Universitatea de Vest din Timişoara
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7 / 2018
Stylistic Features of Byzantine Paerenesis – Admonition to the Emperor
The paraenesis written by Katakalon Kekaumenos, along with other specific works of Byzantine Literature, is part of a larger historical and cultural process. This sort of writing that belongs to advice literature, is liable to different ways of interpretation. Kekaumenos’ Advices to an Emperor belongs to a distinct rhetorical tradition where the text has become a vehicle of political ideology. In the same time, Kekaumenos’ work is an attempt to break away from the conventional pattern by presenting not only the author’s political opinions as an aristocrat with a strong military background but also certain economic and administrative aspects of the imperial provinces. Kekaumenos gives a reason for writing this work in the next phrase: “I am not a writer…I had no intention to create a work for public, I haven’t written it with stylish words…Maybe my words belong to a simple man, but if you read them with good trust, you would find them truthful.” Indeed, one who considers his words carefully, would find a remarkable work in which the rhetoric and conventional development are missing while the practical and direct approaches are prevailing. The present work aims to contribute in emphasizing and analyzing some stylistic features used by the author in the structure of the parenetical discourse.
Keywords: paraenesis; advices; imperial; stylistic; rhetoric.