Chorycjusz z Gazy i jego „Obrona mimów” rozumiana jako kryptoapologia cesarzowej Teodory
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This article consists of two parts. The first part is a historical and literary introduction in its character. It presents an up to date condition of research on the literary legacy of Choricius. The second part is the analysis of his “Defense of the Mimes”, understood as cryptoapology of the Empress Theodora. The “Defense of the Mimes” was written by Choricius of Gaza around 526AD. Officially, it is an apology of the mime actors. However, in reality the speech of Choricius has clear characteristics of cryptoapology of the Empress Theodora, a former mime actress, who more or less at that time became a wife of the Emperor Justinian I. The present article attempts to present the aforementioned characteristics of cryptoapology in Choricius’ speech. The fundamental characteristic is a strong emphasis of an approval which, in the eyes of the Emperor, the mime was to enjoy. Moreover, in his speech Choricius defends the mimes, particularly against the charges of faithlessness and adultery, hence against the matter which often leads to breaking up of marriage. The “Defense of the Mimes” seems in this context as a kind of an antithesis of the “Secret History” of Procopius of Caesarea, in which the latter presented Theodora in an extremely negative light. The abovementioned thesis of this article brings forward a certain substantial novum to the existing mode of interpreting the “Defense of the Mimes” by Choricius of Gaza.
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