By John Haldon
With unique essays through major students, this ebook explores the social historical past of the medieval japanese Roman Empire and gives illuminating new insights into our wisdom of Byzantine society.Provides interconnected essays of unique scholarship when it comes to the social historical past of the Byzantine empireOffers groundbreaking theoretical and empirical examine within the learn of Byzantine societyIncludes worthy glossaries of sociological/theoretical phrases and Byzantine/medieval phrases
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Extra info for A Social History of Byzantium
34 Kazhdan 1956; and 1960. 35 These views are best summarized in the work of Litavrin 1977. See also the survey of Kurbatov and Lebedeva 1984, which emphasizes both the importance of slavery in late ancient production (up to the seventh century) and the dominance of feudal relations of production from the later eleventh century. See also Udal’cova and Osipova 1985. 37 There is little point here in reviewing the vast Soviet and East European literature of the years before 1988/9 concerned with these issues, largely because, even if many of the questions it dealt with remain important, the approach espoused, the historical-theoretical base within which they were framed, and much of the vocabulary employed by both Western and Eastern medievalists – in particular, terms such as “feudal” and “feudalism” – have become largely redundant, insofar as an overly rigid and dogmatic interpretational framework inevitably constrained and distorted the ways in which the evidence could be understood and interpreted, and as historians opted to abandon terms associated with particular ways of thinking about the human past.
In other words, there are multiple, layered overlaps which cross over the political, religious, or linguistic divisions which we commonly identify as marking the boundaries of a given society, and we need to bear this in mind, especially when discussing, for example, such topics as the changing impact of religion on marriage, on local and customary legal practice, the seasonal patterns of social and economic life, and so forth. 10 What we refer to as “Byzantine society,” therefore, must necessarily be understood in its widest sense, and as just one of a number of social systems which overlapped and intersected at various points, not just in terms of physical space – around the edges, so to speak – but also in terms of social practice, household organization, and so forth.
21 In this respect, too, understanding the church as both an economic and a moral political force is an essential part of the story. The church was the formal, public representative of a specifically Byzantine world-view and thus wielded immeasurable influence ideologically as well as politically. But quite apart from the role of canon law in reflecting and moulding Byzantine views of the world and how it was understood (as well as the tension between secular Roman law and canon law), the social origins of the senior as well as lesser clergy also constitute a focal point for our approach, not only because they tell us about the ways in which social mobility worked through particular channels, but also because they can inform us about the ways in which social power was exercised.
A Social History of Byzantium by John Haldon