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IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 1610: Rethinking the Medieval Frontier, II: Defining and Dissolving Borders in the Late Roman and Byzantine Empires

Thursday 7 July 2016, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Jonathan Jarrett, School of History, University of Leeds
Moderator/Chair:Sarah Lambert, Department of History, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Paper 1610-aFatal Permeability: The Roman Frontier in Late Antiquity
(Language: English)
Thomas Edmund Kitchen, Independent Scholar, Walsall
Index terms: Mentalities, Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy, Rhetoric
Paper 1610-bTrading with the Enemy across the Byzantine-Sasanian Frontier
(Language: English)
Rebecca Darley, Department of History, Classics & Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London / Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Index terms: Administration, Archaeology - Artefacts, Byzantine Studies, Economics - Trade
Paper 1610-cThe Lower Danube Frontier Zone, 441-602
(Language: English)
Alexander Sarantis, Department of History & Welsh History, Aberystwyth University
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Military History, Social History

In sources from the late antique world a powerful rhetoric of insiders and outsiders defines much of the conceptual structure with which we are presented as readers. This session pits concepts against reality on late Roman and early Byzantine frontiers, as Darley examines the apparently futile attempts of both Roman and Persians to close the border between their two empires and Sarantis details the effectiveness of Byzantine defences against barbarians in the Balkans. Kitchen opens the session by studying how the writings of late Romans envisage the ideal frontier and how these visions survived contact with reality.