Georgios Chatzelis holds a PhD in Byzantine History from Royal Holloway, University of London. His research interests centre around the Byzantine culture of war and on war writing in Byzantine historiography. He has taught Byzantine and Medieval History at Royal Holloway, University of London (Visiting Teacher) and at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Teaching Fellow). His recent publications include: Byzantine Military Manuals as Literary Works and Practical Handbooks: The Case of the Tenth-Century Sylloge Tacticorum (Routledge, 2019) and (with Jonathan Harris), A Tenth-Century Byzantine Military Manual: The Sylloge Tacticorum (Routledge, 2017).
Period of affiliation:
2021 - 2022
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Stratagems and the Byzantine Culture of War: Theory, Practice, Report, Reception and Cross-Cultural Exchanges with the Muslim world (c. 800-1204)
The project studies stratagems and the Byzantine culture of war c. 800-1204. It focuses on Byzantine attitudes towards stratagems and examines cross-cultural exchanges between the Byzantines and the Muslims by exploring case studies of intertextual relationships and similarities/differences in the conduct of war when similar stratagems occur in Byzantine and Arab literature. To achieve its goal, the project will centre around the following objectives: a) exploration of Byzantine attitudes towards stratagems, b) exploration of intertextual relationships and similarities/differences in the conduct of war when similar stratagems occur in Byzantine and Arab literature. Objective A will mainly be realised through a study of sources written by both non-military (e.g. orations, religious texts, mirrors for princes, historiography) and military men (e.g. correspondence, military manuals). For Objective B, the occurrence of similar stratagems will be explored on two levels: 1) veracity/literary purpose in their respective cultural contexts, 2) military. For the first, research will consider critical evaluations of war writing in Byzantine and Arab historiography, mimesis, literarily topoi, theories of character in the Middle Ages as well as rhetorical narrativist philosophical theory. For the second, the examination will explore military factors which impacted the employment of similar stratagems (e.g. leadership, martial virtues, geomorphology).