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By Marc Diederik Lauxtermann

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In poem no. 105d, the same Theodore of Stoudios praises a poet for composing beautiful iambs on some religious subject. And in his Vita, we read that certain disciples of Gregory Asbestas made fun of Theodore’s poems because they considered them to be badly written65. All these testimonies are hardly of any value because it is obvious that poems are praised or vituperated, not for their literary merits, but because of their contents. If you are in favour of the cult of the icons, any anti-iconoclastic poem is good (see Theodore’s letters) and any iconoclastic piece of writing is bad (see the Refutation).

And in his Vita, we read that certain disciples of Gregory Asbestas made fun of Theodore’s poems because they considered them to be badly written65. All these testimonies are hardly of any value because it is obvious that poems are praised or vituperated, not for their literary merits, but because of their contents. If you are in favour of the cult of the icons, any anti-iconoclastic poem is good (see Theodore’s letters) and any iconoclastic piece of writing is bad (see the Refutation). If you are a good Christian, you like any form of religious writing as long as it 62 63 64 65 For an excellent introduction to the topic, see HÖRANDNER 1991: 415–432.

66 67 68 Ed. MERCATI 1931: 364–365 (vv. 1–30) and 368–369 (vv. 31–86). G. MERCATI, Archivio Storico per la Calabria e la Lucania 11 (1941) 65–72 (repr. MERCATI 1970: II, 17–23). When he declaimed the poem, the orator probably just pronounced the four-syllable name \Iz1nnh; but when he copied the text, he added the words k¯r not1r to ensure that other people who had not been present at the recital, would know who the laudandus was: the Honourable Mr. John the Notary. Ed. LAMBROS 1884: 129 (vv. 1–8); cf.

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