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On the fringes of the shrinking empire : the militarization of administration and society in Byzantine Histria

On the fringes of the shrinking empire : the militarization of administration and society in Byzantine Histria

Bileta, Vedran

MA Thesis, Budapest College (2010)

Abstract

At the end of the Late Antiquity, the Byzantine province of Histria became from the center of the empire, its periphery. The centuries of peace and prosperity were replaced by constant warfare. This thesis studies the effects that such change had on transformation of provincial society and administration from the late sixth to the early ninth century. As the written sources related to Byzantine Histria are scarce, the analysis employs an interdisciplinary approach using archaeological material, epigraphy or numismatic as well as the data from the other parts of Byzantine Italy, particularly from the northern regions of the exarchate such as Liguria. The research itself focuses on two major aspects, the process of castrization and process of militarization. By analyzing both processes a pattern emerges, which shows gradual replacement of the Late Roman urban society by the local military aristocracy, who takes over both the military and civil power. Also the study examines problem of some endemic elements of this new elite, such as level of autonomy or their connections with Constantinople.

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