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MEPIHLA Report Summary

Project ID: 313153
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Belgium

Final Report Summary - MEPIHLA (Memory of empire: the post-imperial historiography of late Antiquity)

Thus far, the study of historiography in Late Antiquity (300-800 AD) has been hampered by the absence of basic research tools, such as a full inventory and editions of minor texts, and the tendency for the genre to be studied by separate, often language-based disciplines (e.g. classics; oriental studies; patristics). The project Memory of Empire. The post-imperial historiography of Late Antiquity has remedied the problem by providing a set of tools and new approaches that will allow scholars full and methodologically sound access to the material. First, we have created a database of all historiographical works of the period, in whatever language and whatever state of preservation ( Second, on the basis of the database we have produced editions of fragmentary texts, in particular Latin historians and Greek fragmentary chronicles. The editions follow the methodological principles laid down by F. Jacoby, a method that is rarely followed by other scholars of Late Antiquity but should be. Third, we have studied key transmitters of late ancient histories (Bar Ebroyo for the Syriac tradition, for which we offer a partial new text; Byzantine excerpt collections, including partial new editions; Jordanes, offering a new translation and commentary). Fourth, we have studied number of themes across the material, highlighting how historiographical material travelled across cultural and linguistic boundaries, how histories reflect the changing geography of Late Antiquity, and how there was an intense reflection on the relation between historiography and rhetoric.

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