Byzantium & Friends

32. Anastasius the Librarian, the greatest enemy of Byzantium you probably haven’t heard of, with Réka Forrai

September 10, 2020

Meet Anastasius the Librarian, one of the most fascinating controversialists of the ninth century. A native of Rome, scholar of Greek, and (probably) anti-pope for all of three days, he was no friend of Byzantium. He disliked and mistrusted "the Greeks" and argued that they were not Romans as they thought. His arguments have held sway in the west ever since. My guest is Réka Forrai (University of Southern Denmark), an expert on Anastasius' writings and thought; see especially her fascinating study ‘The Sacred Nectar of the Deceitful Greeks: Perceptions of Greekness in Ninth Century Rome,’ in A. Speer and P. Steinkrüger, eds., Knotenpunkt Byzanz: Wissensformen und kulturelle Wechselbeziehungen (Berlin 2012) 71-84.

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