Reports about Byzantine Interpreters, 890—960s: toward the Comprehension of Communicatory Practices in the Romanland
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Reports about Byzantine Interpreters, 890—960s: toward the Comprehension of Communicatory Practices in the Romanland
Annotation
PII
S207987840012336-8-1
DOI
10.18254/S207987840012336-8
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Aleksey Schavelev 
Affiliation: Institute of World History RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Abstract

The article presents an analyses of evidences revealed in written texts about the activities of interpreters (translators) in the Byzantine Empire from 890s to 960s. Based on the data collected, it is concluded that all identified interpreters were typical Romans (Byzantines), but not immigrants or repatriates. Translation services were a part of Byzantium’s daily life; interpreters operate in a variety of situations and locations — from the imperial palace to the common market. Byzantine interpreters did not constitute a separate professional group of bureaucrats, subordinated to one agency. Language experts served in a wide variety of military units and civilian institutions. Knowledge of languages clearly contributed to the military or bureaucratic career of any Byzantine Roman. The Greek language served as one of the key markers of self-identification for the Byzantines and made it possible to assimilate or weed out foreign ethno-linguistic elements effectively. The axiology of “our” Greek language, both in its classical written tradition and in its vernacular forms, was a necessary integrative element of the “field of power” of the Byzantine Roman emperors.

Keywords
Byzantium, Romanland, Byzantines, interpreters, communication, ethno-linguistic identity, multilingualism
Received
26.02.2020
Publication date
15.10.2020
Number of characters
41661
Number of purchasers
8
Views
77
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0.0 (0 votes)
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