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Thucydides and Herodotus in the Late Antique and Byzantine Rhetorical Tradition

Scott Kennedy, Ohio State University, Junior Fellow 2017–2018

I spent a fruitful year finishing two major projects. The first was my dissertation on the reception of Herodotus and Thucydides in the ancient and Byzantine rhetorical tradition. Before the advent of the modern historical discipline in the nineteenth century, history was primarily a rhetorical subdiscipline. I examined what the vast and often underserved rhetorical corpus can teach us about how Byzantines thought about history, as well as how rhetoric’s directives guided the production of historical narratives. I also submitted for publication two articles related to my doctoral research, one on the date and composition of the scholia to Thucydides and another on the decline of Thucydides as a seminal literary text in the middle Byzantine period. My second major project was my Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library volume, a compilation of translated texts on the elusive empire of Trebizond (1204–1461), which will appear in fall 2018. I had the privilege of working face-to-face with Alice-Mary Talbot and Tyler fellow Jake Ransohoff on the volume. I also submitted an article related to the book, which will appear in Byzantinische Zeitschrift in late 2018, and developed three other related article projects.