De Cerimoniis and the Great Palace

Authored by: J. M. Featherstone

The Byzantine World

Print publication date:  February  2010
Online publication date:  December  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415440103
eBook ISBN: 9780203817254
Adobe ISBN: 9781136727870

10.4324/9780203817254.ch13

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Abstract

One of the most important sources for Byzantine studies is the text commonly known as the De cerimoniis. This compilation, associated with the name of Constantine VII, is a great mine of information not only for philologists, but also for political, cultural and art historians, as well as archaeologists. The keenly antiquarian Constantine initiated this collection in the context of a renewal of court ceremonial on his accession to self-rule in 945. Here old descriptions of ceremonies were gathered together and new ones added. A subsequent redaction, with various additions, was produced some twenty years later, during the reign of the emperor Nikephoros Phokas (963–9). The text of this later version has come down to us in two contemporary manuscripts, one almost intact, now in Leipzig, and another which is preserved in two palimpsest fragments, in Istanbul and on Mt Athos. 1

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