Michiel D.J. Op de Coul (1961) studied classical philology at the Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen and Universiteit van Amsterdam. He specialized in Late Antiquity and Byzantine Studies at the Université Paris IV - Sorbonne, where he received his PhD in 2007. Subsequently he worked as assistant editor at Brill Academic Publishers (Leiden). Currenntly, he is Senior Lecturer in Classics of the Faculty of Catholic Theology at Tilburg University (Netherlands).
The present work comprises nearly all of the historical-biographical prose of the Byzantine polygraph Theodore Prodromus, poet and prose writer of the twelfth century, who was active during the reign of the Comnenian emperors John II and Manuel I. With respect to the diversity of his works as a whole, this work aims at a better understanding of the prose writer Prodromus, whose correspondence has never been published in its entirety. The present edition of his collected letters goes with ten more lengthy rhetorical set-pieces (four of them monodies or funerary speeches), originating in the same learned milieu and stylistically close to the letters. The critical text is accompanied by an introduction, which gives detailed context for each of the correspondents and examines the literary conventions belonging to the genres of epistolography and monody. It also highlights the originality of a self-conscious author who, if deeply indebted to a longstanding tradition, succeeds in preserving his individuality.