"To every innovation, anathema" (?) : some preliminary thoughts on the study of Byzantine innovation
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Original versionSpanos, A. (2010). "To every innovation, anathema" (?) : some preliminary thoughts on the study of Byzantine innovation. In H. Knudsen, J. Falkenberg, K. Grønhaug & Å. Garnes (Eds.), Mysterion, strategike og kainotomia : et festskrift til ære for Jonny Holbek (pp. 51-59). Oslo: Novus.
A well established notion in Byzantine, and generally in medieval studies, is that Byzantium was a conservative civilization, highly resistant to innovation. This general idea has influenced our evaluation of innovation in Byzantium up to the present time. Even modern scholars have considered innovation as being either totally absent or at least as something the Byzantines were generally opposed to. This article makes a preliminary effort to reexamine this notion, by studying lexicographical and other textual sources, and questioning whether the evaluation of Byzantine innovation has been as thorough as it should be and whether it is based on a sound methodology.
Published version of a chapter in the book: Mysterion, strategike og kainotomia : et festskrift til ære for Jonny Holbek, redigert av Harald Knudsen (et al.). Also available from the publisher at: http://www.agderforskning.no/reports/mysterion.pdf