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Title: Society and the State in Byzantium, 1025-1071
Author: Danny, William
ISNI:       0000 0000 5404 6523
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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The eleventh century has long been viewed as one of the most sign ificant periods of change in the Byzantine empire. It has been argued that the century witnessed the decline of imperial authority in the face of a powerful landed aristocracy rooted in the provinces. This thesis seeks to challenge various component parts of this view. It begins with an account of the military organisation of the empire, traces the changing face of its army and suggests that the failures against the Turks do not betray fundamental military weakness. The question of the empire's military policy is taken up in the second chapter in the specific context of the region of Iberia. The evidence for Constantine IX's policy towards the Iberian anny is discussed and an alternative proposed to the commonly accepted view that his actions amounted to the demobilisation of a theme army. Chapters 3 and 4 treat the civil administration, with a particular focus on the role of judges and justice. Here the legal compilation known as the Peira takes a central place, and it is argued that, despite various structural impediments, the provision ofjustice was better than is generally supposed, and that judges were willing to take on powerful interests. Attention shifts in Chapters 5 and 6 to the interplay between public and private power in the provinces. The Strategikoll of Kekaumenos is used as the basis around which a picture of provincial society is built. Certain elements within this picture are then drawn out and elaborated on, and the argument made that public office-holding and private power were related but not intimately connected. The institutional Church and its place within society forms the subject of the final two chapters. Tensions within the Church hierarchy are elucidated and placed in relation to the charistike, the donation ofmonasteries to laymen.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Oxford University, 2007 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available