Textual Exchanges in Late Antiquity East and South of Byzantium Seen Through an Eastern Christian Lens
Scientific and philosophical texts circulated as is expected between the Roman and Sasanian empires as well as more east and west towards Europe and towards India and China. Arabia, though still often absent from the mental map of Late Antiquity, was also involved in exchanges of written texts, mainly letters. It is more surprising to see that religious texts were also discussed in the courts. Byzantium engaged in geopolitical and religious dialogue with its eastern and southern neighbours through clerics who played also a role as ambassadors of knowledge and cultural delegates. Syriac texts written in the eastern Roman empire or east of Byzantium offer a slightly decentred picture of these relations viewed from and beyond the borders of empires.