Affiliated Programme: Early Byzantine Narratives in the Mirror of Modern Literary Theory

Markéta Kulhánková, Masaryk University, Brno

Alena Sarkissian, Charles University, Prague

The central aim of this triennial research program (2012–2014), supported by the Czech Science Foundation, was a complex narratological analysis of the genre of the spiritually beneficial tale. The researched corpus consisted primarily of six collections originating from the late 4th to the 10thcenturies (Historia monachorum in Aegypto, Historia Lausiaca, Moschos’ Pratum spiriutale, Daniel’s Sketiotes Dossier, Narrationes of Anastasios Sinaites and the collection of Paulus of Monembasia), though other texts were occasionally discussed as well. Four basic topics were analysed: the structure of the tales and the categories of space, time and narrator.

The main output of the project is the monograph by M. Kulhánková in German entitled Das gottgefällige Abenteuer. Eine narratologische Analyse der byzantinischen erbaulichen Erzählungen (The godly Adventure. A Narratological Analysis of Byzantine Spiritually Beneficial Tales) to be published by the end of 2015.

The second researched topic was the embedded narratives in John Cimacus’ Scala Paradisi. This part of the project was undertaken by A. Sarksissian.

In the frame of the project, Czech translations of the Scala Paradisi and an anthology of beneficial tales were also prepared, and an international workshop entitled Diegesis in the Greek Literature of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (November 2014) was organized in Brno.



Kulhánková M., Das gottgefällige Abenteuer: Eine narratologische Analyse der byzantinischen erbaulichen Erzählungen

Kulhánková M., Podivuhodné příběhy z pousteven i velkoměst a jejich cesta staletími (Miraculous Stories of Piety from Hermitages and Cities and Their Journey Through the Centuries). Parrésia 79 (2013) 379–390.

Kulhánková M., Der bestrafte Mönch. Ein erster Einblick in die Analyse der Erzähltechnik in den byzantinischen erbaulichen Diegeseis. Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik 64 (2014) 139-153.

Kulhánková M. (transl.), Obrácení nevěstky Marie a jiné příběhy: byzantská vyprávění prospěšná pro duši (The Conversion of Mary the Harlot and Other Stories: Byzantine Spiritually Beneficial Tales). Červený Kostelec 2014.

Kulhánková M. (forthcoming), Das gottgefällige Abenteuer. Eine narratologische Analyse der byzantinischen erbaulichen Erzählungen, Červený Kostelec 2015.

Sarkissian, A., Klepání na nebeskou bránu: Nebeský žebřík Ioanna Klimaka (Knocking on Heaven’s Door: the Ladder of the Divine Ascent by John Climacus), Parrésia 79 (2013) 367–378.

Sarkissian A., Continuity and Discontinuity in Climacus’ Ladder of the Divine Ascent. Medioevo Greco 14 (2014) 209–228.

Sarkissian A. (transl., forthcoming), Ioannes Klimakos, Nebeský žebřík (John Climacus, The Ladder), Červený Kostelec 2015.