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In the present paper I try to point out the importance of imitation as a literary tool in the historiography of the early Byzantine period. Dexippus, Priscus, and Procopius used the description of the siege of Plataea as a base text for imitation. The primary aim of these authors was to continue the classical tradition through imitation and to create something new at the same time.

  • LSJ 939 s. v. II.: „piece of patch-work, rag; pen-wiper; hence, copy of verses made up of scraps from other authors”. In Györkösy, A. - Kapitánffy, I. - Tegyey, I.: Ógörög-magyar nagyszótár [A Comprehensive Ancient Greek-Hungarian Dictionary]. Budapest 19932, 579 s. v. this meaning cannot be found.

    '', in Ógörög-magyar nagyszótár , (1993 ) -.

  • Finály, H.: A latin nyelv szótára [Dictionary of the Latin Language]. Budapest 1884, 336.

    Finály H , '', in A latin nyelv szótára , (1884 ) -.

  • A detailed summary of the related literature can be found in M. Beck s. v. Cento. In Döpp, S. - Geerlings, W. (Hrsg.): Lexikon der antiken christlichen Literatur. Freiburg - Basel - Wien 2002, 143–144.

    '', in Lexikon der antiken christlichen Literatur , (2002 ) -.

  • AP IX 381: “On a projecting shore on the broad Hellespont a modest maiden, having mounted to an upper chamber, stood in the tower lamenting and wailing. Holding a golden lamp she gave beautiful light, brooding on that unhappy man, would he come or not swimming. — And he swiftly passed across the depth of the sea, through the ambrosial night when other mortals sleep, for a great wave surged towards the dry land of the continent. For as many days and nights as pass, the young man and maiden converse with each other, going to bed together without the knowledge of their dear parents, who inhabit Sestos, and Abydos, and divine Arisbe.” Translated by W. R. Paton. In Greek Anthology III. Book IX. The Declamatory Epigrams. London - New York 1917, 209–211.

  • Cf. Stemplinger, E.: Das Plagiat in der griechischen Literatur. Leipzig-Berlin 1912, 171–280.

    Stemplinger E , '', in Das Plagiat in der griechischen Literatur , (1912 ) -.

  • For what follows I have consulted the following editions and commentaries: Thukydides. Zweiter Band. Zweites Buch erkl. von J. Classen. Fünfte Auflage bearb. von J. Steup. Berlin 1914; Thukydides. Dritter Band. Drittes Buch erkl. von J. Classen. Dritte Auflage besorgt von J. Steup. Berlin 1892; Thucydidis Vol. I. Libri I–II. Ed. O. Luschnat. Leipzig 1954; Thucydidis Historiae. Volumen I: Libri I–II. rec. G. Alberti. Roma 1972; Thucydidis Historiae. Volumen II: Libri III–V. rec. G. Alberti. Roma 1992; Gomme, A. W.: A Historical Commentary on Thucydides. Volume II: The Ten Years’ War. Books II–III. Oxford 1956; Rhodes, P. J.: Thucydides History II. Warminster 1988; Rhodes, P. J.: Thucydides History III. Warminster 1994; Rusten, J. S.: Thucydides Book II. Cambridge 1989; Hornblower, S.: A Commentary on Thucydides. Volume I: Books I–III. Oxford 1991.

  • Partial problems of the description, which is sometimes hard to follow, have already raised the interest of scholars: cf. Abbott, E.: The Siege of Plataea. CR 4 (1890) 1–3; Grundy, G. B.: The Topography of the Battle of Plataea. London 1894, 53–72; Cf. Aravantinos, V. - Konecny, A. - Marchese, R. T.: Plataiai in Boiotia: A Preliminary Report of the 1996–2001 Campaigns. Hesperia 72 (2003) 281–320.

    Abbott E , 'The Siege of Plataea ' (1890 ) 4 CR : 1 -3.

  • The 70 days seem to be an unreal number since the Spartan army had never stayed in Attica longer than forty days. This is why a part of the textual editors suggest the correction of the number from 70 to 7 or 17. Cf. Gomme (n. 6) 207.

  • Cf. Harrison, E. L.: The Escape from Plataea: Thucydides 3, 23. CQ 9 (1959) 30–33.

    Harrison E L , 'The Escape from Plataea: Thucydides 3, 23 ' (1959 ) 9 CQ : 30 -33.

  • Already Dionysius of Halicarnassus wrote of this passage in high terms (Th. 42). Cf. MacLeod, C. W.: Thucydides’ Plataean Debate. GRBS 18 (1977) 227–246.

    MacLeod C W , 'Thucydides’ Plataean Debate ' (1977 ) 18 GRBS : 227 -246.

  • Cf. Hornblower, S.: The Fourth-Century and Hellenistic Reception of Thucydides. JHS 115 (1995) 47–68.

    Hornblower S , 'The Fourth-Century and Hellenistic Reception of Thucydides ' (1995 ) 115 JHS : 47 -68.

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  • Thompson, V. T.: A Parallel between the Siege of Plataea and that of St. Damian. CR 2 (1888) 119.

    Thompson V T , 'A Parallel between the Siege of Plataea and that of St. Damian ' (1888 ) 2 CR : 119 -.

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  • Cf. Martin, G.: Dexipp von Athen. Tübingen 2006.

    Martin G , '', in Dexipp von Athen , (2006 ) -.

  • Cf. Millar, F.: P. Herennius Dexippus. The Greek World and the Third-Century Invasions. JRS 59 (1969) 12–29.

    Millar F , 'P. Herennius Dexippus. The Greek World and the Third-Century Invasions ' (1969 ) 59 JRS : 12 -29.

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  • Cf. Thompson, E. A.: Early Germanic Warfare. P&P 14 (1958) 2–29.

    Thompson E A , 'Early Germanic Warfare ' (1958 ) 14 P&P : 2 -29.

  • Historici Graeci Minores. Vol. I. Ed. L. Dindorf. Leipzig 1870, frg. 19. 184–186. (= FGrH 100, 27 frg.)

  • In details, see Stein, F.: Dexippus et Herodianus rerum scriptores quatenus Thucydidem secuti sint. Bonn 1957.

    Stein F , '', in Dexippus et Herodianus rerum scriptores quatenus Thucydidem secuti sint , (1957 ) -.

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  • Cf. Baldwin, B.: Priscus of Panium. Byzantion 50 (1980) 18–61.

    Baldwin B , 'Priscus of Panium ' (1980 ) 50 Byzantion : 18 -61.

  • See Dindorf (n. 16) frg. 1b. 278–280.

  • In details, see Thompson, E. A.: Priscus of Panium, Fragment Ib. CQ 39 (1945) 92–94.

    Thompson E A , 'Priscus of Panium, Fragment Ib ' (1945 ) 39 CQ : 92 -94.

  • Cf. Rubin, B.: Prokopios von Kaisareia. In PWRE XXIII/I (1957) 273–599.

    B R , 'Prokopios von Kaisareia ' (1957 ) XXIII/I PWRE : 273 -599.

  • Its standard edition is Procopii Caesariensis Opera omnia. Vol. I–II. Edd. J. Haury - G. Wirth. Leipzig 1962–1963.

  • In details, see Braun, H.: Procopius Caesariensis quatenus imitatus sit Thucydidem. Erlangen 1885; Bornmann, F.: Motivi Tucididei in Procopio. A&R 19 (1978) 138–150; Pazdernik, Ch. F.: Procopius and Thucydides on the Labors of War: Belisarius and Brasidas in the Field. TAPhA 130 (2000) 149–187.

    Braun H , '', in Procopius Caesariensis quatenus imitatus sit Thucydidem , (1885 ) -.

  • The standard work on this subject is still Moravcsik, Gy.: Klassizismus in der byzantinischen Geschichtsschreibung. In Wirth, P. (ed.): Polychronion. Festschrift Franz Dolger zum 75. Geburtstag. Heidelberg 1966, 366–377.

    Moravcsik Gy , '', in Polychronion. Festschrift Franz Dolger zum 75. Geburtstag , (1966 ) -.

  • In details, see Blockley, R. C.: Dexippus and Priscus and the Thucydidean Account of the Siege of Plataea. Phoenix 26 (1972) 18–27.

    Blockley R C , 'Dexippus and Priscus and the Thucydidean Account of the Siege of Plataea ' (1972 ) 26 Phoenix : 18 -27.

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  • Cf. Hunger, H.: On the Imitation (MIMHΣIΣ) of Antiquity in Byzantine Literature. DOP 23/24 (1969/1970) 15–38; Baldwin, B.: Greek Historiography in Late Rome and Early Byzantium. Hellenica 33 (1981) 51–65.

    H H , 'On the Imitation (MIMHΣIΣ) of Antiquity in Byzantine Literature ' (1969 ) 23/24 DOP : 15 -38.

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