Session 1009: Skint: Peasants and Poverty in Byzantium, I
Wednesday 5 July 2017, 09.00-10.30
|Organisers:||Anna C. Kelley, Department of Classics, Ancient History & Archaeology, University of Birmingham|
Flavia Vanni, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman & Modern Greek Studies, Department of Classics, Ancient History & Archaeology, University of Birmingham
|Moderator/Chair:||Daniel K. Reynolds, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman & Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham|
|Paper 1009-a||Does a Cheap Material Make a Patron Poor?: Reconsidering Stucco in Byzantine Architecture|
Index terms: Architecture - General, Art History - Sculpture, Byzantine Studies, Economics - General
|Paper 1009-b||Poverty and Rusticity Transformed?: Some Byzantine Materials and Images|
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Art History - General, Byzantine Studies, Daily Life
|Paper 1009-c||Where Village and Court Collide: The Langobard Church of Sant' Ambrogio (Montecorvino Rovella) - A New Birmingham Project|
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Art History - General, Art History - Painting, Economics - Rural
Byzantium as a political and cultural entity is one largely observed through the eyes and agency of its imperial and clerical elite. As the authors and commissioners of most of the documented sources that survive, the history of the Byzantine world of the 4th to 15th centuries, is essentially their history. Yet, such individuals and groups comprised only a fraction of the population living within the empire’s borders.
Harder to deduce are the roles and lives of its demographic majority: non-elites and the poor. Such groups are largely ignored in the written sources and therefore hold a diminished position in contemporary the scholarship. These sessions seek to remedy this issue. Scholars continue to develop new approaches for examining the daily interactions and activities of non-elite populations, including the peasantry, urban labourers, and the destitute. Equally fundamental are questions about how the poor were conceptualised and controlled by the primary custodians of wealth and power. Through a synthesis of archaeological, textual, and art historical remains this panel aims to explore a more dynamic understanding of poverty and the peasant condition within the pre-modern eastern Mediterranean.