Byzantium in the Eleventh Century: Being in Between

1st Edition

Marc D. Lauxtermann, Mark Whittow

Routledge
Published March 2, 2017
Reference - 252 Pages - 7 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138225039 - CAT# Y308140
Series: Publications of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies

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Summary

The eleventh century in Byzantium is all about being in between, whether this is between Basil II and Alexios Komnenos, between the forces of the Normans, the Pechenegs and the Turks, or between different social groupings, cultural identities and religious persuasions. It is a period of fundamental changes and transformations, both internal and external, but also a period rife with clichés and dominated by the towering presence of Michael Psellos whose usually self-contradictory accounts continue to loom large in the field of Byzantine studies. The essays collected here, which were delivered at the 45th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, explore new avenues of research and offer new perspectives on this transitional period. The book is divided into four thematic clusters: 'The age of Psellos' studies this crucial figure and seeks to situate him in his time; 'Social structures' is concerned with the ways in which the deep structures of Byzantine society and economy responded to change; 'State and Church' offers a set of studies of various political developments in eleventh-century Byzantium; and 'The age of spirituality' offers the voices of those for whom Psellos had little time and little use: monks, religious thinkers and pious laymen.

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