John Lydos and the Renewal of History Cover Image

Ióannés Lydos és a történelem megújítása
John Lydos and the Renewal of History

Author(s): Anna Judit Tóth
Subject(s): History, Language and Literature Studies, Ancient World, Philology, Translation Studies
Published by: Károli Gáspár Református Egyetem
Keywords: John Lydos; De magistratibus

Summary/Abstract: John Lydos in his main work, the De magistratibus, describes the history and functioning of the Roman magistracies. The Byzantine author knows well that such systems change in the course of time, new offices were born, developed and declined. In order to explain the changes, Lydos introduces a theory of history founded on the ideas and terms of neoplatonic philosophy. He regards history as a cyclic process, new institutes ‘emanate’ from older ones, move away from their archetypes and finally return to them by means of restoration initiated by the emperors. Lydos interprets the synchronic structure of administration with the same principles: as the transcendental beings of neoplatonic philosophy are organized in a strict, hierarchical system, magistracies are established similarly in the form of a pyramid. Lydos’ theory has some analogues in the legislation of Justinian who emphasizes his own role in the process of restoration.

  • Issue Year: I/2009
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 75-82
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Hungarian