By John Haldon

ISBN-10: 140513240X

ISBN-13: 9781405132404

ISBN-10: 1444305913

ISBN-13: 9781444305913

With unique essays by means of top students, this publication explores the social historical past of the medieval jap Roman Empire and gives illuminating new insights into our wisdom of Byzantine society.Provides interconnected essays of unique scholarship when it comes to the social heritage of the Byzantine empireOffers groundbreaking theoretical and empirical study within the learn of Byzantine societyIncludes invaluable glossaries of sociological/theoretical phrases and Byzantine/medieval phrases

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Extra resources for A Social History of Byzantium

Example text

The symbolic universe is therefore the aggregate of social institutions and the beliefs and concepts associated with them, of the scripts and roles and narratives determining how people live out their relationships to the world around them. But narratives are always re-constructions of experience, they involve evaluation, and therefore there inheres within them the potential for change, for shifts in understanding roles and relationships and thus, crucially, for shifts in social practice. A change in the elements making up a narrative will entail a change in evaluation, and consequently a change in perceptions of the relationship between self (or group) and the world.

29 See Cheynet 2006: 28–30. TOWARDS A SOCIAL H I S T O R Y O F BYZ A N T I U M 19 The result was that the discussion became, on the whole, one in which deliberate obfuscation, misunderstanding, and a plethora of alternative and usually mutually exclusive definitions and usages littered the pages of historical journals. More importantly, and further complicating the issues, Marxists of varying theoretical colors often, and unwittingly, attempted to describe and discuss “feudal” societies by combining both economic (Marxist) and institutional (non-Marxist) criteria, in a way which was generally both confusing and analytically of little value to any discussion which attempts to do more than merely describe medieval and early modern societies in isolation.

Köpstein, F. , Studien zum 7. Jahrhundert in Byzanz: Probleme der Herausbildung des Feudalismus (BBA, 47. Berlin 1976); H. Köpstein, F. , 4 See, for example, Lemerle 1979; Kazhdan 1974; 1960. g. Litavrin 1977; Kurbatov and Lebedeva 1984; Udal’cova and Osipova 1985; Lebedeva 1980. For a summary of the Soviet and western discussion over slavery and feudalism, see Haldon 1993: 70ff. 5 4 JOHN HALDON Studien zum 8. und 9. Jahrhundert in Byzanz (BBA 51. Berlin 1983); and F. Winkelmann, Quellenstudien zur herrschenden Klasse von Byzanz im 8.

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