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4 - The Medieval Roman Empire of the East as a Spatial Phenomenon (300–1204 CE)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 January 2021

Yuri Pines
Affiliation:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Michal Biran
Affiliation:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jörg Rüpke
Affiliation:
Universität Erfurt, Germany
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Summary

This chapter discusses some general principles of spatial organisation and perception in the Medieval Roman (“Byzantine”) Empire as can be reconstructed from written sources, furthermore the definition and dynamics of frontiers and the significance of the centre (Constantinople) and its demands for the spatial framework of imperial politics. The chronological focus is on the centuries from the inauguration of Constantinople as new capital (330 CE) up to the Fourth Crusade in 1204 CE. Furthermore, the papers deal more with the frontiers and relations of Byzantium to the East, where also Byzantine authors identified (competing) polities of a similar imperial quality, than with the connections to and conflicts with medieval Western Europe. It aims to demonstrate how specific aspects of Byzantium´s spatial dynamics can be integrated in a more general comparative discussion of empires as spatial phenomena.

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Chapter
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The Limits of Universal Rule
Eurasian Empires Compared
, pp. 141 - 179
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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