- Tapa blanda: 224 páginas
- Editor: Cambridge University Press (9 de marzo de 2009)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0521101174
- ISBN-13: 978-0521101172
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº1.146.978 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
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Authority in Byzantine Provincial Society, 950–1100 (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 9 mar 2009
Descripción del producto
"The book is well written, easy to follow and largely free of errors." Franziska E. Schlosser, Concordia University
' .. useful and illuminating ..' Ab Imperio
"...this is an excellent and significant book. Neville's rejection of ideological systems could be applied with profit to earlier and later periods of Byzantine social history and to Byzantine history in general...."
-H-Law, Warren Treadgold, Department of History, Saint Louis University
Reseña del editor
The imperial government over the central provinces of the Byzantine Empire c.950–1100 was both sovereign and apathetic, dealing effectively with a narrow set of objectives, chiefly collecting revenue and maintaining imperial sovereignty. Outside these spheres, action needed to be solicited from imperial officials, leaving vast opportunities for local people to act independently without legal stricture or fear of imperial involvement. In the absence of imperial intervention provincial households competed with each other for control over community decisions. The emperors exercised just enough strength at the right times to prevent the leaders of important households in the core provinces from becoming rulers themselves. Membership in a successful household, wealth, capacity for effective violence and access to the imperial court were key factors that allowed one to act with authority. This 2004 book examines in detail the mechanisms provincial households used to acquire and dispute authority.Ver Descripción del producto
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The value of this book is manifold. One of these is to reassess some of the traditional assumptions that historians (and a more general audience) have believed in for the last decades.
One of these is that the existence of a centralised literate bureaucracy allowed the Byzantine Empire a particularly high level of control over society. With regards to the economy, Byzantium has even been seen as a "state-controlled" economy. While focusing on the provincial society and not on the economy, Leonora Neville shows to what extent this rather anachronistic view is a misconception. First, she shows that the provincial and, more generally, the imperial administration did not function all that well and was not that powerful.
Second, "state control" of society was not what was expected of it. Rather, the priority was, according to the author, both more modest and more crucial. The Byzantine political culture centred power on the emperor with those acquiring titles and positions from him being associated with the imperial majesty and therefore greatly enhancing the prestige (and the wealth) of their households.
Accordingly, Emperors had three limited objectives: maintain their sovereignty, suppress revolts and collect revenues. One implication is that, according to the author, the Emperor and his administration was "apathetic" and only intervened when local elites started look like rulers, but such interventions could be ruthless and revolts were aggressively suppressed. Another implication was that, as long as provincial society did not threaten the government's sovereignty and let it extract wealth, the administration did little to govern it and left it free.
Interestingly, one of the author's conclusions is that, far from being oppressed by central government, at least some of the provincial people desired from imperial involvement and took steps to "excite government interest in their problems.
This is a short but rather remarkable and quite accessible study of the relationships between central imperial power and the provincial elites, on one hand, and between the various households that made up such provincial elites, on the other hand. It is well worth five stars.
However, the book does not exclusively deal with the relationship between Constantinople and the provinces, but also spends a great deal of time examining the mechanisms of authority inside the provincial oikos and the nature of patronage, acting inside one's station, and law. As such, this book not only remains important for imperial political history in regards to how Constantinople dealt with the elites in the provinces, but also is an invaluable work on how provincial relationships worked in reality. It is a realistic, concise, and readable study.