By John Haldon
With unique essays via major students, this publication explores the social heritage of the medieval japanese Roman Empire and provides illuminating new insights into our wisdom of Byzantine society.Provides interconnected essays of unique scholarship in terms of the social historical past of the Byzantine empireOffers groundbreaking theoretical and empirical study within the examine of Byzantine societyIncludes priceless glossaries of sociological/theoretical phrases and Byzantine/medieval phrases
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Extra info for A Social History of Byzantium
Winkelmann, Quellenstudien zur herrschenden Klasse von Byzanz im 8. und 9. Jahrhundert (BBA 54. Berlin 1987). The much older works which deal with social history – such as those by Rostovtzeff or Tenney Frank – all deal with the Roman period and do not go much beyond the fifth century. The list of single articles in journals or edited volumes which deal with particular social-historical topics is vast and cannot be adequately presented here – many of them will be cited in the chapters that follow, but they range widely in subject and value.
Eastern Roman or Byzantine society grew up out of the late Roman world just as did the societies around it, in particular the social worlds of Italy and the Balkans and the Near and Middle East, and in consequence had evolved together, shared certain characteristics but diverged in many others, perceived itself as very different yet at the same time functioned in many respects in much the same way, and in which the relationship between human beings and their physical environment represented a constant, determining the patterns and seasonality of life from bottom to top.
By the same token, placing it in such a context compels us to look at Byzantine society as a whole and to try to make the connections between the various parts which specialist studies, essential though they are, often ignore or miss, necessarily so in many cases in view of their priorities and focus of interest. Similarities and differences are not to be located merely in the appearances a particular social system presents – rather we need to look below the surface to try to locate both the social functions of particular relationships or institutions (how they contribute to the workings of society) and to see how their structural role fits into a larger whole.
A Social History of Byzantium by John Haldon