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Reconstructing the narrative: The usurpation of Nikephoros Bryennios the Elder

Strong, Sean 2020. Reconstructing the narrative: The usurpation of Nikephoros Bryennios the Elder. SHARE: Studies in History, Archaeology, Religion and Conservation 4 (1) , pp. 1-27. 10.18573/share.18

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This paper traces the usurpation of Nikephoros Bryennios the elder, 1077/8 AD, by examining narratives from three Byzantine historians: Michael Attaleiates, John Skylitzes, and Nikephoros Bryennios the younger. For the most part, modern scholars have focussed on investigating successful usurpation candidates who managed to rise to imperial power. For this period, this included Nikephoros Botaneiates and Alexios Komnenos. Key questions are often asked, such as how usurpers managed to succeed and why did they choose to undertake a course of usurpation, often resulting in a narrative of justification and legitimacy.[1] For this period, albeit from Neville (2012) on Nikephoros Bryennios, appreciation has not been given to usurpers who failed.[2] This paper will provide a chronology of Nikephoros Bryennios’ usurpation, and how these three authors depict the incident, the correlations and differences between them, and lastly, preliminary thoughts why Bryennios’ usurpation failed compared to his successful contemporaries.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
J Political Science > JC Political theory
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Publisher: Cardiff University Press
ISSN: 2055-4893
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 August 2020
Date of Acceptance: 21 July 2020
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 11:57

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