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Document Details :
Title: Political Margins
Subtitle: Geography and History in the Excerpta anonymi
Author(s): MANAFIS, Panagiotis
Volume: 87 Date: 2017
The aim of the present article is to identify the perception of a late antique ethnographic account in a 10th c. collection of historical excerpts, namely the codex Parisinus suppl. gr. 607A. The article focuses on the use of Procopius. The author of the Parisinus extracted geographical and ethnographical passages from Procopius’ History of the Wars. It has long been recognized that Procopius’ geographic and ethnographic descriptions are a product of the age of Justinian I, which was a time of territorial expansion and ideological transformation. Simultaneously, Procopius’ descriptions of lands and their peoples function as vehicle of criticism of his own society by reflecting on how the Romans viewed themselves in relation to other peoples. The Parisinus instead bears witness to a period in which the transformative power and civilizing influence of the Byzantine Empire have been restricted. In the relevant extracted passages, the Parisinus did not seek to subvert traditional perceptions of the other in order to help the readers to think about the dominant beliefs of their society. It employs, however, the difference in the civilization level to reinforce already established geographical and political frontiers.