From womb to the tomb: the Byzantine life course AD 518 - 1204

Davies, Eve Miriam (2013). From womb to the tomb: the Byzantine life course AD 518 - 1204. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Status and gender studies are now well established paradigms of Byzantine social history. But academic enquiry has, so far, overlooked the significance of age. This is perhaps because most biographical accounts open with conception and birth, and move forwards to death, which seems so logical to us that the Life Course trajectory has not stood out as a defining characteristic of Byzantine biographical narratives. However, Byzantine authors do not present their characters as stagnant; characters are often shown to develop in persona across their lives. The study of age and life-stage is crucial to understanding the Byzantines’ evolving familial roles and societal responsibilities.

This thesis deconstructs the Life Course patterns as presented to us by authors writing AD 518 to 1204, a critical period in the development of Byzantine culture. The start point is 518, the year that the Justinian dynasty commenced, a period characterised by a rich and abundant supply of evidence. The end point is 1204, the year that the Latins captured Constantinople and the sources distinctly change in style and influence. This thesis draws upon several types of evidence including literature, coins and tombstones in order to expose this hitherto unexploited but fundamental facet of Byzantine identity

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: Department of Ancient History and Archaecology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History


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