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17. Designing Receptions in the Palace (De Cerimoniis 2.15)

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Chapter Summary

The De cerimoniis 2.15 records two categories of professionals: the pastopoioi, who transformed the anadendradion of the Magnaura into an archway and, probably, also provided the necessary materials as they did for the processions, and the argyropratai, who supplied the court with gold, enamelled, and silver artefacts. De cerimoniis 2.15, indeed, gives a lively and unique image of the feverish activity demanded for the preparation and the unfolding of audiences, receptions, and banquets in the imperial palace. The order of ceremonies, the decoration, the choice of outfits and colours were not invented for the events it describes. The choice of particular ceremonies would have been dictated by the wish to present a model for the reception of foreign guests and the intention was surely to keep alive the memory of remarkable events.

Keywords: De cerimoniis; historical ceremonies; imperial palace



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