This book compares the ways in which new powers arose in the shadows of the Roman Empire and its Byzantine and Carolingian successors, of Iran, the Caliphate and China in the first millennium CE. These new powers were often established by external military elites who had served the empire. They remained in an uneasy balance with the remaining empire, could eventually replace it, or be drawn into the imperial sphere again. Some relied on dynastic legitimacy, others on ethnic identification, while most of them sought imperial legitimation. Across Eurasia, their dynamic was similar in many respects; why were the outcomes so different?
Contributors are Alexander Beihammer, Maaike van Berkel, Francesco Borri, Andrew Chittick, Michael R. Drompp, Stefan Esders, Ildar Garipzanov, Jürgen Paul, Walter Pohl, Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Helmut Reimitz, Jonathan Shepard, Q. Edward Wang, Veronika Wieser, and Ian N. Wood.
Walter Pohl, Dr. phil. (1984), was formerly Professor of Medieval History at the University of Vienna and director of the Institute for Medieval Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He has published on the transformation of the Roman World, on the migration period, on problems of identity, on comparative history and on the world of the steppe, including his monograph The Avars (2018).
Veronika Wieser, Dr. phil. (2015), is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute for Medieval Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Her research covers eschatology and apocalyptic thought as well as ascetic communities and historiography in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. She has published Historiography and Identity: Ancient and Christian Narratives (with Walter Pohl, 2019) and Cultures of Eschatology (with Vincent Eltschinger and Johann Heiss, 2020).
List of Figures
Introduction: The Emergence of New Polities in the Shadows of Empire
Walter Pohl and Veronika Wieser
PART 1: The Later Roman Empire and the Post-Roman Kingdoms in the West
1 When Did the West Roman Empire Fall?
Ian N. Wood
2 The Role of Peoples in the Emergence of the Post-Roman Kingdoms
3 In the Shadow of the Roman Empire: Layers of Legitimacy and Strategies of Legitimization in the Regna of the Early Medieval West
PART 2: The Carolingian Empire and the Emerging Polities in Its Northern and Eastern Periphery
4 When the Bavarians Became Bavarian
The Politicization of Ethnicity and Crystallization of Ethnic Identities in the Shadow of Carolingian Rule (8th to 9th Century) Helmut Reimitz
5 Peripheral Polities North of the Carolingian Realm: The Regnum Danorum Ildar Garipzanov
PART 3: Byzantium and Its Peripheral Powers
6 The Lagoons as a Distant Mirror: Constantinople, Venice and the Italian Romania
7 Countering Byzantium’s Shadow: Contrarianism among the Bulgars, Rus and Germans
PART 4: Between Byzantium and the Islamic World
8 Early Medieval Armenia between Empires (Fourth-Eleventh Century
): Dynamics and Continuities
9 Strategies of Legitimation in the Shadow of Empires: Byzantine–Turkish Contact Zones in Eleventh- and Twelfth-Century Asia Minor
PART 5: The Abbasid Caliphate and the Formation of New Dynasties
10 Communication between Centre and Periphery in the Early Tenth-Century Abbasid Empire
Maaike van Berkel
11 Local and Imperial Rule: Examples from Frs (9th–10th Centuries)
PART 6: Medieval China and the Foreign Dynasties
12 The Huai Frontier and the Ethnicization of Difference in Early Medieval China
13 ‘Cultural China’ from the Eleventh Century: Legitimacy, Metanarrative and Historiography
Q. Edward Wang
14 In the Shadows of Empires: The Tuyuhun and Khitans in Late Antiquity
Michael R. Drompp
15 Post-imperial Polities: Concluding Observations
Scholars and students in Ancient, Medieval, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Iranian, Central Asian, Chinese and Comparative History, European and Asian Studies, the History and Sociology of empires, identities and cultural encounters; a more general public interested in the fates of empires.