During the weekend of April 6-8, 2017, CPLS 2014 graduate Tyler Brown was invited to present at the Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR) National Convention at the University of Memphis in Tennessee. According to the CUR website, “The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and its affiliated colleges, universities, and individuals share a focus on providing undergraduate research opportunities for faculty and students at all institutions serving undergraduate students.”
Tyler was invited to present a paper during the conference entitled “The Alexiad: How the Presentation of Alexios Exposed the Ideals of the Byzantine Empire“.
This paper examined the Alexiad and what qualities that work attributed to the Byzantine Emperor Alexios Komnenos. By studying this historical and biographical work, he determined the ideal attributes of a Byzantine Emperor, as written from the unique historical perspective of Alexios’s daughter, Anna Komnenos. H also used the works of George Ostrogorsky, Dean Miller, and Joan Hussey to verify the accuracy of the Alexiad. While they focused on the historical accuracy of the text, this paper addressed the qualities that made Alexios romanticized in the eyes of his Byzantine contemporaries. He focused upon Emperor Alexios as a man of faith, a general, and a diplomat. Byzantium’s contemporaries in Medieval Europe viewed military prowess and zealotry as the highest of qualities. Alexios possessed those attributes as well, but they were not what made him great in the sight of his own people. The Byzantines praised Alexios most for his intelligence and scheming nature. This paper thereby gives insight into a culture that is so often overlooked by contemporary historians.
According to Tyler’s parents, Jeff and Stephanie Brown, “we would like to add that it was his CPLS education that really prepared him for this conference. The skills to prepare a conference quality research paper, present at a conference, and the ability to defend the work eloquently when asked questions were all commented on by his honors advisor and the moderator of his presentation. We are very thankful for the compete education he received at CPLS. I don’t think parents realize how blessed we are with this school and the fabulous teachers we have. Please know how grateful we are.”
Congratulations Tyler on a job well done!