Rhetoric, Exegesis and Florilegic Structure in Philagathos of Cerami: An Investigation of the Homilies and of the Allegorical Exegesis of Heliodorus’ Aethiopika

Thesis author: 
Mircea Grațian Duluş
Thesis topic: 
Byzantine history and culture c.600–c.1500
Academic Area(s): 
Year of enrollment: 
Duration of thesis project: 
Sep, 2007 - Jun, 2013
Thesis supervisor: 
Floris Bernard
Thesis supervisor: 
Niels Gaul
Thesis abstract: 

My research addresses the substantial collection of homilies written by Philagathos of Cerami. This is the first comprehensive attempt to contextualize Philagathos’ activity in the wider socio-historical framework of the multi-ethnic Norman kingdom during the reigns of Roger II and William I. This analysis enshrines Philagathos within the Italo-Greek intellectual networks to reveal the role they played in the general transfer of the Byzantine literary and artistic images of power upon the new Norman dynasty. I portray these sermons as part of the process of institutionalization of the religious life in the Norman kingdom of Sicily with Philagathos acting as an itinerant preacher through Calabria and Sicily delivering some of his compositions before the Norman kings. I examine the performative aspects related to these texts, the exegetical method and style since one of the great attractions of these homilies resides in their surprising sources of citations.