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Raiders, marauders, ravagers, and pirates: their impact on Byzantine life, with Alexander Sarantis

Who were these raiders? What did they want? How did provincials and the empire as a whole respond to them? A fear of marauders probably doesn’t keep you up at night today, but this was a major anxiety in Byzantine life. In this episode of Byzantium & Friends, we have a conversation with Alexander Sarantis on the socio-economic impact of raiding on the lives of provincials as well as the military history of the empire and its finances.

Alexander Sarantis is  late antique/Early Byzantine historian specialising in military affairs, international relations and socio-economic developments. He is a research fellow at the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz and Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. The conversation is based on Alexander’s study ‘The Socio-Economic Impact of Raiding on the Eastern and Balkan Borderlands of the Eastern Roman Empire, 502-602,’ Millennium 17 (2020) 203-264. He is also the author of Justinian’s Balkan Wars: Campaigns, Diplomacy and Development in Illyricum, Thrace and the Northern World A.D. 527-65. You can learn more about Alexander’s research on his Academia.edu page or follow him on Twitter @AlexanderSara20

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Byzantium & Friends is hosted by Anthony Kaldellis, Professor and Chair of the Department of Classics at The Ohio State University. You can follow him on his personal website.

You can listen to more episodes of Byzantium & Friends through Podbean.

Top Image: 18th century map of the Balkans – Wikimedia Commons

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