Anna Komnene's Narrative of the War against the Scythians



Year of publication 2014
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Graeco-Latina Brunensia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web Digitální knihovna FF MU
Field History
Keywords Byzantium; Pechenegs; medieval; nomads; Alexias; warfare
Description The Alexiad by Anna Komnene is well-known to most of the Byzantine history scholars. At times it raises controversial issues (e.g. concerning "full" authorship of the Byzantine princess), but all in all it represents a very valuable source of information. In this paper I examine just how precise and valuable the pieces of information she gives us in connection with the war of her father emperor Alexios Komnenos (1081-1118) against the Scythians (the Pechenegs) are. I also partly focus on chronological issues which at times are able to "darken" the course of events and render their putting back into the right context difficult. There are many inconsistencies of this type in Anna Komnene's narrative and for these reasons it is important to reestablish clear succession of events. Finally I present a concise description of the war against the Pechenegs based on the findings of the previous parts of this paper.
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