Biblical Echoes in Two Byzantine Military Speeches
This article examines the two extant military speeches attributed to Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos for their biblical references and allusions. These speeches demonstrate imperial Byzantine exegesis, establish biblical grounds for the ‘chosen’ status of Byzantine Christians, and reveal that the non-soldierly emperor Constantine VII appropriated the role of a mediating priestly figure as a way of claiming authority over his fighting forces. In this, he follows in the footsteps of his father, the emperor Leo VI (r. 886–912). Both speeches are explicitly Christian, and were used to bolster military morale and to reinforce imperial authority.
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