Constantinople in "The Chronicle" of Marcellinus Comes


Marcellinus’ Chronicie certainly belongs to the canon if its literary genre and as such it has been analyzed by scholars. It seems though, that it can also be looked at as a record of some observations of the life of a metropolis, done by its long-standing inhabitant. The inventory of issues picked-up by Marcellinus is not accidental and does not only serve a more or (mostly) less detailed description of the history of the Empire, but also reflects, at least to some extent, the Constantinopolitan microcosm. The chronicler reveals the problems that might be interesting to an inhabitant of the City, which were important to him and which he had to cope with. A Constantinopolitan of the lst half of 6th century was someone who had to live in the times of unrest. He was a witness to freąuent riots and disturbances, either by ordinary hooligans, members of circus factions, or those arising from the resistance against unpopular rulers (e.g. Anastasios), which sometimes led to usurpation attempts. He observed both cruel struggles and cruel repressions following them. It seems that Marcellinus respected Constantinople and was aware of living in an unusual place. His relations with the City may have been strong and emotional, which can be proved by the content of the Chronicie, fuli of Constantinopolitan threads, as well as by the fact that he dedicated part of his lost work Description of the City of Constantinople and of Jerusalem to it.


Constantinople; Chronicle; Marcellinus Comes

Basset S., The Urban Image of Late Antique Constantinople, Cambridge 2004
Bury J.B., History of the Later Roman Empire from the Death of Theodosius I. to the Death of Justinian, I, New York 1958
Cameron A., Circus Factions. Blues and Greens at Rome and Byzantium, Oxford 1976 (1999)
Cameron A., The Date of Zosimus’ New History, „Philologus” 113 (1969)
Cassiodorus, Institutiones, ed. R.A.B. Mynors, Oxford 1937
Cekalova A.A., Konstantinopol v VI veke. Vosstanie Nika, Sankt Peterburg 1997
Charanis P., Church and State in the Later Roman Empire. The Religious Policy of Anastasius the First, Thessaloniki 1974
Chatzeantoniou E., He laike eksegerse tou 511 kai he kathairese tou patriarchę Makedoniou, „Byzantiaka” 23 (2003) 107-124
Croke B., Count Marcellinus and his Chronicie, Oxford 2001
Croke B., Justinian under Justin: Reconfiguring a Reign, ByZ 100 (2007)
Evans J.A.S., The Age of Justinian. The circumstances of imperial power, London - New York 1996
Frend W.H.C., The Fall of Macedonius in 511 – a Suggestion, w: Kerygma und Logos. Beitrage zu den geistesgeschichtlichen Beziehungen zwischen Antike und Christentum, Gottingen 1979, 183-195
Frend W.H.C., The Rise ofthe Monophysite Movement. Chapters in the History of the Church in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries, Cambridge 1972
Gracianskij M.V., «Pravoslavnaja partija» i prichod k vlasti imperatora lustina I (518-527gg.), „Vizantijskij Vremennik” 66 (2007) 125-140
Haarer F.K., Anastasius I. Politics and Empire in the Late Roman World, Cambridge 2006
Janin R., Constantinople byzantine. Development urbain etrepertoire topographique, Paris 1964
Janiszewski P., Historiografia późnego antyku (koniec III-połowa VII w.), w: Vademecum historyka starożytnej Grecji i Rzymu. Źródłoznawstwo czasów późnego antyku, red. E, Wipszycka, Warszawa 1999
Janiszewski P., Żywioły w służbie propagandy, czyli po której stronie stoi Bóg. Studium klęsk i rzadkich fenomenów przyrodniczych u historyków Kościoła IV i V wieku, w: Chrześcijaństwo u schyłku starożytności. Studia żródłoznawcze, III, red. T. Derda - E. Wipszycka, Kraków 2000
Koczwara S., Religijne motywy w rewolcie Witaliana w 513-515 roku, VoxP 24 (2004) t. 46-47, 561-571
Lancon B., La contribution a l’histoire de l’Eglise de la Chronique de Marcellin d’llyricum, w: L'historiographie de TEglise des premiers siecles, ed. B. Pouderon - Y.M. Duval, Paris 2001
Lee A.D., The Eastern Empire: Theodosius to Anastasius, w. Cambridge Ancient History, XIV: Late Antiąuity: Empire and Successors, A.D. 425-600, ed. A. Cameron - B. Ward-Perkins - M. Whitby, Cambridge 2000
Marcellinus Comes, Chronicon
Morley N., Trade in Classical Antiąuity, Cambridge 2007
Salamon M., Problem upadku Cesarstwa Rzymskiego w greckiej historiografii powszechnej początków VI wieku (Zosimos i Eustatiusz), w: Problemy schyłku świata antycznego, Katowice 1978
Schneider A.M., Brande in Konstantinopel, ByZ 41 (1941) 382-403
The Chronicie of Marcellinus. A Translation and Commentary (with a reproduction of Mommsen’ edition of the text), ed. B. Croke, Sydney 1995
The Prosopography of Later Roman Empire, vol. II: A.D. 395-527, ed. J.R. Martindale, Cambridge 1980
Vasiliev A.A., Justin the First. An Introduction to the Epoch of Justinian the Great, Cambridge 1950
Whitby M., The Violence of the Circus Factions, w: Organised Crime in Antiąuity, ed. K. Hopwood, London 1999,229-253

Published : 2008-06-15

Leszka, M. (2008). Constantinople in "The Chronicle" of Marcellinus Comes. Vox Patrum, 52(1), 585-592.

Mirosław J. Leszka
Uniwersytet Łódzki  Poland

Most read articles by the same author(s)