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A Companion to Byzantium

Liz James (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-405-12654-0 April 2010 Wiley-Blackwell 482 Pages


Using new methodological and theoretical approaches, A Companion to Byzantium presents an overview of the Byzantine world from its inception in 330 A.D. to its fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.
  • Provides an accessible overview of eleven centuries of Byzantine society
  • Introduces the most recent scholarship that is transforming the field of Byzantine studies
  • Emphasizes Byzantium's social and cultural history, as well as its material culture
  • Explores traditional topics and themes through fresh perspectives

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List of Figures ix

List of Maps xiii

Notes on Contributors xv

Acknowledgments xix

Some Relevant Dates xxi

List of Byzantine Rulers xxv

List of Abbreviations xxix

1. Byzantium: a Very, Very Short Introduction 1
Liz James

2. Writing Histories of Byzantium: the Historiography of Byzantine History 9
F. K. Haarer

Part I Being Byzantine 23

3. Economics, Trade, and “Feudalism” 25
Peter Sarris

4. Byzantium ?­?nConstantinople 43
Paul Magdalino

5. Provinces and Capital 55
Catherine Holmes

6. Insiders and Outsiders 67
Dion C. Smythe

7. Young People in Byzantium 81
Cecily Hennessy

8. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 93
Myrto Hatzaki

9. The Memory Culture of Byzantium 108
Amy Papalexandrou

10. Emotions in Byzantium 123
Martin Hinterberger

11. Having Fun in Byzantium 135
Shaun Tougher

Part II God and the World 147

12. Byzantine Views of God and the Universe 149
Mary Cunningham

13. Giving Gifts to God: Aspects of Patronage in Byzantine Art 161
Vassiliki Dimitropoulou

14. Orthodoxy and Northern Peoples: Goods, Gods and Guidelines 171
Jonathan Shepard

15. Christology and Heresy 187
Andrew Louth

16. Beyond Byzantium: the Non-Chalcedonian Churches 199
Niall Finneran

Part III Reading Byzantine Texts 225

17. No Drama, No Poetry, No Fiction, No Readership, No Literature 227
Margaret Mullett

18. Rhetorical Questions 239
Mary Whitby

19. Text and Context in Byzantine Historiography 251
Roger Scott

20. Byzantine Narrative: the Form of Storytelling in Byzantium 263
Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis and Ingela Nilsson

21. Byzantine Book Culture 275
Judith Waring

Part IV Some Questions in Material Culture 289

22. Archaeology 291
James Crow

23. Makers and Users 301
Anthony Cutler

24. The Limits of Byzantine Art 313
Antony Eastmond

25. Icons and Iconomachy 323
Leslie Brubaker

26. The Rise and Fall of the Macedonian Renaissance 338
John Hanson

27. Late and Post-Byzantine Art under Venetian Rule: Frescoes versus Icons, and Crete in the Middle 351
Angeliki Lymberopoulou

Bibliography—Primary Sources 371

Bibliography 384

Index 443

"If someday A Companion to a Companion to Byzantium is assembled, perhaps at last the histories, cultures, and experiences of Greeks and non-Greeks within the commonwealth, on both sides of the imperial border, will be combined into an integrated vision of this diverse yet interconnected world. Diversity and all the cooperation and tension which accompanied it are, after all, essential and inescapable dimensions of what it meant to be "Byzantine." (Bmcreview, 5 March 2011)

"The bibliography is impressive.  The list of primary sources, with editions, is particularly useful.  The secondary sources include items published as recently as 2010.  Summing up: Highly recommended.  All research collections." (CHOICE, January 2011)"The collection ends with a 71-page bibliography. I note that this and other front and end matter (including a full list of contents, and a handy list of Byzantine rulers and key dates) is available currently as 'free content' at 'Wiley Online Library'. A subscription to this service appears to provide access to all chapters as PDF files, which would be of great benefit to those wishing to use the collection in teaching." (International History Review, January 2011)

"Written by an impressive group of scholars, the 27 chapters of this companion offer their musings on the state of research in the fields considered, divided into sections on "being Byzantine," God and the world, texts, and material culture. The purpose of the chapters is not to describe the subject, but to describe its study and the current understanding and questions being brought by scholars. The result is a fascinating introduction to the topics and questions of interest in a broad field that will be of interest to the specialized reader as well as the student. Individual chapter topics include the relationship of the provinces to Constantinople, young people, the non-Chalcedonian churches, rhetoric, book culture, archaeology, and the Macedonian renaissance." (Book News Inc, November 2010)

  • Provides an overview of eleven centuries of Byzantine history

  • Includes an accessible introduction to the recent scholarship that has transformed the field

  • Emphasizes Byzantium's social and cultural history and material culture.