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A Literary History of Constantinople

Paul Magdalino, Koç University, Fellow 2014–2015, Spring

My main goal during my spring term fellowship was to initiate the reading and planning for my literary history of Constantinople, titled The Capital of Logos: Greek Literature in Constantinople, and Constantinople in Byzantine Literature, 330–1453. In particular, I wanted to define the shape of the section dealing with the fourth and fifth centuries, which is the period that sets the scene for what follows; it is also the period with which I am least familiar from my previous work, and the period that has generated, proportionally, the most scholarly literature. I succeeded in finding a narrative for the fourth century, and gave some indication of this in my research report. I was unable to make much progress with the fifth-century material, because other unavoidable research commitments intervened: my paper that I delivered at the spring symposium on the Church of the Holy Apostles; my April 14 talk to the Medieval Graduate Group at Harvard on “The Apostolic Tradition in Constantinople”; reviews of a book manuscript for Oxford University Press; an article submitted to Dumbarton Oaks Papers; and the need to collect and scan bibliography for other short-term projects (book chapters, future conference papers, etc.).