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The Byzantine City: A Symphony in Three Movements

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The Byzantine City from Heraclius to the Fourth Crusade, 610–1204

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Abstract

This chapter presents the reader with three preliminary and different themes that will recur across the book as taking their cue from the changes of some exemplary Byzantine cities like Ephesos and Euchaita. The first has to do with the importance of tracking the transformation of the urban functions across space and time. The second concern the methodological approach adopted in the book. Indeed, the changes in urban functions, landscape, structure, and fabric will be explored by bringing together the most recent results stemming from urban archaeological excavations, the results of analyses of material culture (ceramic, coins, seals), and a reassessment of the documentary and hagiographical sources. The third aims to explain how Byzantine urban sites located in different parts of the empire (Byzantine heartland vis a vis the coastal-insula koine) reverberated the changes experienced by the political, social, and economic imperial super-structure a regional and sub-regional level.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    It is interesting to notice that in 1937–8 Stravinsky composed the famous Concerto in E-Flat “Dumbarton Oaks” commissioned by Robert and Mildred Bliss, who also established the Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Research Library and Collection (today a trustee of Harvard University).

  2. 2.

    A partial exception is represented by the city of Amorium which often resurfaces in the web as results of the support offered by the Metropolitan Museum of New York to the archaeological excavation (https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/amor/hd_amor.htm retrieved 1 March, 2021).

  3. 3.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_in_the_Byzantine_Empire retrieved 1 March, 2021.

  4. 4.

    Biddle included twelve elements spanning from defense to market and street planning, from large dense population to complex religious structures: he identifies them as not equally important as only a few of them are enough to characterize a settlement as urban (Biddle 1976, 100). See also Wickham (2005, 592).

  5. 5.

    On the origins and development of the so-called thematic organization see Haldon (2016, 266–75); Zuckerman (2005) and Hendy (1985, 624–5) with further bibliography.

  6. 6.

    On the main roads and communication network the Arabs followed in pursuing their seasonal raiding tactics see Belke (2017); also, Whittow (1996, 25–36); Haldon (2016, 132–147).

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Zavagno, L. (2021). The Byzantine City: A Symphony in Three Movements. In: The Byzantine City from Heraclius to the Fourth Crusade, 610–1204. New Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture. Palgrave Pivot, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-84307-6_1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-84307-6_1

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Pivot, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-84306-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-84307-6

  • eBook Packages: HistoryHistory (R0)

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