The Alexiad of Anna Komnene

The Alexiad of Anna Komnene : Artistic Strategy in the Making of a Myth

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Description

This is the first full-scale study of the literary art of Anna Komnene's Alexiad. Her history of her father's reign is well-known and much used by Byzantinists and historians of the First Crusade, but the art with which it shapes its central character has not been fully examined or understood. This book argues that the work is both history and tragedy; the characterization of Alexios I Komnenos is cumulative; it develops; the models for his idealization change; much of the action takes place in his mind and the narrative relays and amplifies his thought while building a dense picture of the world in which he acts. Engaging critically and responsively with other texts, Komnene uses the full range of current literary genres to portray the ideal culture of his rule. She matches her art of literary control to his of government over the adverse forces of his time.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139699024
  • 9781139699020

About Penelope Buckley

Penelope Buckley is a Fellow of the Melbourne University School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.show more

Table of contents

Introduction; The prologue; 1. The Emperor Alexios, my father; 2. The soldier-emperor; 3. The second story begins; 4. West into East; 5. The second Norman war and the Crusade; 6. The second Constantine and the last; Conclusions; Appendix. The Alexiad as pre-Renaissance text.show more

Review quote

'... an immensely valuable addition to the scholarship on this twelfth-century epic, providing important analysis of Anna's work as a piece of literature. Buckley's achievement is to produce a thought-provoking and well-written literary analysis that will surely stimulate further debate on how modern scholars view Anna as an author.' Elisabeth Mincin, Reviews in Historyshow more

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