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Document Details :
Title: In the Footsteps of Herodotus
Subtitle: Laonicus Chalcocondyles and the 'Fate' of the Despotate of the Morea
Author(s): DE BAKKER, Mathieu
Volume: 23 Issue: 1 Date: 2017
This contribution relates to the reception of Herodotus in late-Byzantine historiography at the time of the fall of Constantinople (1453). I will focus upon Laonicus Chalcocondyles (1423-1465?) and his account of the final years of the Despotate of the Morea (the medieval and early modern name for the Peloponnese) in the later books of his Demonstrations of Histories. Laonicus’ narrative contains significant allusions to Herodotus and other ancient authors, which indicate that he sought to explain the events in a classicising, hellenising manner that was at odds with contemporary Christian eschatology. Laonicus’ specific outlook on the past should be borne in mind by those who study the history of these pivotal events.