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Open Access Ceremonies And The City: The Court In Fourteenth-Century Constantinople

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Ceremonies And The City: The Court In Fourteenth-Century Constantinople

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Chapter Summary

The picture of court life in the reconquered Constantinople, which is generally regarded as representative of the whole of the late Byzantine period from the late thirteenth century to 1453, is based on the one surviving text from the period after 1204 that contains descriptions of ceremonies, the so-called Treatise on the court titles by the anonymous author known as Pseudo-Kodinos. The author of this chapter argues that the modern portrayal of a reduced and impoverished ceremonial and court life, does not rely so much on the text of Pseudo- Kodinos itself, as on expectations and preconceptions created by the tenth-century Book of Ceremonies. One important difference in the two works is: the Book of Ceremonies is antiquarian, while the Treatise presents living ceremony, protocols that reflect ceremonies that were being performed in the mid fourteenth century.

Keywords: Book of Ceremonies; fourteenth century Constantinople; late Byzantine period; Pseudo-Kodinos; Treatise on the court titles



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