Romanland: Ethnicity and Empire in Byzantium (Hardback)
  • Romanland: Ethnicity and Empire in Byzantium (Hardback)
zoom

Romanland: Ethnicity and Empire in Byzantium (Hardback)

(author)
£41.95
Hardback 392 Pages
Published: 01/04/2019
  • In stock
  • Free UK delivery

Usually dispatched within 2-3 working days

  • This item has been added to your basket

A leading historian argues that in the empire we know as Byzantium, the Greek-speaking population was actually Roman, and scholars have deliberately mislabeled their ethnicity for the past two centuries for political reasons.

Was there ever such a thing as Byzantium? Certainly no emperor ever called himself “Byzantine.” And while the identities of minorities in the eastern empire are clear—contemporaries speak of Slavs, Bulgarians, Armenians, Jews, and Muslims—that of the ruling majority remains obscured behind a name made up by later generations.

Historical evidence tells us unequivocally that Byzantium’s ethnic majority, no less than the ruler of Constantinople, would have identified as Roman. It was an identity so strong in the eastern empire that even the conquering Ottomans would eventually adopt it. But Western scholarship has a long tradition of denying the Romanness of Byzantium. In Romanland, Anthony Kaldellis investigates why and argues that it is time for the Romanness of these so-called Byzantines to be taken seriously.

In the Middle Ages, he explains, people of the eastern empire were labeled “Greeks,” and by the nineteenth century they were shorn of their distorted Greekness and became “Byzantine.” Only when we understand that the Greek-speaking population of Byzantium was actually Roman will we fully appreciate the nature of Roman ethnic identity. We will also better understand the processes of assimilation that led to the absorption of foreign and minority groups into the dominant ethnic group, the Romans who presided over the vast multiethnic empire of the east.

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674986510
Number of pages: 392
Dimensions: 235 x 156 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Romanland is brilliant. With great lucidity, Anthony Kaldellis challenges us to set aside an immense tradition of misdirection. He excavates the conceits by which the West created ‘Byzantium’—and itself—and then demolishes them. Only then do we see what was in fact there all along: a community of Romans, and a polity of remarkable creativity and endurance. This is tremendous scholarship. - Clifford Ando, author of Roman Social Imaginaries

Ethnicity in the later Roman empire has been highly contested and immensely controversial, from medieval times to the present. Like a Hercules cleaning the Augean stables, Kaldellis is purging the field of the nationalistic contentions and prejudices that have beset scholarship, starting with the artificial name ‘Byzantium.’ This blockbuster of a book performs for ‘Byzantine’ Studies the service that Edward Said’s Orientalism did for Arabic and Islamic Studies. Romanland offers a clean slate for serious and sophisticated study, with love and empathy, of the history of these societies. - Dimitri Gutas, author of Greek Thought, Arabic Culture

In his most persuasive work to date, Kaldellis calls an astonishing number of medieval witnesses to testify that they were Romans, rather than the ‘Byzantines’ scholars have wanted them to be. This extraordinary book should shift the ground under Byzantine studies. - Leonora Neville, author of Guide to Byzantine Historical Writing

Fascinating…Kaldellis’s scholarship is always learned, but also fiercely iconoclastic, tearing down orthodoxies that have stood for centuries…[An] innovative and eye-opening book by one of the most important Byzantinists working today. - Thomas F. Madden, New Criterion

You may also be interested in...

Augustus
Added to basket
£14.99
Paperback
The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt
Added to basket
Pompeii
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
The Histories
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Britain BC
Added to basket
£14.99
Paperback
The Conquest of Gaul
Added to basket
Alexander the Great
Added to basket
History of the Peloponnesian War
Added to basket
The Classical World
Added to basket
The Egyptian Myths
Added to basket
Supernatural
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
Rubicon
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
Caesar
Added to basket
£16.99
Paperback
The Spartans
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.

env: aptum
branch: