The transition zone between Africa, Asia and Europe was the most important intersection of human mobility in the medieval period. The present volume for the first time systematically covers migration histories of the regions between the Mediterranean and Central Asia and between Eastern Europe and the Indian Ocean in the centuries from Late Antiquity up to the early modern era.
Within this framework, specialists from Byzantine, Islamic, Medieval and African history provide detailed analyses of specific regions and groups of migrants, both elites and non-elites as well as voluntary and involuntary. Thereby, also current debates of migration studies are enriched with a new dimension of deep historical time.
Contributors are: Alexander Beihammer, Lutz Berger, Florin Curta, Charalampos Gasparis, George Hatke, Dirk Hoerder, Johannes Koder, Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Lucian Reinfandt, Youval Rotman, Yannis Stouraitis, Panayiotis Theodoropoulos, and Myriam Wissa.
In this volume, Stanisław Rosik focuses on the meaning and significance of Old Slavic religion as presented in three German chronicles (the works of Thietmar of Merseburg, Adam of Bremen, Helmold of Bosau) written during the time of the Christianization of the Western Slavs. The source analyses show the ways the chroniclers understood, explained and represented pre-Christian beliefs and cults, which were interpreted as elements of a foreign, “barbarian”, culture and were evaluated from the perspective of Church doctrine. In this study, individual features of the three authors are discussed– including the issue of the credibility of their information on Old Slavic religion– and broader conclusions on medieval thought are also presented.
Mikulčice and Its Hinterland, Marek Hladík presents an archaeological model of social and economic relations in Great Moravia, which is built on an analysis of the settlement structure near one of the most significant centres of Great Moravia, the Mikulčice-Valy agglomeration. The book offers the first systematic and conceptual view of Mikulčice’s relations with its economic hinterland. The author uses multidisciplinary research to interpret and understand the importance of the natural environment for the landscape settlement strategy, and to understand the relations between the fortified centre and its rural surroundings. Important methodological tools used by the author to answer the examined questions include non-destructive archaeological research, statistical modelling, and spatial analyses in the GIS environment.
The history of the Black Sea may be considered as alternating between an “inner lake,” when a single empire establishes control over the sea and its surrounding areas, and that of an
open sea, in which various continental or maritime powers compete for the region’s resources. By taking into account the impact both of major powers and minor political actors, this volume proposes a long-term perspective of regional history. It offers a deep understanding of the political and commercial history of the Black Sea between the 14th and the 16th centuries, and provides insights into the political and economic developments of the region.
The years before and after the battle of Mantzikert (1071) mark a turning point in the history of the Byzantine Empire. The invasions of the Seljuk Turks in the east and the encroachment of the Normans from the west altered the balance of power in the eastern Mediterranean and forced the Byzantines to confront new threats to their survival. These threats came at a time when internal rivalries made an effective military response all but impossible and led to a significant transformation of the Byzantine polity under the Komnenoi.
Continuation of the
Chronicle of John Skylitzes, now translated for the first time, provides a contemporary view of these troubled times. An extension of the principal source for the middle Byzantine period, and a subtle reworking of the
History of Michael Attaleiates, the
Continuation offers a high court official’s narrative of the events and personages that shaped the course of Byzantine history on the eve of the Crusades.
This book provides a comprehensive synthesis of scholarship on Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages. The goal is to offer an overview of the current state of research and a basic route map for navigating an abundant historiography available in more than 10 different languages. The literature published in English on the medieval history of Eastern Europe—books, chapters, and articles—represents a little more than 11 percent of the historiography. The companion is therefore meant to provide an orientation into the existing literature that may not be available because of linguistic barriers and, in addition, an introductory bibliography in English.
This book is a revisionist account of Samuel’s State and the legendary struggle between Samuel Cometopoulos and Basil II (10th-11th century). It goes beyond the standard approach to the study of state formation, presenting an entirely new analytical framework which interrogates how contemporaries in the Balkans at different times, ranging from the Byzantine and Balkan elites of the medieval centuries to later voices in the early modern and modern periods, have represented Samuel’s polity in the service of their own political agendas and territorial aspirations towards Macedonia. The wide-ranging relationship between culture, identity and power are addressed, making use not just of Balkan literary and artistic traditions but on writings from across the Slavic world and western political and intellectual contexts. Demonstrating the conflicted legacy of the Samuel’s State in the Balkans, Mitko B. Panov questions established scholarly opinion and offers new interpretations that reconsider its place in Byzantine and Balkan history and imagination.