Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 October 2020
The Balearic Islands lie not far off the E coast of the Iberian Peninsula in a strategic position for navigation and trade routes (fig. 1 below). Classical writers considered them two groups of islands: Mallorca and Menorca (with adjacent islands and islets), forming the Baliarides, and Ibiza and Formentera (with other islets), considered the Pityussae.1 In 123 B.C., the Balearides were conquered by the Romans and included first in Hispania Citerior and in Tarraconensis later. The unified archipelago became an independent province at the end of the 4th c., probably due to the re-organization by Theodosius.2 In A.D. 455, the Balearics were conquered by the Vandals, while in 534, Apollinarius, sent by Belisarius, conquered the islands for the Byzantine empire. Theoretically, Byzantine rule lasted until the Islamic conquest of Isam-al-Jalawni in 902-3,3 but it is difficult to draw a precise line for the end of late antiquity on the islands. The Muslim occupation at the very start of the 10th c. witnessed a clear shift. In this paper, we will consider the period from the 5th to the start of the 10th c., even if information for the 8th and 9th c. is scarce.