The early Palaiologan court (1261-1354)

Schrijver, Frouke (2013). The early Palaiologan court (1261-1354). University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The complex phenomena ‘court’ and ‘court society’ have received increasing interest in academic research over recent years. The court of late Byzantium, however, has been overlooked, despite the fact that assumptions have been made about the influence of Byzantine court ceremonial on ceremonies in the late Medieval and Early Modern West and about the imitation of the Byzantine court as an institution in the early Ottoman empire. In the discussion of these influences late Byzantine sources were left untouched, a neglect that underlines the need for a comprehensive study of the court in this period. The aim of the present thesis is to fill a part of this gap in our knowledge through an examination of the core of the court in early Palaiologan Byzantium (1261-1354).

The methodology used is inspired by studies of Western royal and princely courts and approaches the early Palaiologan court in an interdisciplinary way. It aims to investigate the main palace of the Palaiologan emperors and the residents of this palace (the imperial family, their servants and their guards), or in other words the imperial household. The court is therefore seen from a spatially and socially restricted viewpoint, while social interaction is used as the main differentiating tool. On a larger scale the present thesis aims to address questions about the interrelation between space and social interaction.

Although the absence of an actual surviving palace and of imperial household ordinances makes it hard to investigate the late Byzantine court, this thesis presents a picture of the core of the early Palaiologan court by combining various late Byzantine sources, each of which provides us with snippets of information about the palace and (individual) members of the imperial household.

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: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History


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