Paper, Parchment, and Ink: The Sources for Attaleiates’ Biography

  • Dimitris Krallis
Part of the New Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture book series (NABHC)


This chapter examines the material used for the reconstruction of Attaleiates’ life. It presents to the reader the three main texts—the History, the Diataxis , and the Ponema Nomikon , which open a window into Attaleiates’ world. Next to those texts, we encounter elements from the materiality of Attaleiates’ life. His autograph signature on the manuscript of the Diataxis , his signet ring, and a surviving led seal bring us closer to him. The space itself in Istanbul, on which a church he used to own was located and the lands of Anatolia on which he walked and traveled give us a better sense of the man. Finally, the literary output of the eleventh century, letters by colleagues and state documents of all kinds complete the portrait.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dimitris Krallis
    • 1
  1. 1.Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic StudiesSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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