Paper a: Prokopios, General Belisarios’s legal adviser, provides eyewitness descriptions of many 6th-century conflicts. This paper explores how satellite imagery and field photography can be studied alongside historical literary sources to improve our understanding of historical events. These are conflicts between the Eastern Romans and Persians, Vandals and Ostrogoths. Historical sources will be summarised and the satellite and some field photography analysed. Satellite image screenshots will illustrate the overall topography. The field photography will show contemporary views of one battlefield and signal features which may perhaps be related to features connected with the conflicts.
Paper b: Laodikeia was an important ecclesiastical centre with a large Orthodox Greek community. The decline of the Greek community in Laodikeia took place in the end of the reign of Andronikos II Palaiologos. It seems that the Turks were in the environs of Laodikeia in the 1250s. In 1257 the Sultan returned the city to the Empire. But the road between Laodokeia and Antalya was occupied by the nomads. This brought about a conflict between the Sultan and his Nicaean allies, on the one side, and the Turks, on the other side, in 1258. At the same time (1260) the Turks attacked the Nicaean frontier along the Maeander. In reply, Michael VIII Palaiologos undertook two punitive campaigns: in the autumn of 1260, and again in 1261. However, the problem of the nomadic incursions of the Turks of Denizli was resolved not by the Nicaeans but by the joint Seljukid-Mongol expedition in 1262. It seems that the nomads did not pose much threat to the city-dwellers of Laodikeia. It was the alliance between the Turks and Laodikeia that caused the destruction of the latter. On 23 December 1291 the Ilkhan Geikhatu who fought the rebel Turks took Denizli and massacred its inhabitants. Though the remaining Greek Orthodox community was spared by the special request of King David VII of Georgia to the Ilkhan, the city never recovered its Greek population.
Paper c: The urban centers of Saluzzo and Carmagnola constituted the two main poles of the defensive system of the Marquisate of Saluzzo. This small regional state, located at the borders of north-western Italy, was constituted in the half of 12th century by a dynasty of ancient military tradition that succeeded in preserving a substantial independence from the much more powerful neighbours until 1548, when it was annexed to the French Kingdom, to be definitively included in the Dukedom of Savoia in 1601. From the end of the 13th century investments in defensive and military politics became necessary for the Marquisate, which fortified the main urban centers (Saluzzo, central site of the Marquisate court, and Carmagnola, outpost in Savoia’s territory), in order to face the greater and greater pressure of the adjacent states and the Kingdom of France. This study aims at delineating the main military transformations of the two piazzafortes, Saluzzo and Carmagnola, and the defensive choices of the Marquises of Saluzzo, through the retrieval of unknown documentary sources.