1st Edition

Italy and the East Roman World in the Medieval Mediterranean Empire, Cities and Elites, 476-1204

Edited By Thomas J. MacMaster, Nicholas S.M. Matheou Copyright 2021
    400 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    400 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Italy and the East Roman World in the Medieval Mediterranean addresses the understudied topic of the Italian peninsula’s relationship to the continuation of the Roman Empire in the East, across the early and central Middle Ages.

    The East Roman world, commonly known by the ahistorical term "Byzantium", is generally imagined as an Eastern Mediterranean empire, with Italy part of the medieval "West". Across 18 individually authored chapters, an introduction and conclusion, this volume makes a different case: for an East Roman world of which Italy forms a crucial part, and an Italian peninsula which is inextricably connected to—and, indeed, includes—regions ruled from Constantinople. Celebrating a scholar whose work has led this field over several decades, Thomas S. Brown, the chapters focus on the general themes of empire, cities and elites, and explore these from the angles of sources and historiography, archaeology, social, political and economic history, and more besides. With contributions from established and early career scholars, elucidating particular issues of scholarship as well as general historical developments, the volume provides both immediate contributions and opens space for a new generation of readers and scholars to a growing field.

    Introduction: Italy and the East Roman World, 476-1204  Bryan Ward-Perkins

    Part 1: Sources & Historiography

    1. Cassiodorus and the Reluctant Provinciales of Dalmatia  Cristina La Rocca

    2. Procopius of Caesarea in Renaissance Italy  Brian Croke

    3. Ambrosio de Morales and the Codex Vetustissimus Ovetensis  Roger Collins

    4. Constructing the Enemy: Byzantium in Paul the Deacon  Eduardo Fabbro

    Part 2: The Exarchate of Ravenna

    5. Travels of an Exarch: Smaragdus and the Anastasian Walls  Jim Crow

    6. Remarks on the Sociocultural and Religious History of Early Byzantine Ravenna in the Light of Epigraphic and Archival Evidence  Alessandro Bazzocchi

    7. Exarchs and Others: Secular Patrons of Churches in the Sixth to Eighth Centuries  Deborah M. Deliyannis

    8. The Exarchate, the Empire, and the Elites: Some Comparative Remarks  John Haldon

    9. Bishops and Merchants: The Economy of Ravenna at the Beginnings of the Middle Ages  Enrico Cirelli

    Part 3: Ravenna after the Exarchate

    10. Renovatio, Continuity, Innovation: Ravenna’s Role in Legitimation and Collective Memory (8th-9th centuries)  Nicole Jantzen-Lopez

    11. Thomas Morosini, First Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Ravenna Connection  Michael Angold

    Part 4: Empire & Elites

    12. Dux to Episcopus: From Ruling Cities to Controlling Sees in Byzantine Italy, 554-900  Edward M. Schoolman

    13. The Duke of Istria, the Roman Past, and the Frankish Present  Francesco Borri

    14. Hegemony, Elitedom and Ethnicity: "Armenians" in Imperial Bari, 874-1071  Nicholas S. M. Matheou

    Part 5: Elites & Cities

    15. What Was Wrong with Bishops in Sixth-Century Southern Italy?  Patricia Skinner

    16. Before the Venetians? Evidence for Slave Trading out of Italy, 489-751  Thomas J. MacMaster

    17. Urban Life in Lombard Italy: Genoa and Milan Compared  Ross Balzaretti

    18. A Dance to the Music of Time: Greeks and Latins in Medieval Taranto  Vera von Falkenhausen

     The Study of Empire and Cities in the Medieval Mediterranean: Personal Reflections and Conclusions  Thomas S. Brown


    Thomas J. MacMaster is teaching at Morehouse College, Georgia. His research focusses on the slave trade and human trafficking in the early medieval Mediterranean, the topic of his forthcoming monograph Slavery and the Making of the Medieval World. He has also published more generally on the transition from late antiquity to the early Middle Ages.

    Nicholas S.M. Matheou is programme manager at the Armenian Institute, London. His research focusses on the social, political and economic history of the medieval Middle East and Mediterranean. He has published on East Roman political thought, has a forthcoming study and translation of an eleventh-century Armenian historian and his current research project focusses on the medieval city of Ani.

    ‘In sum, this festschrift is a harmonious reflection of the broad and excellent work of Tom Brown as a teacher, a rightfully renowned scholar, and, maybe most importantly, a friend to so many people. The collection of course caters mostly to scholars working in the field of early medieval Italy but, given the inclusiveness of its chapters, will also find an audience among students and the historically interested general reader’ - Early Medieval Europe, 2024: 32 (3).