By John Haldon
With unique essays through major students, this e-book explores the social historical past 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 background of the Byzantine empireOffers groundbreaking theoretical and empirical learn within the learn of Byzantine societyIncludes priceless glossaries of sociological/theoretical phrases and Byzantine/medieval phrases
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Additional resources for A Social History of Byzantium
Descent, marriage, and inheritance, for example, are regulated in all societies by kinship (whether or not this is represented through a particular set of religious and ideological institutions); and in all societies the relationship between human beings and the supernatural is regulated and explicated by religion of a greater or lesser degree of theoretical sophistication. Yet not all societies are dominated by either kinship or religious systems; and the explicit function of these regulatory systems alone, where they represent the dominant mode of public and private discourse, cannot in itself explain this pre-eminence: another function must also be in play.
18 JOHN HALDON western Byzantinists (the vast majority of them not being Marxists), for example, refused to concede that Byzantine society was ever feudal; or that, if it was, then only at the very end of its long history, from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries on, and only as a result of western, that is to say, external, influence. In contrast, and using a political-economic definition of the concept, Soviet and East European historians had traditionally split into two opposing parties or camps: those who saw “feudal” relations already in the later Roman period (from the fifth century, but most clearly from the seventh); and those who found evidence for such relations only after the tenth and eleventh centuries.
This social history will therefore be an examination of key facets of Byzantine society in an effort to see what role or function they had, how they evolved 6 JOHN HALDON and why, and how they were perceived and understood by those involved in them directly or indirectly. We ought therefore to consider what the term “society” suggests, a commonsense term, but one which hides as much as it reveals. “Society” is one of the vaguest and most general terms in our vocabulary, and can be used to refer to almost anything from a group of hunter gatherers to a modern industrial state.