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Imperial Visions of Late ByzantiumManuel II Palaiologos and Rhetoric in Purple$
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Florin Leonte

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474441032

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474441032.001.0001

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The Narrative Voice: The Funeral Oration on His Brother Theodore, Despot of Morea

The Narrative Voice: The Funeral Oration on His Brother Theodore, Despot of Morea

(p.199) 6 The Narrative Voice: The Funeral Oration on His Brother Theodore, Despot of Morea
Imperial Visions of Late Byzantium

Florin Leonte

Edinburgh University Press

In this chapter it is suggested that the encomium for Manuel’s deceased brother, Theodore Palaiologos was integrated into a broader account of the affairs of the Morea. Manuel emulated the traditions both of the panegyric oration and of the epic/chronicle. The subject matter, the praise for his brother, is treated in the form of a narrative account, and to a large extent the author is precise about the events he recounts. By this account, the unit dealing with Theodore’s achievements was conceived not as a mere list of glorious deeds illustrating Theodore’s virtues but as a string of interconnected episodes, truly an account of the Morea and not only of the brother. Certainly, these elements did not combine in a composition resembling a historical chronicle. However, they were primarily intended not just to describe military situations but also to convey a political message, as various stylistic devices such as the configuration of a strong narrative voice or the use of criticism indicate. Based on the peculiarities of the author’s literary strategies, this narrative of Theodore’s deeds took the form of a sanitised, official account of events which put forward a message that claimed Morea’s dynastic control.

Keywords:   Narrative, narrative theory, Thedore Palaiologos, funeral oration

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