Ted and Elaine Athanassiades Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2017-2018
Anna Calia studied Classics at the University of Siena (BA), then at the University of Venice (MA); she holds a joint PhD in Byzantine Studies from the the University of San Marino (Advanced School of Historical Studies) and the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris). She was awarded research grants in Istanbul from the Orient Institut (2012) and the Institut Français d’Etudes Anatoliennes (2014). Her doctoral dissertation addressed the Byzantine-Ottoman transition in Constantinople and in the Morea, focusing on the developments occurred in late Byzantine rhetorical literature around 1453 through an analysis of John Dokeianos’works. Her research interests include late Byzantine literature and history of the late Byzantine empire, Greek palaeography, classical reception in Byzantium. Besides her academic engagement, she holds a post as teacher of Greek and Latin at the Liceo Foscarini (Venice).
My project focuses on the developments in rhetorical literature in the last years of the Byzantine Empire. Scholars have long debated on the evolution of Greek identity during the Palaiologan age and the impact of Latins and Ottomans on the declining empire. However, there is still a large number of unedited or little-explored texts which need to be taken into account in order to shed new light on this period. Through integrating philology and paleography, I study rhetorical texts by John Dokeianos, Mark and John Eugenikos, Theodore Agallianos and Gennadios Scholarios. I show that their mutual connections emerge not only in their texts through quotations and allusions, but also in the manuscripts they copied together and they exchanged. I analyze these complex texts where we find Classical, patristic sources and echoes of contemporary religious debates. In doing so, I wish to outline the reaction of anti-Unionist circles in Constantinople to the Union of 1439 and their response to the Ottoman threat.
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