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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 118: Medieval Networking and Prestige in the Islamic World and Byzantium, 12th-13th Centuries

Monday 3 July 2023, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Ekaterini Mitsiou, Institut für Byzantinistik & Neogräzistik, Universität Wien
Paper 118-a'Using every tool at his disposal': Dubays b. Sadaqa's Guide to 12th-Century Networking
(Language: English)
Eric J. Hanne, Department of History, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton
Index terms: Islamic and Arabic Studies, Politics and Diplomacy, Social History
Paper 118-bRebuilding Networks in Byzantium after 1204: The Case of Niketas Choniates
(Language: English)
Ferhat Sezer Kurtoğlu, Department of History, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Education, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 118-cIntra-Family Collaboration and Networking in the Medieval Muslim World: The Evidence of Ibn al-Adim of Aleppo
(Language: English)
Yaacov Lev, Department of Middle Eastern History, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan
Index terms: Islamic and Arabic Studies, Social History

Paper -a:
Using the storied 'career' of Dubays b. Sadaqa (r. 1108-1135) as a case study in 'networking', I will show how this Mazyadid amir's skillful use of alliances of convenience allowed him to move from being viewed as a consummate outsider to being a respected and feared integral player in the central Islamic lands. Through Dubays' skillful manipulation of familial, matrimonial, and socio-political alliances, this Shi'ite amir went from being an imprisoned prince to threatening the reigns of the Abbasid caliphs and Saljuq sultans. Confounding chroniclers, Dubays used his sectarian, ethnic, and outsider status to ally with whomever he could for as long as it suited him, showing his mastery at mercurial networking.

Paper -b:
After the Latins captured Constantinople in 1204, Niketas Choniates, a distinguished bureaucrat, historian, and a learned elite of the Byzantines, found himself in an unwelcoming environment when he sought refuge in one of the Byzantine successor states, the Nicaean Empire in Asia Minor. His former Constantinopolitan circle now shattered and scattered, he had to re-establish political ties during the vibrant years ahead. I will examine the ways in which this former high-ranked officer of the Byzantine court tried to attain a position fitting his qualities by attempting to create a new network of people in different parts of the fragmented post-1204 Byzantine world.

Paper -c:
Among medieval authors, Ibn al-Adim (1192-1262) is the most expressive historian in referring to how families accumulated and perpetuated social capital. Several examples of successful dynasties of cadis and administrators will be presented.