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Volume Editor: Salvatore Cosentino
This book offers a collection of essays on Byzantine Italy, the area from which we have inherited the richest and best-preserved historical evidence among all of the regions of the former Eastern Roman Empire up to the 11th century. The collection aims to provide readers with a critical overview of current research as well as new insights concerning political, institutional, economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects of the Italian regions under Byzantine rule. The methodological approach of the volume combines history with archaeology and art history, while remaining focused on the general framework of the early medieval Mediterranean. The result is a fresh and up-to-date synthesis that can be useful both for specialists and students.

Contributors are: Lucia Arcifa, Paul Arthur, Isabella Baldini, Massimo Bernabò, Brunella Bruno, Salvatore Cosentino, Nathaniel Cutajar, Francesco D’Aiuto, Paola Degni, Deborah Deliyannis, Vera von Falkenhausen, Sauro Gelichi, Federico Marazzi, Jean-Marie Martin, Alessandra Molinari, Enrico Morini, Annliese Nef, Ghislaine Noye, Annick Peters-Custot, Vivien Prigent, Mario Re, Denis Sami, Pier Giorgio Spanu, and Enrico Zanini.

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Abstract

The contribution deals with the topic of “ecclesiastic life” – whose meaning is understood here as a set of cultural, organizational, and material elements concurring to characterize the existence of the “Church” as an institution – of Byzantine Italy through three different approaches. In the first, major problems of an ecclesiological nature from late antiquity until the 11th century are reviewed, especially as far as the relationships between the churches of Rome and Constantinople are concerned. In the second, the paper examines moments and conflicts of religious history that marked the evolution of Byzantine Italy. Finally, in the third section, aspects concerning ecclesiastic institutions are dealt with by selecting case studies from the churches of Rome, Ravenna, middle-Byzantine southern Italy, and the episcopate of Oppido, which has left us the largest amount of ancient Greek cartulary in the entire Byzantine world.

In: A Companion to Byzantine Italy
In: A Companion to Byzantine Italy

Abstract

The contribution outlines an introduction to the history of Byzantine Italy, from the Justinian age to the Norman conquest of the Mezzogiorno. Firstly, the social transformations of the 6th century are highlighted; therefore, it deals with the issue of relations between politics and religion during the following century and the ties between the land and military power that were established between the 7th and 8th centuries. The 8th century is analyzed in relation to the repercussions that the iconoclastic movement had in Italy, and as a moment which witnessed the ‘break down’ of the political and territorial structures of Byzantine Italy. The contribution then focuses on southern Italy, emphasizing the fluidity of political life in the 9th century and its militarization due to the presence of Islam. It closes with a discussion of the major aspects of Byzantine power in the peninsula during the 10th and 11th centuries.

In: A Companion to Byzantine Italy
In: A Companion to Byzantine Italy
In: A Companion to Byzantine Italy

Abstract

This paper aims to reassess the history of Heraclius’ family and the role played by Martina in the turbulent events of 641. Martina’s political defeat was due to her economic lack of resources to support Heraclius II’s claims to the throne, the opposition of the imperial cubiculum, and the Constantinopolitan public opinion’s lack of solidarity. Finally, the article attempts to highlight the silent role of Gregoria (Constant II’s mother), who emerged as a winner from the struggle for power.

In: Mujeres imperiales, mujeres reales

Abstract

The chapter aims to introduce the reader to the various forms of social memory left to us by the history of Byzantine Italy. It is articulated between ‘written’ and ‘material’ sources; both perspectives emphasize the strong interplay between our evidence and the regional milieu in which memory has been constructed, produced or influenced. Thus, the resulting image is that of a Byzantine Italy that is familiar with a certain degree of uniformity of political regime, but which offers strong differences in terms of cultural regionalisms, as well as its socioeconomic aspects.

In: A Companion to Byzantine Italy