chapter  8
Antony Eastmond ‘It began with a picture’: Imperial art, texts and subversion between East and West in the twelfth century
Pages 24

John Kantakouzenos exhorts an assembly of associates and officials on the active role everyone is expected to play in public affairs and their contribution to supporting the wellbeing of the polity, especially when it concerns Byzantium and its tradition of eminence is threatened. Techniques and methods include metaphor and other imagery; allusions to historical examples or analogies; political or moral distinctions; analysis of the current situation; subsumption of the particular under general truths or topoi; exploration of the opposite view on the subject in something like an agon; and deliberative epilogues. Collateral to the theme of political and moral subversion is that of political and moral associateship, and in particular of 'friendship', from very early on in the narrative. A typology of the relations between event and discourse in the Histories would be an interesting attempt and would clarify the observable unity of discourse.