The late Byzantine city: social, economic and institutional profile

Shea, Jonathan (2010). The late Byzantine city: social, economic and institutional profile. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This study aims to contribute to the discussion of late Byzantine urban centres by researching four important cities for which written, archaeological and numismatic sources are available, and by creating a profile for each. Conclusions drawn from the study of Monemvasia, Ioannina, Arta and Thessalonike have then been used to draw a wider picture about late Byzantine cities in general. The period 1204-1460 saw the territorial collapse of the Byzantine Empire, followed by its partial reconstitution and then final fall. The political fragmentation of the Balkans and an increasingly integrated Mediterranean economy placed the Byzantine city at the heart of the politics and the economy of its region, and connected it to the wider world more than at any time since the seventh century. The profile of cities such as Monemvasia, Ioannina, Arta and Thessalonike was shaped by their function both as centres of wealth and international trade, and the residence of the imperial administration and the provincial elite. The study is divided into four chapters, each dedicated to a particular city. Each chapter analyses the politics, built environment, society, population, privileges and economy of the individual urban unit, and combines each section to draw conclusions. The concluding chapter of the thesis highlights common trends and developments in the socio-economic profiles of the four cities, and makes more general observations about late Byzantine urban civilization.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology (CAHA)
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
D History General and Old World > DF Greece
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology


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