Kinship and Justice in Byzantium, 11th–15th Centuries: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Kinship and Justice in Byzantium, 11th–15th Centuries

1st Edition

By R.J. Macrides


332 pages

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Hardback: 9780860787990
pub: 1999-12-24
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The articles in this volume deal with subjects which have received relatively little attention from students of the Byzantine empire. The studies are concerned with aspects of the law, both civil and canon, and with the kinship ties formed through godparenthood, adoption and marriage by the emperor and his subjects, the considerations which contributed to their creation and the significance of these ties for those who contracted them. The common theme linking the studies on kinship and justice is an interest in determining how the law worked. Using legal commentaries, notarial formulae, court case transcripts and literary sources, the author attempts to reveal contemporary practices in court procedure, in crime detection and punishment, in legal teaching and argumentation. The studies examine technical aspects of the law such as its promulgation and dissemination, and the interaction of civil and canon law, but also the wider influence of the law on literary culture.

Table of Contents

Contents: The Byzantine godfather; Kinship by arrangement: the case of adoption; Substitute parents and their children in Byzantium; Dynastic marriages and political kinship; Dowry and inheritance in the late period: some cases from the Patriarchal register; Nomos and kanon on paper and in court; Perception of the past in the twelfth-century canonists; The competent court; Justice under Manuel I Komnenos: four novels on court business and murder; Killing, asylum and the law in Byzantium; Poetic justice in the Patriarchate: murder and cannibalism in the provinces; Bad historian or good lawyer? Demetrios Chomatenos and Novel 131; Index of Greek terms; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General