Hannah Seeger Davis Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2015-2016
Luisa Andriollo studied Classics at the University of Siena (BA), then at the University of Pisa (MA); she holds a joint PhD in Byzantine Studies from Pisa University and University of Paris IV Sorbonne. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the development of relations between Constantinople and the Byzantine provinces of Asia Minor from the ninth to the eleventh century; this study took into account not only the concrete ways to administer and exploit the provincial jurisdictions, but also the perception and cultural representation of the relation between center and periphery. Her research interests include Byzantine sigillography, Byzantine literature, social and cultural history of the Komnenian age and classical reception in Byzantium and beyond.
My research project project aims to contribute to the study of Byzantine court literature and aristocratic society under the first Komnenoi, Alexios I (1081-1118) and John II (1118-1143). Nicholas Kallikles’ poems are among the very few surviving examples of imperial rhetoric and court literature dating from this period, which was marked by internal troubles, serious external threats and significant political changes. Through textual analysis, I will study evolutions and continuities in literary practices, aristocratic ideology and the official representation of imperial power. In doing so, I wish to outline the cultural strategies by which Komnenian emperors legitimized their power, strengthened their dynastic prestige and justified the supremacy of a reorganized aristocracy.