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by Archaeology Newsroom

Byzantine Greece in French Literature

Byzantine Greece, as opposed to the classical one, has not attracted the interest of French travelers. As it seems to them especially oriental, they have considered it as a “Turkish creation”! However, while their travelling accounts reveal a deep lack of understanding the Byzantine past, the novels and theatrical plays at the end of the nineteenth century demonstrate, on the contrary, their sympathy for this historic period, in which the writers recognize the decadence, typical of their own century. This sensitization reaches its climax in 1884, when Sarah Bernard played the renowned empress in Victorien Sardou’s Theodora.