An Annotated Translation of John Kantakouzenos’ Histories, Book III, Chapters 1-30

Brian McLaughlin

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis aims to elucidate the relatively neglected Book III of Iōannēs Kantakouzēnos’ Histories by offering an English translation of, and commentary on, the first 30 of its 100 chapters. The translation of such an important text is intended to provide a convenient resource for other scholars studying fourteenth-century Byzantium and to highlight the significance of this section of the Histories.
The thesis is divided into two Parts (I-II). Part I comprises the Introduction in five Sections (1-5). Section 1 briefly describes the manuscript tradition and previous translations, and then explains the aims, scope and approach of the thesis and the principles adopted regarding translation and transliteration. Section 2 provides a brief overview of the author’s life and times before summarising and reviewing the previous scholarly literature concerning the Histories. Section 3 outlines the content and structure of the complete text. Section 4 discusses Kantakouzēnos’ historiographical method, concentrating on the sources of the Histories, his handling of chronology and his literary approach. Section 5 analyses Kantakouzēnos’ portrayal of the major protagonists, including himself, in the translated chapters, examining how he wished the outbreak of the 1341-1347 civil war to be understood and how he assigned responsibility for the conflict.
Part II of the thesis comprises an English translation of Kantakouzēnos’ Histories, Book III, Chapters 1-30, with an accompanying Commentary, which is presented in the form of endnotes. The Commentary elucidates the text and the translation, placing the passages under consideration in the wider context of the Histories.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Dendrinos, Charalambos, Supervisor
  • Macrides, Ruth, Advisor, External person
  • Sheppard, Anne, Advisor
Award date1 Dec 2017
Publication statusUnpublished - 2017


  • Kantakouzenos
  • Cantacuzenus
  • John Kantakouzenos
  • Byzantium
  • Byzantine history
  • Historiography
  • Byzantine historiography
  • John VI Kantakouzenos

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