Cyprus between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (ca. 600–800): An Island in Transition, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Cyprus between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (ca. 600–800)

An Island in Transition, 1st Edition

By Luca Zavagno

Routledge

228 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138243316
pub: 2017-05-22
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Description

Research on early medieval Cyprus has focused on the late antique "golden age" (late fourth/early fifth to seventh century) and the so-called Byzantine "Reconquista" (post-AD 965) while overlooking the intervening period. This phase was characterized, supposedly, by the division of the political sovereignty between the Umayyads and the Byzantines, bringing about the social and demographic dislocation of the population of the island. This book proposes a different story of continuities and slow transformations in the fate of Cyprus between the late sixth and the early ninth centuries.

Analysis of new archaeological evidence shows signs of a continuing link to Constantinople. Moreover, together with a reassessment of the literary evidence, archaeology and material culture help us to reappraise the impact of Arab naval raids and contextualize the confrontational episodes throughout the ebb and flow of Eastern Mediterranean history: the political influence of the Caliphate looked stronger in the second half of the seventh century, the administrative and ecclesiastical influence of the Byzantine empire was held sway from the beginning of the eighth to the twelfth century. Whereas the island retained sound commercial ties with the Umayyad Levant in the seventh and eighth centuries, at the same time politically and economically it remained part of the Byzantine sphere. This belies the idea of Cyprus as an independent province only loosely tied to Constantinople and allows us to draw a different picture of the cultural identities, political practices and hierarchy of wealth and power in Cyprus during the passage from Late Antiquity to the early Middle Ages.

Reviews

"Any scholar interested in the interaction between the Byzantine and Umayyad states in this period will find the book useful."

--D. A. Slane, University of Maryland University College

Table of Contents

1. Mattia Pascal and the Name of Cyprus

2. Seeing the Unseen: A Brief Overview of Cypriot Historiography

3. The Mousetrap of Methodology

4. A History of Cyprus in the Early Middle Ages

5. Urban vs. Rural: The Many Sides of the Cypriot Coin

6. An Insular Economy in Transition

7 Aftermath and Conclusions

Bibliography

Index

About the Author

Luca Zavagno received his BA degree in History from the University Ca’Foscari, Venice; he completed his PhD studies at the University of Birmingham on the society, culture, economics and politics of Byzantine cities. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Bilkent University. Dr. Zavagno is the author of many articles on the Byzantine and early Medieval Mediterranean and of the co-edited volumes Islands of Eastern Mediterranean: A History of Cross Cultural Encounters and People (2014), Goods on the Move: Merchants, Networks and Communication Routes in the Medieval and Early Modern Era (2016) and of Cities in Transition: Urbanism in Byzantium between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (2009).

About the Series

Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies

Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies is devoted to the history, culture and archaeology of the Byzantine and Ottoman worlds of the East Mediterranean region from the fifth to the twentieth century. It provides a forum for the publication of research completed by scholars from the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK, and those with similar research interests from around the world.

For further information about the series please contact Michael Greenwood at Michael.Greenwood@informa.com

 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS002010
HISTORY / Ancient / Greece
HIS037010
HISTORY / Medieval