Narratives on the development of world civilization generated in the course of the 19th and early 20th centuries (and largely not replaced since) accord a central position to the "classical tradition" as a constituent element of modern "Western" identity and assign to Byzantium the marginal role of preserving this tradition immutable without innovation or creative elaboration.
However, a survey of medieval translations of originally Greek material into Arabic and Latin reveals that Byzantium’s contemporaries viewed its literary culture under a very different light: medieval Latin and Arabic translations of Greek texts are not limited to the ancient classics but extend to Biblical, patristic, hagiographical, liturgical and legal texts. This indicates that Byzantium’s contemporaries were vividly interested its older Christian and Roman traditions.
For more information on the lecture contact Dr Amelia Brown, or visit the AABS website: http://www.aabs.org.au/conferences/18th/programme/
A wine and cheese reception will follow the lecture.