Download A Social History of Byzantium by John Haldon PDF

By John Haldon

ISBN-10: 140513240X

ISBN-13: 9781405132404

With unique essays by way of prime students, this ebook explores the social background of the medieval japanese Roman Empire and provides illuminating new insights into our wisdom of Byzantine society.Provides interconnected essays of unique scholarship with regards to the social historical past of the Byzantine empireOffers groundbreaking theoretical and empirical learn within the research of Byzantine societyIncludes worthwhile glossaries of sociological/theoretical phrases and Byzantine/medieval phrases

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Byzantine society and state have received remarkably little attention from either comparative historians or state theorists, certainly when compared with the treatment afforded Rome, out of which Byzantium evolved. This situation seems to me to reflect the fact that historians and specialists of the Byzantine world have themselves been very reluctant to generalize from their work or to draw broader conclusions within a comparative context, so that their subject has remained fairly difficult of access to the non-specialist.

V. ). 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.

Yet this immediately brings with it a multiplicity of problems, if only because the generally accepted modern understanding of terms such as “law” and “legislation” tended in a medieval context to have somewhat, and often very, different significance. Imperial legislation aimed at both specific and generalizable decisions arising from particular moments, and at the production of general prescriptions about temporally and geographically specific issues. The practice of law, on the other hand – the process through which justice was achieved for the parties involved in litigation, for example – both rested on Roman tradition but was at the same time an intensely moral process, in which the concept of justice was itself determined by the framework of values generated and maintained by the symbolic universe.

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