For an entire millennium, Byzantine hagiography, inspired by the veneration of many saints, exhibited literary dynamism and a capacity to vary its basic forms. The subgenres into which it branched out after its remarkable start in the fourth century underwent alternating phases of development and decline that were intertwined with changes in the political, social and literary spheres. The selection of saintly heroes, an interest in depicting social landscapes, and the modulation of linguistic and stylistic registers captured the voice of homo byzantinus down to the end of the empire in the fifteenth century. The seventeen chapters in this companion form the sequel to those in volume I which dealt with the periods and regions of Byzantine hagiography, and complete the first comprehensive survey ever produced in this field. The book is the work of an international group of experts in the field and is addressed to both a broader public and the scholarly community of Byzantinists, medievalists, historians of religion and theorists of narrative. It highlights the literary dimension and the research potential of a representative number of texts, not only those appreciated by the Byzantines themselves but those which modern readers rank high due to their literary quality or historical relevance.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction, Stephanos Efthymiadis. Part I Genres, Varieties and Forms: Byzantine hagiography and its literary genres. Some critical observations, Martin Hinterberger; Greek passions of the martyrs in Byzantium, Marina Detoraki; Collections of miracles (fifth-fifteenth centuries), Stephanos Efthymiadis; Collections of edifying stories, André Binggeli; Greek Byzantine hagiography in verse, Stephanos Efthymiadis; Symeon Metaphrastes and the metaphrastic movement, Christian HÃ¸gel; Synaxaria and the synaxarion of Constantinople, Andrea Luzzi. Part II Hagiography as Literature: The Byzantine hagiographer and his text, Martin Hinterberger; Audience, language and patronage in Byzantine hagiography, Stephanos Efthymiadis - Nikos Kalogeras; Byzantine hagiography and hymnography: an interrelationship, Antonia Giannouli; Fiction and/or novelisation in Byzantine hagiography, Charis Messis; Holy actors and actresses fools and cross-dressers as the protagonists of saints’ Lives, Stavroula Constantinou; The literary portrait of Byzantine female saints, Nathalie Delierneux. Part III Hagiography and Society: Economy and society in Byzantine hagiography: realia and methodological questions, Michel Kaplan - Eleonora Kountoura-Galaki; The city in Byzantine hagiography, Helen G. Saradi; The hagiography of doubt and scepticism, Anthony Kaldellis. Indexes.
'The second volume of the Companion unquestionably provides a further significant and long-overdue contribution in this field which will be of particular and lasting value to specialist students of Byzantium but will also be of use to those interested in the broader study of (medieval) hagiography, religion, and literature.' Speculum ... a rich collection that offers a thorough introduction to the study of Byzantine hagiographical writing, both in its treatment of the texts themselves and by synthesizing current scholarly discourse on this immensely significant body of literature. Medieval Review ’Warm congratulations are owed to the editor, Professor Stephanos Efthymiadis, for presenting to modern scholarship a study important not only to scholars of Byzantine Studies, but also to scholars interested in theology, (monastic) literature, and social history. Given the major names of the contributors and the well-written content, there is no doubt that this companion will be at the summit of scholarship for some time to come, as it condenses all the previous scholarship. Every university or research library should have a copy.’ Journal of Theological Studies