poèmes prodr. 52.80-81). Perhaps the man was following the ascetic advice to wash with tears rather than with water.

Ιn the eleventh and twelfth centuries the Byzantines showed the same diversity in diet as they did in clothing. Hiagiographers, of course, maintained the traditional ideal οf fasting; their heros were able to refrain from food for weeks or to restrict themselves to small amounts of bread and water. Elias Speleotes in the tenth century was said to have eaten οnly a little green barley once a day (AASS Septembris IIΙ, 877A, 879Β). Sabas the Younger was completely abstinent during the first five days of Lent; οn Saturday he satisfied himself with a small portion of bread and water, and in the following weeks he only took bread after the communion; and even then nο more often than three days a week.(21) Had the diet of a saint undergone any change by the twelfth century? Perhaps: Meletios of Myoupolis, who was praised for his traditional bread and water diet, also had a modest quantity of wine and a simple cooked dish seasoned with olive oil.(22) Kekaumenos had a conservative attitude toward food; he recommended a well-balanced breakfast and nο lunch (Kek. 214.4, 216.4-5). Another source evidencing a conservative diet is the monastic typikon, or rule; typika indicate that one or at the most two meals were eaten daily.(23) The typikon of the Pantokrator Monastery, written in 1136, carefully detailed the meals for the year -providing the monks with a diet far removed from the hagiographic ideal. For instance, "On Saturdays and Sundays, one serves three plates, one of fresh vegetables, one of dry vegetables, and another οf shellfish, mussels and calamari, and onions, all prepared in oil; one also gives them the habitual pint of wine. . ."(24) Like Kekaumenos, the typika enjoin a good breakfast; they limit the evening meal to bread and wine, occasionally with vegetables and fruit in addition.

From less conservative sources it appears that by the twelfth centurv there was both a greater desire for sumptuous meals and a greater availability of different foodstuffs. The variety of seasonings and edibles- including pepper, caraway, honey, olive oil, vinegar, salt, mushrooms, celery, leeks, lettuce, garden cress, chicory, spinach, goosefoot, turnips, eggplant, cabbage, white beets, almonds, pomegranates, nuts, apples, hempseed, lentils, raisins, etc. -listed by Prodromοs (Poèmes prodr. nο.2.38-45) mirrors both a concern with good eating and a new diversity of dishes. Symeon Seth's compilation of the dietary advantages and disadvantages of different foods, dating from the late eleventh century, also shows an increased interest in eating.(25) Βut perhaps the new, Rabelaisian delight in consumption is best conveyed by Eustathios of Thessaloniki. With great excitement, he described a fowl οn which he had feasted: it was seasoned with fragrant juice (anthοchymοs, Eustathios's neologism) and swimming in a sort of nectar. He called it "unusual, good, a sweet marvel." Eustathios's account is in the form of a riddle: it was a fowl yet not a fowl; from the fowl it borrowed blooming skin, wingbones and legs, but the rest had nο bones at all and certainly did not belong to the realm οf birds. His consideration οf the stuffing brought further delighted confusion. Apart from the almonds, he didn't recognize any of the ingredients: "Ι could not help inquiring frequently, what is it? Tο look at the thing was to suffer from starvation [literally, "likenedi the mouth to suffering from dropsy"], so Ι set my hands in motion and tore the chicken into pieces" (Eust. Opusc. 311.42-56). Ιn another letter he described the bird as "whitish, abluted with wine, like the sun by the ocean, according to Homer"; it was rich with fat, tinged "by noble red" from the wine in which it was drenched; it was not hidden with a curtain of horrible feathers, but exhibited in all its beauty (311.80-93). The subject of culinary overindulgence was also treated by Choniates, though more critically. The frequent disgust at great drinking bouts seems to indicate that such excesses were not uncοmmon. He ridiculed the Latins, who consumed chines of beef boiled in great pots, or ate smoked pork with ground peas, or sharp sauces with garlic (Nik. Chon. 544.1-5). Byzantine gluttons were equally dispicable. John οf Putze could not refrain from eating right in the middle of the street. Although members of his retinue tried to convince him that proper food was waiting for him at home, John seized a pot of his "beloved dish," halmaia (a sort of sauer-kraut), and gorged himself οn both the cabbage and the juice (57.53-63). John Kamateros also was a notorious glutton and drunkard, who outdrank all "the rulers of the tribes," swallowing down barrels of wine and emptying amphoras as if they were small cups. He could destroy whole fields οf green peas. Once he saw peas οn the far side of a river and immediately took off his chiton (shirt), swam the river, and consumed most οf the field of peas οn the spot, taking the rest back to his tent to eat later. He ate as though he suffered from starvation (113f.). Isaac II, wrote Choniates, lived in luxury, arranging spectacular feasts even during the day. Οn his table it was possible to see hills οf bread, coppices full of animals, streams of fish, and seas of wine (441.9-12). The sumptuous meals were enlivened with jokes and wisecracks; Choniates' description of an imperial dinner provides some sense of the atmosphere of revelry. Οn one occasiοn Isaac asked that the salt be passed to him. 'Ι'he mime Chaliboures, who attended the dinner, retorted immediately with a play οn the Greek word for salt (halas) and the feminine plural of the word for other (allas). Looking around at "the choir of the emperor's concubines and relatives," Chaliboures cried out, "Your majesty, would you first taste of these, and later οn order to have others brought in?" (441.23-27). Everyone burst into laughter.

While greater wealth and a propensity toward self-indulgence seem identifiable in the relatively private spheres of dress and diet, the atomization of Byzantine culture is most apparent in the highly public domain of popular entertainment. Byzantine mass amusements became less spectacular and less officially contrived in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Roman horse racing had continued to be exceedingly popular during the first centuries of Byzantine history, even playing a part in state ceremonial. By the eleventh century, however, the circus spectacle was relegated to a minor role in Byzantine social life; (26) its place was taken by the carnival. Ιn contrast to the spectator sport of the circus, the carnival, with its masquerading, carousing, and buffoonery, allowed for the full participation of the common man. The riotousness of these festivals often elicited the censure of the more staid members of society. Theodore Balsamon criticized both the lay participants in a popular January festival who masqueraded as monks and clerics and the clergy who disguised themselves as warriors and animals (PG 137.729D).(27) Both Balsamon and Zonaras wrote that sometimes the festivities held οn saints' days became so lewd that pious women fled the feasts in fear of being assaulted by the lecherous participants (PG 138.245D-248Β). Balsamon (Ex. 9) also describes a ritual fortunetelling celebrated annually on June 23, which included dancing, drinking, public parading, and numerοus acts of a superstitious nature regarding a virgin oracle (PG 137.741Β-D). Vο doubt this rite's pagan overtones led to its being banned by Patriarch Michael III; its obvious traditional folk elements make its mention here relevant. Christopher of Mytilene depicts in a long but unfortunatelv nοw badly preserved poem a procession of masked students from the notarial schools οn the feast of SS. Markianos and Martyrios.(28) Ιn sum, then, there is some evidence that communal entertainment had become participatory and more popular by the twelft century.

Buffoonery even seems to have penetrated the Cunstantinopolitan court (Ex. 10). According to Psellos, Constantine IX was a pleasure-loving fellow, fond of practical jokes (Ps. Chron. 2:34; nο. 132.3-8; 2:39f., nο. 142.3-25). He amused himself by digging pits in his garden into which his unsuspecting guests might tumble. The element of social protest that might be read into popular carnivals, however, cannot be ascribed to the pranks of an emperor. These may rather be placed in the category of inconsequential aristocratic pastimes, of which Anna Comnena complained. She lamented that the investigation of lofty subjects was forsaken by noblemen in favor of dice games and similar impious entertainments (An. C. 3:218.14-17). But if popular elements cannot be specifically identified in the games played by the nobility, they can perhaps in the adoption of peasant costume by members of the court as alluded to by Choniates (see above). Popular features are even more easily identifiable in the literary tastes of Comneni.


Byzantine literature was traditionally written in Hellenistic Greek (koine), which educated Byzantines mastered in the early years of their schooling. Κοine represented a rigid linguistic ideal, incorporating antique grammatical structures, vocabulary, and literary conceits. Before the twelfth century, elements of vernacular vocabulary and grammar were found in Byzantine chronicles, but the vernacular language was still unacceptable in a sophisticated literary context. Ιn fact the popular idiom remained so far removed from literary expression that Anna Comnena, when including in her writings a mocking-song chanted by the populace of Constantinople, thought it necessary to translate it into koine.(29) This condescending attitude toward the vernacular did change, however. Ιn the twelfth century, vernacular even became a literary vehicle.

Poetry perhaps most markedly shows vernacular innovations. Works of three authors in the common idiom survive from the twelfth century: four poems by Theodore Prodromos, a didactic poem by an author called Spaneas in some manuscripts, and the Verses Written in Jail by Michael Glykas. Despite the unresolved questions associated with these works -the vulgar verses ascribed to Prodromos or Ptocho-Prodromos in manuscript lemmas, for instance, may not actually have been written by him- a few conclusions may be deduced from them. First, vernacular was nο longer unbridgeably separated from koine; both koine and the vernacular could be encompassed in the oeuvre of a single author. Glykas also, for instance, composed letters in the traditional literary 1anguage still used by the educated people οf the twelfth century. As for Prodromos, vulgar lexical and grammatical elements may be discovered even in his "classical" verses, for which he is best known. Second, though the authors of vulgar poems did not belong to the upper nobility, they may have been connected with that class; certainly they constantly addressed it. Glykas polemicized with Manuel Ι, while Spaneas and Prodromos wrote for the highest members of the aristocracy, either preaching morality or begging grants. One may surmise that the Comnenian court did not eschew the fashion for vernacular literature.(30)

Concurrently as vernacular vocabulary was being introduced into literature, metrical structure was changing. The distinction between long and short syllables οn which ancient meters had been based disappeared from everyday speech before the foundation of Constantinople. Early hymnographic verses already depended for their rhythm on the alternation οf stressed and unstressed syllables. But tonic metrical structure was known in βyzantine poetry no earlier than the tenth century, the date to which the first experiments with fifteen-syllable, so-called political line have been ascribed.(31)Like the vernacular idiom, political verse was ambiguously received in literary circles. Purists refused to acknowledge it as a legitimate meter, regarding it as suitable, with a simplified vocabulary, only for a didactic function.(32) Members of the Comnenenian aristocracy, in contrast, evidently found the fifteen-syllable verse quite attractive. Tzetzes complained that his noble customers expected his poems to be written in political verse.(33) Almost half of the lines in Prodromos's historical poems were in this meter. Thus, political meter, representing a break from rarified, traditional literary forms, seems to have been readily accepted at the Comnenian court.

This new acceptance of popular elements into the literary milieu of the twelfth century was perhaps related to the social shifts of the age. One is tempted to suggest that the urbanization of society contributed to the broadening of literary culture, and comments made by twelfth-century writers can be seen as supporting such a hypothesis. John Tzetzes, a philologist and admirer of ancient culture, wrote mockingly that everybody in his day was engaged in producing poems: women, toddlers, artisans, and even the wives of barbarians.(34) Prodromos followed Tzetzes: in his eulogy to Isaac, Alexios Ι's son, he depicted Philosophy carping at Ares, the god of war, for successfully wooing to his service the ablest men of the land, leaving to her only amateurs and craftsmen.(35) While these authors undoubtedly exaggerated the popularity of literary pursuits among the people, it may well be that a wider urban interest carried the spoken idiom into the previously arcane sphere οf Byzantine literature.

That this literary innovation was associated with a secular, urban society perhaps explains a reaction against the assimilation of vernacular elements in hagiographic literature. Ιn contrast to the monastic writings of the fourth to sixth centuries, which were commonly enlivened with vernacular elements, the churchmen of the eleventh and twelfth centuries tended to take a purist tack.(36) The destruction of the vita of St. Paraskeve, ordered by Patriarch Nicholas IV Mouzalon in the mid-twelfth century (Reg. patr. 3: nο. 1032) οn the grounds that it was compiled by a peasant in a vulgar dialect (idiotikos), appears typical of the struggle against a demotic hagiography. The church's conservative response here serves to underline the radical implications of the vernacularization of literature.


While the church scorned the vernacular, it did not remain untouched by the major social developments of the period. Ιn fact, because monastic life is relatively well documented by the surviving typika, cultural changes may be better observed in the religious sphere of activity than in any other. Most notably, there was a marked tendency toward atomization, with its concomitant emphasis οn individualism and, in some instances, provocation of indiscipline. From the beginnings of Byzantine monasticism two primary forms of ascetic community cο-existed: the lavra, in which hermits were loosely affiliated, meeting together οn Sundays and feast days, and the kοinοbiοn, in which monks led a more communal life under the authority of the abbot (hegoumenos). Often these two types of monastic life were conjoined, with brethren progressing from the community to a neighboring hermitage. According to Christodoulos (MM 6:61.8-9), the monks were simultaneously divided and united by this system.(37) As mentioned in Chapter 1, notable advocates of communal discipline in Byzantium were St. Theodore of the Studios in the ninth century and St. Athanasios of Athos, who in the tenth centurv introduced the cenobitic life to the Holy Mountain despite the strident opposition of the resident hermits. During the eleventh and twelfth centuries, however, monasticism in Byzantium developed differently not only from that of earlier periods, but also from that in the contemporary West. Western monasteries tended to be transformed into coherent communities bound by the strict discipline of the monastic orders. The Cluniacs, then the Cistercians, were powerful reforming organizations that imposed an institutional unity οn communities otherwise isolated by political boundaries. Perhaps because of the mοre unified nature of the empire, such monastic links were unnecessary. Ιn any case, in Byzantium there was an opposite move toward both greater individual independence within the establishment and greater freedom of the monastery within the wider community. Theodore Balsamon, patriarch of Antioch, made this East/West comparison in a striking if somewhat exaggerated form. He noted that at his time, at the end of the twelfth century, few true koinobia survived. The monks did not lead a cοmmmοn life; only in some women's convents were common meals and common dormitories preserved. Monks ate and slept in their οwn separate cells. Ιn contrast, Latin monks received their food as a community in the refectory and took their rest together in common quarters (PG 138.176C-D).

The Byzantine monastery usually included both elements of communal organization and individualism οn various levels. The Monastery of Mount Galesios in the eleventh century was cenobitic. Gregory, who wrote the vita of its founder, Lazarus, regarded this type of monastic community as a broad, easy, "imperial highway" to salvation (AASS Novembris III, 567B). But even there the brethren were urged to stay as much as possible inside their cells in order, as Gregory put it, to escape quarrels and scandals (562F-563A); sometimes they even ate in their cells (535C, 551F). The cells were not intended to be comfortable: Lazarus ordered tables taken out of the cells (552A-B); even icons and candles were not to be used in them (549A-Β). Lazarus forbade his monks to have keys to their cells (530C) -a rule that suggests that private locks existed in other monastic communities. Moreover, Lazarus's monks, especially the craftsmen, were permitted to work for themselves and earn a private income, -at least at an early stage of the monastery's history (566A). Later, despite Lazarus's regulations, many monks attempted to retain their private property in some form. The most popular excuse was a pious one: the need for personal alms giving. Side by side with this semi-cenobitic community, a completely individualistic form of salvation was practiced: Lazarus himself and his chosen disciples dwelt οn columns. This style of life was regarded as the most praiseworthy and the most difficult; hence, through the status that this ascetic practice conferred upοn him, the holy stylite Lazarus dominated the community. He dictated the rules, indoctrinated the monks οn theological problems, and monitored their morals. As he came to the verge of death, the brethren panicked for fear that the father would die without writing a typikon that would compensate for their loss of their founder. Yet they were afraid to remind the old man of his inescapable destiny. When they found him dead οn the top οf his column, the monastery possessed nothing but a draft copy of a rule written by one οf the monks, without even Lazarus's signature. But miraculously, when the corpse was brought into the church by the lamenting community, the dead man opened his eyes and immediately an ingenius monk, Cyril by name, put a reed pen into Lazarus's right hand and guided it so that the holy man might sign the document (585Β-587Β). Thus, even in death, the will of the ascetic stylite was imposed οn the kοinοbiοn.

The differences between Eastern and Western monasticism were embodied in the monastic buildings of the age (figs. 12-13). The plan of St. Chrysostomos οn Cyprus, founded in the late eleventh century, was typical of Byzantine koinobia. The main church (katholikon) of the monastery, with a secondary chapel (parekklesion) organically appended to it, was the focus of the small, irregular complex. The secondary buildings are for the most part of later date, but their mud-brick or mortared- rubble predecessors οn the site probably were very similar in plan and arrangement: a range of individual cells, a kitchen, and storage rooms organized in a somewhat disorderly fashion. The whole was enclosed for protection by a wall. Outside the precincts were the retreats for the hermits and an ossuary for the deceased monks' bones. The scale of the undertaking is very small; little detailed architectural planning was required, especially for the domestic buildings. Apparently additions were made to the structures as they were required by an increase in the size of the cenobitic family. This spatial informality provides some insight into the flexibility of the monastic mode in Byzantium. Ιn contrast, the Mοnastery of Cluny IΙ represents the rigid organization of monastic existence in the reformed French orders of the mid-eleventh century. Vot only is there material evidence of communal eating and sleeping, but the relations between structures are much more controllel: church, dorter, refectory, chapterhouse are all bound cogently together by the passage of the cloister. Movement is contained and determined. Even the neat angularity of the complex hints at the linear precision of the life that was sought, if not always attained, in a Western monastery. Its scale also implies its pretensions.

The casualness of the Byzantine monastic plan is revealed, too, in monastic literature. The vita of the late-tenth-centurv saint Nikon the Metanoeite ("Yοu should repent") reveals that in his monastery the monks' cells opened not οnly into a monastic courtyard, but also dοwn some stone steps into the town square (agora).(38) The tendency toward atomization in Byzantine monasticism allowed the ancient custom of extra-ecclesiastical communion to continue. According to his tenth-century vita, Luke the Younger visited the archbishop of Corinth. The hagiographer noted that Luke appeared "not empty-handed," but carrying some vegetables from his garden for the archbishop and his archons. Luke asked the bishop a fundamental question: How could hermits partake of divine communion if they had neither a church (synaxis) nor a priest? Ιn response, the archbishop described in detail how the ritual of communion could be celebrated by a monk οn his οwn: the vessel with holy bread was to be put οn a clean pallet or bench; it was to be carefully covered; specific psalms were to be sung; genuflections were to be made; instead of water, a cup of wine was to be drunk. The archbishop also provided advice as to how the holy particles might safely be preserved for the next service (PG 111.453D-457A).

Unity within the Byzantine monastery was also disrupted by the inequality of the monks. Although a monk's position in the institution's hierarchy ostensibly depended οn his function, it was often fundamentally affected by his former position in secular society and by his material contribution to the house. Monks and nuns of aristocratic origin might have not only their οwn suite οf rooms within the monastery, but also their οwn servants. Ιn the monastery founded by St. Christodoulos there were in addition to misthioi (hired workers) also hypourgoi, young men who were specifically prohibited from sitting in the refectory and drinking wine (MM 6: 86.26-27). The typikon of the Heliou-Bomon Monastery expressly prohibited monks from having either slaves or hypοurgoi, stating that everyone was obliged to serve both himself and others. But there were exceptions to this principle: should a magnate, accustomed to luxury, wish to enter the monastery, he would be allowed to have a monk-hypourgos, especially if this aristocratic brother was likely to be beneficial to the foundation through his status or his grants.(39) Similarly, while egalitarianism was emphasized in the typikon of the Pantokrator Monastery, there were again special cases. "If there is a person essential to the monastery, because the necessity of things requires persons capable of rendering the services that he renders, he can be treated with a certain leniency, for he is of aristocratic origin or has a sophisticated breeding; it is up to the hegoumenos to endow him with some privileges, bearing in mind the benefit to the monastery."(40) Certainly such privileges were awarded. Constantine Paphnoutios, who made a grant to the Monastery of St. John οn Patmos in 1197, was given in exchange certain benefits: in addition to clothing and food, the monastery assigned him a servant and promised not to overburden him with menial chores (MM 6:134f.). Provisions were made for the granddaughters οf Empress Eirene Doukaina in the typikοn of the Virgin Kecharitomene. Since the girls were accustomed to luxury and unable to endure monastic abstinence -the formula is very similar to that found in the typikon οf the Heliou-Bomon Monastery- their participation in the ascetic life would be restricted to their confession to the spiritual father. The noble nuns would sing hymns and pray alone. They were to have separate cells and would be served by two maids, free or unfree (MM 5:366.1-2). A noble lady would be allowed οnly one maid (336.27-35). Also significant is the fact that Byzantine monks possessed and could bequeath their οwn belongings.

Aggravating this privatization of Byzantine monasticism was the absence οf institutional links among communities. Byzantium did not have monastic orders, albeit the rules of a famous foundation like the Studios Monastery in Constantinople might serve as models for new foundations. Although monastic republics, such as that οn Athos, existed, they, too, were splintered rather than unified -the power of the Athonite protos, nominally the supreme power in the coalition, remained restricted. Indeed, hegoumenoi οf the larger Athonite monasteries enjoyed more real respect and power than the protos.

Monastic individualism was epitomized by the activity and work of Symeon the Theologian, a monk and hegoumenos in Constantinople at the beginning οf the eleventh century. Symeon was burn in Paphlagonia to a well-to-do family; as a boy he was sent to the capital, where his uncle was a courtier of Emperor Basil II. If Symeon's disciple and hagiographer Niketas Stephatos is to be believed, the uncle was able to have him promoted to the senate at the age of fourteen. The young senator soon fell under the spell of Symeon Eulabes, a monk of the Studios, who became his spiritual father and teacher. After six years of imperial service, Symeon left the world and entered monastic life at the Studios. Βut the neophyte did not find peace there; the brethren of the Studios disapproved of his all too pious behavior. He moved to the Monastery of St. Mamas, where he was appointed hegoumenos. Symeon demanded unconditional obedience. Some indication of his severity is provided by an anecdote: Symeon's favorite disciple, Arsenios, was unfortunate enough to be caught casting a disapproving glance at the fried pigeons that had been prepared for an influential guest of the hegοumenοs. Ιn indignation, Symeon pushed one of the birds at Arsenios. As disobedience was a greater sin than the eating of flesh, Arsenios, his eyes full of tears, began to chew. Before he had swallowed the first bite, however, the hegoumenos cried, "Stop, and spit it out! You are a glutton; all these pigeons are not enough to satiate yοu!" Symeon's stringent rule finally instigated a riot in the monastery. While Symeon was delivering a sermon, suddenly about thirty monks tore off their clothing and started shouting menacingly at the hegoumenos; thereafter, they broke through the bars of the gate and fled to the patriarch, who, however, sided with Symeon. He would have banished the rebels, had not Symeon asked forgiveness for them. Symeon also came into conflict with the high-ranking clergy, led by Stephan of Nikomedia, over the veneration οf the late Symeon Eulabes, in whose honor Symeon had established a feast day at St. Mamas's. Stephan achieved his ends: Symeon Eulabes' cult was abolished, his icons destroyed, and Symeon the Theologian exiled to a small town near Chrysopolis. Though acquitted with the help of the nobility of the capital, Symeon did not return to Constantinople, but rather founded a small community at the site of the ruined eukterion (chapel) of St.Marina. That the monks were not regarded as a welcome addition to the rural society in which they found themselves is indicated by another detail from his vita: the local peasants met Symeon with considerable hostility; they threw stones at him, swore at him, and tried to intimidate him and his monks. They called Symeon a hypocrite and a deceiver; a certain Damianos even struck him. Symeon died at St. Marina probably, in 1022.

Symeon's teaching was consistently individualistic. Vot good deeds, charity, church services, or sacraments could automatically assure salvation. The only effective means was ultimate obedience or self-abasement before Almighty God, the internal enthusiasm that results in seeing the divine light. For Symeon, the believer stood alone before God in the universe, before the emperor in society, and before the spiritual father in the monastery. Ιn fact, there is a sense in Symeon's work that communal or brotherly concerns were distracting, as is apparent from his hymns, in which he wrote, "Hοw senseless to save everyone, if you yourself find nο salvation! Hοw senseless to free your fellow man from the jaws of wild beasts, if you then fall victim to them! Hοw senseless to pull a person from a well, only to fall into it yourself!"(41) Such allusions reflect something οf Symeon's attitudes toward his fellows. But he was even more explicit about family and friends -such relations he regarded as illusory and deceiving.(42) This is a clear expression οf an ideal isolation. Symeon's search for individual salvation may be seen as a reaction against tenth-century institutionalization and order. It was quite natural that he tried to substitute the emotional and spiritual exhilaration of self-discipline for the cold organization of the Byzantine church. It was just as natural for the ecclesiastical establishment to oppose this form of individualism, whereby people related directly to God. The hierarchy attacked Symeon exactly where his theology was most personalized, in the "heretical" veneration of his friend and monastic master, Symeon Eulabes.

This monastic tendency toward individualism was evidently accompanied by a breakdown of discipline. Eustathios of Thessaloniki censured monks who succumbed to secular temptations, accusing them of sacrificing their hair and nothing else. Except for their tonsure, he insisted, they remained laymen-trading, breeding cattle, and toiling in vineyards. The hegoumenos lectured his monks οn good husbandry rather than οn divine theology. Monks were illiterate and hypocritical; they mingled with the mob, swore in the marketplace, and slept with women. Instead, of veiling their faces to escape daily affairs as in the past, monks leered at anything that might be considerecl obscene (exs. 11-12).(43) Ιn keeping with this characterization was Psellos's description of a monk he knew. This man, by name Elias, besides being a glutton, was a cοnnoisseur of Constantinople's bawdyhouses. At the same time Elias was educated, well traveled, and philosophically inclined. According to Psellos, he combined service to the Muses -scholarly interests- with the worship of the Charites, i.e., appreciation for the fine arts. He was a monk of the "new fashion."(44)

The changing perception of the holy man also reflected the progressive privatization of society in the empire. Hοly hermits, who through their denial of the materiaJ world obtained spiritual illumination, traditionally were of considerable ideological and political importance in Byzantium. As these individuals were free from vested interests and were as well divinely inspired, their opinions and prophesies were taken very seriously by the ruling elite, who sought their favor and their company.(45) Before Alexios Comnenus ascended the throne, he took the monk Ιοannikios with him οn his campaigns, not only for spiritual consolation, but also for important military assignments (An. C. 1:31.2-11). The evolution of the image of the "fool fοr Christ's sake," from St. Symeon of the fifth century to St. Andrew, whose vita was written by a certain Nikephoros in the tenth century, manifests the institutionalization οf the holy man within Byzantine society. As J. Grosdidier de Matons suggests, Andrew's "madness" was less aggressive than that of his ancient paragon; he was, for example, opposed to the cruelty of the Constantinopolitan mob. Andrew was rather a moralist and a prophet than an actual salos, or fool. Whereas Symeon was an "asocial being," Andrew avoided scandalizing the public and especially the church. Moreover, in order to mitigate the harsh impression οf Andrew's strange behavior, appearance, and dress, the hagiographer Nikephoros introduced a second holy figure, Andrew's disciple Epiphanios, a handsome youth of noble origins who had never disrupted his ties with the establishment but who nonetheless was highly rewarded for his piety.(46)

By the twelfth century, the attitude of Byzantine society toward the holy man had changed once again. It was sharply differentiated: while intellectuals and courtiers rejected the veneration of the saloi dirty hermits in iron chains -their popularity in the streets and marketplaces grew.(47) Ιn a letter addressed to a certain sausage maker in Philippopolis, Tzetzes complained that any disgusting and thrice-accursed wretch (like his addressee) could be honored in Constantinople as a saint above the apostles and the martyrs. It sufficed to hang bells from one's penis, fetter one's feet with chains; οr hang ropes around one's neck. Society women adorned their private chapels not with icons of saints, but with leg irons of these damned villains (Tzetzes, Ep. 151.9-152.5). While evidently popular with many, the holy man was distrusted by intellectuals. Eustathios of Thessaloniki's vita of St. Philotheos appears to be entirely at variance with the ideal created by Symeon the Theologian. While Eustathios admitted that the solitary life, in which "every man cares only about himself" was one way to salvation, such "escape from the market-place" was not the οnly or even the most honorable road to everlasting life. Eustathios believed that "οur life is an arena in which God is the umpire [agonothetes]" and that those who struggled in solitude were observed only by "the all-seeing emperor God." Vοn-ascetics had to fight "the enemy in front of thousands of eyes." Therefore, a righteous man "should not feel shame before the hermit; Ι think," wrote Eustathios, "even that he surpasses him in his deeds." For the hermit ran "οn the even ground of the stadium where nο hurdle is erected," while one who struggled "in the streets of the world" had to contend with caltrops and stumbling blocks; thus his victory was an even greater adornment. Although certainly the sun is beautiful while it is under the earth where nο one can see it, how much more beautiful is it when it rises and makes things splendid? (Eust. Opusc. 148.37-87). Eustathios denied the efficacy of asceticism even more directly when he explained that Philotheos did not deplete his flesh or emaciate himself for the sake of a holy appearance. Rather, "the earth and the wealth produced by the earth and by other means of life sanctified by God made him rich in everything that is blessed οn earth. So he would take of the excessive load of life and give it to the poor, and in so doing, he prepared himself for the divine and righteous [a play οn words: theian and eutheian] path" (147.76-89). Nicholas of Methone, the pious author of the twelfth-century vita of St. Meletios of Myoupolis, showed an equal skepticism of (false) asceticism. Twο monks, Stephen and Theodosios, wrote the hagiographer, were seduced by the desire for human glory and assumed a mock ascetic life. When Stephen was brought before the emperor, he tried to attack the true saint Meletios. Using as his weapon "the poverty of spirit," he presented himself as a simple hermit, illiterate and unaware οf sophisticated monastic doctrine.(48) The literati not only mocked the fanatic and debunked his pretensions, they also tended to disdain hagiography as a literary genre. Twelfth-century hagiographic writing is remarkably meager, while derisory commentary is surprisingly rich.

The tendency reflected in the loosening of strictures οn monastic life may have affected the secular church as well. Church decoration shows evidence of secular influence, though perhaps not to the degree found in the Iconoclast period, when scenes of hunting and horse racing were said to be depicted in place of holy images in the sanctuaries of the capital city. The inlaid stone floor (opus sectile) of the main church (katholikon) of the Pantokrator Monastery, dating to the first half of the twelfth century, was elaborated with specifically secular scenes including the four seasons, signs of the zodiac, and the hunt.(49) Secular images are also found in the provinces. Ιn addition to the flora and fauna traditionally used in architectural ornament, reused pagan sculpture as well as the zodiac and mythological beasts appear, for instance, among the lοw relief plaques οn the façade of the Little Metropolis in Athens.(50) Further, in the twelfth century complaints about the neglect of Christian ritual seem to have become more frequent. A metropolitan of Athens visiting Thessaloniki stated with astonishment that the public temples of the city stood empty.(51) As mentioned above, Zonaras was indignant at the transformation of the anniversaries of holy martyrs into indecent feasts. These complaints of impieties and weaknesses in the church and monastery smack of secularism. But perhaps they should rather be read as the penetration of religious institutions by habits of daily life. The forms of spirituality were popularized.

Neglect of the established church appears to have been just one result of a new self-concern. Another was the development of private devotional patterns. Pietism was reflected in the increasing popularity of relics. Christopher of Mytilene's description of a relic collector indicates not only how avidly holy items were sought, but also in what disdain the practice was held by the well educated: he censured the foolishness of the monk Andrew, who was consumed with a passion for relics. Andrew had managed to collect ten hands of the martyr Prokopios, fifteen jaws of St. Theodora, eight legs of St. Nestor, four heads of St. George, five breasts of St. Barbara, twelve forearms of St. Demetrios, and twenty hips οf St. Panteleimon. Christopher remarked οn the monk's ardent gullibility, which led him to transform a hermit into a hydra, a martyred virgin into a bitch with innumerable nipples, and a holy warrior into an octopus. Christopher went οn sarcastically to offer Andrew further relics for his collection -Enoch's thumb, Elias the Tishbite's buttocks, and a piece of Gabriel's wing- in the pious hope of being counted among Andrew's friends and benefactors (Chr. Mytil. nο. 114). While this image of a monk obsessed with relics may lack psychological depth, such bitter wit and sarcasm οn the part of the observer is rare in Byzantine literature. The pοpular veneration of relics also affected the highest levels of society. Manuel Ι met the stone of Christ's unction at the Boukoleon harbor of the Great Palace when it was brought from Ephesus to Constantinople and carried it οn his οwn shoulders to the Chapel of the Virgin of Pharos. This was less a penance than an identification with Joseph of Arimathea, at least according to an inscription reportedly οn the slab: «Our lord, Emperor Manuel reenacts the resolve of the Disciple as he bears οn his shoulders that stone upοn which the Lord's body was placed and prepared for burial in a winding sheet. He lifts it up announcing in advance his οwn burial, that in death he may be buried together with the Crucified One and may arise together with our buried Lord. . . .(52)»

This passage also indicates that relics were believed to endow proximity to the Godhead.

Images associated with relics also proliferated. Icons of the Mandylion, miraculous images of the Virgin, and other similar objects of personal devotion multiplied.(53) The introduction of altar cloths with full-length images of the dead Christ (epitaphia) -recently connected with the Turin Shroud- as been ascribed to the late eleventh century.(54) Even within the church, the icon generally became increasingly accessible and immediate. Images of veneration (proskynetaria), though known already in monuments of the late ninth and early tenth centuries, were given greater prominence in the church's decorative scheme, emphasizing the intercessory capacity of the Virgin and of popular saints.(55) Processional icons, too, such as the paired twelfth-century panels from the Enkleistra of Neophytos and Lagoudera in Cyprus, became more cοmmon. Relics and images are characteristically associated with popular spirituality.(56)

Religious iconography also displayed what might be called pοpular features during this period. Christological and Mariological scenes frorn the annual cycle of church feasts, as well as liturgical images, became more elaborate. For instance, from the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, apocryphal subplots appeared in images more regularly. The story of Jephonias the Jew, for example, who had his hands cut off by an angel after attempting to upset Mary's bier, was introduced in an image of the Death of the Virgin (Koimesis); the disgraced personification of Synagogue was shown being pushed away from the cross of the Crucifixion by one angel while another brings forward Ekklesia bearing a chalice to catch Christ's blood.(57) Ιn the sanctuary, on the wall of the apse, holy bishops were represented moving toward the eucharistic elements in the center. The host was rendered as the infant Christ prepared for sacrifice.(58) This new interest in storytelling, this new concern with didactic elaboration, reflected a taste for literalism that bespeaks popularization.

Style in both manuscript illumination and monumental art also changed remarkably in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The vοluptuously modeled, pastel-colored figures set in illusionistic space of the Paris Psalter and Leo Bible and the majestic naturalism of the apsidal Virgin of St. Sophia in Constantinople cannot be said to be typical of late-ninth-and tenth-century art, but they indicate what court artists might achieve.(59 )Ιn contrast, images οf the eleventh century are commonly populated with severe figures, unaccompanied by muses and personifications or elaborate stage props. The sumptuous illumination of the Gospel lectionary, Dionysiou 587, ascribed to the mid-eleventh century, is typical of the painting style of this period.(60) Οn fol. 116r is an elaborately framed image of St. Symeon the Stylite with his hands raised in a schematic gesture of prayer. He is abbreviated as a bust atop his handsome Corinthian column. Not only does Symeon not have a body, but his symmetrically arranged male and female attendants seem equally to lack physical substance despite the fact that they are shown full-figure. They stand as if weightless οn symbolic steps leading upward to the holy man. This appearance of insubstantiality is not the result of the artist's inability to model, as the subtle modeling of the figures' flesh proves. Rather, the painter's concern was with the unambiguous expression of the relation between Symeon and his three supplicants -the one οn either side of his column and the viewer before him. Indeed, the viewer is dramatically confronted by the figures; the gold ground and the single ground line of the frame eliminate recession into separate pictorial space. This more abstract mode has been characterized as "ascetic."(61 )However, from the eleventh century οn, there is an increased emphasis οn vibrant, jewellike color as well as οn gold. Moreover, in manuscript illumination and in monumental art elaborate, brilliant ornament became abundant. A11 this belies the hypothesis that a new ascetic atmosphere pervaded the artists' ateliers οf the empire. Rather, this change of style from classicizing illusionism to opulent abstraction might possibly be interpreted as a shift to a more popular, less sophisticated visual mode of expression. It is commonly assumed that illusionism -the artistic attempt to recreate οn a two-dimensional plane the three dimensions of our visual perception by means of artificial devices such as perspective or shading- is easily understood because of its familiarity. But illusionism depends οn many space-creating accessories, such as landscape setting, architectural props, and unnecessary figures that actually divert the viewer's attention from the principal suobject. The difficulty of identifying scenes in the villas of Pompeii and the ease of recognizing images in a Byzantine church is due at least in part to the relative simplicity with which the idea was conveyed in the latter. The abstraction of the eleventh century was in fact the clarification of the stage space as well as of the figures that occupy it. The subject became increasingly accessible; moreover, the work was elaborated with intricate, highly colored ornamentation, the appeal of which is universal. All this provides a parallel to the introduction of vernacular elements in poetry.



The crystallization of the nuclear family that had taken place by the ninth century (see Chapter 1) drastically changed the social role of women. Still during the Iconoclast dispute women were active in public affairs, participating fully in the struggle over the veneration of icons. lt was not fortuitous that the effort to restore images was furthered by two women, the empresses Eirene and Theodora. The vita of Anthony the Younger preserves a precious detail that demonstrates that women's activity was not limited to religious disputes: when the Arab fleet, in about 825, attacked Attaleia, the governor of the city summoned to the walls not οnly men, but also young women dressed in male clothing.(62) Social development in the tenth century, however, led to women's confinement within the narrow circle of the family; the change in the hagiographic image of the woman reflected these social shifts. As E. Patlagean has shown, the type οf holy woman who, for the sake οf salvation, donned masculine garb and broke the rules governing female behavior disappeared by the ninth century. This variety of holiness was replaced by the image of the ideal spouse, like Maria the Younger or Thomais of Lesbos, who patiently and piously endured the cruelty, jealousy, or indifference of an unworthy husband.(63)

The traditional picture οf the Byzantine patriarchal, nuclear familv was drawn by Kekaumenos: the family was a world unto itself, surrounded by an invisible wall to separate it from outsiders. Anyone who was not a close relation, even a friend, once within the family circle might seduce the women, overhear household secrets, and generally disrupt familial order. A good wife, he continued, was half of life, the promise of good fortune. The author enjoined spouses to be faithful, condemning even the second marriage of a widower. Child rearing was also taken very seriously. Kekaumenos expected children to regard the patriarch of the family with awe and respect, though this regard was to be inspired by benevolent guidance rather than by birch rods. Daughters, of course, were to be concealed from the eyes of unrelated men.(64) This confinement of women, wives as well as daughters, was also alluded to in other contexts. For instance, in describing an earthquake of 1063, Attaleiates remarked that women, who normally kept themselves to the interior parts of the house reserved especially fοr them, forgot all shame and ran outdoors when the tremors began (Attal. 88.13-15). Anna Comnena also indicated that women venturing out of doors carefully veiled their faces (An. C.1: 78.29).

A comparison of Byzantine laws οn divorce with those of Western Rome again indicates the importance of the nuclear family in the East. Ιn Rome divorce in accordance with the wish of either party was still allowed in the ninth century.(65) Ιn Byzantium, the ancient practice of free divorce had been abolished by the eighth century. The independence of the property of the spouses, acknowledged in the Justinianic code, gave way to the notion of familial property, formed of the dowry and the pre-nuptial gift, as an indivisible whole.(66 )Only after the husband's death was property divided. It had to be shared equally by the wife and the children. The concept of primogeniture was unknown. The importance of the nuclear family is further evident in donors' panels. From imperial dedicatory portraits, such as those of Constantine X Doukas, his wife Eudokia, and one of their sons in the Barberini Psalter, to images of lοcal notables like the magistros Nikephoros Kasnitzes, his wife, and son in the Church of St. Nicholas Kasnitzes in Kastoria in northern Greece, the parents and, most commonly, one or two children are carefully depicted.(67)

While the family remained important in Byzantium throughout the Middle Ages,(68) the traditional family structure seems to have been modified in the late eleventh and twelfth centuries. The narrow limits of the nuclear family were widened to include blood relations. This shift in domestic structure from the nuclear family to the extended family may be detected in the actions and attitudes of the ruling dynasty. As mentioned above, in the seventh century uncles and cousins were regarded by the emperor as his rivals and potential enemies. Their mutilation and blinding became almost obligatory. Some vestiges οf these attitudes remained later, for instance, in the words of John Doukas, who recommended that Emperor Nikephoros IΙI take the Georgian princess Maria as his wife because, as an alien, she had no relations to bother the basileus (An. C. 1:107.25-26). Ιn contrast, Nikephoros's successor, Alexios Ι, was guided by opposite principles, regarding his lineage and kinship relations as the main support of his throne.

Reflecting this loosening of traditional internal family structures was the again-increased prominence of women. While the family remained patriarchal, women began playing a more visible role, at least among the elite.(69) A comparison of late-eleventh -and twelfth-century aristocratic ladies with their predecessors manifests the trend in Comnenian society. Empress Zoe, though historically significant (along with her sister, Theodora) as the last in the line of the Macedonian dynasty, was politically a pathetic figure, more concerned with unguents, ointments, and the marriage bed than with the affairs of state (Ex. 13). Ζoe's female contemporaries, as described by the chroniclers, also remained figures of the gynaeceum, not of the larger society. By contrast, from the late eleventh century οn, there appeared in the palace a series of energetic, educated, politically astute women. Anna Dalassena was officially recognized as co-ruler with her son, Emperor Alexios Ι. Again, Eirene Doukaina, Alexios Ι's wife, not only followed her husband in his militarv expeditions, but also overtly intrigued against her son, John II (Ex. 14). Anna Comnena, Alexios Ι's daughter, was a writer, patron of the arts, and center of a political and literary circle opposed to her nephew Manuel Ι. The sebastokratorissa Eirene, the widow of Andronikos, the second son of John II, sponsored many scholars and writers. Like Anna Comnena, she stood in opposition to her brother-in-law Manuel Ι. On her behalf Prodromos οr Pseudo-Prodromos wrote the long poem (which interestingly includes numerous vernacular expressions) addressed to Manuel Ι (Ex. 15). Ιn this work Eirene was portrayed audaciously accusing the emperor of unjustly persecuting her. Maria Comnena, Manuel Ι's daughter, together with her husband, the caesar John (Renier of Montferrat) led the aristocrats' plot of 1181, which ended in an armed skirmish οn the streets of Constantinople. At the end οf the twelfth century, Euphrosyne, Alexios III Angelos's wife, governed state affairs; everybody in search of imperial favor turned to her. Although she was banished from the capital after being accused of infidelity, she later returned to vindicate herself and to reacquire her former position.

A new concern with lineage (see below) and the modified status of women may have helped undermine the nuclear family; certainly a weakening of that institution in the twelfth century was obvious in the openness with which adultery was committed. Manuel Ι, who lived with his οwn niece Theodora, set an example. His liaison with Theodora was so well established that his wife, Empress Bertha of Sulzbach (called Eirene in Byzantine sources), was completely disregarded at court; her power was restricted to charitable deeds and to the education of her daughter. Though Theodora was married to the sebastos Nikephoros Chalouphes, her child by Manuel, named Alexios, was recognized as the emperor's son and indeed received a title, sebastokrator, appropriate to that station. Manuel's cousin Andronikos Ι gave his natural daughter Eirene in marriage to Alexios, and it was even assumed for some time that Alexios would succeed Andronikos to the throne. The amorous relations of Andronikos were also well known. The affairs of Manuel Ι and of Andronikos were not simple infidelities. While their legal marriages had been arranged according to political, economic, or genealogical considerations, their mistresses were determined only by passion. Indeed, lovers were also often close relations. This public flouting of both moral codes and canon strictures οn incest reveals the social tendencies of the era even more than do the acts themselves.


With the shift in the structure οf society toward the extended family, lineage became increasingly important in determining an individual's status and power. The use of patronymics was an external sign of this new concern. Although patronymics occasionally appear in the sources from the late ninth century, they become cοmmοnplace only after 1000. Patronymics did not consistently indicate patrilinear sequence. A man could assume his mother's name or that of his mother's mother, as well as that of his father. The widespread adoption of patronymics, in any case, corresponds with the emergent ties between the individual and the extended family. The glories and honors of one generation began to be assumed by another.

Similarly, interest in genealogy grew. The status of the individual became increasingly tied to the historic position of his forebears. Constantine Manasses' eulogy of Nikephoros Comnenus, grandson of the caesar Nikephoros Bryennios, a veritable apotheosis of nobility, included an elaborate genealogy.(70) The writer was not content simply to allude to the aristocratic ancestry of the deceased, but rather insisted that his hero was descended from kings. These kings were not the sons of impious gods like the wretched Pelops or Kekrops, but in fact scions οf two noble families, the Comneni and the Doukai, who, in mixing their heroic blood, created a house renowned for its intelligence, power, and martial capacity. This fetish for lineage is rejected by Michael Italikos, who mocked his contemporaries' preoccopation with genealogical investigations (Mich. Ital. 148.18-24), and by Euthymios Tornikes, who censured thοse whose conceit was based solely οn high birth.(71) While the military aristocracy was proud οf its fabricated genealogies, the civil nobility used patronymics to extol its οwn moral virtues, names such as Eugenianoi ("of noble birth") and Eirenikoi ("peace lovers").

The concern with lineage can also be seen in the monuments. After the year 1028 the Church of the Holy Apostles -the great Constantiniarι martyrium rebuilt by Justinian in the sixth century and refurbished by Basil Ι in the late ninth century-was nο longer used by Byzantine emperors as their final, communal resting place;(72) rather, private dynastic chapels became increasingly popular. Perhaps the best documented of these family mausolea is the Heroön, a funerary church dedicated appropriately to the military archangel St. Michael and constructed between the sanctuaries of the Pantokrator and the Eleousa as part of the large monastery founded by John II Comnenus and his wife Eirene sometime after 1118.(73) Ιn this chapel commemorative prayers were said not only for the immediate family, but also for distant relatives and trusted servitors. The Pantokrator was the most prominent of the twelfth-century family burial chapels, but the practice of adding subsidiary space for funerary commemorations had become increasingly common in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.(74) This architectural expression of the importance of self and family might also reflect an increasing concern with obtaining a place in paradise, a concern often associated with worldly insecurity.


The new emphasis οn lineage and extended family ties was due to the emergence of the military aristocracy as the ruling elite of Byzantium. Ιn the less concrete sphere of ideology the new power of the aristocracy was even more influential. The concept of nobility and the attributes of noble character were greatly elevated. At the same time, there was a modification of the imperial ideal.

By contrasting the attitudes of writers from the earlier and later parts of the period under consideration, one can trace the evolution of nobility in Byzantium. The traditional neglect of the aristocracy characterizing Agapetos and the Strategikon of Maurikios(75) continued into the eleventh century. For instance, Kekaumenos considered nobility in terms of moral excellence rather than as a quality of blood or of family origins. He tended to contrast the common fellow not to an aristocrat, but rather to a well-to-do, high-ranking official. But there were signs of change at the same time. Kekaumenos's contemporary Psellos drew a more complex picture of the aristocrat. Tο be sure, Psellos did not consider birth as the primary determinant in human fate and behavior. He approved of Constantine ΙX's appointing high functionaries without reference to family. Moreover, he questioned the fairness of replenishing the senate only with those of noble birth. He asked whether only those should be admitted to the palace who were of famous stock but remarkable only for their brainlessness and arrogance. Psellos consistently identified nobility with virtue and talent, though he implicitly recognized the value of good breeding.(76) He was indignant that people of inferior backgrounds could worm their way into power and censured the excessive vertical mobility of his society. He stressed that the nobility in the flourishing states of antiquity were distinguished from men whose origins were obscure. "Ιn our state," he complained, "this excellent practice has been contemptuously abandoned, and nobility counts for nothing." Ιn Βyzantium, he continued, many administrators were ex-slaves bought from barbarians; the high offices of state were entrusted not to men of the stamp of Perikles or Themistokles, but to worthless rascals like Spartacus (Ps. Chron. 2:35, nο. 134.14-17). Apparently Psellos felt an aristocratic presence was needed in society: he was confused by the social openness of Byzantium. While Psellos was somewhat ambiguous in his appreciation of the nobility, for his contemporary Attaleiates aristocratic birth was of unquestionable value. Ιn contrast to Psellos, Attaleiates assumed that noble ancestry implied virtue, at least of a military nature:(77) he feigned a distinguished genealogy for his hero, Nikephoros Botaneiates, relating him not only to the Phokas family of the tenth century, but even to the Roman Fabii, who were noble both in blood and in action. For all his praise of nobility, it should be noted that Attaleiates was himself of simple origin and of civil occupation; he was not writing to aggrandize his οwn class, but rather reflected in his work a significant ideological shift.

Psellos's and, more notably, Attaleiates's writings show the new respect for the hereditary aristocracy that was attendant οn the shift to the extended family. Literature also documents the development of a martial ideal for the nobility that must be related οn one hand to the concern regarding lineage and οn the other hand to the "feudalizing" tendencies of the society. Characteristically, the noble general became the hero of historical narrative. Ιn Attaleiates, the military hero Nikephnros Botaneiates became the emperor; military deeds were only the means by which he obtained the "imperial summit." Ιn Skylitzes, Katakalon Kekaumenos, a general without pretensions to the throne, was the hero, overshadowing even imperial figures. The historian related in detail Κekaumenos's successful ruse in the defense of Messina and his victories over the Russians and against Aplesphares (Abu-l-Uswar). When the Byzantine commanders refused to accept Katakalon's astute advice they were defeated by the Turks and Pechenegs. He figured prominently in the mutiny against Michael VI; had he been less modest, according to Skylitzes, Katakalon would have been enthroned instead of Isaac Comnenus. Skylitzes' chronicle ends with two episodes of apparently equal significance fοr the author: Katakalon Kekaumenos's promotion to the position of kouropalates οn August 31, 1057, and Isaac Comnenus's coronation οn the following day.(78)

A concern with the military aristocracy is even more evident in the Memoirs of Nikephoros Bryennios. Ιn his presentation, history develops not as a result οf actions of emperors in relation to their adversaries and functionaries, but rather as the outcome of aristocratic rivalries among the great families -the Doukai, Comneni, and Bryennioi. Bryennios's nobles were primarily military figures; their activities were consistently described as "valiant," "courageous," and "glorious." They were esteemed even by their adversaries: Alexios Comnenus, for instance, admired the strength and heigtιt of the usurper Nikephoros Bryennios (the author's grandfather or father), and Comnenus's victory was the greater for being wοn from a strong, brave general who possessed the soul of a hero (Bryen. 281.10-14). Further, Bryennios wrote respectfully of a number of noblemen, including Argyros ("noble and wealthy"), George Palaeologus ("valiant"), Alexios Charon ("reasonable, strong, and courageous"), and John Tarchaneiotes ("an experienced warrior").(79) Ιn contrast, eunuchs and servitors were despised: Nikephoritzes was "wretched"; John Protovestiarios was "swaggering and cowardly." The work of Nikephoros Bryennios is probably the most aristocratically biased Byzantine history of this period; it presented the noble warrior in a fully generalized and idealized form. The caesar Bryennios, himself a great seigneur, was, in all, the ideologue of the Comnenian military aristocracy.

Theodore Prodromos, one of the most eminent Byzantine writers, belonged to a different social milieu. Though his family was not entirely destitute, his life, so he continually wrote, was wretched and dismal by comparison with those of his distinguished acquaintances. He perpetually moaned about his poverty, but his complaints should probably not be taken at face value. Prodromos owned a house in Constantinople and a suburban property and lands, including a vineyard. He may also have had servants or slaves. Thus, while not an aristocrat Prodrοmos had a comfortable social position as a small property owner; petty landowners, in fact, provided the main constituency for the Comnenian dynasty. Prodromos should have had a career in the army, as typical for a man of his social status, but ill health forced him to take up scholarship and writing (Hist. Ged. nο. 38.11-40). Nevertheless, he envied the soldiers of John II for fighting their emperor's battles while he could only stay at home and pray for victory (nο. 17.5-10). But Prodromos put his literary talents at the disposal of the Comneni, producing speeches and poems for special occasions such as births, marriages, funerals, and military victories; the heros of these pieces were not only emperors (although Prodromos delivered frequent encomiums of John II) but also, noble warriors and noble ladies, primarily of the Comnenian clan. The "aristocratic panegyric" became a particularly popular genre from the end of the eleventh century-Prodromos had been preceded by Vicholas Kallikles as semi-official encomiast of the dynasty. It is often assumed that such rhetoric was vain and idle, but in fact it fulfilled an impourtant social task. Along with such works as Bryennios's Memoirs it helped introduce a new concept of aristocratic lineage and behavior. Indeed, Prodromos was fascinated by everything connected with warfare. He glorified warriors far more eloquently than was required by mere convention: the two sons of Nikephoros Bryennios were both excellent riders, hunters, and soldiers; Stephen Kontostephanos was famous for his military skill; Alexios Phorbenos was a tall and mighty soldier; Alexios Kontostephanos had an excellent sword; Manuel Anemas was a wise general, the "great tower of the Rhomaioi." Then there was the family of the sebastokrator Andronikos, brother οf Manuel Ι: Andronikos himself was a great hero and general, an excellent rider, a noble hunter, a man with magnificent armor and splendid horses. Ιn a poem οn the birth of Andronikos's son Alexios, Prodromos expatiated opοn the ideal education of a young aristocrat: he should become a keen ball player, a fine hunter, and a first-class marksman. He had to be trained for battle so that he would acquire the skill and strength to slay barbarians (no. 44.74-81, 171-78).

Prodromos did not admire warlikeness alone; he also had a verv high regard for wealth. He dreamed of having numerous servants to care for his horses, to serve him food and wine, to dress him in silk garments. He reveled in describing the inexhaustible riches of the infant Alexios (no. 44.15-55): his clothes were stitched in gοldl and decorated with emeralds and precious stones, he had great estates yielding a comfortable income, owned high-roofed houses, a throng of servants, a crowd οf grooms. Prodromos held noble birth, too, in the highest esteem. Again, his attitude was well illustrated in his poem οn the birth of Alexios. Any family rejoices at the birth of a child, but how much greater is the celebration when the child is born to a noble family! So speaks Prodromos at the start of the poem; he concludes in the same vein, with the hope that Alexios may grow up to find a wife worthy of his noble line. The self-confidence of a member of the imperial family was perhaps best represented in the poem, ascribed to Prodromos, in the form of a plea from exile addressed to Manuel Ι by the sebastokratorissa Eirene, widow of the sebastokrator Andronikos (Ex. 15).(80) Prodromos provided this noble- woman, in exile for plotting against her brother-in-law, a spirit and independence rarely matched in medieval literature.

Like Prodromos, John Zonaras was not himself a noble but took nοbility very seriously. His comprehensive chronicle begins wilh the creation of the world and continues through the same period treated by Bryennios's Memoirs and a little beyond, to Alexios Ι's reign. By sifting Zonaras's original contributions out from the bulk of his historiographic borrowings, one can reconstruct a consistent political point of view for the chronicler. Zonaras was restrained in his appreciation of the military aristocracy but idealized the civil nobility. He accused Basil II οf too little esteeming clever people distinguished by their good birth and education (Ζοn. 3:561.11-14). His opinion concerning Alexios Ι was even more critical: "The emperor did not sufficiently respect or care for the members of the senate; rather he attempted to humiliate them" (3: 766.17-19). Zonaras was a mouthpiece for the higher echelons of the state bureaucracy;(81) his attitude toward the Comnenian dynasty was consequently critical, although he, like Bryennios, unreservedly accepted the importance of noble blood and treated the humble citizenry with aristocratic disdain. He was also an outspoken defender of wealthy members of the society concerned with protecting their property. He explained the eleventh canon of the Council of Chalcedon accordingly, emphasizing that rich and poor must be judged alike in court; a poor man's debt must be paid in accordance with the Ιaw (PG 137.429C). Apparently Zonaras felt that too often a judicial sympathy for poverty cheated the rich out of their rightful returns; he was evidently at odds with the ethical norms of the tenth century.

More generally, it appears that nobility was praised by people from very different social strata -for example, a teacher, Eustathios of Thessaloniki, or a private citizen, Niketas Eugenianos, or an aristocrat, Nikephoros Comnenus. The glorification of the military aspects of aristocratic life was also mirrored in the games played by the ruling elite. Military competitions and tourneys were introduced, partially under Western influence, just at this time. An attempt by Nikephoros Phokas to conduct a military competition at the end of the tenth century created panic in Constantinople (Skyl. 276.94-98). In contrast, Byzantine noblemen and even emperors in the twelfth century readily participated in tourneys with Crusader knights, occasionally even suffering severe wounds.(82) Niketas Choniates offered a description οf a tourney arranged in Antioch after Manuel Ι's solemn entry into the city in 1159 (108f. ). Two detachments were arrayed against each other for "fighting with ironless spears." The Byzantine troop consisted of those imperial relatives especially capable οf "brandishing pikes." Manuel himself entered the lists, grinning a little as usual and grasping his spear. He wore a fashionable cloak pinned at the right shoulder so that his hand remained free, and his "fair-maned horse" (an allusion to Iliad 5.323) was adorned with gold trappings that vied with his noble rider's array. The emperor ordered that every one of his companions be clad as beautifully as possible. Prince Geraldus (Reynald of Chatillon) came to meet him riding a stallion "whiter than snow" and wearing a long chiton split in two from the waist down and a tiara-shaped felt cap embellished with gold. The knights followed, all as mighty as Ares and tremendously tall. Then the contenders in this bloodless fight engaged in battle, "and yοu could see this brassless Ares tumbling οn his neck and shoulders or thrown from his saddle like a ball; one fell οn his belly, another οn his back, and another turned round and fled headlong."Some were pale with fear and tried to cover themselves with their shields, some rejoiced seeing an adversary frightened. They rode merrily whistling at a full gallop, their pennants flapping. "If someone wished to express this pompously, the sight reminded one of Ares' intercourse with Aphrodite or the coming together οf Enyο [the goddess of war] and the Charites -so diversified looked this mixed-up game." Other games, such as polο, that required adroitness, strength, and skill, were also popular.(83) Archery, tοo, and horsemanship became mandatory in the upbringing of a young aristocrat (Hist.Ged. nο. 44.69-81).

Related to the martial interests of the Comneni was a new concern with blood sports.(84) Hunting was always important in Byzantine life, though tenth-century authors were particularly reserved in their appreciation of the chase. Although Basil Ι's physical prowess is often lauded in the life of the emperor ascribed to Constantine VII, discussions of hunting are absent. Ιn this account even Basil's death is blamed οn a gastric disorder, rather than to the freak hunting accident recorded in other sources (Theoph. Cont. 352.1-2; contrast with Ex. 17). Leo the Deacon also suggested that hunting brought nothing but harm to Romanos II (Leo Diac. 30.22-23). One can guess, but not prove, that this hostility was simply an Orthodox reaction to the heretical Iconoclast emperors' love of hunting. By contrast, in the twelfth century the hunt was a frequent and important scene in Byzantine literature; Constantine Manasses and Constantine Pantechnes even wrote treatises exclusively devoted to the subject (Ex. 18).(85) Hunting became a part of the imperial image: Prodromos, for example, regarded the emperor as a perfect hunter, pursuing his adversaries like game.(86) This complemented a new vision of the emperor as the archetypal warrior.


1. Οn Byzantine dress, see Ph. Koukoulès, Vie et civilisation byzantines, vol. 2, part 2 (Athens, 1948), 5-59; vοl. 6 (1957), 267-94; P. G. Houston, Ancient Greek, Roman and Βyzantine Costume and Decoration (London, 1947), 134-61. C. Mango, "Discontinuity in Byzantium," Βyzantium and the Classical Tradition (Birmingham, 1981), 51f., treats changes in upper-class costume in late antiquity but not in medieval Byzantium.

2. Liutprand of Cremona, Die Werke, ed. J.Becker, 3d ed. (Hannover and Leipzig, 1915), 171.

3. Ibn Hauqal, Configuration de la terre, ed. and transl. J.H.Κramers and G.Wiet (Paris and Beirut, 1964), l95.

4. Ben. Tud. 12f.; Odo of Deuil, De Profectione Ludovici VII in Orientem, ed. and transl. V. G. Berry (New York, 1948), 64. For Οdo, Constantinople surpassed all cities in wealth; he described with delight the heaps of gold and silver on the tables of money-changers (74).

5. Commentary οn the Iliad 379.24-25, ed. M. van der Valk, vοl.1 (Leiden, 1971), 598.27-28.

6. Poèmes prodr. nο. 1, 93; nο.2, 35; and esp. nο.1, 59. For a commentary, Koukoulès, Vie et civilisation 6,270f. Longibardos (ca. 1000) still disdained "airy"clothing of linen and silk. N. Festa, "Longibardos," Byz. 6 (1931), 116. Authors of the eleventh to twelfth centuries often mentioned fine linen: Koukoulès, Vie et civilisation, vοl. 2, part 2, 23; vοl. 6, 275f.

7. Perhaps most obviously in the illustrated Skylitzes manuscript in Madrid: S. Cirac Estopaňan, Skyllitzes Matritensis, vοl.1, Reproducciones y miniaturas (Barcelona, 1965), e.g., fols. 12v, 50v, etc. The manuscript has been convincingly ascribed to twelfth-century southern Italy. See N. G. Wilson, "The Madrid Scylitzes,"Scrittura et civiltà 2 (1978), 209-14.

8. Κ. Horna, Analekten zur byzantinischen Literatur (Vienna, 1905), 10.140-41.

9. De profectione Ludovici VII in Orientem, 26.

10. Commentary οn the Iliad 22.9; 216.5, ed. van der Valk, vοl.1,36.11; 328.28-29.

11. N. Thierry, "Le costume épiscopal byzantin du ΙX(e) au XΙII(e) siècle d'après les peintures datées (miniatures, fresques),"REB 24 (1966), 308- 15.

12. Οn the continuity of hairstyles, see Ai. G. Korre, "'Korone'-parampykiaphlokos,"EEBS 41 (1974), 128-35. See Eustathios, Cοmentarii ad Hοmeri Ιliadem 1280.52-60, ed. J. G. Stallbaum, vοl. 4 (Leipzig, 1830), 257.26-37.

13. Koukoulès, Vie et civilisation 4 (Athens, 1951), 344f., 359f.

14. Translation from C. Mango, The Art of the Byzantine Empire (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,1972) 324 15. J.Ivanov, Le costume des anciens Bulgares (Paris, 1930).

16. Nik. Chon. 438.43-45. Οn the imperial ceremonial costume, M. Hendy, Coinage and Mοney in the Byzantine Empire, 1081-1204 (Washington, D.C., 1969), 65-68.

17. C. Mango, "Daily Life in Byzantium," J:ÖB 31/1 (1981), 338-41.

18. Nicholas Ι, patriarch of Constantinople, Letters, ed. R. J. H. Jenkins and L.G. Westerink, (Washington, D.C., 1973), esp. 32.101-3.

19. Κ. Horna, "Die Epigramme des Theodoros Balsamon," Winner Studien 25 (1903), 190, no. 26.

20. P Gautier, "Le Typicon du Christ Sauveur Pantocrator," REB 32 (1974),

91. 1051-52. Οn the Byzantine bath also see G. C. Spyridakis, L'usage des bains à l'epoque byzantine, les origines de Ιa médicine en Grèce (Athens, 1968), 55f.; Κοukoulès, Vie et civilisatiοn 4, 419-67; A. Berger, Das Bad in der byzantinischen Zeit (Munich, 1982), esp. 56f. Tzetzes, a literate man and close to the upper crust of society, was not ashamed to acknowledge that he bathed οnly two or three times a year -cited by N. G. Wilson, Scholars of Byzantium (Baltimore, 1983), 191.

21. Historia et laudes SS. Sabae et Macarii, ed. G. Cozza-Luzi (Rome, 1893), 19.1-11.

22. Ed.V.Vasil'evskij, PPSb 17 (1886), 7.19-24.

23. A.P. Kazhdan, "Skol'ko eli vizantijcy?" Voprosy istorii, 1970, nο. 9, 215-18. Οn Byzantine diet see also J. L. Teall, "The Grain Supply οf the Byzantine Empire 330-1025" DOP 13 (1959), 99.

24. Gautier, "Le Typicon du Pantocrator," 57.466-82.

25. On Symeon Seth, See below.

26. According to the sources of the tenth through the twelfth centuries, the number of chariot races was drastically reduced. As pointed out by C. Mango, at some unspecifiable time chariot racing ceased to be a competitive sport and became an imperial pageant: "Daily Life in Byzantium," 349.

27. See Y.V. Duval, "Des Lupercales de Constantinople aux Lupercales de Rome," Revue des études latines 55 (1977), 222-70.

28. Chr. Mityl. nο. 136. He also describes (nο. 1), the horrible crush of the crowd during St. Thomas's festival.

29. H.G. Beck, Geschichte der Byzantinischen Volksliteratur (Munich, 1971), 27. Also see W.J. Aerts, Anna's Mirror, Attic(istic) or Antiquarian? (Athens, 1976), 5. Οn "stylistics" in Byzantine literature, Ι.Ševčenko, "Levels of Style in Byzantine Literature," JÖΒ 31/1 (1981), 289-312.

30. J. Grosdidier de Matons, Courants archaïsants et populaires dans la langue et littérature (Athens, 1976), 4-6, has pointed out that Byzantine "demotic" literature was addressed to the nobility, in contrast to its use in the West, where vernacular literature was first addressed to the masses. He also notes the "hyperdemotism" of Ptocho-Prodromos, whose language was close to slang, stressing the artificiality of Byzantine vernacular literature in the twelfth century.

31. The earliest examples of this verse form so far identified come from the beginning of the tenth century, if they are in fact contemporary with the events described in them. Ι. Ševčenko, "Poems οn the Death of Leo VI and Constantine VII in the Madrid Manuscript of Skylitzes," DOP 23-24 (1969-70), 222-25. W. Hörandner, Hist. Ged. 128-31 and esp.n. 295, and Tranditionelle und Populäre Züge in der Profandichtung der Komnenenzeit (Athens, 1976), 7f., connects the origin of political verse with popular acclamations and church chants. M.J. Jeffreys, "Byzantine Metrics: Nοn-Literary Strata," JÖB 31/1 (1981), 323-29, also assumes that political verse at a vernacular and oral level was already widespread hefore 900, when it was accepted by intellectual and social elites in Constantinople. Unfortunately, such a suggestion remains hypothetical. J. Κoder, "Der Fünfzehn- silber am kaiserlichen Hof um das Jahr 500," BS 33 (1972), 219, to the contrary, denies that fifteen-syllable verse could develop directly from fοlksong. Οn the evolution of political verse, see V. Tiftixoglu, "Digenis, das 'Sophrosyne'- Gedicht des Meliteniotes und der byzantinische Fünfzehnsilber," ΒΖ 67 67(1974)46-58.

32. M.J. Jeffreys, "The Nature and Origins of the Political Verse," DOP 28 (1974), 166.

33. Jeffreys, "The Nature and Origins," 173-75.

34. John Tzetzes, Historiarum vararum chiliades, ed. Th. Kiessling (Leipzig, 1826), 517.

35. Β. Kurtz, "Unedierte Texte aus der Zeit des Kaisers Johannes Komnenos," BZ 16 (1907), 116.

36. "Déjà la métaphrase avait rendu un des genres religieux les plus pοpulaires, l'hagiographie, plus difficilement accessible aux esprits nοn formés à la culture classique," Grosdidier de Matons, Courants archaïsants, 9.

37. D. Papachryssanthou, "La vie monastique dans la campagne byzantine du VIIIe au ΙXe siècle," Byz. 43 (1973), 158-80; J.P. Sansterre, "Une laure à Rome au IXe siècle,"Byz. 44 (1974), 514-17.

38. Ed. S. Lampros, Neos Hellenοmnemon 3 (1906), 218.20-23

39. Typika, ed. A. Dmitrievskij, vοl. 1 (Kiev, 1895), 749.16-17; 742.31-743.9,

40. Gautier, "Le Typicon du Pantocrator," 61.525-29.

41. Symeon the Theologian, Hymnes, ed. J. Koder (Paris, 1969-73), nοs. 41.173, 49.41-42, 49.55-56.

42. Symeon the Theologian, Chapitres théologiques, gnostiques et pratiques, ed. J. Darrouzès (Paris, 1957), IIΙ.l3; Hymnes, nos. 22.117-21, 56.7-12; Catéchèses, ed. 8. Krivochéine (Paris, 1963-65), nο. 4.284-90.

43. A.P. Kazhdan, "Vizantijskij publicist XII v. Evstafij Solunskij," VV 28 (1968), 67f.

44. J.N. Ljubarskij, Miclιail Psell. Ličnost' i tvorčestvo (Moscow, 1978), 74-79.

45. P. Brown, Society and the Holy in Late Antiquity (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1982), 143-51, 268f.

46. J. Grosdidier de Matons, "Les thèmes d'édification dans la Vie d'Andrée Salos," TM 4 (1970), 304-9

47. P. Magdalino, "The Byzantine Holy Man in the Twelfth Century," The Byzantine Saint (Birmingham, 1981), 51-66.

48. Ed. V. Vasil'evskij, PPSb 17 (1886), 15.32-16.16.

49. P.Schweinfurth, "Der Mosaikfussboden der komnenischen Pantokratorkirche in Istanbul," Journal des Deutschen archäologischen Instituts 69 (1954), 489-500; A.H.S. Megaw, "Notes οn Recent Work of the Byzantine Institute in Istanbul," DOP 17 (1963), 333-64.

50. Laskarina Bouras ascribes the church and its decoration to the period of the episcopate of Michael Choniates, metropolitan of Athens between 1182 and 1205, in part because of his great interest in the classical past.

51. P Wirth, "Das religiose Leben in Thessalonike unter dem Episkopat des Eustathios im Urteil der Zeitgenossen," Ostkirchliche Studien 9 (1960), 293f.

52. C. Mango, "Notes οn Byzantine Monuments," DOP 23-24 (1969-70), 272-75.

53. A. Grabar, La Sainte Face de Laôn: le Mandylion dans l'art orthodoxe (Prague, 1931), esp. 22f.

54. H.Belting, "An Image and Its Function in the Liturgy: The Man of Sorrows in Byzantium," DOP 34-35 (1980-81), 1-16.

55. G. Babić, "La décoration en fresques des clôtures de choeur," Ζbοrnik za Likοvoe Umetnosti 11 (1975), 3-49.

56. E.g., L. Rothkrug, "Popular Religion and Hοly Shrines," Religion and the People, ed. J. Obelkevich (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1979), 20-86.

57. A.W. Epstein, "Frescoes of the Mavriotissa Monastery near Kastoria: Evidence of Millenarianism and Anti-Semitism ir the Wake of the First Crusade," Gesta 21 (1982), 21-29.

58. G. Babić, "Les discussions christologiques et le décοr des églises byzantines au XIIe siècle. Les évêches officiant devant l'Hétimasie et devant l'Amnos," Frühmittelalterliche Studien 2 (1968), 368-86.

59. For a sketch of the general stylistic evolution of Byzantine art during the period of the Macedonian dynasty, see V. Lazarev, Storia della pittura bizantina (Turin, 1967), 124-36. Also see Κ. Weitzmann, Geistige Grundlagen und Wesen der Makedonischen Renaissance (Cologne, 1962), translated as "The Character and Ιntellectual Origins of the Macedonian Renaissance," Studies in Classical and Βyzantine Manuscript Illumination, ed. H. Kessler (Chicago, 1971), 176-223.

60. S.M. Pelekanides et al., The Treasures of Mοunt Athos 1 (Athens, 1980), 434-36.

61. Κ. Weitzmann, "Byzantine Miniature and Icοn Painting in the Eleventh Century " reprinted in his Studies, 271-313.

62. Ed. A. Papadopoulos-Kerameus PPSb 57 (1907), 199.1-4.

63. E. Patlagean, Structures sociales, famille, chretienté à Byzance IVe-XΙe siècle (London, 1981), part 11, 620-23.

64. G. G. Litavrin in Kek. 99-101.

65. Κ. Ritzer, Formen, Riten und religiöses Brauchtum der Eheschliessung in den christlichen Kirchen des ersten Jahrtausends (Münstcr, 1961), 104.

66. A. Guljaev, Predbraćnyj dar v rimskοm prave i v pamjatnikach vizantijskogo zakonodatel'stva (Tartu, 1891), 132, 142f.

67. J. Spatharakis, The Portrait in Byzantine Illuminated Manuscripts (Leiden, 1976), 26-36; S. Pelekanides, Kastoria 1 (Thessaloniki, 1953), pl. 62.

68. Οn the development of the marriage law, see H.Hunger, "Christliches und Nichtchristliches im byzantinischen Eherecht," Österreichisches Archiv für Kirchenrecht 18, Heft 3 (1967), reprinted in his Byzantinische Grundlagenforschung (Lοndon, 1973), part 11; 305-25.

69. A. Laiou, "The Role of Women in Bysantine Society," JÖB 31/ 1 (1981), 242, 251-54.

70. E.Kurtz, "Evstafija Fessalonikijskogo i Konstantina Manassi monodii na konćinu Nikifora Komnina," VV 17 (1910 [1911]), 305-8.

71. J.Darruuzès, "Les disccours d'Euthyme Tornikes," REB 25 (1968), 96.18-28.

72. P Grierson, "The Tombs and Obits of the Byzantine Emperors (337-1042)," DOP 16 (1962), 2lff.

73. Megaw, "Notes οn Recent Work," 335f.; P. Gautier, "L'obituaire du Typikon du Pantokrator," REB 27 (1969), 247.

74. G. Babić, Les chapelles annexes des églises byzantines (Paris, 1969).

75. Das Strategikon des Maurikios, ed. G.T. Dennis (Vienna, 1981), 70.36, required οf the general only piety and justice; aristocratic origins were not mentioned. See G. Ostrogorsky's comment, "Observations οn the Aristocracy in Byzantium" DOP 25 (1971), 4F. Οn Agapetos, P.Henry III, "A Mirror for Justinian: The Ekthesis of Agapetus Diaconus," GRBS 8 (1967), 307f.

76. A.P Kazhdan, "Κ voprosu ο social'nych vozzrenijach Kekavmena," VV 36 (1974), 166; Social'nyj sostav, 30-33.

77. A.P Kazhdan, "Social'nye vozzrenija Michaila Attaliata," ΖRVΙ 17 (1976), 5-14.

78. J. Shepard, "Scylitzes οn Armenia in the 1040's and the Role of Catacalon Cecaumenos," Revue des etudes armeniennes 11 (1975-76), 269-311; A.P Kazhdan, review of Skylitzes' Synopsis historiarum, Istoriko-fιlologičeskij žurnal, 1975, nο. 1, 206- 12.

79. Οn the aristocratic bias of Bryennios, A. Carile, "Hyle historias del cesare Niceforo Briennio," Aevum 43 (1969), 246-48.

80. S.D. Papadimitriu, "Hο Prodromos tou Markianou kodikos," VV 10 (1903), 155-63.

81. F.N. Tinnefeld, Kategorien der Kaiserkritik in der byzantinischen Historiographie (Munich, 1971), 144f.

82. Οn Byzantine "tournaments," Κοukoulès, Vie et civilisation 3 (Athens. 1949), 144-47.

83. Byzantine pοlο is attested to by Κinnamos and Nikephoros Chrysoberges: Koukoulès, Vie et civilisation 3, 139-42. The game was knοwn earlier in Byzantium. John Tzimiskes liked riding exercises involving ball-play. Skyl. 313.37-41 .

84. Koukoulès, Vie et civilisation 5 (Athens, 1952), 387-423, provides a wealth of referenccs, unfortunately not chronologically ordered.

85. L. Sternbach, "Analecta Manassea," Eos 7, nο. 2 (1901), 180-94; E. Kurtz, "Ešče dwa neizdannych proizvedenija Konstantina Manassi," VV 12 (1906), 79-88; E. Miller, "Description d'une chasse à l'once par un écrivain byzantin du XIIe siècle de n. è.,"Annuaire de l'Association pour l'encouragement des études grecques en France 6 (1872), 47-52.

86. Hist. Ged. 95. Οn the hunt in Byzantium in the twelfth century, see Ph. Koukoulès, "Kynegetika ek tes epoches ton Komnenon kai ton Palaiologon," EEBS 9 (1932), 3-33; V. P. Darkevič, Svetskoe iskusstvo Vizantii (Moscow, 1975), 207-11.

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