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Chronographia - Michael Psellus

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  Michael Psellus: Chronographia INTRODUCTION by Professor J.M. Hussey [p.1] PREFACE SOME three years ao I re! e#e$ a% e&'e((e%t ( tt(e !o(u)e #r tte% by ProfessorNor)a% *ay%es+ The He((e% st ' C ! ( ,at o% a%$ East Ro)e. I% t he )e%t o%sM 'hae( Pse((us-s fa)ous a%e'$ote about the *y,a%t %e S'(ere%a a%$ Co%sta%t %eI. *e % 'ur ous to /%o# )ore of Pse((us I bouht the *u$e e$ t o% a%$ rea$ theChro%oraph a % fu((. That s ho# th s tra%s(at o% #as bor%+ for t see)e$ to )e ap ty that E%( sh s'ho(ars #ho /%e# %o 0ree/ shou($ be $epr !e$ of theopportu% ty of rea$ % th s a$) rab(e #or/ % the r o#% (a%uae. Stu$e%ts of )e$ e!a( h story % part 'u(ar shou($ be%et. Certa %(y %o other 'o%te)poraryauthor  !es so ! ! $ a% a''ou%t of e(e!e%th2'e%tury *y,a%t u). I hope that th sp o%eer e3ort )ay %sp re others to rea$ a%$ e%4oy h ).I #ou($ ( /e here to a'/%o#(e$e )y $ebt to M. E) (e Re%au($+ #ho rsttra%s(ate$ the h story %to a )o$er% (a%uae. 5(thouh th s %terpretat o% $ 3ers % )a%y po %ts fro) the 6re%'h !ers o%+ h s %7ue%'e # (( be appare%t. I a)ratefu( too for the / %$(y %terest a%$ 'o%sta%t e%'ourae)e%t of Mr. R. H.*arro#+ C.*.E.+ a%$ of Mr. 8. 6. Ja'/so% 9% ht+ #hose s'ho(arsh p e&te%$s farbeyo%$ the : r ( a% e($ % #h 'h he espe' a((y sh %es. 8he% I rst u%$ertoo/ the#or/+ the (ate Dr. 8. H. D. Rouse a!e )e sou%$ a$! 'e+ a%$ as I %eare$ the e%$+Professor 5rthur E. 0or$o%+ of the U% !ers ty of Ca( for% a+ o3ere$ so)e !a(uab(e'r t ' s). To both of the) I a) $eep(y %$ebte$. Nee$(ess to say+ %o%e of thesee%t(e)e% 'a% be he($ respo%s b(e for the )perfe't o%s #h 'h )ust 'reep %toso (o% a #or/.5bo!e a(( I a) ratefu( to Professor J. M. Hussey+ #ho %ot o%(y 'o%se%te$ to #r tethe I%tro$u't o% to th s boo/+ but fou%$ t )e to re! se )y %otes+ a$$e$ the shortb b( oraphy+ a%$ )a$e so)e usefu( suest o%s #h 'h )pro!e$ the te&t.E. R. 5. S.Ne#bury+ *er/sh re. ; O'tober 1;<=.  INTRODUCTION 0I**ON-S (ee%$ of a $e'a$e%t East Ro)a% E)p re $ es har$ % or$ %ary E%( sh' r'(es. *ut resear'h of the (ast ha(f 'e%tury shou($ by %o# ha!e )a$e tabu%$a%t(y '(ear that *y,a%t %e ' ! ( ,at o% 'a% ho($ ts o#% % the )e$ e!a(#or($. That s %ot to $e%y that t ha$ ts ups a%$ $o#%s a%$ 'ha%e$ a oo$ $ea( % 'hara'ter % the 'ourse of )ore tha% a thousa%$ years. The e(e!e%th 'e%tury+ % #h 'h M 'hae( Pse((us ( !e$+ #as a 'ru' a( t )e+ %ot be'ause of the fa't of tsa'ute po( t 'a( $ >'u(t es 22 after a((+ the E)p re ha$ fa'e$ $a%er t )e a%$ aa %22 but be'ause t #as %o# brouht up aa %st 'erta % %e# a%$ o) %ous$e!e(op)e%ts both # th % a%$ # thout #h 'h t fa (e$ to 'o%tro(+ a%$ he%'e tstota( $o#%fa(( % the ftee%th 'e%tury )ay be tra'e$ ba'/ to th s per o$. No# a%$the% Pse((us sho#s part a( u%$ersta%$ % of su'h $a%ers+ as for %sta%'e #he%he 'o))e%ts o% the ! ta( )porta%'e of Co%sta%t %op(e-s ) ( tary $efe%ses+ buthe 'ou($ %ot forete(( the ather % )petus of the #ester% 'rusa$ % )o!e)e%t#h 'h so ! o(e%t(y $ srupte$ *y,a%t %e ( fe % the 5eea% #or($+ %or $ $ he rea( ,ethat the Se(4u/ Tur/s #ere prepar % the #ay for the a()ost 'o)p(ete (oss of theE)p re-s reat storehouse+ 5s a M %or+ or that the ru)b( %s % the *a(/a%s #ereto hera($ the ro#th a%$ e)a%' pat o% of the you% S(a! %at o%s. 5fter a((+ he#as ( ! % a%$ #r t % % the hey$ay of the e(e!e%th 'e%tury #he% the $ sastroustur% % )per a( fortu%es #as s'ar'e(y per'ept b(e+ a%$ #he% Co%sta%t %op(e'ou($ st (( to so)e e&te%t bas/ % the a''u)u(ate$ (or es of the reat $ays of thete%th 'e%tury # th ts '(ass 'a( re! !a( a%$ ts e&pa%s o% of the fro%t ers. 5%$ %$ee$ #hate!er #ea/%esses ) ht ha!e a(ar)e$ a $ s'er% % eye % the yearsto fo((o#+ sat sfa't o% 'ou($ a(#ays be fou%$ % the stea$y )a %te%a%'e a%$$e!e(op)e%t of 'u(tura( a't ! t es+ 'erta % aspe'ts of #h 'h #ere pass o%ate(y%ear to Pse((us-s heart.8hate!er h s father-s '(a )s to ar sto'rat ' forebears+ M 'hae( Pse((us re# up %the ) ( eu of a ) $$(e2'(ass fa) (y. H s #r t %s+ [=] a%$ part 'u(ar(y h s fu%era(orat o% for h s )other+ re!ea( a fa r a)ou%t about h s 'h ($hoo$ a%$ h s o#%perso%a( appeara%'e a%$ 'astes. I% phys ?ue he rese)b(e$ h s father #ho ha$)erry eyes a%$ #e(( $e%e$ eyebro#s a%$ #as ha%$so)e as a -#e((2ro#%'ypress-. *ut h s father-s e!e%2te)pere$ $ spos t o% a%$ ?u et #ay of ( fe+ )o! %fro) $ay to $ay as s (e%t(y a%$ s)ooth(y -as 7o# % o (-+ #ere %ot %her te$ by theso%. I% out(oo/ a%$ te)pera)e%t he #as )ore ( /e h s )other #ho #as '(ear(ythe )a %spr % of the fa) (y. Pse((us says that she #as attra't !e a%$ -( /e therose %ee$e$ %o further a$or%)e%t-@ she #as a(so e%eret '+ of ?u '/ %te(( e%'e+a%$ abo!e a(( a $e!out Chr st a%. She 'erta %(y be?ueathe$ her $y%a) ' ?ua( t esto her so%+ thouh h s subt(ety of approa'h #as % 'o%trast to her )ore s )p(ea$here%'e to the Chr st a% fa th+ a%$ h s a'h e!e)e%ts % %te((e'tua( e($s+ho#e!er )u'h they o#e$ to her ear(y e3orts a%$ e%'ourae)e%t+ #ere %substa%'e h s a(o%e.*or% % Co%sta%t %op(e % 1A1B he re# %to a% e&'ee$ %(y a(ert+ %te(( e%t 'h ($a%$ he #as brouht up o% Ho)er as 0ree/ 'h ($re% #ere a%$ are. H s )other)a%ae$ to pro(o% h s e$u'at o% u%t ( he #as % h s tee%s a%$ the% the %ee$ topro! $e a $o#ry for h s s ster )a$e t $ >'u(t to support h ) a%y (o%er. Hebe'a)e a '(er/ to a pro! %' a( 4u$e+ but o% the u%e&pe'te$ $eath of h s s ster heretur%e$ to Co%sta%t %op(e a%$ 'o%t %ue$ h s stu$ es. He #as tauht by Joh%  Mauropous+ after#ar$s 5r'hb shop of Eu'ha ta+ but the% a pr !ate tutor %Co%sta%t %op(e. Joh%+ both fro) Pse((us a%$ fro) other sour'es+ s re!ea(e$ as as %(e2) %$e$ s'ho(ar a%$ a )a% of reat %ter ty. He e! $e%t(y 'oa'he$ a%u)ber of '(e!er you% )e%+ a(( of #ho) (ater )a$e the r )ar/ a%$ re)a %e$r) fr e%$s # th ea'h other a%$ # th the r tutor. Joh%  ph ( %us be'a)e Hea$ of the 6a'u(ty of a# % the U% !ers ty of Co%sta%t %op(e+ the% )o%/ a%$ 5bbot of a)o%astery % 5s a M %or+ a%$ %a((y Patr ar'h of Co%sta%t %op(e. Co%sta%t %eDu'as+ a%other #e((2/%o#% )e)ber of the roup+ e!e%tua((y su''ee$e$ to thethro%e as Co%sta%t %e . Co%sta%t %e Pse((us 2 he (ater 'ha%e$ the %a)e of Co%sta%t %e for that of M 'hae( by #h 'h he s usua((y /%o#% 2 )a%ae$ to )a/eh s #ay % 'ourt ' r'(es a%$ the story of h s r se to po#er 'a% be rea$ % h sChro%oraph a a%$ ((e$ out fro) other 'o%te)porary sour'es. 6or a re'e%t short su))ary of Pse((us-s 'areer see P. Joa%%ou+ Pse((os et (e)o%astre Ta NarsoF+ *y,a%t % s'he Ge ts'hr ft !o(.  1;<1+ pp. =BK2;A. The t#o pre$o) %at % pass o%s of Pse((us-s ( fe #ere to et o% % [K] the #or($a%$ to pro)ote s'ho(arsh p a%$ (ear% %. Th s rst 'hara'ter st ' s probab(y #hate)eres )ost p(a %(y fro) h s Chro%oraph a. 8 th repeate$ apo(o es he sa(#ays $es'r b % the )porta%'e of h s o#% pos t o%+ the e&te%t to #h 'h )per a( perso%aes $epe%$ o% h )+ a%$ he ( /es to a$$ $ ress o%s $es %e$ tore!ea( h s o#% pr !ate fee( %s a%$ to u%$er( %e the s % 'a%'e of h s e3ortsto#ar$s a'h e! % )ore e3e't !e h her e$u'at o%. It )ay be $oubte$ ho#re( ab(e a% a$! ser he )a$e o% )atters of state+ but the fa't that he ser!e$ a(o% ser es of e(e!e%th2'e%tury ru(ers u%t ( 1ALL s a tr bute to h s Perso%a( ty as#e(( as to h s a$aptab ( ty. Pse((us has to a$) t to at (east o%e u%fortu%ateep so$e % h s po( t 'a( 'areer #h 'h he (osses o!er % the Chro%oraph a as besthe 'a%. Threate%e$ # th a re!ersa( at 'ourt to#ar$s the e%$ of Co%sta%t %e I-sre %+ he thouht t 4u$ ' ous to abse%t h )se(f for a t )e. The %atura( th % for a*y,a%t %e % su'h ' r'u)sta%'es #as )o%ast ' ret re)e%t #h 'h ) ht or ) ht%ot pro!e per)a%e%t. Pse((us soo% rea( ,e$ h s tota( (a'/ of !o'at o% a%$ retur%e$to the se'u(ar #or($ as soo% as t #as safe to $o so. 6ar other# se # th h s fr e%$a%$ 'o)pa% o%  ph ( %us+ #ho ha$ %$ee$ fou%$ h s #ay of ( fe. The re&per e%'es are $es'r be$ % )ore $eta ( e(se#here % Pse((us-s #r t %s. Pse((usha$ e! $e%t(y thouht of the )o%astery s )p(y % ter)s of a 'o)fortab(eba'/rou%$ for a ser es of So'rat ' $ a(oues % the '(o sters bet#ee% h )se(f a%$h s fe((o# s'ho(ar+ a%$ s ha(f tease$+ ha(f reproa'he$ by  ph ( %us for h s) sta/e.Pse((us-s t#o )ost attra't !e tra ts are h s (oya(ty to h s fr e%$s a%$ h s $e!ot o%to s'ho(arsh p. 5(( h s ( fe Pse((us stu'/ to h s ear(y fr e%$s+ )e% of 'hara'ter a%$a'h e!e)e%t !ery $ 3ere%t fro) h s o#%. Joh%+ h s o($ tea'her+ #as a()ost$rae$ to )per a( %ot 'e a%$ the% for a t )e he($ a (e'turesh p % the U% !ers tyat Pse((us-s %o) %at o%.  ph ( %us a%$ Pse((us re)a %e$ % '(ose tou'h+ thouhafter the )o%ast ' ep so$e the r paths for/e$ a%$ the r $ 3ere%'es of out(oo/be'a)e )ore appare%t+ but t e! $e%t(y 'ut Pse((us to the ?u '/ to be a''use$ by ph ( %us of u%# se 'o%'e%trat o% o% P(ato% ' stu$ es+ a%$ he #as s# ft to pro!eh s ortho$o&y a%$ re %state h )se(f % h s o($ fr e%$-s oo$ op % o%. Co%sta%t %eDu'as #he% he be'a)e E)peror % 1A<; ha$ %ot (ost tou'h # th the fr e%$ of forty years ao a%$ he e!e%tua((y sho#e$ h s 'o%$e%'e % Pse((us by )a/ %h ) h s so%-s tutor 22 u%fortu%ate(y for the E)p re as t tur%e$ out+ for the you%)a% tra %e$ up o% the ( %es of a [] ph (osopher2/ % as ! sua( ,e$ by Pse((us  pro!e$ use(ess at $efe%$ % fro%t ers aa %st %!a$ % Tur/s or Nor)a%s a%$ ha$to ab$ 'ate.Pse((us-s )ost fru tfu( e3orts #ere % pro)ot % h her e$u'at o% a%$ % the %7ue%'e of h s o#% #r tte% #or/s. H s #as the $r ! % for'e beh %$ thereora% ,at o% of the State U% !ers ty of Co%sta%t %op(e % 1A< a%$ % th s'o%%e't o% h s %7ue%'e % )per a( ' r'(es #as use$ to oo$ e3e't. There #eree! $e%t(y a!a (ab(e both a %u)ber of e$u'ate$ )e% to a't as (e'turers a%$ astu$e%t bo$y # sh % to use opportu% t es of th s / %$+ so that Pse((us-se&tra!aa%t re)ar/s % the Chro%oraph a o% h s uph (( tas/ a%$ 5%%a Co)%e%a-s'aust ' 'o))e%ts % the 5(e& a$ o% the (o# ebb to #h 'h (ear% % ha$ su%/ % thee(e!e%th 'e%tury 'a%%ot be ta/e% e%t re(y at the r fa'e !a(ue. Not that the e3e'tof Pse((us-s $y%a) ' perso%a( ty 'a% be $e% e$+ %or shou($ h s #or/ % st )u(at % %terest % P(ato% ' stu$ es be u%$erest )ate$. It #as %ot for %oth % that ph ( %us )p( e$ that he #as )a/ % a o$ of h s P(ato-. Pse((us-s ph (osoph 'a((ea% %s 'a% be $ s'er%e$ here a%$ there % the Chro%oraph a+ but t s o%(y fro)the 'o)p(ete 'orpus of h s #or/s that h s a't ! t es a%$ a'a$e) ' %terests 'a%be fu((y re'o%stru'te$. Ph (osophy+ # th spe' a( e)phas s o% P(ato% s)+ #as'o%'e !e$ as the 'ro#% a%$ su)) t of the s'ho(ar-s ( fe. et Pse((us #he%'ha((e%e$ #as the rst to a$) t that su'h a't ! ty #as ! sua( ,e$ o%(y # th %+a%$ therefore to so)e e&te%t ( ) te$ by+ the a''epte$ Chr st a% fra)e#or/. It#ou($ )oreo!er be %a''urate to )a %e that Pse((us #as %tereste$ %ph (osoph 'a( to the e&'(us o% of a(( other pursu ts. He #as 'o%'er%e$ # thChr st a% theo(oy+ # th the Chr st a% %terpretat o% of the u% !erse+ he share$+for %sta%'e+ the a()ost u% !ersa( be( ef % ) ra'(es ho#e!er )u'h he proteste$aa %st )a 'a( pra't 'es+ a%$ #as e! $e%t(y #e(( !erse$ % 'o%te)porary ! e#so% the $e)o% #or($. He ofte% '(othe$ h s thouhts % #hat see)s to us to be a7oo$ of rhetor '+ part 'u(ar(y % h s spee'hes a%$ (etters. *ut he ha$ a% eye for$eta (+ he #as a shre#$ 4u$e of hu)a% %ature+ a%$ he 'ou($ pro$u'e %e+ba(a%'e$+ a''urate prose portra ts of h s 'o%te)porar es. The Chro%oraph aspea/s for tse(f a%$ 'a% )ore tha% ho($ ts o#% # th s ) (ar 'o%te)porary( terature of the at % #or($.I% h s %tro$u't o% to the Chro%oraph a Pse((us e&p(a %s that he ha$ ofte% bee%presse$ to #r te a h story of h s o#% t )es a%$ that he %a((y aree$ to pro$u'e abr ef s/et'h at the spe' a( re?uest of a [<] reat fr e%$. Th s fr e%$+ -)ost be(o!e$of a(( )e%- as Pse((us 'a((s h ) re)a %s u%%a)e$ but )ay ha!e bee% Co%sta%t %e 'hu$es+ a 'o)pa% o% of h s stu$e%t $ays #ho ha$ r se% to h h o>'e u%$erCo%sta%t %e I a%$ ha$ be'o)e Patr ar'h of Co%sta%t %op(e % 1A<;.  'hu$es asPatr ar'h ha$ bee% persua$e$ to support those #ho a''use$ Pse((us of fa ( % toobser!e h s )o%ast ' !o#s a%$ ha$ $eta %e$ h ) % the )o%astery of Narsou%ear the #ester% #a((s of the ' ty. Pse((us )ay ha!e # she$ to 'o%' ( ate h ) by#r t % the h story #h 'h he as/e$ for. The Chro%oraph a ho#e!er oes beyo%$1AK+ the year of  'hu$es- $eath.  Cf. Chro%oraph a+ :IIa+ < p. =<+ a%$ :II'+ II p. =B<. The #or/ fa((s %to t#o $ st %'t se't o%s of #h 'h the rst ta/es up the story#here the te%th2'e%tury h stor a% eo the Dea'o% stoppe$ at *as ( II-s a''ess o%to po#er % ;L a%$ oes as far as the ab$ 'at o% of Isaa' Co)%e%us % 1A<;. Th s s the )ore )porta%t a%$ the )ore )part a( se't o%. The se'o%$ part+probab(y #r tte% (ate % M 'hae( :II-s re % 22 for Pse((us says % t that he has see%
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