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Title: Byzantium and the Bosporus : regionality, identity, institutions
Author: Russell, T. J.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis presents a historical study of the relationship between the city of ancient Byzantium and the Thracian Bosporus. Structured around the themes of regional particularity and identity, it shows that local studies can be used to gain fresh insights into more general topics. Viewed through the lens of the relationship between strait and city, the history of the Bosporus sheds light on the nature of economic exploitation and ancient imperialism, and on the nature of ancient communities’ local identities. Chapter 1 explores regionally specific geographical features in the strait, which directed and determined responses to life in the area, around which the regional economy revolved, and in response to which the identities of the local communities were created. Chapters 2 and 3 examine the history of economic exploitation of the region, exploring the attitude of the Athenian Empire toward the Bosporus, and the attempt by the local communities of the Bosporus to create a controlled monetary system in the third century BC. These efforts to exploit local opportunities and commodities, I show, transformed the Bosporus into an attractive economic resource. Chapter 4 examines the local fishing industries of the strait, and demonstrates that the extraordinary availability of fish in the region provoked responses which could not be emulated precisely elsewhere. The thesis also shows that the cultural identity of a Greek city could be intensely local. Byzantium, a Greek colony typically characterized by its relationship to its mother-city, had a series of important local identities, explored in chapter 1. From this perspective, chapter 5 re-examines the difficult relationship between Greeks and Thracians in the region, and chapter 6 questions the validity of the traditional view of the relationship between a colony and its mother-city.
Supervisor: Thonemann, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Economic and Social History ; History of the ancient world ; Greek archeology ; Byzantium ; Ancient History ; Greek History ; Byzantion ; Athenian Empire ; Thrace ; Epigraphy ; Numismatics ; Regional History