Read e-book online A Social History of Byzantium PDF

By John Haldon

ISBN-10: 140513240X

ISBN-13: 9781405132404

ISBN-10: 1444305913

ISBN-13: 9781444305913

With unique essays by way of prime students, this ebook explores the social background of the medieval japanese Roman Empire and gives illuminating new insights into our wisdom of Byzantine society.Provides interconnected essays of unique scholarship in terms of the social background of the Byzantine empireOffers groundbreaking theoretical and empirical examine within the research of Byzantine societyIncludes worthy glossaries of sociological/theoretical phrases and Byzantine/medieval phrases

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But narratives are always re-constructions of experience, they involve evaluation, and therefore there inheres within them the potential for change, for shifts in understanding roles and relationships and thus, crucially, for shifts in social practice. A change in the elements making up a narrative will entail a change in evaluation, and consequently a change in perceptions of the relationship between self (or group) and the world. And depending upon the order of magnitude of change in these elements, such changes can take any form, from the re-assessment of a relationship to an individual or an activity – and thus individualized and localized – to a re-assessment by a whole collectivity or group of their position in relation to other groups or individuals, institutions, sets of beliefs, and so forth.

See Topolski 1981; and Mandelbaum 1980. 16 For narrative as organizing experience and perceptions, see Garfinkel 1967; Sperber 1975: 85–149; Goff 1980: 112–14. 17 And there are metanarratives, political-ideological systems, for example, which offer larger-scale identities to those involved in them. But each of these can be disrupted by shifts in their conditions of existence, and this brings with it the potential for an imbalance which challenges peoples’ assumptions and the predictable roles and patterns of their daily lives.

The two traditional positions, which were evident from the late 1950s, were represented most readily in the work of two scholars, Sˇtaermann and Syuzyumov. In spite of their differences, both implicitly included in their definition of feudal relations of production also institutional and political organizational forms, which rendered their discussion extremely problematic from the point of view of feudal social relations as representing an economic mode of production. Sˇtaermann presented in many ways a Soviet precursor of Anderson’s thesis, which it pre-dated by many years: namely, that “feudalism” in the west was the result of a synthesis of the Roman “slave mode of production” with the barbarian tribalism or primitive communalism of the Germanic invaders.

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A Social History of Byzantium by John Haldon


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