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Classical Scholarship In Twelfth-Century Byzantium

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Chapter Summary

This chapter surveys what may justly be called classical scholarship in twelfth-century Byzantium, especially the commentaries on ancient texts. By discussing the different methods, goals, audiences, and ideological parameters of these largely neglected works, the chapter intends to situate the commentaries on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics into a vibrant culture of scholarly production and consumption. But the very notion of classical scholarship in Byzantium calls for explanation and requires an ideological accounting. The chapter concludes that, classical scholarship flourished in twelfth-century Byzantium; it had a diverse and extensive social background; its constituent branches- grammar, rhetoric, philosophy, manuscript editions, etc.-were interconnected at all levels; and it was pursued by serious and intelligent scholars who had a sound knowledge of Greek history and literature.

Keywords: Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics; classical scholarship; twelfth-century Byzantium

10.1163/ej.9789004173934.i-228.7
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