Nicétas Chôniatès lecteur de lui-même : les mécanismes de l’emprunt interne dans l’œuvre d’un haut lettré byzantin

Kentron. 2014;30:109-128 DOI 10.4000/kentron.509


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Kentron

ISSN: 0765-0590 (Print); 2264-1459 (Online)

Publisher: Presses universitaires de Caen

LCC Subject Category: History (General) and history of Europe | Language and Literature

Country of publisher: France

Language of fulltext: French

Full-text formats available: HTML



Stanislas Kuttner-Homs


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 50 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The current article attempts to present and to estimate the mechanisms and the goals of self-quotation (i.e the fact for an author to quote himself) in the XIIth-century-Byzantine historian and Court orator Niketas Choniates’ works. The starting point of this essay is an ekphrasis of a bronze statue of Helen of Troy, inserted in one of the last Niketas’ opus, the so-called De signis, which relates the destruction of antiques by the new masters of Constantinople and founders of the Latin Empire which occured in 1206. This description is structured by homeric epithets, applied in the epic to goddesses, but applied through the various texts composed by Niketas between 1195 and 1208 (the History; the Discourses) to the foreign empresses who reigned over Byzantium during the XIIth century: Anna of France, Maria of Antioch, Margareth of Hungary. Finding the keys of interpretation of these earlier texts in the Helen of Troy’s ekphrasis, this essay tries to highlight the historiographical method and the aesthetics of Niketas Choniates, which seem to be organized around a mirror vision of History where the Fourth crusade plays the role of the expedition waged against Troy and the plunder of Constantinople the role of a new Iliou persis.