IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 605: Global Byzantium: Transitional Relations, 500-1453, II

Tuesday 5 July 2016, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman & Modern Greek Studies, Department of Classics, Ancient History & Archaeology, University of Birmingham
Organiser:Lauren A. Wainwright, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman & Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham
Moderator/Chair:Daniel K. Reynolds, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman & Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham
Paper 605-aCotton Conversions: Tracing the Adoption of a New Textile throughout the Eastern Mediterranean
(Language: English)
Anna C. Kelley, Department of Classics, Ancient History & Archaeology, University of Birmingham
Anna C. Kelley, Department of Classics, Ancient History & Archaeology, University of Birmingham
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Byzantine Studies, Economics - Trade
Paper 605-bBarbarians on the Fringe: Byzantium and the Desert Peoples
(Language: English)
Arietta S. Papaconstantinou, Centre de Recherche d'Histoire et Civilisation de Byzance, Université de Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne
Arietta S. Papaconstantinou, Centre de Recherche d'Histoire et Civilisation de Byzance, Université de Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 605-cContextualising the Cantar del Mio Cid and the Digenes Akrites: Connecting the Christian Mediterranean
(Language: English)
Francisco Lopez-Santos Kornberger, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman & Modern Greek Studies, Department of Classics, Ancient History & Archaeology, University of Birmingham
Francisco Lopez-Santos Kornberger, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman & Modern Greek Studies, Department of Classics, Ancient History & Archaeology, University of Birmingham
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Language and Literature - Comparative
Abstract

This is the second of four related panels. Byzantine relations with the states and nations that encircled the empire are a familiar topic of discussion and debate.  But Byzantium’s geographical position and established political and economic networks meant that the empire was the central lynchpin for a complex and global web of transnational relationships as well. Byzantium linked the Vikings and Rus in the north; the Catholic lands of Europe and (after the mid-8th century) the Umayyad caliphate of al Andalus to the west; Abbasid and then Fatimid Egypt and the North African coast to the south (with tentacles reaching down the Nile to Ethiopia and through the Sahara to the Niger valley); and, to the east, Palestine, the caliphates of Damascus and then Baghdad, across the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas to the Indian Ocean and, along the so-called Silk Routes, China. These transnational relations manifested themselves in many ways, among others: economic links through trade routes; military and political links through conflict or diplomacy; and cultural links through the social mobility promoted by economic opportunity and transferrable expertise (the classic sub-field of transnational studies in contemporary history, which is however only part of the field as a whole).  With a few notable exceptions, however, Byzantine transnational relations have been little discussed, and never compared.