The paper deals with a letter of emperor Isaakios II Comnenos to the archbishop Iob of Esztergom (ca. 1190), a document which became known through the edition of the letters of the court officer Demetrios Tornikes in 1970. It concerns theological questions (eating of sacrifice meat, filioque) which the emperor (or rather his ghost writer Tornikes) uses to disprove the western practice. In a political explosive time of permanent menace and invasions at all corners of the empire the emperor on the one hand has to underline the orthodox position as the real acceptable in these questions (by sophistically refuting the archbishop’s objections) and to simulate an unshakeable imperial power, on the other hand he wants to give the impression that the archbishop has a special status for the emperor and his patience (which might have consequences for the relation between Byzantium and Hungary, always a needful ally). The paper concentrates especially on the illocution and perlocution aspects of the letter.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the imperial ritual was preserved and systematized in the East, in the ‘Byzantine’ Empire, by intensifying and Christianizing. The Book of Ceremonies by Constantine Porphyrogennetos, written in Greek in Constantinople in the 10th century, by compiling protocols of the previous centuries, gathers a rich collection of court rituals to be observed during the great religious and civil ceremonies which accompanied the important events of the reigns of the sovereigns, and the sportive events at the Hippodrome. We investigate about the permanence and the future of the Latin language in the ceremonial of the Byzantine Court: the survival of formulaic expressions of order and acclamation in Latin (rhômaïzein), Latin phrases underlaying the Greek text, and a great lot of Latinisms (rhômaï(k)a lexis) in the institutional and technical lexicon, sometimes unknown in Latin, which attest integrational processes, lexical creation, and phenomens of ‘aller-retour’ (round trip) between the West and the East, and between the Greek and the Latin languages.