Acta Universitatis Carolinae: Philologica (Oct 2017)

Barbaros Basileus. Parodie und Lob in der Darstellung der Barbarenfürsten im Roman Rhodanthe und Dosikles von Theodoros Prodromos

  • Ondřej Cikán

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 2017, no. 2
pp. 225 – 249


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The Heidelberg manuscript of the novel contains a dedication poem for a Kαῖσαρ, who was identified with Nikephoros Bryennios, the husband of Anna Komnene. At first glance, we see that the names of the characters Gobryas, Bryaxes and Brya contain strong assonances to the name of the addressee. After a closer consideration we recognize 1) that especially the two barbarians Gobryas and Bryaxes offer for Bryennios a certain potential of identification, 2) that there may be some humorous allusions on the attended coup from 1118/1119, 3) that the author tries to satisfy also his patronesses Eirene Doukaina and Anna Komnene and 4) that despite every parody of the court, the author takes care not to insult the acting Emperor, but to honour him. The considerations have influence on the dating of the novel.