By John Haldon
With unique essays by means of prime students, this publication explores the social historical past of the medieval jap Roman Empire and gives illuminating new insights into our wisdom of Byzantine society.Provides interconnected essays of unique scholarship in terms of the social background of the Byzantine empireOffers groundbreaking theoretical and empirical examine within the research of Byzantine societyIncludes necessary glossaries of sociological/theoretical phrases and Byzantine/medieval phrases
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Additional info for A Social History of Byzantium
The practice of law, on the other hand – the process through which justice was achieved for the parties involved in litigation, for example – both rested on Roman tradition but was at the same time an intensely moral process, in which the concept of justice was itself determined by the framework of values generated and maintained by the symbolic universe. 21 In this respect, too, understanding the church as both an economic and a moral political force is an essential part of the story. The church was the formal, public representative of a specifically Byzantine world-view and thus wielded immeasurable influence ideologically as well as politically.
And finally, it should at least in some degree offer the possibility of theorizing Byzantine society in such a way as to make its workings accessible to non-specialists and of value to scholars who wish to draw broader connections and suggest higher-level parallels between what was happening within the Byzantine world and how it worked, and what was going on in neighboring or more distant social and cultural systems. In the following pages I will offer some thoughts on key aspects of what a social history might concern itself with, and suggest some avenues of approach which may be of use in thinking about the social history of the Byzantine world.
Narrative, indeed, can be said to provide the link between consciousness and practice. By “narrative” is meant simply a series of linked clauses or statements with an evaluative – and therefore structuring – element, arranged in time to create a series of causally sequential events. 14 The same basic definition can be extended to group or collective narratives, that is to say, to those narrative forms that express the experiences and perceptions of individuals in their aspect as members of a specific group.
A Social History of Byzantium by John Haldon