1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook on Identity in Byzantium

Edited By Michael Stewart, David Parnell, Conor Whately Copyright 2022
    468 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    468 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume is the first to focus solely on how specific individuals and groups in Byzantium and its borderlands were defined and distinguished from other individuals and groups from the mid-fourth to the close of the fifteenth century. It gathers chapters from both established and emerging scholars from a wide range of disciplines across history, art, archaeology, and religion to provide an accurate representation of the state of the field both now and in its immediate future. The handbook is divided into four subtopics that examine concepts of group and specific individual identity which have been chosen to provide methodologically sophisticated and multidisciplinary perspectives on specific categories of group and individual identity. The topics are Imperial Identities; Romanitas in the Late Antique Mediterranean; Macro and Micro Identities: Religious, Regional, and Ethnic Identities, and Internal Others; and Gendered Identities: Literature, Memory, and Self in Early and Middle Byzantium. While no single volume could ever provide a comprehensive vision of identities on the vast variety of peoples within Byzantium over nearly a millennium of its history, this handbook represents a milestone in offering a survey of the vibrant surge of scholarship examining the numerous and oft-times fluctuating codes of identity that shaped and transformed Byzantium and its neighbours during the empire’s long life. 


    1. Introduction: Michael Edward Stewart (University of Queensland), David Alan Parnell (Indiana University Northwest), and Conor Whately (University of Winnipeg): "Finding Byzantium."

    I. Imperial Identities

    2. Sviatoslav Dmitriev (Ball State University): "The Political Philosophy of John Lydus and Early Byzantine Imperial Identity."

    3. Nicola Rose Ernst (University of Exeter): "Constantinian Imperial Identities: The Julianic Pushback."

    4. Christopher W. Malone (University of Sydney): "Soldier-Emperors and the Motif of Imperial Violence in the Byzantine Empire."

    5. Anna Muthesius (University of Cambridge): "Imperial Identity: Byzantine Silks, Art, Autocracy, Theocracy, and the Image of Basileia."

    II. Romanitas in the Late Antique Mediterranean

    6. Michael Edward Stewart (University of Queensland): "To Triumph Forever: Romans & Barbarians in early Byzantium."

    7. Robert Kasperski (Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences): "Some Considerations on Barbarian Ethnicity in Late Antiquity."

    8. Rafał Kosiński (Bialystok University): "The Elements of Identity as Exemplified by Four Late-Antique Authors."

    9. Jonathan J. Arnold (University of Tulsa): "Manly Goths, Unmanly Romans: Ideologies of Gender in Ostrogothic Italy."

    10. Andy Merrills (University of Leicester): "Contested Identities in Byzantine North Africa."

    11. Christopher Heath (Manchester Metropolitan University): "Contested Identities in the Byzantine West, c.540-c.895."

    III. Macro and Micro Identities: Religious, Regional, and Ethnic Identities, and Internal Others

    12. Joseph Western (College of the Ozarks): "Overlapping Identities and Individual Agency in Byzantine Southern Italy."

    13. Ryan W. Strickler (The Australian National University): "Dehumanization, Apocalypticism, and Anti-Judaism: Reflections on Identity Formation in Seventh-Century Byzantium."

    14. Anthony Kaldellis (The Ohio State University): "Provincial Identities in Byzantium."

    15. Nathan Leidholm (Bilkent University): "Parents and Children, Servants and Masters: Slaves, Freedmen, and the Family in Byzantium."

    16. Cahit Mete Oguz (Simon Fraser University): "Middle Byzantine Historians and the Dichotomy of Peasant Identity."

    17. Ioannis Smarnakis (University of the Aegean): "Political Power, Space and Identities in the State of Epiros (1205-1318)."

    18. Anne-Laurence Caudano (University of Winnipeg): "Moses’ Account is Simpler, More Concise, and More Effective: Orthodoxy, Heresy, and Cosmographic Identity in the Twelfth and Early Thirteenth Centuries."

    IV. Gendered Identities: Literature, Memory, and Self in Early & Middle Byzantium

    19. Grace Stafford (University of Oxford): "Privilege, Pleasure, Performance: Reading Female Nudity in Late Antique Art."

    20. David Alan Parnell (Indiana University Northwest): "A War of Words on the Place of Military Wives in the Sixth-Century Roman Army."

    21. Leonora Neville (University of Wisconsin): "Reading Greco-Roman Gender Ideals in Byzantium: Classical Heroes and Eastern Roman Gender."

    22. Penelope Buckley (University of Melbourne): "Modes of Identity: Attaleiates, Komnene, and Psellos."

    23. Adam J. Goldwyn (North Dakota State University): "Byzantium in the American Alt-Right Imagination: Paradigms of the Medieval Greek Past among Men’s Rights Activists and White Supremacists."



    Michael Edward Stewart is an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of History, Classics, and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland, Australia.

    David Alan Parnell is an Associate Professor of History at Indiana University Northwest, USA.

    Conor Whately is an Associate Professor at the University of Winnipeg, Canada.