Aspects of the Balkans. Continuity and change

H. Birnbaum and S. Vryonis (eds.)








Joseph Bryennios, a Greek ecclesiastic writing about the beginning of the 15th century, observed that five hundred years before almost every ecclessiastical province of the Byzantine empire had a hundred flourishing cities, whereas in his own time scarcely more than two or three, and these poverty-stricken, survived. Three hundred years before, each archbishopric had within its jurisdiction a thousand villages, but now there were no more than twenty. Two hundred years before villages were healthily populated by as many as a hundred or more prosperous families, whereas in his day there were never more than ten, and these reduced to penury. [1]


In making this assessment Bryennios had in mind no doubt the territorial shrinkage which the empire had suffered by his time. The three periods of its history to which he compares or rather contrasts his own were periods of wide territorial extent or significant revivals which involved the restoration of extensive territories. The periods meant, of course, are the 10th and early part of the 11th century, in the course of which the empire achieved its widest territorial extent since the days of Justinian; the 12th century, distinguished by the revival and some territorial recovery under the Comneni; and the 13th century which saw the restoration of the empire after the catastrophe of 1204. [2] As territorial



1. As expressed by A. E. Bacalopoulos, History of Modern Hellenism (in Greek), 1 (Athens, 1961), 217. On Joseph Bryennios: N. B. Tomadakes, "Joseph Bryennios", in Collection of Byzantine Studies and Texts (in Greek) (Athens, 1961), 491-611; R. J. Loenertz, "Pour la chronologie des œuvres de Joseph Bryennios", Revue des Études Byzantines, 7 (1949), 12-32; R. J. Loenertz, Correspondance de Manuel Calecas, Studi e Testi, 152 (Rome, 1950), 95-105.


2. The best one volume history of the Byzantine empire is that by G. Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State, 2nd ed. (New Brunswick, N.J., 1969). This is a volume in the Rutgers Byzantine Series.





expansion or shrinkage had the effect of increasing or decreasing the number of villages and cities under the jurisdiction of the empire, by the time of Bryennios when the territorial extent of the empire had become restricted to Constantinople, Thessalonica, a few islands and the despotate of Morea, the number of villages and cities under its jurisdiction were necessarily reduced. The matter, however, does not end here. In the lament of Bryennios, there is a sense of decadence of both town and village which cannot be explained simply by the territorial shrinkage of the empire.


It is generally conceded, despite some questions raised recently, [3] that the characteristic feature of the rural society which had come to obtain in the Byzantine empire by the end of the 9th century was the free village community inhabited by peasants who owned their land and usually cultivated it themselves. Each free village community formed a fiscal unit for purposes of taxation, and the peasants living in it were collectively responsible for the taxes allotted to their community. If a peasant, for instance, abandoned his land and there was no one to pay the taxes, the neighboring peasants were held responsible for these taxes, and in return, they enjoyed the usufruct of the land. In practice, however, this responsibility was often lifted, and in such cases the abandoned land, following the passage of thirty years after its abandonment, became state property. The epibole or allelengyon, as this collective responsibility for the taxes is known in Byzantium, was doubtless designed to insure for the treasury the collection of the land tax from all the land, keep the land under cultivation, and, at the same time, encourage cooperation and mutual assistance among the peasants to the end that everyone might stay on the land. [4] The free village community had existed before, but



3. See the critical approach of P. Lemerle, "Esquisse pour une histoire agraire de Byzance", Revue Historique, vol. 219, no. 1 (1958), 32-74. For a summary of his views, see p. 74.


4. Peter Charanis, "On the Social Structure of the Later Roman Empire", Byzantion, 17 (1944-1945), 44. Since the publication of my study, the most significant document which relates to the free village community (the villages involved were located in the region of Thebes in Greece, and the date, about the middle of the 11th century) is that published by N. G. Svoronos, Recherches sur le cadastre byzantin et la fiscalité aux XIe et XIIe siècles: Le cadastre de Thebes (Athens, 1959), 141-145. On pages 144 f. Svoronos writes: "dans notre document, ce sont les grands propriétaire qui sont les plus nombreux, et surtout détiennent la majeur partie de la terre; toutefois la comune 'libra' comprenant une bonne proportion de payans indépendant, reste bien vivante." Svoronos' work in its entirety was also published in the Bulletin de Correspondance hellénique, 83 (1959).





by the end of the 6th century, it had virtually disappeared. To its restoration, a revival which no doubt began in the 7th century, and extensive development is attributed the remarkable revival of Byzantium after the shattering blows it received in the 7th century at the hands of the Persians, Arabs and Avaro-Slavs. The general assumption is that the restoration of the free village community took place in Asia Minor, but there is some reason to believe that it may first have begun in the Balkan peninsula, more specifically in Thrace in connection with the settlement of numerous Armenians there. [5] That the Byzantine village community was of Slavic origin, a theory first advanced in the 19th century by Russian scholars and recently revived by Soviet scholars, has no basis in fact. [6]


The free village community did not remain the dominant feature of the agrarian society of Byzantium. It began to lose its original character already by the end of the 9th century. Everything being equal, the small farmer, with his strips of land, a pair of oxen and a mule or a donkey, managed to provide for his family and sometimes even prosper beyond measure. In general, however, he found it difficult, if indeed not impossible, to accumulate a reserve with which to meet an emergency. Any misfortune, as for instance the loss of one of his animals, might endanger his entire social and economic position. For the loss would lessen his productivity and he might not be able to pay his taxes or meet the demands of his creditors, if he had been unfortunate enough to have resorted to borrowing. In either case he might abandon his land and run away. [7] Protracted service in the army might have the same results. Then again his whole existence might be endangered by incursions of the enemy, an earthquake or the failure of crops. Wars were perennial and failure of crops not infrequent. Under these circumstances the small farmer was tempted to sell his land and try to eke out a living by working for some large landed magnate. And there was no lack of purchasers. The landed aristocracy had never ceased to occupy a very important



5. P. Charanis, "Some Remarks on the Changes in Byzantium in the Seventh Century", Recueil des travaux de l'Institut d'Études byzantines (Belgrade), 8 (1963) (= Mélanges G. Ostrogorsky 1), 73-74. Lemerle (op. cit., 63) and Ostrogorsky (History..., p. 135, n. 3) attribute the restoration of the village community to an increase in manpower, brought about by the influx of the Slavs. For chronological reasons I find this impossible to accept: "Some Remarks...", 73.


6. Brief summary of the position of Russian scholars: Ostrogorsky, History..., 135, n. 3.


7. Cf. M. H. Fourmy and M. Leroy, "La vie de S. Philarète", Byzantion, 9 (1934), 117-119, where a peasant complains that, having lost one of his oxen, there is nothing left for him but to run away for he will no longer be able to pay his tax and his creditors.





position in the society of the empire. [8] It was a powerful and wealthy group especially in the course of the 9th century, controlling the high military functions of the empire and enjoying many economic privileges. That century saw also the multiplication of monastic establishments endowed with land and ever-ready to acquire more. This aristocracy, both lay and ecclesiastic, found its way into the free village communities and began to absorb by various means, but principally, at least in the 10th century, by purchase, the land holdings of the small farmers, for land offered the most promising outlet for economic expansion, as the economy of the empire was basically agricultural. The struggle which ensued between the imperial throne and the aristocracy over the attempt of the former to stop this process ended with the triumph of the aristocracy. The struggle was decided in favor of the aristocracy shortly after the death of Basil II (d. 1025) and it was complete by the end of the 11th century. [9]


With the failure of the central government to check the expansion of the large estates in land and also in manpower, the agrarian picture which emerges in the later centuries is quite different. The element which dominates it is the landed magnate who is at the same time a powerful figure in the political and military life of the empire. His possessions, acquired usually through imperial grants, [10] but also by purchase and even outright seizures, were vast, in some instances stretching over entire regions. This picture obtained both in the Asiatic and Balkan regions of the empire, [11] but with the loss of the former roughly



8. On the survival of the landed aristocracy, see Lemerle, op. cit., 65ff.


9. I find it difficult to understand Ostrogorsky's new interpretation of this struggle. What he says in effect is this: that the central government in its struggle with the aristocracy, was seeking to protect irs own dependant peasants — its paroikoi : Ostrogorsky, Quelques problèmes d'histoire de la paysannerie byzantine (Brussels, 1956), 11-24. I find Ostrogorsky's new interpretation difficult to reconcile with the following statement which appears in the Novel of Romanus I Lecapenus issued in 934: "It is not through hatred and envy of the rich that we take these measures, but for the protection of the small and the safety of the empire as a whole.... The extension of the power of the strong... will bring about the irreparable loss of the public good, if the present law does not bring a check to it. For it is the many, settled on the land, who provide for the general needs, who pay the taxes and furnish the army with its recruits. Everything falls when the many are wanting": Zepos-von Lingenthal, Jus Graecoromanum (Athens, 1931), 1: 209. See also Lemerle, "Esquisse...", Revue historique, 219: 2 (1958), 268 ff. Lemerle insists on a new edition of the novels issued by the emperors of the 10th century as a necessary step in the interpretation of the struggle between the central government and the aristocracy.


10. The pronoia of the Byzantine texts. The most thorough study of this institution is that of Ostrogorsky, Pour l'histoire de la féodalité byzantine, French translation by H. Grégoire (Brussels, 1954). See also P. Charanis, "The Monastic Properties and the State in the Byzantine Empire", Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 4 (1948), 87-92.


11. On the aristocracy in the 13th century, see P. Charanis, "The Aristocracy of Byzantium in the Thirteenth Century", Studies in Roman Economic and Social History in Honor of Allen Chester Johnson (Princeton, 1951), 336-355.





by the beginning of the 14th century, only the latter remained and to these we turn.


In Thessaly, the region of Demetrias was dominated by the family of the Maliaseni. [12] Constantine Maliasenus, married to the niece of Theodore Comnenus Angelus, the Despot of Epirus, was at the beginning of the 13th century a veritable dynast and the virtual owner of the entire region. His position, influence and vast possessions were inherited by his son and successor, Nicholas, who lived during the reign of Michael Palaeologus. The Maliaseni were relatives of the Palaeologi. Their possessions included many villages over whose peasant inhabitants and their property they were absolute masters. Besides the Maliaseni there were other big magnates in Thessaly. Thessaly was indeed the country among the Greek lands where 'feudalization' reached its greatest development. Powerful families such as the Strategopuli and the Gabrielopuli held vast possessions, but in addition to them there were others whose influence and wealth, if somewhat lesser, was still considerable. As an example, a certain Marmaras may be mentioned. Marmaras was a protonobillisimus, a title which appears for the last time in Byzantine documents, and held the village of Trinovo, which had been granted to him as a pronoia by the emperor, probably Michael Palaeologus. Like others of his class, Marmaras tried to increase his holdings by the seizure of neighboring properties which did not belong to him. He lost in the end, but his attempt illustrates one of the ways the powerful sought to add to their properties. [13]


What was true of Thessaly was also true of Macedonia and Thrace. There were located the vast estates of the powerful Byzantine families, whose members dominated the political life of the empire — the Angeli, the Cantacuzeni, the Tzamblaci, the Synadeni and others. Their great holdings, the existence of which is well attested to by the sources of the 14th century, were doubtless already in their possession in the 13th century. [14] The Tzamblaci, [15] who in the 14th century possessed vast



12. Ibid., 346.


13. Ibid., 148.


14. Ibid., 349f.


15. On the Tzamblaci there exists now an excellent monograph: G. I. Theocharides, "The Tzamblaci : Contribution to the Prosopography of Byzantine Macedonia in the Fourteenth Century", (in Greek) Makedonika, 5 (1963), 127-182. For possessions of the Tzamblaci and the Cantucuzeni in the region Zichna-Serres see further: P. Lemerle, "Un praktikon inédit des Archives de Kararakala (Janvier 1342) et la situation en Macédoine orientale au moment de l'usurpation de Cantacuzène", Charisterion eis Anastasion K. Orlandon (Athens, 1963), 278-298.





domains in the region of Christopolis, Serres, and Thessalonica, were in the service of the Palaeologi and before them in that of John III Vatatzes and were amply rewarded by them. This is also true of the Angeli. It is known from a document, dated 1306, that Manuel Angelus, described as a relative of the emperor, possessed a number of villages in the neighborhood of Serres and Thessalonica. These villages had already belonged to his father, having been granted to him by an imperial chrysobul. The possessions of the Cantacuzeni in Thrace were fabulous, and those of the Synadeni were considerable. The Synadeni are known to have possessed important properties in the region of Serres granted to them by an imperial chrysobul, and the vast wealth of John Cantacuzenus had already been in the possession of the family by the end of the 13th century. The Cantacuzeni possessed lands also in the Morea [16] where the agrarian picture was very much like that in Thessaly. In every region there were also vast stretches of land owned by monasteries and the church. [17]


What happened, one may ask, to the village communities? As villages they continued, of course, to exist, but their character had changed. No longer inhabited by free peasant proprietors but dependant tenants, the paroikoi of the Byzantine texts, they had become the 'property' of powerful magnates, lay and ecclesiastical. Some peasant proprietors did indeed continue to exist, but whether this was also so with entire free village communities is a matter upon which no definite pronouncement can be made. [18] What can be said with definiteness, however, is that in the later period, particularly the period of the Palaeologi, what characterized the agricultural landscape of the Byzantine empire was the dependant village. If villages inhabited entirely by small peasant proprietors did in fact survive they must have been very few and far between and hardly any better economically — certainly in the 14th century — than the non-free ones.


The peasants inhabiting the dependant villages were subject to various dues and obligations, known collectively as their burden (ßapoc), payable



16. O. A. Zakythinos, Le despotat grec de Morée, 2 (Athens, 1953), 189-226.


17. Charanis, "The Monastic Properties...", 53-118.


18. On this see P. Charanis, "On the Social Structure and Economie Organization of the Byzantine Empire in the Thirteenth Century and Later", Byzanlinoslavica, 12 (1951), 119-134. The view expressed here is that the free village community, for all practical purposes, disappeared, but traces of it could still be found. Ostrogorsky is more sceptical; "Quelque problèmes...", 41-74.





to their lord. In the payment of these dues there are instances of'voluntary' collective responsibility, an indication perhaps of the previous free state of the village. To illustrate:


In Thessaly the village of Dryanoubaene and the surrounding country belonged to Nicholas Maliasenus. It had been transmitted to him by his father, and the transmission was confirmed by the emperor. Maliasenus and his wife decided to build a monastery for women, known after its construction as Nea Petra and dedicated to St. John the Precursor. For the site of the new monastery they chose a spot which for years was occupied by the peasant Michael Archontitzes and his family. Maliasenus bought the land from the peasant for twelve hyperpera, but the purchase was an act of generosity rather than of necessity. For in the act of sale Archontitzes acknowledged that as his master and lord, Maliasenus could have taken the land without giving any compensation, but he chose to pay for it. [19] By his foundation of the new monastery and his payment for the land on which the monastery was build, Maliasenus showed himself both pious and generous, but actually his sacrifice, in so far as the actual construction of the monastery and the purchase of the land of Archontitzes were concerned, was negligible. For the monastery was doubtless built with the labor and materials provided by the peasants of his domain, while the money which he had paid for the land was soon recovered by the continued payment of the taxes which Archontitzes used to pay to him for his land. Archontitzes used to pay to Maliasinus a tax of three and one-third hyperera. This tax was henceforth paid to him by all the peasants of Dryanoubaene, who apportioned it among themselves on the basis of ability to pay. [20] This apportionment among the peasants on the basis of ability to pay is an interesting note in that it shows what is known from other sources, that tenant peasants were not economically equal.


It would be a mistake to assume on the basis of the common action taken by the peasants of Dryanoubaene that peasants in Thessaly or for that matter elsewhere were in general prosperous. Quite the contrary was true. This we gather from a series of documents, acts of sale, which relate to the monastery of Nea Petra mentioned above. In 1271 a certain Michael Martinus and his wife sold to the founders of the monastery of Nea Petra their only vineyard because, as they put it, the universal shortage of grain had reduced them into destitution and threatened them



19. F. Miklosich et J. Müller, Acta et Diplomata Graeca Medii Aevi, 4 (Vienna, 1871), 397-398.


20. Ibid., 4:392.





together with their young children with famine. [21] In the following year another peasant, Constantine Katzidones by name, sold his vineyard to the same monastery because the daily incursions which his region had suffered reduced him to such a degree of poverty that his family did not have the necessary food. He wanted to use the proceeds from the sale of his vineyard to buy an ox with the help of which he might earn his living by plowing the fields of others. [22] In the same year and for the same reason his brother John sold his vineyard to the same monastery. [23] Poverty was also the reason given by another peasant, Nicolas Bardas, for the sale of his vineyard to Nea Petra. He, too, wanted to buy an ox with which to cultivate the land in order that he might be able to feed and cover himself. [24] Another person sold his mill to the same monastery, again because of the universal lack of grain, a lack which had continued for a long time. [25] Poverty and loneliness were the reasons given by a woman, Zoe by name, for the sale of her property to Nea Petra. She entered the monastery and presumably passed the rest of her life as a nun. [26] That tenant peasants had property to sell is to be explained by the fact that they could own and indeed often did own property which they could sell provided the purchaser, unless exempted by higher authority, assumed the burden incumbent on that property.


It is possible to look, at least to some extent, inside the village of the later centuries of the Byzantine empire, especially for the period covered by the first half of the 14th century. This possibility exists thanks to the survival of a series of documents, the so-called practica, inventories of dependant villages drawn for purposes of taxation. [27] These practica list by name the peasants and their property, the latter consisting primarily of land, livestock and trees. Besides the land given to the cultivation of cereals and other crops, vineyards and vegetable gardens are often mentioned. Among the livestock, oxen used for the plow, hogs, sheep and bees predominate, while among the trees those frequently mentioned are the fig, the olive and the walnut. But what makes the practica of the 14th century important as sources is that they deal with the same villages at different dates. This makes possible an examination of the social and



21. Ibid., 4:400.


22. Ibid., 4:408.


23. Ibid., 4:410.


24. Ibid., 4:403.


25. Ibid., 4:412.


26. Ibid., 4:4393-396.


27. On the practica as documents and sources: Ostrogorsky, Pour l'histoire de la féodalité byzantine, 259-368.





economic situation of these villages as it may have changed from one year to another.


In what follows, the observations offered relate to two villages: Melintziani, located in the administrative circumscription of the Strymon, to the west of that river; and the village of Gomatou located in the administrative circumscription of Hierissos immediately west of Mt. Athos. Both villages belonged to the Athonian monastery of Iberon. The dates involved are 1301 and 1317 for Melintziani; 1301, 1317, and 1341 for Gomatou.


For the year 1301 there are listed for the village of Melintziani twenty-nine households for a total of 121 persons. [28] Five of these households were headed by widows. Twelve of the households were large, with a membership of five in the case of six of them, six in the case of two, seven in the case of three and eight in the case of one, for a total of seventy-one persons or approximately 59% of the total registered population. For the year 1317 for the same village I have counted thirty-three households for a total of 126 persons. [29] Five of these households were headed by widows and eight were large with a membership of five in the case of four, six in the case of three and seven in the case of one, for a total of forty-five persons or 36 % of the total registered population. In the inventory of 1317 there are four households the names of which do not appear in the inventory of 1301 and as a consequence they must be presumed to be new in the sense of newcomers. The new households were most probably settled by the monastery to offset a decline in the number of peasants of the village, a decline which seems to be indicated by the reduction of the number of big households. In general, however, what is striking about these statistics is the relatively high degree of stability which the village of Melintziani seems to have maintained from 1301 to 1317.


For the village of Goumatou in 1301 there are listed fifty households for a total of 262 persons. [30] Six of these households were headed by widows and twenty-nine were large with a membership of five in the case of eleven, six in the case of seven, seven in the case of five, eight in the case of three, nine in the case of one, ten in the case of two, and eleven in the case of one, for a total of 196 persons or approximately 75% of the total registered population. The Byzantine household was, of course,



28. F. Dölger, ed., Sechs byzantinische Praktika des 14. Jahrhunderts für das Athos-kloster Iberon (= Abhandlungen der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-historische Klasse, Neue Folge, Heft 28) (Munich, 1949), 35-36.


29. Ibid., 54-55.


30. Ibid., 37-39.





something more than a simple family as the latter is generally understood. It consisted not only of parents, children and possibly grandparents, but often included a number of other relatives. For instance, the household of eleven members cited above included, besides its head and his wife, two sons, the wife of one of the sons, one daughter and her husband and five grandchildren. Brothers or sisters of the head or his wife, and nephews and nieces are other relatives often found among the members of households.


In the year 1317 there are listed for Goumatou forty-six households for a total of 157 persons. [31] Fifteen of these households were headed by widows and only seven were large — five whose membership consisted of five persons and two of six for a total of thirty-seven persons or a little more than 23% of the registered population. Seven households with a total membership of twenty-five persons were new. Things to be noted in the list of 1317 as compared to that of 1301 are the small number of the large households, the large number of households headed by widows and the relatively large number of new households. The latter constituted 15% of all the households and their total membership, 16% of the registered population. By 1341 more changes had taken place. For that year there are listed thirty-one households for a total of 110 persons. [32] Seven of these households were headed by widows only one of whom is found listed in 1317, and seven were large with a membership of five in the case of one, six in the case of four, seven in the case of one, eight in the case of another for a total of forty-four persons or 40 % of the registered population. Nine new households or a little less than 30 % of the total have made their appearance; with a total membership of thirty-two persons, they made up 30 % of the total registered population. The large number of households (33 % of the total) headed by widows in 1317 should be interpreted perhaps to have been a result of the depredations of the Catalans. Some eight or nine years earlier the Catalans, as is well known, were very active in the region where Goumatou was located. [33]


There are several observations that may be made on the basis of this statistical analysis. First of all, in both Melintziani and Goumatou, between 1301 and 1317 in the former and 1301 and 1341 in the latter, a decrease in the number of large households took place. This decrease



31. Ibid., 56-59.


32. Ibid., 86-88.


33. K. M. Setton, Catalan Domination of Athens 1311-1388 (Cambridge, Mass., 1948), 5.





was apparently general if one may judge from the statistical information available in the case of other villages. [34] Underlying this decrease was a decline in the population of the villages, quite evident in the case of Goumatou, not so evident but nevertheless real also in the case of Melintziani. It was the case also with other villages. [35] Those who owned the villages tried to offset this decline by settling newcomers, peasants who had come from other villages and other regions. Mentioned in the practica which have been analyzed, there is an Anatolikos, a Boleros, and a Lemnaeos, names derived no doubt from the geographical origins of those who bore them. [36] The mobility of peasants which may be inferred from all this should not, however, be exaggerated. Most peasants died in the villages where they were born and registered. This, too, is shown by the practica.


But if some villages suffered only a decline in population, there were others which became deserted. About the latter — their number, the regions where they were located, the period during which they were deserted — something is now known thanks to a preliminary survey published in 1966 by Antoniadis-Bibicou. The survey covers the regions which constitute modern Greece and extends chronologically from the 11th through the 19th century. [37] It is, of course, only the Byzantine period included in the survey which is of interest to us here.


Eighty-six villages, according to Madame Antoniadis, were deserted in the course of the 11th century, three during the first half and eighty-three during the second half of that century. For the 12th century she has found only thirty, twenty of which were deserted in the course of the second half of that century. The 13th century saw the desertion of sixty-six villages of which fifty-seven were deserted after 1250. More than half of these villages, about 66 %, were located in the islands, [38] an indication perhaps that their desertion was the result of piracy, an activity which was widely prévalant during the second half of the 13th century and



34. Cf. D. Jacoby, "Phénomènes de démographie rurale à Byzance aux XIIIe, XIVe et XVe siècles", Études Rurales, École Pratique des Hautes Études (Sorbonne), Vie Section (5-6) (1962), 185.


35. Ibid.


36. F. Dölger, Sechs byzantinische Praktika..., 36, 55, 83, 39, 58. We know from Pachymeres that towards the end of the 13th century many Greeks fled from Asia Minor into Europe. Some settled in Macedonia: Pachymeres, Historia (Bonn, 1835), 2:389. Cf. C. Jireček, Geschichte der Bulgaren (Prague, 1876), 221.


37. H. Antoniadis-Bibicou, "Villages désertés en Grèce. Un bilan provisoire", Rivista di storia dell’ Agricoltura (1966), 343-379 for the Byzantine period and the introductory remarks of the author. See page 364 for a table of the deserted villages and the period of their desertion.


38. Ibid., 364.





later. [39] But by far the greatest number of villages became deserted in the 14th century. Madame Antoniadis counted a total of 458 villages deserted, 136

 of which were deserted during the first half, and 322 during the second half of that century. They were to be found in every region of the empire but the majority of them were located in Macedonia and Thrace. The villages deserted in the 15th century number sixty-five for the first half and fifty-eight for the second half for a total of 123. The damage had been obviously done in the 14th century.


Thus the decadence of the Byzantine village, begun already in the 10th century, reached its culminating point in the 14th. That century saw the final disintegration of the Byzantine countryside. By then virtually every village was in a state of decline, deserted or in the process of being so. Oppressed by magnates whose dependants they were, there was very little that the peasants could do. They might agitate as they apparantly did [40] or even break out into open rebellion as did the Thracian peasants inhabiting the villages in the neighborhood of Didymotichon in 1342, [41] but all this to no avail. So flagrant were the abuses to which they were exposed that the Turks saw in them one of the important reasons for their success. "God has decreed", said the Turks, "that they should take the land from the Christians because they do not conduct their affairs ... with justice, because they look to wealth and favour, and the rich treat the poor with haughtiness, and do not help them either with gifts or with justice." [42] The central government, its powers gone, with no money and man-power, even if willing, was in no position to help. Andronicus the Younger in his struggle against his grandfather did indeed promise to reduce the burden on the peasantry in Thrace, but nothing concrete seems to have come out of this promise. [43] In 1367 the emperor John V submitted meekly to the church when it rejected his plea to turn over to him



39. On piracy: P. Charanis, "Piracy in the Aegean during the Reign of Michael VIII Paleologus", Annuaire de l'Institut de Philologie et d'Histoire Orientales et Slaves, 10 (= Mélanges Henri Grégoire, II) (Brussels, 1950), 127-136. Cf. Nicephorus Gregoras, Historia Byzantina, 1 (Bonn, 1829), 174-176.


40. "The poor", declared Palamas in one of his homilies, "not able to endure the cruelty and inhumanity of the taxgatherers and the continued violence and injuries of the strong, clamor against those in authority and the army": Palamas, M. S. Gr. (Paris, 1239), fols. 284-284v, as cited by O. Tafrali, Thessalonique au quatorzième siècle (Paris, 1913), 109, n. 1.


41. John Cantacuzenus, Historiae (Bonn, 1828-1832), 2:297.


42. J. Schiltberger, The Bondage and Travels Europe, Asia and Africa, 1396-1427, tr. by J. B. Telfer (London, 1879) (= Works Issued by the Hakluyt Society, first series, vol. 58), 77.


43. Gregoras, Historia Byzantina, 1:300.





some of its property in order that he might settle soldiers on it. [44] To be sure some years later Manuel II secularized half of the monastic estates in order that he might turn them into allotments for soldiers, [45] but in so doing he met with the vigorous opposition of ecclesiastics. [46] Eventually, much later however, he returned at least part of the confiscated property to their original owners. [47] Meanwhile the dynastic wars which were also social wars and the continuous incursions of foreigners wrought havoc everywhere. Peasants were killed or fled — fled perhaps to another village where the same fate most probably awaited them — or sought refuge in some city where they helped to swell the ranks of the poor and intensify the social tension. The countryside lay prostrate, ready to be grabbed by the willing foreigner.





The city as a social and economic center in the Byzantine empire never ceased to exist. There has been considerable discussion in recent years



44. Charanis, "Monastic Properties and the State...", 115 f.


45. Ibid., 116f.


46. It is perhaps with the secularization of monastic properties effected by Manuel that the so called 'anti-zealot' discourse of Nicolas Cabasilas, long associated with the Zealot revolt in Thessalonica, was composed. The idea was first suggested by G. T. Dennis (The Reign of Manuel II Palaeohgus in Thessalonica, 1382-1387 [ = Orientalia Christiana Analecta, vol. 158], Rome, 1960, p. 23) and was characterized by me in my review of Dennis' book (Speculum, 36 [1961], 476-477) as making good sense. Ihor Ševčenko, whose publication of this discourse revealed that there were no solid grounds to associate it with the Zealots, viewed Dennis' suggestion and my approval of it sympathetically, but made no definite pronouncement, contenting himself to the reinforcement of his position that the discourse was composed later than the revolt of the Zealots, a position which he did not originally hold, but came to it gradually: Ihor Ševčenko, "Nicolas' 'Anti-Zealot Discourse': A Reinterpretation", Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 11 (1957), 91-171. On page 170 of this work Ševčenko writes: "Viewed against the perspective of the fourteenth-century tensions, the Discourse ... in my opinion was written about 1344". A few years later (Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 14 [1960], p. 188), Ševčenko wrote: "But my dating of the Discourse [i.e., 1344], must remain a mere suggestion. I continue to believe that the Discourse is concerned with, among other things, the secularization measures undertaken by the imperial government for defense purposes. Within this interpretation, a later date for the Discourse is also possible. Cabasilas may have reacted to governmental actions that affected monastic properties after the battle of Maritza (1371)". By 1962 he had definitely come to the conclusion that he could assign no date to the composition of the Discourse, but suggests that it may have been written in the last thirty years of the 14th century: Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 16 (1962), 408f. He may, of course, be right. On the other hand, if he is right, as I believe he is, that the Discourse "is concerned with ... the secularization measures undertaken by the imperial government", then the suggestion that its composition was associated with the confiscatory measures taken by Manuel II shortly after the battle of Maritza seems to me the most tenable.



47. Charanis, "Monastic Properties and the State...", 117.





on this point: whether crises of the 7th and 8th centuries may not have brought it to an end. The general consensus, correct in my opinion, is that they did not. [48] Damage was done, of course, both in Asia Minor and the Balkan peninsula, particularly in the latter where the cities of the interior were destroyed. But Constantinople remained standing as did both Thessalonica and Athens, though the latter in a state of deterioration. If the Balkan peninsula was not definitely overrun by the Slavs in its entirety and if today there is a considerable part of it where the spoken language is Greek, that is, of course, due to the survival of Constantinople, but also to that of Thessalonica. Had the latter succumbed during the crises of the 6th-7th centuries, Greece itself would have been permanently overwhelmed by the invaders and no amount of schooling, administrative and ecclesiastical activity would have revived Greek as the spoken language. To talk otherwise is to talk irresponsibly.


However that may be, it cannot be denied that the urban life in the Balkan peninsula had been reduced to a minimum. With the establishment of order, however, as one region after another was brought back under the effective jurisdiction of Byzantium, the urban center in the Balkan possessions of the empire began to develop again. Already by the end of the 9th century, Corinth, Patras, Lacedemon, Thebes, Athens, Demetrias, and Serres, to give a few examples, had begun to show considerable activity. Thessalonica seems to have recovered fully from the disaster of 904, for an Arab traveller early in the 10th century refers to it as a "huge and large" city. And there is the reference in Cecaumenus to a populous city in Hellas which the Bulgar Symeon tried to take. Unfortunately he does not name the city. The Bulgar wars under Symeon and Samuel may have retarded somewhat the process of growth. Arethas of Caesarea, for instance, wondered if the Cadmeia of Thebes still stood after the incursions of Symeon. And a passage in the life of St. Peter of Argos, no doubt referring to the campaign of the Bulgarians during the reign of Symeon,



48. Ostrogorsky, "Byzantine Cities in the Early Middle Ages", Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 13 (1959), 45-66. The problem of town and village was one of the subjects which was given full discussion at the Twelfth International Congress of Byzantine Studies held in Ochrida Yugoslavia in 1961 : Actes du Xlle Congrès International d'Études Byzantines (Belgrade, 1963), 1:1-44; 275-298. Some Russian scholars hold that the city in the Byzantine empire disappeared in the course of the 7th century. Cf. Ostrogorsky, History..., p. 134, n. 1. On the form and evolution of the Byzantine city see, for instance, the important study by Ernst Kirsten, "Die byzantinische Stadt", Berichte zum XI. InternationalenByzantinischen-Kongress (Munich, 1958), 1-48. Also thhe discussion of this paper where additional bibliographical references are given: Diskussions-Beiträge zum XI. Internationalen Byzantinisten-Kongress (Munich, 1961), 75-102.





reads: "barbarians for three years possessed the Peloponnesus; they massacred many people and thoroughly devastated the whole country, completely destroying the traces of former wealth and good order." Notice the expressions "former wealth and good order", which shows that the Peloponnesus was clearly on the road to recovery after the dark period of the earlier centuries. The Bulgarian wars caused, of course, hardships, shifting of population and loss of life elsewhere as well, but once they were over, a period of relative prosperity and growth in population seems to have set in. P. Tivčev in a comparatively recent article [49] mentions a number of cities described in the sources of the 12th century by one or more of the following terms : "megalopolis", "well-peopled", "populous", "prosperous", "beautiful", "wealthy", "famous". The cities he cites are Corinth, Athens, Thebes, Larissa, Kitros, Janina, Castoria, Thessalonica, Serres, Zichna, Philippi, Rodosto, Mossinopolis, Demotica, Adrianople, Serdica (Sofia), Philippopolis, and Niš. To them I may add Lacedemon, Libadhia, Demetrias, Armyros, Carystos, Ochrida, Scopia, Christopolis, Drama, Selymbria, Heracleia, Gallipoli, and Panados. Edrisi, from whose work most of the information referring to these cities is derived, adds further that the Peloponnesus was very prosperous and that one could count in it about fifty cities among which sixteen were very important. [50]


How populous these cities were in terms of numbers is, of course, impossible to say. Some of them were no doubt small, with a population perhaps of no more than 5,000, though this is a simple guess. Some were certainly larger, as for instance Thebes, where, according to Benjamin of Tudela, there dwelled 2,000 Jews. [51] The largest was Thessalonica which ever remained, next to Constantinople, the ranking Byzantine city, the megalopolis, to use the term applied to it by Theophanes at the beginning of the 9th century, of the Balkan peninsula. [52] Its population in the 12th century may have numbered 100,000 or more. [53] As a commercial center it served not only the surrounding country, something which was true with most Byzantine cities, but was also an international market of some



49. T. Tivčev, "Sur les cités byzantines au Xle-XIIe siècles", Byzantino-Bulgarica, 1 (1962), 145-182.


50. On all this with the appropriate references: P. Charanis, "Observations on the Demography of the Byzantine Empire", Proceedings of the XIIIth International Congress of Byzantine Studies, Oxford, 5-10 September 1966, edited by J. M. Hussey, D. Obolensky, S. Runciman (London, 1967), 460.


51. Benjamin of Tudela, Travels, in Manuel Komroff, Contemporaries of Marco Polo (New York, 1932), 262. Benjamin calls Thebes a large city.


52. Theophanes, Chronographia, ed. C. de Boor (Leipzig, 1883), 1:461.


53. Charanis, "Observations on the Demography...", 452.





significance. Its annual fair, held at the time of the feast of St. Demetrius, its patron saint, was famous throughout Europe and the Near East. Merchants of every nationality — Bulgarians, Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, French, Syrians, Egyptians and numerous others — came to Thessalonica to exchange their goods. These goods were of every kind. Here is how the author of Timarion, who lived in the 12th century, describes them: [54]


And if you are anxious to know what it (the fair) contains ... well, there was every kind of material woven or spun by men or women, all those that come from Boeotia and the Peloponnesus [55] and all that are brought in trading ships from Italy to Greece. Besides this, Phoenicia furnishes numerous articles, and Egypt, and Syria, and the pillars of Hercules, where the finest coverlets are manufactured. These things the merchants bring direct from their respective countries to old Macedonia and Thessalonica; but the empire also contributes to the splendor of the fair, by sending across its products to Constantinople, whence the cargoes are brought by numerous horses and mules.


The picture drawn of the urban landscape of the Balkan regions of the Byzantine empire obtained in the 12th century. Towards the end of that century, however, things began to change and this change continued in the centuries that followed. The demoralized state of the empire under the Angeli, the revival of the Bulgarian kingdom and more importantly, the Fourth Crusade and the wars which followed could not but affect adversely the Byzantine city. Already in 1185 Thessalonica suffered grievously at the hands of the Normans, the same Normans who some forty years earlier had sacked Corinth and Thebes and carried away from these two cities the expert silk workers. [56] "This city", wrote Eustathius of Thessalonica in his account of the sack of the city by the Normans, "which had always been opulent in worldly goods was now disfigured by the dead who lay unburied", and who in their totality numbered more than 7,000. [57] Such was the awesomeness of this disaster that it brought a change on the throne in Constantinople.



54. B. Hase, Notices et extraits de manuscrites, 9 (Paris, 1813), 171-174. I have used the translation of H. F. Tozer, "Byzantine Satire", Journal of Hellenic Studies, 2 (1881), 244-245. Timarion has also been edited and translated into German by Ad. Ellissen, Analekten der mittel- und neugriechischen Litteratur, 4 (Leipzig, 1860).


55. Thebes in Boeotia and Corinth in the Peloponnesus in the 12th century were famous for their silken goods. In 1147 when the Norman king of Sicily, Roger II, sacked these two cities, he carried the expert silk weavers to Sicily. Ostrogorsky, History..., 381f.


56. See above, note 55.


57. Eustathius of Thessalonica, De Thessalonica urbe a Latinis capta narratio in Eustathii Metropolitae Thessalonicensis Opuscula, ed. by Th. L. F. Tafel (Frankfurt/M. 1832), 304,120. New edition by St. Kyriakidis with an Italian translation by V. Rotolo, Eustazio di Tessalonica, La espugnazione di Tessalonica (Palermo, 1961), 146, 120.





But still more awesome was the disaster of 1204. When Constantinople was captured by the Latins in that year about half of the city was burned and a considerable part of its population fled. [58] The work of restoration affected by the emperor Michael VIII, [59] following its recapture by the Greeks, gave it some life, but the decline which set in soon thereafter continued unabated until the city fell to the Turks in 1453. Pero Tafur, who visited Constantinople in 1447, states in one place that the city was "badly populated" and in another that it was "sparsely" populated. [60] Clavijo, who was there some years earlier, noted that although the circuit of the walls was "very great and the area spacious, the city was not very densely populated throughout". [61] The Florentine Buondelmonti, who wrote his account in 1420, says that the inhabitants were few, [62] while another source, dated 1437, fixes their number at 40,000. [63] In the 12th century Constantinople had a population of about 500,000. [64]


In the 14th century Thessalonica was still an important international market where the products of every land could be found. [65] Nevertheless, given the disturbed conditions which characterized the Byzantine lands and Thessalonica itself throughout the 14th century, there can be little doubt that Thessalonica itself must have declined. In 1423 the population of Thessalonica, according to one source, [66] numbered 40,000 and ac-



58. Geoffroi de Ville-Hardouin, La Conquête de Constantinople, edited and translated into modern French by M. Natalis de Wailly (Paris, 1872), 145.


59. P. Charanis, "A Note on the Population and Cities of the Byzantine Empire in the Thirteenth Century", The Joshua Starr Memorial Volume (New York, 1953), 139f.


60. A. Vasiliev, "Pero Tafur: A Spanish Traveler of the Fifteenth Century and his Visit to Constantinople, Trebizond, and Italy", Byzantion, 8 (1932), 95, 113.


61. Clavijo, Embassy to Tamerlane, tr. by Guy Le Strange (London, 1928), 87.


62. G. Gerola, "Le vedute di Constantinopoli di Cristoforo Buondelmonti", Studi bizantini e neoellenici, 3 (1931), 277.


63. Neos Hellenomnemon, 7 (1910). In the light of certain conconsiderations, I have estimated the population of Constantinople at the time of its fall to have been around 75,000. A. M. Schneider puts it for the same period at 50,000: "Die Bevölkerung Konstantinopels im XV. Jahrhundert", Nachrichten der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen, Philologisch-historische Klasse (1949), 236-237. Schneider's figure is usually cited though the grounds for it are no more solid than for mine.


64. See my discussion of this whole problem in my "Observations on the Demography...", 448-450.


65. D. Kydonis, Monodia Occisorum Thessalonicae, Migne, Patrol. Gr. 109 (Paris, 1863), 641.


66. Zorzi Dolpin, Cronaca, anno 1423 (Ms. of the library of St. Mark of Venice, Ital. Clas. VII, cod. 794). Cited by C. Sathas, Documents inédits relatifs à l'histoire de la Grèce (Paris, 1883), 4: xx.





cording to another, [67] 25,000. When it was taken by the Ottomans in 1430, it had no more than 7,000 men, women, and children.


Meanwhile other cities had suffered. Philipopolis, referred to by Ville-Hardouin [68] as the third best city of the empire, was leveled to the ground by John I Asan soon after 1204. Serres, next to Thessalonica the largest city in Macedonia, met with the same fate. Both cities were subsequently recovered and rebuilt, but it is certain that they never recovered their previous prosperity. [69] Byzantine historians continue to use such terms as "marvelous", "great", "strong", "populous", and "large" in their references to the cities of Macedonia and Thrace, but we can be sure that most of these cities were fairly small and that most probably were not as prosperous as they may have been in the 12th century. [70] The one exception was Mistra, [71] which, as the capital of the Greek Morea, drew people to its fold, but that was a special case. Every city was at the same time a fortress and as such it no doubt drew to itself some of the refugees from the countryside, but that could not have affected radically the size of its population. The city, like the countryside, from the 13th century may be described as in a state of decline.


Nevertheless, the city was still an important force in Byzantine society and at times strong enough to protect its own interests. In the disintegrating conditions in which the empire found itself in the 13th century and later, cities found it necessary to shift for themselves. After the capture of Constantinople by the Latins in 1204, the citizens of Adrinople took matters into their own hands in an effort to assure the safety and interests of their city. [72] The citizens of Melinikon were consulted on the question of turning the town over to John Vatatzes and an embassy representing them was sent to negotiate with the emperor. [73] The citizens of Mesembria and Anchialus refused to turn their cities over to the Bulgarian king Constantine, to whom they had been promised as dowry when he married the niece of Michael Palaeologus, the daughter of



67. P. Lemerle, "La domination Vénitienne à Thessalonique", Miscellanea G. Galbiati, 3 (= Fontes Ambrosiani, 27, 1951), 222.


68. Ville-Hardouin, op. cit., 239.


69. Charanis, " Note on the Population...", 141 f.


70. Ibid.


71. Ibid., 144. A German traveler (Martinus Crusius) who visited Mistra in 1584 was told by one of its inhabitants that the population of the city numbered 50,000. It was a large city, writes Crusius, ubi Graecorum omnis generis et aetatis 50 milia sunt. The passage is cited by N. A. Bées, "The Jews of Lacedaemonia and Mistra" (in Greek), Noumas (1905), 10. Bées refers to Emile Legrand, Notice Biographique sur Jean et Theodose Zygomalas (Paris, 1889). Cf. Zakythinos, op. cit., 2:3.


72. Acropolites, Opera, edited by Augustus Heisenberg (Leipzig, 1903), 21.


73. Ibid., 75 ff.





Michael's sister Eulogia. [74] There were cities which by virtue of the privileges they had been able to obtain from central authority may be said to have become autonomous or even independant.


One of these cities was Thessalonica, but in her case it is a problem to determine what exactly her privileges were. It is certain that in the 13th and 14th centuries the landed property of the inhabitants of Thessalonica were exempted from certain obligations, δουλεῖα, but other than this nothing more can be said with any definiteness. [75] More precise is the information which relates to three other cities: Phanarion in Thessaly, Monemvasia in the Morea, and Jannina in Epirus. In the case of Monemvasia [76] the privileges enjoyed were primarily commercial in that its merchants were exempt from virtually all commercial taxes. Monemvasia, strategically and commercially, was an important city which the imperial government needed to hold, but the granting to it of commercial privileges may have been also a move to counteract the activities of the Italian merchants whose strangle-hold on the economic life of the empire was being felt more and more.


Much more comprehensive than the above were the privileges granted to Jannina. [77] The imperial document issued in favor ofthat city in 1317 included the following: a guarantee that the city would never be ceded to the Franks; a guarantee that the imperial governor of Jannina would never move and resettle elsewhere any of the citizens of Jannina against their will, unless they were the cause of public disorder; a provision for the election of judges by the citizens who would act together with the imperial governor and would jduge all cases except those subject to the ecclesiastical court; freedom of trade throughout the empire without the payment of the commercial taxes; a guarantee that the citizens of Jannina, unless they were enrolled soldiers and held economiae for that purpose, would not be forced to serve in the army outside their own city; exemption from certain land taxes and corvées; and finally, the right to appeal



74. Pachymeres, op. cit., 1:343.


75. Actes de l'Athos, V. Actes de Chilandar, edited by R. P. Louis Petit and appended to Vizantijskij Vremennik, 17 (1911), 51. What we have here is a document, dated 1306, which says that a certain patrician, Manuel Angelus by name, was to have certain properties free from the obligations of δουλεῖα, a privilege enjoyed by the citizens of Thessalonica. On the municipal privileges of Thessalonica, one should consult the excellent work by A. E. Bakalopoules, "Contribution to the History of Thessalonica during the Venetian Domination (1423-1430)" (in Greek), Volume on the Occasion of the Six Hundredth Anniversary of Harmenopoulos (= Epistemonike Epeteris, 6), (Thessalonica, 1952), 127-149.


76. Miklosich et Müller, op. cit., 5:165 ff.


77. Ibid., 5:80 ff.





to the emperor if any of these privileges were violated by the imperial governor of Jannina. The provisions of the official document issued in favor of Phanarion in 1295 were not as extensive as these, but they included one very important point: no garrison other than the one provided by the inhabitants of Phanarion was ever to be stationed in the town. [78]


The citizens of Phanarion are referred to in the document issued in their favor in 1295 as archontes, i.e., leading citizens, but a distinction is drawn among them: some are called great, others small; some laymen, others clerics; some held a grant by chrysobul; others were beneficiaries of various exemptions. But whatever their designation, these were people, many of them magnates of considerable wealth, who owned the land in the surrounding country-side and made Phanarion their home. This fact points to a very important feature of the Byzantine city : the most important element of its population, judged by its wealth and power, consisted of landed magnates whose property, usually if not always, lay in the surrounding countryside and whose city possessions often included shops, as was the case with the Cantacuzeni in Serres. [79] In the Byzantine city, merchants and artisans were very much in evidence and at times even influential in politics, [80] but they did not dominate its life. That role was reserved for the landed aristocracy. They were the ones who directed the cities in one way or another and sought to obtain for them privileges and exemptions. [81] The produce of their estates furnished the market with the important commodities, and they themselves often dealt directly with foreign merchants as did, for instance, the Tzamblaci with Ragusan merchants. [82] For this reason they were not unmindful of the commercial interests of their city and sought to obtain for it commercial priviliges as is shown by the document issued in favor of Jannina to which reference has been made. However important



78. Ibid., 5:260 ff.


79. Archive de l'Athos. II. Actes de Kutlumus, edited by Paul Lemerle (Paris, 1946), 86.


80. On the political activities of the trade guilds up to the end of the 11th century see the excellent work by Speros Vryonis, "Byzantine Δημοκατία and the Guilds in the Eleventh Century", Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 17 (1963), 289-314.


81. F. Francés refers to the domination of the city by the aristocracy as the "feudalization" of the city. "La féodalité et les villes Byzantines au XIIIe et au XIVe siècles", Byzantinoslavica, 16 (1955), 76-96.


82. N. Bănescu, "Peut-on identifier le Zamblacus des documents ragusains?", Mélanges Charles Diehl (Paris, 1930), 1:131-135. But see B. Krekič (Dubrovnik [Raguse] et le Levant au Moyen Âge [The Hague, 1961] p. 90, n. 3) who questions the identity of the Zamblacus given by Bănescu. For a summary in French of the documents in question, ibid., nos. 212, 214.





commerce and industry may have been, there is always something agrarian about the Byzantine city in that a considerable portion of its population was engaged in agriculture. Gregory Palamas declared in one of his sermons that most of the inhabitants of Thessalonica spread into the country in order to take care of the harvest and bring in the crops. [83]


All was not well with the Byzantine city during the later period of the empire. The regulatory economy, i.e., the strict control over foreign commerce and the organization of the domestic trades and professions into private and public guilds which was the rule during the earlier period, [84] completely broke down with the result that transactions became increasingly fraudulent. False weights were used, wheat was horded and often mixed with chaff or rotten wheat, and prices were exorbitant. [85] Meanwhile what was left of commerce had fallen into the hands of Italian merchants who determined the prices of even the daily necessities. [86] At the same time the local nobility squeezed all it could out of the common people, which in turn cast envious eyes upon the former's wealth. [87] The result was social tension which increased as time went on and led to repeated outbreaks of the poor against the rich. The most serious of these outbreaks was that of the Zealots in Thessalonica (1342-1349), but they occurred elsewhere [88] and remained a threat throughout the 14th century. [89] By the end of that century the city, like the countryside, was ready to be grabbed by the foreigner who was rapidly taking advantage of the situation.



83. G. Palamas, Homilia XXIV, Migne, Patrol. Gr., 151 (Paris, 1865), 333.


84. The literature on the Byzantine guilds is very extensive. See Vryonis, op. cit., 293, n. 13.


85. So declared the patriarch Athanasius I to the emperor Andronicus II : R. Guilland, "La correspondance inédit d'Athanase, patriarche de Constantinople", Mélange Charles Diehl, 1:139; N. Bănescu, "Le patriarche Athanase I et Andronic II Paléologue. Etat religieux, politique et social de l'Empire", Acad. Roumaine: Bull, de la Sect. Hist., 23, 1 (1942), 35 ff.


86. So complained Ptochoprodromos already in the 12th century. The relevant passage has been cited by A. G. Paspatis, Byzantine Studies (in Greek) (Constantinople, 1877), 164.


87. On all this see Peter Charanis, "Internal Strife in Byzantium in the Fourteenth Century", Byzantion, 15 (1940-1941), 221-225. This matter of the poor versus the rich became a theme of literature. See Ihor Ševcenko, Alexios Makrembolites and his "Dialogue between the Rich and the Poor", Recueil des travaux de l'Institut d'Étude byzantines, 6 (Belgrade, 1960), 187-228.


88. Charanis, "Internal Strife...", 208-230. On the Zealots see further the studies of Sevčenko (above, note 46) and the numerous references which he cites.


89. Ševcenko, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 16:405 ff.


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