History (and the Frontier) as Literature in Eleventh-Century Byzantine Historical Accounts

Approaching ‘history as literature’ has allowed byzantinists to pinpoint and examine the narrative conventions (largely derived from a common rhetorical education) that shaped Byzantine narratives of the past. ... This paper discusses different approaches to the frontier space conveyed in the eleventh-century Byzantine historical accounts of Michael Psellos, Michael Attaleiates, and John Skylitzes.

Precedence and Persuasion: Some Preliminary Thoughts on ‘Classicizing’ in the Tang Dynasty

The practice of ‘circulating scrolls’ developed during the mid-Tang as a means for civil service examination candidates to acquire the patronage they required in order to pass. The ‘cover letters’ that accompanied these circulated portfolios of written work offer a unique glimpse into candidates’ attempts to translate the cultural capital accumulated through years of classical learning into social and political relationships.