Iconoclasm was the name given to the stance of that portion of Eastern Christianity that rejected worshipping God through images (eikones) representing Christ, the Virgin or the saints and was the official doctrine of the Byzantine Empire for most of the period between 726 and 843. It was a period marked by violent passions on either side. This is the first comprehensive account of the extant contemporary texts relating to this phenomenon and their impact on society, politics and identity. By examining the literary circles emerging both during the time of persecution and immediately after the restoration of icons in 843, the volume casts new light on the striking (re)construction of Byzantine society, whose iconophile identity was biasedly redefined by the political parties led by Theodoros Stoudites, Gregorios Dekapolites and Empress Theodora or the patriarchs Methodios, Ignatios and Photios. It thereby offers an innovative paradigm for approaching Byzantine literature.
Introduction; 1. The Stoudite Milieu: the foundations of the literature of Iconoclasm; 2. The Methodian Milieu: literature conceived in the patriarchate after the iconoclast crisis; 3. The Dekapolitan Milieu: the integration of the third way after the restoration of icons; 4. Secular Milieux and their rewriting of the second Iconoclasm: the aristocracy, the army, the court and the imperial family; 5. The Ignatian Milieu: the management of inherited Iconodule literature; 6. The Photian Milieu: rewriting and updating of the Iconodule literature; 7. Mobility between Milieux: the hagiographer Sabas, from the Bithynian Olympos to the Constantinopolitan Milieux; 8. Final remarks.
Óscar Prieto Domínguez is a Lecturer in Greek Language and Literature at the University of Salamanca, Spain. He works on literary, historical and philological aspects of Greek literary production of Late Antiquity and the Middle Byzantine Ages and is the author of Casia de Constantinopla. Poemas (2019) and Literature Squared. Self-Reflexivity in Late Antique Literature (2020).
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