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CLARC Seminar - 13 June 2011

Who wrote the Church History of Theodore Lector?

Speaker: Professor Geoffrey Greatrex, Ottawa

Time and Venue: Monday, 13 June 2011, 5.10pm, Room 1.01 Humanities Building

Abstract: The obvious answer to the question posed is Theodore himself, writing early in the sixth century. But what remains and is to be found in Hansen's edition is an epitomised version, the work of an anonymous compiler of the early seventh century. This compiler inserts comments in the text and has made his own selections from Theodore's work. He also joins to it excerpts from other works. I shall suggest that it would be useful to devote more attention to the work of the compiler, whose methods bear some resemblance those of Pseudo-Zachariah, a Syriac compiler who reworked the church history of Zachariah of Mytilene towards the end of the sixth century. I shall also analyse the surviving excerpts of Theodore's work and argue that he had a greater interest in secular history than is sometimes supposed.

Suggested Reading: section C of Prof. Greatrex's introduction to the Chronicle of Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor (with R. Phenix, C. Horn, Liverpool, 2011). In addition: Blaudeau, P. 2006. Alexandrie et Constantinople (451-491). De l’histoire à la géo-ecclésiologie. Rome, chapters 6 and 8. Nautin, P. 1994. « Théodore Lecteur et sa « Réunion de différentes histoires » de l’église », REB 52 : 213-43. Pouderon, B. 1998. « Le codex Parisinus graecus 1555 A et sa récension de l’Épitomè byzantin d’histoires ecclésiastiques », REB 56 : 169-91.