A Social History of Byzantium by John Haldon

By John Haldon

With unique essays by way of best students, this booklet 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 on the subject of the social heritage 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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In the end, a single universal definition is rather pointless, since each contributor to a given debate about a specific society will have their own particular questions to ask and their own research agenda. In this respect, therefore, we should not expect any contributor to this volume to do more than define the terms of their own set of questions and clarify the grounds on which they found their description and their analysis. Any of the terms “society,” or “social formation,” conceal as much as they reveal, of course.

Of the older literature, Ostrogorsky’s work, such as Quelques problèmes de l’histoire de la paysannerie byzantine (Brussels 1956), or that of H. Köpstein, Zur Sklaverei im ausgehenden Byzanz (Berlin 1966), was concerned with specific issues such as how “feudal” Byzantine society was, or the extent to which slavery remained an important element in Byzantine society. 4 I will come back to some of these broader questions below. 5 The volumes edited by Köpstein and Winkelmann, for example, were among the best of these: H.

20 In this respect Byzantine society is no different from other pre-industrial social systems, but naturally the specific modalities of kinship relations, family structure and the symbolic universe 20 Cheynet 1990. 14 JOHN HALDON of which they were seen as fundamental elements are what concern us here, because it is through these historically and culturally specific forms that Byzantine society is given its particular color and texture. And it is likewise through these forms that Byzantines engaged with their world and acted upon it.

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