KOZLOV A.S. Riddles of the Text of an Early Byzantine Historian (Book Review: Priscus Panita. Excerpta et fragmenta / ed. by P. Carolla. – Berolini ; Novi Eboraci : Walter de Gruyter, 2017. – XLVIII, 140 p.)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.6.23 

Alexander S. Kozlov

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of History of the Ancient World and the Middle Ages, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin,

Prosp. Lenina, 51, 620014 Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9203-9169 


Abstract. Introduction. The publication is a review of the critical edition of the preserved fragments of the Early Byzantine intellectual and diplomat Priscus Panita’s historical work who presented first of all unique information about the nature of international relations in the Eastern Mediterranean and in Europe at the time of increasing threats to the Eastern and Western Roman empires from the barbarians.

Analysis. Italian scholar, philologist, and archaeographer P. Carolla who, unlike many of her predecessors, involved all the codices containing excerpts from the writings of Priscus for the publication, primarily confirmed the concept of her teacher, F. Bornmann, about the authenticity of texts related to the work of Priscus, but contained in the works created under control of the 10th-century emperor Constantine VII. The result of the presentation of these fragments is a logical series of formally separate texts which is based on a perfectly developed stem. This kind of classical archaeographic technique is supplemented by approaches different in their effectiveness to the publication of excerpts whose affiliation to the Priscus’ pen is not indisputable. The review notes that this kind of technique would have been more successful if Carolla had accompanied the published texts with a commentary on their content. But there are no such comments, but only some attempts to indicate that a number of passages belong to Priscus as an author. This approach impoverishes publisher’s archaeographic finds and is methodologically flawed. The disadvantages of such methods of publication are illustrated in the review by examples of hypothetical dependence of the corresponding “Hunnic” passages of the most famous historian of the 6th-century Byzantium Procopius of Caesarea on the texts of Priscus.

Results. In general, however, the publication undertaken by Carolla not only presents well-organized topical texts to specialists, allowing them to expand the possibilities of studying the transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, but also gives an additional impetus to improving the methodology of Byzantine archaeography.

Key words: Early Byzantium, Early Byzantine historiography, Priscus Panita, Byzantine archaeography, publication of Byzantine sources.

Citation. Kozlov A.S. Riddles of the Text of an Early Byzantine Historian (Book Review: Priscus Panita. Excerpta et fragmenta / ed. by P. Carolla. – Berolini ; Novi Eboraci : Walter de Gruyter, 2017. – XLVIII, 140 p.). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 285-291. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.6.23.

Лицензия Creative Commons

Riddles of the Text of an Early Byzantine Historian (Book Review: Priscus Panita. Excerpta et fragmenta / ed. by P. Carolla. – Berolini ; Novi Eboraci : Walter de Gruyter, 2017. – XLVIII, 140 p.) by Kozlov A.S. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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