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The late Byzantine period (thirteenth to fifteenth centuries) was marked by both cultural fecundity and political fragmentation, resulting in an astonishingly multifaceted literary output. This book addresses the poetry of the empire’s final quarter-millennium from a broad perspective, bringing together studies on texts originating in places from Crete to Constantinople and from court to school, treating topics from humanist antiquarianism to pious self-help, and written in styles from the vernacular to Homeric language. It thus offers a reference work to a much-neglected but rich textual material that is as varied as it was potent in the sociocultural contexts of its times.
Contributors are Theodora Antonopoulou, Marina Bazzani, Julián Bértola, Martin Hinterberger, Krystina Kubina, Marc D. Lauxtermann, Florin Leonte, Ugo Mondini, Brendan Osswald, Giulia M. Paoletti, Cosimo Paravano, Daniil Pleshak, Alberto Ravani, and Federica Scognamiglio.
Aiming to provide the ultimate guide to Byzantine scholarship, this series publishes review monographs with commentary on the current state of the field in Byzantine studies. The series promotes a broad vision of Byzantium, defining it as the society that evolved following Constantine I’s conversion to Christianity and construction of Constantinople as a new capital for the Eastern Roman Empire in the fourth century. Topics covered include well-established areas of research as well as emergent fields, challenging past historiographical approaches and suggesting new directions for future investigation. Books draw on the latest inter- and multi-disciplinary research in art history and archaeology, culture and society, history, literature, religious studies, and more, to provide critical and accessible analyses suitable for scholars, teachers, and students alike.
The church annexes of late antique Cyprus were bustling places of industry, producing olive oil, flour, bread, ceramics, and metal products. From its earliest centuries, the church was an economic player, participating in agricultural and artisanal production.
More than a Church brings together architecture, ceramics, numismatics, landscape archaeology, and unpublished excavation material, alongside consideration of Cyprus’s dynamic and prosperous 4th–10th-century history. Keane offers a rich picture of the association between sacred buildings and agricultural and industrial facilities—comprehensively presenting, for the first time, the church’s economic role and impact in late antique Cyprus.
The Memorial and Aesthetic Rediscovery of Constantine’s Beautiful City, from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance
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This book studies the research perspective in which the literary inhabitants of Late Antique and medieval Constantinople remembered its past and conceptualised its existence as a Greek city that was the political capital of a Christian Roman state. Initial reactions to Constantine’s foundation noted its novel Christian orientation, but the memorial mode of writing about the city that developed from the sixth century recollected the traditional civic cultural heritage that Constantinople claimed both as the New Rome, and as the continuation of ancient Byzantion. This research culture increasingly became the preserve of the imperial bureaucracy, and focused on the city’s sculptured monuments as bearers of eschatological meaning. Yet from the tenth century, writers progressively preferred to define the wonder and spectacle of Constantinople in the aesthetic mode of urban praise inherited from late antiquity, developing the notion of the city as a cosmic theatre of excellence.
Volume Editor:
What do the mysterious Roman author Vegetius, the Byzantine emperor Leo VI, and the Chinese general Li Jing all have in common? They are three of the dozens of authors across the medieval Mediterranean world and beyond who wrote works of military literature, sometimes called military handbooks, manuals, or treatises. This book brings together a multidisciplinary international team of scholars who present cutting edge essays on diverse aspects of medieval military literature. While some chapters offer novel approaches to familiar authors like Vegetius, and some present research on under-valued topics like Byzantine military illustrations, others provide holistic studies on subjects like early modern treatises, they all move the discussion of medieval military literature forward.
Contributors are Michael B. Charles, Georgios Chatzelis, Pierre Cosme, Maxime Emion, Immacolata Eramo, Michael Fulton, David Graff, John Haldon, Catherine Hof, John Hosler, Łukasz Różycki, Katharina Schoneveld, Savvas Kyriakidis, Georgios Theotokis, Conor Whately, Michael Whitby, and Nadya Williams.
How did humans and the environment impact each other in the medieval Eastern Mediterranean? How did global climatic fluctuations affect the Byzantine Empire over the course of a millennium? And how did the transmission of pathogens across long distances affect humans and animals during this period?

This book tackles these and other questions about the intersection of human and natural history in a systematic way. Bringing together analyses of historical, archaeological, and natural scientific evidence, specialists from across these fields have contributed to this volume to outline the new discipline of Byzantine environmental history.

Contributors are: Johan Bakker, Henriette Baron, Chryssa Bourbou, James Crow, Michael J. Decker, Warren J. Eastwood, Dominik Fleitmann, John Haldon, Adam Izdebski, Eva Kaptijn, Jürg Luterbacher, Henry Maguire, Mischa Meier, Lee Mordechai, Jeroen Poblome, Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Abigail Sargent, Peter Talloen, Costas Tsiamis, Ralf Vandam, Myrto Veikou, Sam White, and Elena Xoplaki
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Abstract

Based on bone finds from archaeological excavations of early Byzantine sites (the state of research for the later periods is insufficient), different animal exploitation strategies can be reconstructed. Animal husbandry, hunting, fowling, and fishing are activities that are closely linked to regional environmental conditions. Hence, the bone spectra can be utilized to reconstruct these, if all factors that might have determined their composition have been taken into consideration. As livestock bones prevail, the herd compositions give indications of the environmental restraints that animal husbandry had to tackle. In particular, the demands that cattle and pigs have concerning fodder and freshwater set limits on how intensively they can be farmed. Wild species, with their specific ecological preferences, point to past eco-systems in the vicinity of the excavated sites. Finally, two measures are considered that the Byzantines took to enable the availability of fish, a most important aliment for the Christians living on the Mediterranean shores.

In: A Companion to the Environmental History of Byzantium
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Abstract

Humans and the environment share a millennia-long compound and interdependent relationship. The continuous adaptation to environmental and cultural changes is written in the human bones; thus, their study elucidates the various roles held by individuals during their lifetime and the interlacing factors that may have predisposed them to disease. This chapter aims to explore the contribution of bioarchaeology to the investigation of the impact of environmental conditions on primarily Greek Byzantine populations (6th to 12th centuries AD), through the study of specific pathological conditions (i.e., metabolic, and hematopoietic conditions, infectious diseases and trauma), and dietary patterns. The environmental impact on humans is an interdisciplinary task, and it is hoped that this chapter will contribute to the development of a continuous and healthy dialogue between bioarchaeologists and historians.

In: A Companion to the Environmental History of Byzantium
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Abstract

This chapter is concerned with Byzantine attitudes toward nature and its place in the Christian worldview. Through a review of literary and artistic sources it covers: the initial Christian opposition to pagan nature worship; the rehabilitation of nature and its incorporation into early Byzantine thinking and art; the rising opposition to portrayals of nature in Christian art, especially in the form of personifications; the impact of environmental change, such as drought, on early Byzantine church art; and finally the later medieval view of the wealth of the land, as illustrated by the carvings of tenth- and eleventh-century ivory boxes on which agricultural plenty was shown to be assured only through the mindfulness of the Christian God and through penance for sin.

In: A Companion to the Environmental History of Byzantium

Abstract

Throughout most of the late-antique Levant transition from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages (6th–8th centuries AD) the region did not witness sharp breaks with its agrarian past. Environmental shocks were not sufficient in most cases to greatly shape human behavior, but serious short-term events or long-term trends in changing climate were part of a more complicated matrix. Expansion and contraction were not uniform: while most of the southern Levant seems generally to have continued the methods and extent of late-antique agricultural intensification, some marginal areas suffered abandonment due to some combination of environmental degradation, warfare, or economic change. These pronounced variations allow us to understand agrarian continuity and change in the Levant in finer detail than previously has been possible. The sweeping changes, for better and worse, which accompanied the arrival of Islam are generally overstated.

In: A Companion to the Environmental History of Byzantium