Gender, Society and Economic Life in Byzantium

1st Edition

Angeliki E. Laiou

Routledge
Published April 16, 1992
Reference - 352 Pages
ISBN 9780860783220 - CAT# Y284483
Series: Variorum Collected Studies

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Summary

The studies in this volume reflect the author’s interest in history as it was lived: not only the social and economic structures, but the men and women, collectively and individually, who made them function. The role of women in Byzantine economy and society is found to be much more important than had been believed; their participation in trade and manufacturing is established, as is the role of aristocratic women in the economic affairs of the household; the question of female literacy is also discussed. Two studies on the Byzantine family, based in large part on the legal sources, examine the formation of matrimonial ties as well as the practice of divorce and concubinage in the 13th century. The second part of the volume is focused on the economy of exchange in Byzantium between 1204 and the fall of the Empire. Byzantine trade and manufacturing are placed in the context of the economic developments of the eastern Mediterranean, with the conclusion that, whereas the activities of Byzantine and Greek merchants were much more considerable than scholars had thought, they were subordinated to the needs of the Italian-dominated trade system, while Byzantine manufacturing declined. Les etudes assemblées dans ce volume reflètent l’intérêt de leur auteur pour l’histoire telle qu’elle était vécue; non seulement en ce qui concerne les structures sociales et économiques, mais aussi les hommes et les femmes, collectivement et individuellement, qui permettaient à celles-ci de fonctionner. Le rôle des femmes dans la société et l’économie byzantine se révèle comme ayant beaucoup plus d’importance qu’on ne le pensait auparavant; leur participation au commerce et à l’industrie est un fait établi, tout comme l’est le rôle des femmes aristocrates dans les affaires économiques du foyer. Le thème de l’alphabétisation des femmes est aussi souevé. Deux études sur la famille byzantine, se basant en grande partie sur des sources légales, exa

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