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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 318: Communities, Networks, and Authorities in the Mediterranean

Monday 3 July 2023, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:James Wilson, Zukunftskolleg / Fach Geschichte, Universit├Ąt Konstanz
Paper 318-aPrayers for the Emperor(s) in (Late) Byzantium: Reflections on the Relationship between Basileia and Ekklesia
(Language: English)
Mihail Mitrea, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, Newcastle University
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Ecclesiastical History, Religious Life, Theology
Paper 318-bAfter Conquest in Angevin Bari, Sicily
(Language: English)
Peter Michael Michelli, Department of History, University of California, Berkeley
Index terms: Local History, Social History
Paper 318-cProvisioning the Mediterranean: Muslim Sicily's Economic and Social Landscape in the Genizah Merchants' Letters
(Language: English)
Ksenia Ryzhova, Department of History, Princeton University
Index terms: Economics - General, Islamic and Arabic Studies

Paper -a:
As a medium that facilitates the relation between the human and the divine, prayers lay at the heart of religious practice and belief in Byzantium. Serving immediate (and/or intended) social, political, theological, and literary objectives, prayers are a valuable, though insufficiently explored, source of insight into the history of Byzantine spirituality, as well as the social and political history of Byzantium and the daily life of its citizens. This paper explores Byzantine prayers for the emperor, especially those composed in late Byzantium, in order to shed further light on the relationship between the imperial office and ecclesiastical authority in Byzantium.

Paper -b:
The degree of change in the Kingdom of Sicily following the Angevin conquest has been the subject of fierce debate. Scholars have considered the lasting power of Frederick II's reforms and how the Angevin rulers adapted or overturned them. However, little attention has been paid to the conquest's impacts on local power structures in communities in the South. A study of the episcopal response in Bari (Apulia) to the regime change offers insight into how local communities adapted or not.

Paper -c:
The commercial letters of the Cairo Geniza are an underutilised documentary source base for Muslim Sicily. The letters of the Geniza merchants reveal a dense network of economic and social ties that stretched across the length and breadth of the Islamicate Mediterranean. Using the Geniza letters to trace the flow of commodities between Sicily and its two major trading partners of Egypt and North Africa reveals a surprisingly rich picture of the economic and social landscape of medieval Sicily.