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Was Innovation Unwanted in Byzantium?
It is a topos in Byzantine studies is that Byzantium was a conservative civilization, negative –if not hostile– to innovation. This general idea influenced the study of innovation in Byzantium, which has been presented by modern scholars as either absent or as being decisively opposed to. After a presentation of some preliminary questions on the use of terms as innovation in modern historical writing this article examines the use of Byzantine terms related to the concept of innovation in Byzantine lexicographical, historiographical and theological texts. The comparison of these works to ancient Greek ones demonstrates that the Byzantines continued using words and concepts as innovation, novelty etc. in a way similar to that used by their predecessors. Furthermore, the article demonstrates that the Byzantines probably had more than one understandings of innovation and were not negative towards innovation as such.