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 Diēgēsis peri tou en Kōnstantinoupolei gegonotos polemou

(975 words)

Author(s): Kolditz, Sebastian
'Narration of the fighting that took place in Constantinople' Iōannēs Kananos Date: Soon after 1422 Original Language: Greek Description Cananus’s entire diēgēsis is devoted to Murad II’s siege of Constantinople in 1422. He starts with forays against the city’s surroundings by an Ottoman force of 10,000 and the beginning of the siege on 6 June. Ten days later Sultan Murad arrives with a second force made up of warriors from many Muslim countries who had responded to his appeal. One major participant, called ‘Mērsait…

Iōannēs Kananos

(230 words)

Author(s): Kolditz, Sebastian
John Cananus Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown; after 1422 Place of Death: Unknown Biography Nothing is known about John Cananus except what can be inferred from his account of the Ottoman siege of Constantinople in 1422, of which he was an eyewitness. It is unknown whether he was a relative of Lascaris Cananus, the author of a short description of a journey through northern Europe, who also lived in the 15th century. It is not impossible that the two were in fact the same person. Primary Sources of Information Giovanni Cananos, L’assedio di Costantinopoli, …

 Oiktros Geōrgios Sphrantzēs [...] tauta egrapsen hyper tōn kath heauton kai tinōn merikōn gegonotōn en tō tēs athlias zōēs autou chronō

(2,024 words)

Author(s): Kolditz, Sebastian
Chronicon minus‘The miserable George Sphrantzes [...] has written the following about his own concerns and some events in the time of his own arduous life', Minor chronicle George Sphrantzes Date: Written up to 1477 (last entry) Original Language: Greek Description The reception of Sphrantzes’ work has been deeply influenced by the so-called Chronicon maius, a compilation produced by Macarius Melissenus, metropolitan of Monembasia (d. 1585), but attributed to Sphrantzes. In this work, Macarius consciously transformed Sphrantzes’ personal memoirs i…

Al-Malik al-Ashraf Abū l-Naṣr Barsbāy

(429 words)

Author(s): Kolditz, Sebastian
Barsbāy Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: 7 June 1438 Place of Death: Cairo Biography Of Circassian origin, Barsbay belonged to the mamlūks of Sultan Barqūq (d.1399). He served as Grand Chancellor ( dawādār kabīr) under Sultan Ṭaṭar (d. 1421), became regent ( niẓām) for the latter's son Muḥammad (1421-22), and finally became sultan himself in April 1422. Although the judgements on his rather long reign differ greatly, he was definitely an energetic ruler who aimed at the consolidation of state finances in Egypt, an…

 Pittakion tou soultanou tou Kareos pros ton basilea Rhōmaiōn

(590 words)

Author(s): Kolditz, Sebastian
'Letter of the sultan of Cairo to the emperor of the Romans' Al-Malik al-Ashraf Abū l-Naṣr Barsbāy Date: Between 1422 and 1437 (possibly May 1437) Original Language: Arabic Description The text of this letter has only been preserved in a Greek translation, which might, however, originate from the sultan’s court itself; it is probable that the Melkite patriarchate of Alexandria was involved in its drafting (cf. Korobeinikov, 'Diplomatic correspondence’, pp. 66-67). The letter is sent in the name of a sultan named Apounaser Pourēsp (ll. 12), who has convincingly been identified …

George Sphrantzes

(771 words)

Author(s): Kolditz, Sebastian
Geōrgios Sphrantzēs Date of Birth: 30 August 1401 Place of Birth: Probably Constantinople Date of Death: After May 1477 Place of Death: Corfu Biography Biographical data referring to George Sphrantzes are entirely derived from his own memoirs. He belonged to an aristocratic family of late Byzantium with close connections to the imperial court, where his uncle served as instructor of the later Despot and Emperor Constantine XI. This circumstance forms the background of his personal relationship with Constantine from chi…

15.2. The West

(3,552 words)

Author(s): Kolditz, Sebastian | Vučetić, Martin
A. 5th–8th centuriesEven after the collapse of the Western Roman imperial succession, relations between  Constantinople and the Latin West – as far as the Byzantines were concerned – amounted to relations within the empire. This applied not only to the  papacy, which in its capacity as the supreme ecclesiastical authority kept sometimes very close contacts with the imperial court in the course of the theological controversies of the 5th and early 6th centuries [9135–172]; [27], but also to the  ‘barbarian’  regna [3541–81] established on imperial soil. The  Ostrogothic King  Theod…
Date: 2019-10-14

15.2. Der Westen

(3,313 words)

Author(s): Kolditz, Sebastian | Vučetić, Martin
A. Vom 5. bis zum 8. JahrhundertAuch nach dem Ende der weström. Kaisersukzession waren die Beziehungen zwischen Konstantinopel und dem lat. Westen der Mittelmeerwelt aus byz. Perspektive Kontakte innerhalb des Imperiums. Dies gilt nicht nur für das Papsttum, das als höchste kirchliche Autorität im Zuge der kirchlichen Kontroversen des 5. und frühen 6. Jh.s teils intensive Kontakte zum Kaiserhof unterhielt [9135–172]; [27], sondern auch für die auf dem Boden des Reichs errichteten »barbarischen« regna [3541–81]: So war der Ostgotenkönig Theoderich als patricius von Kaiser Zeno…
Date: 2019-03-15

15.1. The Byzantine worldview

(3,703 words)

Author(s): Asutay-Effenberger, Neslihan | Kolditz, Sebastian | Pahlitzsch, Johannes | Ritter, Max
A. IntroductionThe ideology of the political and intellectual elites (1.4.) of the Byzantine Empire continued the Roman tradition of authoritarianism: the viewed their empire in terms of an aspiration to dominate or, if possible, to rule over the civilized world itself (i.e. by now essentially  Christendom) [44]. The geographical ‘world’ in which this claim to universal authority applied was the  oecumene ( oikoumene), which equated roughly to the  Mediterranean macroregion [2618–21, 25–31]. The gulf between these ideological pretensions to power and the reality…
Date: 2019-10-14

15.1. Das byzantinische Verständnis der Welt

(3,476 words)

Author(s): Asutay-Effenberger, Neslihan | Kolditz, Sebastian | Pahlitzsch, Johannes | Ritter, Max
A. VorbemerkungDas ideologische Selbstverständnis der politischen und intellektuellen Eliten (1.4.) des Byz. Reichs beinhaltete in Fortsetzung der röm. Herrschaftstradition den Anspruch, die zivilisierte, d. h. nunmehr v. a. die christianisierte Welt zu dominieren oder nach Möglichkeit direkt zu beherrschen [44]. Dieser universale Herrschaftsanspruch bezog sich demnach auf die Ökumene, die geographisch etwa mit dem Mediterraneum zusammenfiel [2618–21, 25–31]. Der Widerspruch zwischen ideologischem Herrschaftsanspruch und tatsächlich politisch beherr…
Date: 2019-03-15