KAPSALYKOVA K.R. The Images of War in the Byzantine Historical Literature of the 10th Century: Nikephoros Ouranos

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2016.5.7

Karina R. Kapsalykova

Postgraduate Student, Department of Ancient and Medieval History,

Ural Federal University

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Mira St., 19, 620002 Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation


Abstract. The reign of Basil II is considered by historians to be the time of the highest military and political power of Byzantium in modern historiography. Despite this fact, many issues connected with the period of 976-1025 remains poorly studied. The article is devoted to viewpoints on war, army, imperial service, presented in the Nikephoros Ouranos’s works. Nikephoros Ouranos was a confidant of Basil II. The historical sources of the present research include the Tactics, hagiographical essay Theodorus tiro Vita et martyrium (BHG 1762m), as well as Nikephoros Ouranos’s correspondence. The author of these works had been one of the inner circle members of Basil II for a long time. He occupied the highest positions in civil and military authorities of the empire: kanikleios, domestikos of the scholai of the West, doux of Antioch. According to the author of article, military and theoretical views of Nikephoros Ouranos corresponded to the basic principles of the Byzantine polemological tradition. He thought that the outcome of military operations depended on ability and experience of the military commander. In the Tactics the author insisted on the commanders’ responsibility for complex training of soldiers and their adaptation to various military situations. His interest to individual training of soldiers, to their weapon possession, is confirmed by the detailed description of a duel in the Theodore Tyron’s Life. In personal correspondence magistros Nikephoros Ouranos seldom addressed to military subject. However in some letters he wrote about burdens of military campaigns and used various stylistic figures and examples from antique mythology. According to the author, viewpoints of Nikephoros Ouranos on war and military service allow to claim that immediate environment of Basil II exerted impact on formation of military policy of Byzantium.

Key words: Byzantium, Byzantine army, Byzantine literature, Basil II, Nikephoros Ouranos, military art, military policy.

Лицензия Creative Commons

The Images of War in the Byzantine Historical Literature of the 10th Century: Nikephoros Ouranos by Kapsalykova K.R. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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