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Erinnern an Herakleios. zur Darstellung des Kaisers Herakleios in mittelalterlichen Quellen
Erinnern an Herakleios. zur Darstellung des Kaisers Herakleios in mittelalterlichen Quellen
This dissertation is dealing with the problem of the social memory of the Eastern Roman Emperor Heraclius. It is the first study into the history of reception of this ruler by Medieval Christian authors. The source basis of this study covers a wide number of narrative sources, primarily of Byzantine, Medieval Western and Oriental Christian provenance, composed between the 7th and the 13th centuries. The main question discussed is how was Heraclius remembered in different Medieval cultures and contexts, i.e. how the memory of him and his reign developed over the course of time, what changes and disruptions the image of Heraclius underwent throughout the centuries and how forgetting, intentional or not, influenced this process. Using a systematic approach, I explored narrative elements common to most of the sources addressed, e.g. Heraclius’ Persian campaigns or his religious policy. It’s worth emphasizing that not only the narrative elements that constitute what is seen as “real history” are being analyzed, but also certain fictional elements, e.g. various hyperbolized, fantastic, stories of Heraclius personally fighting and vanquishing unrealistically powerful enemies. As part of this analysis, I identified and compared various narrative approaches to the history of Heraclius’ reign, while searching for their possible origins. This, while dedicating particular attention to the narrative approaches found in different regional and religious-political textual traditions: the contemporary Byzantine and Western traditions; the late Crusader tradition; the Dyothelete, Monothelete and Miaphysite traditions. The ideological and political needs of constructing a certain specific image of Heraclius are further examined in this work in order to understand and establish the level of “historicity” and/or the “biased” nature of the relevant source or group of sources. Through a critical juxtaposition of the “historical” and the “imagined” Heraclius, this study can enrich our understanding of the mechanisms of social memory and its ideological dimension, as applied to Medieval societies.
Emperor Heraclius, Memory Studies, History of Reception, Politics of Memory, Social Memory, Erinnerungspolitik, Rezeptionsgeschichte
Sirotenko, Anastasiia
2020
German
Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Sirotenko, Anastasiia (2020): Erinnern an Herakleios: zur Darstellung des Kaisers Herakleios in mittelalterlichen Quellen. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Cultural Studies
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Abstract

This dissertation is dealing with the problem of the social memory of the Eastern Roman Emperor Heraclius. It is the first study into the history of reception of this ruler by Medieval Christian authors. The source basis of this study covers a wide number of narrative sources, primarily of Byzantine, Medieval Western and Oriental Christian provenance, composed between the 7th and the 13th centuries. The main question discussed is how was Heraclius remembered in different Medieval cultures and contexts, i.e. how the memory of him and his reign developed over the course of time, what changes and disruptions the image of Heraclius underwent throughout the centuries and how forgetting, intentional or not, influenced this process. Using a systematic approach, I explored narrative elements common to most of the sources addressed, e.g. Heraclius’ Persian campaigns or his religious policy. It’s worth emphasizing that not only the narrative elements that constitute what is seen as “real history” are being analyzed, but also certain fictional elements, e.g. various hyperbolized, fantastic, stories of Heraclius personally fighting and vanquishing unrealistically powerful enemies. As part of this analysis, I identified and compared various narrative approaches to the history of Heraclius’ reign, while searching for their possible origins. This, while dedicating particular attention to the narrative approaches found in different regional and religious-political textual traditions: the contemporary Byzantine and Western traditions; the late Crusader tradition; the Dyothelete, Monothelete and Miaphysite traditions. The ideological and political needs of constructing a certain specific image of Heraclius are further examined in this work in order to understand and establish the level of “historicity” and/or the “biased” nature of the relevant source or group of sources. Through a critical juxtaposition of the “historical” and the “imagined” Heraclius, this study can enrich our understanding of the mechanisms of social memory and its ideological dimension, as applied to Medieval societies.