The Legends Journal of European History Studies
Yazarlar: Luca Zavagno
Anahtar Kelimeler:Byzantium, Islands, Mediterranean, Sicily, Cyprus.
Özet: Large islands of the western and eastern Byzantine Mediterranean are often caught in a historiographical vacuum because they are regarded as isolated and marginal places at the peripheries of Constantinopolitan empire. In fact, although literary and sources dismiss them simply as places of exile or distant military outposts along maritime frontiers, archaeology and material culture have recently shed light on the role they played as “spaces of connectivity”. This is due not only to their strategic locations along the commercial shipping routes crisscrossing the Mediterranean but also because islands often presented peculiar adaptive administrative strategies molded by the military and political exigencies of the hour. In fact, this paper will argue that archaeology and material evidence (like coins, lead-seals and above all ceramics) as paired with the rather scarce literary and documentary sources give us enough evidence pointing to a certain degree of economic prosperity on the abovementioned islands during the period under scrutiny as they continued to play an important role in the political, fiscal, administrative and religious structures of the Byzantine empire. Indeed, this paper will also try to show that a resilient insular economy paired with the continuity on local production of artefacts entailed by the persistence of levels of demand on the part of the local secular and religious elites and regular if not frequent regional and sub-regional contacts with other areas of the Mediterranean (Carolingian or Muslim) as well as remaining part and parcel of the a Byzantine political, sociocultural and economic “coastal” koiné.