PAVLOVIĆ B.D. Some Remarks on the Divergences in the Narrative of George Akropolites and Theodore Skoutariotes


Bojana D. Pavlović

PhD, Research Assistant,

Institute for Byzantine Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts,

Kneza Mihaila St., 35, 11000 Belgrade, Republic of Serbia

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Abstract. This paper deals with the differences between the texts of the two main sources for the 13th-century Byzantine history – Χρονικ συγγραφή of George Akropolites and Σύνοψις χρονική of Theodore Skoutariotes – who give an account of the events from 1204 to 1261. The Chronicle of Theodore Skoutariotes relies on the historical work of George Akropolites to a great extent, although significant additions to or omissions from Akropolites’ narrative can be noticed. The greatest divergence from the text of Akropolites is in the portrayal of the Laskarid emperors and the first Palaiologos, Michael VIII. Skoutariotes expressed positive attitude towards the Laskarids in the praises of their imperial virtues. In respect to Michael VIII, however, Skoutariotes tended to mitigate the excessive commendation of Akropolites by omitting certain epithets, or, by a careful word play that sometimes resulted in completely opposite statements compared with the ones we find in Akropolites. The differences in the accounts of the two writers can be explained by Skoutariotes’ employment of other sources, unknown to us today, and also by the fact that he included his eye-witness account in the Chronicle he compiled. The additional details provided by Skoutariotes are corroborated with the information we find in other surviving sources, a fact which gives his testimony much more significance than previously believed. Apart from that, the author rises an important question of the employment of Skoutariotes’ Chronicle by later historians. The article consists of the following sections: Introduction; George Akropolites and Theodore Skoutariotes. Their works; Methodology; Results and general remarks; as well as Divergences concerning the reign of Theodore I Laskaris (1205–1221); John III Vatatzes (1221–1254), Theodore II Laskaris (1254–1258); Michael VIII Palaiologos (1259–1282); and Conclusion.

Key words: George Akropolites, Theodore Skoutariotes, history of Byzantium, Chronicle, Laskarids, Michael VIII Palaiologos.

Citation. Pavlović B.D. Some Remarks on the Divergences in the Narrative of George Akropolites and Theodore Skoutariotes. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2019, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 150-172. DOI:

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Some Remarks on the Divergences in the Narrative of George Akropolites and Theodore Skoutariotes by Pavlović B.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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