RADIĆ R.Dj. The Mysian Spoils in Late Byzantine Literature (Several Examples)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2018.5.12 

Radivoj Dj. Radić

PhD, Professor,

Department of Byzantine Studies, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade,

Čika Ljubina, 18–20, 11000 Belgrade, Republic of Serbia

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Abstract. The ancient Greek literature used the term Mysian Spoils (Μυσῶν λεία) to describe some territories or properties that the neighboring and enemy armies could plunder without retaliation. More generally speaking, the term was used to describe the plunder, enslavement, and hardship in general. The term Mysian Spoils could be found in the works of many ancient authors, and it also became part of the rich collection of Old Greek proverbs. As such, it continued to exist and could be found in the vast array of various forms of expression by the Byzantine authors. This text showcases examples of usage of this term in the historical works by the Late Byzantine authors George Pachymeres and Nikephoros Gregoras, as well as the examples from the satirical text Mazaris’ Journey to Hades. The mentioned historians used the term Mysian Spoils quite appropriately, being aware that well-trained readers will not only understand the meaning of this expression, but also appreciate their own scientific knowledge of the literary heritage of antiquity. Pachymeres and Gregoras emphasized the basic meaning of the term, sometimes with elegant wit, as a designation of robbery, before which the defenders were powerless. The author of the satirical essay Mazaris’ Journey to Hades advanced further, turning the expression Mysian Spoils into the metaphor of a disease that beats the mortal body of the satire hero, with the typical color of a writer.

Key words: Mysian Spoils, Byzantine literature, Mysians, George Pachymeres, proverbs, Nikephoros Gregoras, Mazaris.

Citation. Radić R.Dj. The Mysian Spoils in Late Byzantine Literature (Several Examples). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2018, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 138-146. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2018.5.12.

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The Mysian Spoils in Late Byzantine Literature (Several Examples) by Radić R.Dj. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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