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Diplomatics And Historiography: The Use Of Documents In The Chronicle Of Leontios Makhairas

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Chapter Summary

Using documents from the state archives to compose a historical work is by no means original to Mahkairas and it is attested in both the Byzantine and the Western historiographical traditions, the extent of incorporating or interpolating documents varying from one work to another. What is original is that Makhairas makes absolutely no effort to conceal his reliance on documents and the notarial culture. Nevertheless, there can be little doubt that the chronicle of Leontios Makhairas constitutes a special case in Cypriot historiography in terms of the extensive use of documents as first-hand sources and their conspicuous interpolation as essential narrative sequences. Naturally, the other Cypriot historiographers also use information drawn from documents, but they incorporate it in their narrative in a uniform way, albeit with occasional citations; in the significantly shorter chronicle of George Boustronios, for example, there are allusions to letters in 44 cases with sometimes one-sentence citations.

Keywords: Byzantine tradition; Cypriot historiography; George Boustronios; Leontios Makhairas; Western historiographical tradition



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