IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 1724: The Empire of the Palaiologoi: Ruin or Renewal?, III - Debates and Perspectives

Thursday 9 July 2015, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies, Maney Publishing
Organisers:Christopher Hobbs, Department of History, Royal Holloway, University of London
Brian McLaughlin, Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London
Moderator/Chair:Brian McLaughlin, Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London
Paper 1724-aThree Questions towards a Study of the Black Death in Byzantium
(Language: English)
Jake Ransohoff, Department of History, Harvard University
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Demography, Historiography - Medieval
Paper 1724-bRetrospective Views of the Palaiologoi as a Failed Dynasty
(Language: English)
Kostas Moustakas, Department of History & Archaeology, University of Crete
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Historiography - Medieval, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1724-cRenewal from Ruin?: History Writing under the Palaiologoi
(Language: English)
Christopher Hobbs, Department of History, Royal Holloway, University of London
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Greek
Abstract

This final session discusses the portrayal of ruin and renewal by the Byzantines themselves. It investigates the contribution of the Black Death to the decline of Byzantium, along with the riddle of why, if the demographic impact in Byzantium was comparable to that in the West, it attracted much less attention among Greek writers. The Palaiologoi, who ruled during such a fraught period, were never without controversy; criticism of them by George of Pelagonia and Doukas, among others, is examined. Finally, ‘ruin or renewal’ is considered through the lens of historiography: the ‘ruin’ of the empire provoked considerable, yet under-explored, innovations in history writing.