Michael Attaliates

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Attaliates, Michael


Born at the beginning of the 11th century, in Constantinople; died circa 1085. Byzantine historian and legal scholar.

Attaliates’ History sheds light on events that occurred in Byzantium from 1034 to 1079: political disturbances and the catastrophic situation on the eastern borders resulting from increased pressure from the Seljuk Turks. His book concludes with a panegyric to Emperor Nicephorus III Botaniates, who, according to Attaliates, overcame the crisis in the empire. Attaliates glorifies the chivalrous valor, bravery, and generosity of Nicephorus. In 1077, Attaliates founded a monastery in Redesto and drew up its rule, which is a valuable source for the study of Byzantine social and economic history in the 11th century.


Historia. Bonn, 1853.


Nissen, W. Die Diataxis des Michael Attaleiates von 1077. Jena, 1894.
Tsolakis, E. T. “Aus dem Leben des Michael Attaleiates.” Byzantinische Zeitschrift, 1965, vol. 58, fasc. 1.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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And Anastasius' defense of recourse to physiological explanations, because they are all part of the divine plan, is comparable to the statement of Michael Attaliates, writing on an earthquake in 1063, that "the explanation (for earthquakes) given by Aristotle may not be out of place.