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Agriculture and Agricultural Technology  

Michael Decker

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
A misconception about Byzantium is that its agriculture was not technically advanced. In reality, Byzantine farmers were effective in sustaining the population for more than a thousand ... More

Ancient Near Eastern City-States  

Steven J. Garfinkle

Print publication date:
Feb 2013
Online publication date:
Jan 2013
This chapter examines the history of the formation of city-states in the Fertile Crescent. It provides a working definition of city-state in both spatial and social terms, and describes ... More

Arabic  

Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
This article offers an overview of Arabic literature of the pre-Islamic and early Islamic periods. Although a wide range of examples and genres—proverbs, maxims, etiological tales, folk ... More

Archaeology  

James Crow

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
The archaeology of the Byzantine Empire has not generated much interest, with Byzantine remains and monuments rarely taking centre stage in the major archaeological sites of the ancient ... More

The Army  

John F. Haldon

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
The Byzantine armies of the fifth and sixth centuries were divided into two branches: stationary frontier units called limitanei and mobile forces known as comitatenses. The comitatenses ... More

Art and Iconoclasm  

Robin Cormack

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
Iconoclasm (from the word eikonoklastes, "imagebreaker") can be interpreted in two ways. It may refer to the process of the reassertion of imperial power in the state after a period of ... More

Art and Liturgy  

Nancy P. Ševčenko

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
Liturgical art in Byzantium was known for its polyvalence as well as its ability to function and communicate on various levels and in various settings. Virtually all the arts of Byzantium ... More

Art and Pilgrimage  

Jaś Elsner

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
In Byzantium, pilgrimage inspired various forms of visual art. These sacred arts span a wide range of image-making from tokens and souvenirs to masterpieces designed to adorn the ... More

Art and Text  

Henry Maguire

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
Rhetoric occupied a central place in Byzantine literature. One of the genres of rhetoric is ekphrasis, defined in the ancient rhetorical handbooks as the description of "persons, deeds, ... More

Art and the Periphery  

Antony Eastmond

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
Many modern historians and art historians disagree about art and the periphery in the Byzantine Empire. Byzantine writers such as Niketas Choniates argued that Constantinople was the ... More

Book Production  

John Lowden

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
Book production in Byzantium was a long and complex process, requiring a wide range of materials and skills. Every Byzantine book was a "manuscript", that is, handwritten, and mostly in ... More

Brickstamps  

Jonathan Bardill

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
Analysis of brickstamps and mould-made marks can yield important insights into the organization of the brickmaking industry during the Byzantine Era. Brickstamps also serve as a valuable ... More

Building Materials and Techniques  

Jonathan Bardill

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
Byzantium employed stone (including marble), brick (of mud or clay), mortar (of varying qualities), and timber as its main building materials the use of which was determined by availability and local ... More

Bureaucracy and Aristocracies  

Jean-Claude Cheynet

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
The reign of Herakleios essentially marked the medieval era in Byzantium. In order to adapt to the new conditions, the emperors were forced to modify administrative structures. One of the ... More

Byzantine Theology  

Andrew Louth

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
Byzantine theology owes a great deal to the Christian Scriptures. Among the ideas learned by Byzantine theologians from the Scriptures was the existence of a sovereign God who created the ... More

Ceramics  

Pamela Armstrong

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
In the Byzantine Empire, ceramics were used in food preparation, cooking, and dining. Based on classification of tablewares, ceramic production can be divided into four main chronological ... More

Charitable Institutions  

Timothy Miller

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
During the Byzantine Era, a network of philanthropic institutions offered a variety of services, from sheltering travellers and homeless migrants to providing free medical care for the ... More

Chronology and Dating  

Anthony Bryer

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
A system or systems of chronology and dating most intimately express essential marks of Byzantine identity, combining to place a subject in secular and cosmic order: eventually a Byzantine ... More

Classical and Near Eastern Slavery in the First Millennium bce  

David M. Lewis

Twentieth-century scholarship, guided in particular by the views of M. I. Finley, saw Greece and Rome as the only true ‘slave societies’ of antiquity: slavery in the Near East was of minor ... More

Clergy, Monks, and Laity  

Mary Cunningham

Print publication date:
Oct 2008
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
Originally used to refer to all Christians, the word clergy (kleros) included those who were appointed to serve and minister to the laity, or ordinary members, within the Christian Church. ... More

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