The Byzantine Dialogues from the Gennadius Library
Baukje van den Berg,
Central European University
About the Webinar:
Eustathios of Thessalonike (ca. 1115–1195) is arguably the best-known Homeric scholar of the Byzantine era. His monumental commentaries on the Iliad and Odyssey are rich records of Byzantine thinking on language and literature. Throughout the commentaries, Eustathios identifies figures of speech and types of style, scrutinizes the heroes’ speeches in rhetorical terms, and studies the rhetorical principles and techniques that underlie the composition of the poems. This webinar examines the rhetorical program of the commentaries and explores how Eustathios turns Homer into a model of excellent oratory for the contemporary rhetor. It addresses such questions as what Homer meant for a twelfth-century readership, how Eustathios translates the poet’s authorship and rhetorical virtuosity into contemporary terms, and how he negotiates between different variants of the Greek language.
About the Speaker:
Baukje van den Berg received her PhD in 2016 from the University of Amsterdam. She is an Assistant Professor of Byzantine Studies at Central European University (Vienna) and an alumna of the Gennadius Library Medieval Greek Summer Session. Her main research interests are Byzantine scholarship, education, and the role of ancient literature in Byzantine culture. She has published various articles on Eustathios of Thessalonike as a scholar and teacher and is preparing a monograph on Eustathios’ Commentary on the Iliad. Further ongoing projects focus on the scholarly and didactic works of John Tzetzes.
A treasure of Gennadius Library: