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Title: Mazaris's Journey to Hades: 'Further Reflections and Reappraisal'
Contributor(s): Garland, Lynda (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: The prose work entitled 'Mazaris's Journey to Hades' was written between January 1414 and October 1415, less than forty years before the Byzantine Empire finally fell to the Ottoman Turks. One of the last major works of Byzantine learned humor, it purports to consist of a satirical attack by an author called Mazaris on his colleagues and contemporaries in the imperial service, who either have recently died or are still in office. The first part of the work takes the form of a narrative in which Mazaris speaks in the first person recording the conversations he has had with others in the underworld. This is followed by a dream and three letters that comprise a series of attacks on the inhabitants of the Peloponnese as a whole and then particular targets there, a case in point the whining doctor Malakes. The work has long been valued for its depiction of bureaucratic life and has been mined for prosopographical details of the careers of fifteenth-century public servants. There has been less unanimity, however, regarding its literary merit and, in particular, insufficient appreciation of the humor that powers the work.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Dumbarton Oaks Papers, v.61, p. 183-214
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass
Place of Publication: Harvard University Press
ISSN: 0070-7546
Field of Research (FOR): 210399 Historical Studies not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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