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Greet me with words: gifts and intellectual friendships in eleventh-century Byzantium

Floris Bernard (UGent)
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Abstract
This contribution describes a specific discourse of gift giving in the texts of Michael Psellos, John Mauropous and Christopher Mitylenaios, three authors from 11th-century Byzantium. In their letters and poems, these authors present their literary works (logoi) as an immaterial gift, superior to normal material gifts. This specific argumentation needs to be set within the framework of intellectualistic self-representations. It is a literary construct that projects intellectualist values on the axis of the commonly accepted ethics of gift exchange. As such, it helps to maintain friendships between persons willing to recognize the symbolic value of intellectual pursuits.
Keywords
Gift-giving, Michael Psellos, Byzantine literature

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Chicago
Bernard, Floris. 2011. “Greet Me with Words: Gifts and Intellectual Friendships in Eleventh-century Byzantium.” In Geschenke Erhalten Die Freundschaft : Gabentausch Und Netzwerkpflege Im Europäischen Mittelalter, ed. Michael Grünbart, 1:1–11. Münster, Germany: LIT Verlag.
APA
Bernard, F. (2011). Greet me with words: gifts and intellectual friendships in eleventh-century Byzantium. In M. Grünbart (Ed.), Geschenke erhalten die Freundschaft : Gabentausch und Netzwerkpflege im europäischen Mittelalter (Vol. 1, pp. 1–11). Münster, Germany: LIT Verlag.
Vancouver
1.
Bernard F. Greet me with words: gifts and intellectual friendships in eleventh-century Byzantium. In: Grünbart M, editor. Geschenke erhalten die Freundschaft : Gabentausch und Netzwerkpflege im europäischen Mittelalter. Münster, Germany: LIT Verlag; 2011. p. 1–11.
MLA
Bernard, Floris. “Greet Me with Words: Gifts and Intellectual Friendships in Eleventh-century Byzantium.” Geschenke Erhalten Die Freundschaft : Gabentausch Und Netzwerkpflege Im Europäischen Mittelalter. Ed. Michael Grünbart. Vol. 1. Münster, Germany: LIT Verlag, 2011. 1–11. Print.
@incollection{1852676,
  abstract     = {This contribution describes a specific discourse of gift giving in the texts of Michael Psellos, John Mauropous and Christopher Mitylenaios, three authors from 11th-century Byzantium. In their letters and poems, these authors present their literary works (logoi) as an immaterial gift, superior to normal material gifts. This specific argumentation needs to be set within the framework of intellectualistic self-representations. It is a literary construct that projects intellectualist values on the axis of the commonly accepted ethics of gift exchange. As such, it helps to maintain friendships between persons willing to recognize the symbolic value of intellectual pursuits.},
  author       = {Bernard, Floris},
  booktitle    = {Geschenke erhalten die Freundschaft : Gabentausch und Netzwerkpflege im europ{\"a}ischen Mittelalter},
  editor       = {Gr{\"u}nbart, Michael},
  isbn         = {9783643108975},
  keyword      = {Gift-giving,Michael Psellos,Byzantine literature},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {1--11},
  publisher    = {LIT Verlag},
  series       = {Byzantinistische Studien und Texte},
  title        = {Greet me with words: gifts and intellectual friendships in eleventh-century Byzantium},
  volume       = {1},
  year         = {2011},
}