“Storytelling” and “History writing” in Seventh-Century Near East

The present paper is a study on the circulation of historiographical material across linguistic, religious and political borders in the seventh-century Near East and Mediterranean. Contrary to other scholars, who have tried to explain the similarities among certain historical texts looking only for shared written sources, the author points out the importance that oral transmission must have had in the circulation of historical information, before and beside written production, and finds evidence for that in eight medieval chronicles written in Greek, Latin, Syriac and Arabic.

The author

Maria Conterno, Department of History, University of Ghent (Belgium), BA and MA, University of Padua; Ph.D., Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (Florence), works primarily on the interactions among Greek, Syriac and Christian Arabic cultures in Late Antiquity and Byzantium. Her doctoral dissertation, currently in print, is focused on the Oriental sources of Theophanes Confessor’s Chronographia. After a research stay in the United States (Princeton, Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies), and in Paris (“boursière Fernand Braudel”, Labex RESMED), she now works at the University of Ghent within a project on Late Antique historiography, conducting a research on the reception of Greek ecclesiastical histories in Syriac and Christian Arabic historiography.

The text

This text was written in the frame of a Fernand Braudel IFER Fellow ship, February-October 2013.

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