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Title: Diplomacy and foreign policy in the personal reign of Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos (945-959)
Author: Prasad, Prerona
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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Abstract:
This thesis examines Byzantine diplomacy and foreign policy in the round in the personal reign of Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos (945-959). This particular period has been singled out for investigation because Constantine had a keen personal interest in foreign affairs and two treatises from his reign, the De administrando imperio and the De cerimoniis aulae byzantinae, shed light upon the Byzantine view of the outside world and the workings of imperial bureaux charged with diplomatic affairs and the administration of military campaigns. After introducing the subject and the key sources, the thesis makes a clockwise circuit of all of the theatres in which Byzantine foreign policy was active. The first chapter looks at worldviews as documented in sources from Byzantium, Ottonian Saxony, and the Islamic Near East in order to determine how these key players saw their place in the world and systematised their relationships with each other. The second chapter discusses relations with the Islamic Near East and Transcaucasia and provides a survey of sources, historical reconstruction, and analysis of goals and processes. Chapter three examines relations with the Islamic caliphates of the central and western Mediterranean, and assigns them greater importance than generally acknowledged. Chapter four chronicles the nascent relations with Ottonian Saxony and Byzantium's re-engagement with the Transalpine Franks. Chapter five deals with the peoples of the Eurasian steppe and homes in on Byzantium's attempts to diffuse threats from this volatile world. Chapter six focuses on Italy as the region in which three strands of Byzantine foreign policy met and evaluates the empire's response to wholesale changes in power relations in the peninsula in the early years of Constantine's personal reign. The conclusion to the thesis interrogates whether Constantine's foreign policy kept the empire safe, enhanced its prestige, managed the military elites, and had an enduring legacy.
Supervisor: Howard-Johnston, James Sponsor: Clarendon Award
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.719975  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Diplomacy--Byzantine Empire ; Byzantine Empire--History--Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus ; 913-959 ; Byzantine Empire--Foreign relations--527-1081
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