The volume under review is a welcome addition to the literature in English on the medieval “empire” of Trebizond. The editor, Scott Kennedy, chose to combine two very different sorts of texts: the late fourteenth-century chronicle of the imperial secretary Michael Panaretos, “a drab but reliable narrative” in the words of A. A. Vasiliev, and the consciously literary, fifteenth-century encomium of Trebizond by the future cardinal Bessarion but written at a time when he was still only a Basilian monk. Kennedy’s translation is clear, fluent, and accurate.
In sum, with these two translations and their accompanying documentation, Kennedy has most helpfully served the interests of not only those who study medieval Trebizond, but also those who work on the towering intellectual figure who by his life and works connected Byzantium to the Italian Renaissance.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review