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