Byzantium: its internal history and relations with the Muslim World
Speros Vryonis Jr.
VIII. REVIEW ARTICLE OF TRAVAUX ET MÉMOIRES, ed. P. Lemerle
I, Editions Boccard (Paris 1965)
(In: Byzantina, I (1969))
The appearance of Travaux et Mémoires, 1, (directed by Paul Lemerle and edited by Jean Gouillard) marks a new serial (the sixth) of the Centre de recherches d’histoire et civilisation byzantines. As the beginning of a new serial in the Byzantine field, and because of the weighty nature of the contents a somewhat lengthy review seems to be in order.
The first study, which is both the most important and the longest, is that of H. Ahrweiler, “L’Histoire et la géographie de la région de Smyrne entre les deux occupations turques (1081-1317) particulièrement au XIIIe siècle”, pp. 1-204. Before proceeding to a review of the contents one should note that this monograph constitutes a fundamental contribution to the history of medieval Hellenism in western Anatolia, and takes its place alongside the studies of Arnakis, Wittek, Lemerle, Uzunçarşılı, Waechter, Flemming and de Planhol on western Anatolia. However Ahrweiler’s publication stands apart from these other works; it is a descriptive analysis, constructed from a wealth of
factual information, which for the first time presents us with a very detailed picture of the quantity and quality of Byzantine society in a portion of Anatolia (the district of Smyrna) between the two Turkish conquests. Most scholars who have dealt with this problem have attempted to assess the Hellenic character of western Anatolia in an impressionistic manner, touching here and there upon salient references in a few scattered sources. Ahrweiler has combed historiography, epigraphy, toponymy, hagiography, sigillography, and epistolography with an indefatigability which is matched by a most exacting critical acumen, both qualities by now familiar to all those who have read her previous studies. This is the first detailed picture of Byzantine Hellenism (in the district of Smyrna) prior to the final Turkish conquest, and all those who wish to study either Byzantine provincial society or the Turkish conquest must keep this pioneer effort constantly before them, the methodology and the results of which serve as sure guides.
In the introductory section (Généralités, pp. 1-28) the author contrasts the western maritime Anatolian districts with central and eastern Anatolia, establishes a general chronological structure, and discusses the problems of historical geography, ethnography, and demography. According to Ahrweiler one can distinguish two currents of “civilisation micrasiatique”: the Asiatic current which dominated the Anatolian plateau and the Graeco-Roman current which dominated the Aegean littoral. The difference between these two strands is visible in the intellectual, religious, economic, and social life of Byzantine Anatolia. Western Asia Minor was urbanized, commercial and industrial, with a Graeco-Roman population which participated actively in the political and intellectual history of the Empire (especially up to the seventh century). However central-eastern Anatolia was peasant rather than urban, living on the margin of Byzantine society and manifesting its unintegrated character through the proliferation of religious sects and political insurrections. These separatists movements found propitious soil in an impoverished, undisciplined, superstitious, and ignorant peasantry which did not reap the economic, social, and political advantages dispensed to the inhabitants of the great cities of western Asia Minor.
Ahrweiler thus characterizes Byzantine Anatolia as divided into two very different and distinct cultural spheres : The highly urbanized and civilized Graeco-Roman littoral and the agrarian-peasant 'oriental’ hinterland of central and eastern Anatolia. The author cautiously draws this distinction between coastal and plateau Anatolia for the
period down to the Arab invasions in the seventh century, but most scholars who have faced this problem have extended the distinction between the Greek coast and the 'oriental’ tableland down to the eleventh century and have utilized this distinction to explain the Turkish conquest, Turkification, and Islamization. There is no concept which has done more to obscure and confuse the provincial history of the empire. The epithet “oriental” for these latter scholars is a vague catch-all which includes such widely disparate elements as Hetite, Phrygian, Cappadocian, Lycian, and Lydian on the one hand, and ZoroastrianPersian and Turkish-Muslim on the other. A. Goetze, in his classic Kulturgeschichte des alten Orients, Kleinasien (Munich, 1957), established the competitive nature of Greek and Persian cultures in the Anatolian peninsula in the first millennium B.C. with a geographical distribution of their forces divided roughly between the coast and the plateau. But with the Alexandrian conquest in the fourth century and until the initial Turkish invasions of the eleventh century the dominant politico-socio-economic forces of Asia Minor (up to the regions of Trebizond and Caesareia) were representative of Graeco-Roman society. Thus for almost 1500 years the major portion of Anatolia (both coastal and plateau) was ruled by a Graeco-Roman state. And if prior to this period of 1500 years Greek culture had been restricted to the coasts, by the time that the Turks had appeared (and indeed long before) the major portion of the peninsula had become well integrated into Byzantine (Graeco-Roman) society and culture. The salient features of this cultural unity included the Greek language (spoken), Christianity (hagiolatry and monasticism being more important then dogmatic orthodoxy), and conformity to Byzantine law and administration. The fact that there was considerable local variety does not mean that Anatolia had no social and cultural unity. In connection with the demographic and urban configuration of the coasts and plateau one should note the following point. The existence of more numerous urban centers and more thickly populated regions in western Asia Minor than on the plateau were not functions of the former’s Hellenic character but were due rather to the factors of geography and climate. Western Anatolia, watered by rich silt-bearing rivers and blessed with a mild clime, constituted a fertile breeding ground of man, beast, and vegetation. The plateau is by and large a region of marginal rainfall which makes of it a much poorer agricultural zone, its winters are harsh, and much of the area is semi-arid steppe. Thus no matter what the ethnic character of its
inhabitants its agricultural potential was much lower and of course this affected demographic density. Nevertheless, there were important towns even in the more inhospitable areas of the plateau, such as Iconium, Ankara, Euchaita, etc., which thrived from their positions as caravan towns and as military, administrative and ecclesiastical centers. But Iconium, surrounded as it is by semi-arid wastes, could never have the heavy clusters of villages which one finds about medieval Smyrna, Nicaea, or Ephesus. Again in eastern Anatolia, contrary to the generalization which Ahrweiler has made, towns, commerce, and industry were highly developed. On the eve of the Turkish conquest such cities as Erzinjian (Celesine), Ani, Caesareia, Edessa, Melitene were large towns with thick clusters of villages attached to them. Commerce and industry prospered, supplying both local and international markets, and some of these towns were quite large by medieval standards (30-45,000). Yet this portion of Asia Minor was largely Armenian and Syrian and once more the size and opulence of the towns were not functions of their Hellenic character. (It is very interesting that the cultivation of the Greek classics remained alive among the Syrian Christians of easternmost Anatolia down to the eleventh-twelfth centuries). Eastern Anatolia, and especially Cappadocia in the early period, not only participated in the cultural life of Byzantium but also made critical contributions to it.
Scholars have frequently asserted that heresy characterized the religion of the hinterland and Orthodoxy dominated the coast. One should, however, be cautious in associating heresy with “oriental” Anatolia and Orthodoxy with “Greek” Asia Minor. C. Holl, “Das Fortleben der Volkssprachen in Kleinasien in nachristlicher Zeit”, Hermes, XLIII (1908), 25-54, long ago stated the principle that the survival of the local Anatolian languages went hand in hand with the appearance of religious heresy. Thus Phrygia became the prime example for this survival of local or “oriental” culture in the evolution of Byzantine Anatolia. Indeed, the Neo-Phrygian language is still in evidence during the early Christian era, and most famous of the early Anatolian heresies, Montanism, was a Phrygian product. Thus Holl, and after him many others, have appeared justified in concluding that these local or “oriental” cultural strains vigorously resisted Hellenization or Byzantinization, and that Anatolia was not effectively integrated into the society and culture of the empire. There were in effect two Anatolias : The Greek coastal Anatolia and the “oriental” Anatolia of the plateau.
The former was linguistically Greek and religiously Orthodox, the latter was Phrygian, Cappadocian, Isaurian, etc., in tongue and heretical in religious affiliation.
Historians frequently impose an order and categorization upon their materials which are convenient but none the less arbitrary. It would seem that the above described characterization of Anatolia is one of those convenient categorizations. Let us examine the supposed connection of religious non-conformity and linguistic survival of the Anatolian tongues in the face of Hellenization (Armenian, Syriac, Kurdish, and Georgian are to be distinguished from Cappadocian, Isaurian, Phrygian, Lydian, Lycian, Celtic, and Gothic). It is assumed that, as Montanism was a Phrygian heresy and that inasmuch as the Neo-Phrygian tongue survived in the early Christian period, the speakers of the tongue were Montanists, and Phrygian Montanists spoke Neo-Phrygian. Ergo, heresy and linguistic fortleben of the Anatolian dialects went hand in hand in a phenomenon which deprived Byzantine society of any effective homogeneity in central Anatolia. However, it is significant that the substantial corpus of Montanist inscriptions which have survived all were inscribed in Greek, although Neo-Phrygian had been utilized as an epigraphic language on other occasions. If there were such an intimate relation between heresy and linguistic variety why did the Montanists utilize Greek rather than Neo-Phrygian in their inscriptions?
Secondly, the supposed longevity and vitality of Neo-Phrygian as a spoken language have been inferred by Holl and others primarily from a passage of Socrates who relates that Selinas, bishop of the Goths in fifth century Anatolia, was the son of a mixed marriage.
“. . . Σεληνᾶ ὁ τῶν Γοτθῶν ἐπίσκοπος, ἀνὴρ ἐπίμικτον ἔχων τὸ γἐνος. Γότθος μὲν ἦν ἐκ πατρός· Φρὺξ δὲ κατὰ μητέρα· καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἀμφοτέραις ταῖς διαλέκτοις ἑτοίμως κατὰ τὴν ἐκκλησίαν ἐδίδασκε.” (PG, LXVII, 648) Holl interpreted ἀμφοτέραις ταῖς διαλέκτοις as referring to Gothic and Phrygian. But the parallel text of Sozomenus gives the true explanation of ἀμφοτέραις ταῖς διαλέκτοις. He says of Selinas;
“. . . καὶ ἐπὶ ἐκκλησίαις ἱκανῷ διδάσκει, οὐ μόνον κατὰ τὴν πάτριον φωνήν, ἀλλὰ γὰρ καὶ τὴν Ἑλλήνων.” (Kirchengeschichte, ed. J. Bidez and G. Hansen (Berlin, 1960), 236).
These two texts make it clear that Selinas had a Goth for father and a 'Phrygian’ for a mother and thus spoke two languages. The two languages are Gothic and Greek (rather than Phrygian), and Phryx
here simply connotes the geographical district from which his mother came. Thus by the fifth century the Goths were being Hellenized and the texts of Socrates-Sozomenus testify to the vigor of Hellenization rather than to the vitality of the Phrygian strain. (It is significant in this respect that the descendants of the Goths came to be called Gotho-Greeks rather than Gotho-Phrygians, Theophanes, I, 385. At an earlier period the Celts of Anatolia by a similar process of Hellenization came to be know as Gallo-Greeks and Galatia as Gallo-graecia; Strabo XII. 5, 1; Appain, XII, 114; Diodorus Siculus, V. 32. 5; Ammianus Marcellinus XXII. 9. 5.) One must conclude that Neo-Phrygian succombed completely to the process of linguistic Hellenization and that the survivals of some local tongues as late as the sixth century constitute dying gasps rather than a vigorous linguistic continuity.
There is, however, the fact that heresy remained an important factor in the provincial life of Anatolia, Paulicianism constituting the most spectacular example of religious non-conformity in the middle Byzantine period. This was an “Armenian” heresy, and therefore its appearance in eastern and central Anatolia has been explained by the fact that this “oriental” Anatolia was non-Greek and therefore receptive to such an anti-establishment religious movement. The heretics appeared not only in eastern Anatolia but in Euchaita in the north and in Phrygia. Consequently scholars have once more adduced in central Asia Minor a close interrelation between relegious non-conformity and cultural alienation from the Graeco-Roman traditions. However, one should note that the Armenian princes and church fought the Paulician heresy no less vigorously than did their Byzantine counter-parts, and they would have hardly recognized in the Paulicians anything more than a parnicious religious aberration (certainly they would have never entertained notions about Paulicianism as equivalent to Armenian identity within the lands of the Byzantine Empire). Secondly, western Anatolia does not seem to have been any more homogeneous in religious matters then was the central plateau region. Though we have few sources to illuminate the life of the provinces, nevertheless incidental references indicate the existence of heresy from the Propontid all the way south to the Attaleian regions of coastal Asia Minor.
1. Nestorians in Bithynia-ninth century (V. Laurent, La vie merveilleuse de Saint Pierre d’Atroa 837 (Brussels, 1956), p. 66).
2. Paulicians (Manichees) in Miletus and the Cibyrrheote themetenth century (Analecta Bollandia, XI, 1892, 156).
3. Paulicians and “heretics” in the metropolitanate of Myrrhaeleventh century (AS Nov III, 512, 543).
4. “Phundagiagites-Bogomils” in themes of Opsicium and Cibyrrheote-tenth and eleventh centuries (Ficker, Die Phundagiagiten, Leipzig, 1908, pp. 62-63).
5. “Heretics” in Ephesus-twelfth century (R. Browning, “The Speeches and Letters of Georgios Tornikes, Metropolitan of Ephesos (XIIth century)” Actes du XIIe congrès inter, d’études byz., Belgrade, 1964, II, 424).
Consequently even these few texts would seem to indicate that coastal Anatolia participated significantly in the heretical movements of Anatolia, and that the supposed dichotomy of Greek-coastal Anatolia and the “oriental” plateau (Central Asia Minor) on religious as well as on linguistic grounds is an artificial contrivance of scholars searching for convenient categories.
To return to Ahrweiler’s general thesis of the opposition between coast and plateau, it is a function of geography and climate rather than of religion and language. In the Byzantine period, during which coast and plateau lived within an intimate political, administrative, and economic unity, the currents of language and religion flowed unabated. Greek penetrated and dominated both regions, the church attempted to enforce dogmatic conformity throughout, and conversely heretics brought their ideas to both the plateau and the coasts.
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Ahrweiler establishes a periodized structure as a chronological framework for the fortunes of Smyrna from the fourth to the fourteenth centuries.
1. 4-7th centuries - economic, social, political essor.
2. 7-10th centuries - decline precipitated by the Arab maritime raids.
3. 10-11th centuries - new essor.
4. Turkish invasions and temporary decline.
5. Alexius I-1261-period of revival and final bloom.
6. 1261-1317 - Byzantine withdrawal, Turkmen invasions, decline.
The periods and characterizations of each seem valid, though the reviewer would qualify period # 2 (7th-10th centuries), for reasons
which will appear below. The author proposes a new date, 1093-94, for the recapture of Smyrna from the Turks in the reign of Alexius I. Heretofore, historians usually placed this important event at some time shortly following the battle of Dorylaeum (1097) (Ostrogorsky, Geschichte des byz. Staates, 3rd ed., p. 300).
Ahrweiler presents a rapid and accurate sketch of the rich economic resources of the Smyrniote district, and also of its ethnography. Since antiquity diverse ethnic groups had settled in western Anatolia: Greeks, Romans, Goths (in Mysia), Jews, Armenians (in Troad), Sclavenes, Mardaites (Pamphylia), and Turks. The “Turks” to which the author refers (p. 21) were the Khurramite followers of Babek and Nasr-Theophobus, many of whom fled to Byzantium where they were given asylum in the ninth century and where the emperor Theophilus settled them throughout Anatolia (2,000 per theme). However Theophanes Continuatus, 112-113, 125, and other Byzantine authors refer to these easterners as Persians and not as Turks, and it would appear that Ahrweiler has committed an anachronism in the application of the nomenclature Persian-Turk. In the period after the Turkish invasions of Anatolia (11-15th c.) the Byzantine sources most frequently refer to the Anatolian Turks as Persians, but this is a comparatively late development in Byzantine ethnic nomenclature. The application of the epithet Persian to the Anatolian Turks was in part due to the archaistic mentality of Byzantine historians, but also to the fact that the Turks had come via Persia and utilized Persian as their administrative and literary languages. However the Persians of Babek and Nasr-Theophobus were the Khurramites (and therefore in reality Persians) of Azerbaijan (The first Turkish settlements of any substance in Azerbaijan took place only in the early eleventh century: S. Agadzanov and K. Yuzbashian, “K istorii tiurskikh nabegov na Armeniiu v XI v”, Palestinskii Sbornik, XIII, 1965, 144-159), and therefore these foreigners who settled in the Anatolian themes during the reign of Theophilus were Persians and not Turks.
After having described the compact and prosperous character of Byzantine Hellenism in the regions of Smyrna Ahrweiler demonstrates the disastrous effects of the Turkish conquest during the later thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries.
“Ainsi la région, qui quelques années auparavant était parmi les plus habitées, présente dès la fin du XIIIe et le début du XIV siècle l’aspect d’une contrée quasi déserte et ruinée ....
Elle connaîtra un nouvel essor au XlVe siècle, sous les émirates turcs qui s’y sont formés: il se manifestera dans de nouveaux centres et sous des traits nouveaux”, (p. 28)
The description of the economic and cultural essor of western Anatolia in the thirteenth century and the disastrous effects of the Turkmen conquests constitute a very important contribution to the historical understanding of this crucial period. It has often been assumed that Byzantine culture and society were weak and diluted and that the Turkish conquest was a relatively peaceful event which operated in a vacuum. Ahrweiler has shown that in the Smyrna region just the opposite was true: Hellenism was highly developed, but the Turkish conquest was disruptive and extirpated the society, eventually absorbing that portion which survived the conquest. It is illuminating to compare the Arab conquest of Byzantium’s eastern provinces in the seventh century with the Turkish conquests of Anatolia. The Arabs tooks Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, and Egypt effortlessly after a few crucial battles. The Turkish conquests of many parts of Anatolia involved a prolonged and often repeated process, with the result that Anatolia remained the battleground of Islam and Byzantium for almost four hundred years. Consequently the Arabs caused far less disruption in the local societies than did the Turks.
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Part One of the study, entitled Villes et Campagne, is a thorough and rich description of the towns and villages belonging to the Smyrna district. Ahrweiler discusses the fortunes of the towns according to the chronological scheme which she established in her introduction. The towns flourished in the early Byzantine period, but from the seventh until the tenth-eleventh centuries the coastal towns declined (“. ... la désurbanisation du littoral micrasiatique. . . .” p. 30) because of the Arab maritime peril, and now the towns of central Anatolia became more important. By the eleventh century the region revived but its real prosperity dates from the thirteenth century when once more Smyrna appears as a center of urban density. The whole question of the fate of the Byzantine towns in the 7-9th centuries has already produced a considerable literature in which Ostrogorsky, “Byzantine Cities in the Early Middle Ages, Dumb. Oaks Papers, XIII, 1959, 47-66, proposes a basic continuity and survival of the Byzantine Anatolian towns, and Kazhdan, “Vizantiĭskie gorod v VII-XI vv”, Sov. Arkh. XXI, 1954, 164-188, has championed the opposing view (though he seems to make an exception of parts of western AM). The major difficulty is of course
the lack of almost any source material for the 7-9th centuries, and the lack of satisfactory sources until the 13th century. As Ahrweiler says, her results reflect the nature of the sources, but whether these justify her conclusions that urban society in western Anatolia underwent such a comprehensive realization is debatable. There is a curious contradiction also in the author’s implied proposition that though the Arab presence (by sea) caused the decline of the coastal towns, the same Arab presence (by land) did not prevent an increase in the importance of the towns of the plateau.
On p. 32 Ahrweiler remarks a propos of the urban renewal which occurred after the supposed ruralization of the 7-10th centuries, that it reached its climax in the thirteenth century as is noted by the court literati. But as the author herself has shown in previous articles, the ruined towns which the Lascarids (and Comnenoi) rebuilt were those which had been destroyed by the Turkish conquests and raids of the 11-12th centuries, and not those which had supposedly declined after the seventh century as a result of Arab raids. It is highly probable that this hiatus in Byzantine urban continuity occured not with the Arab maritime threat during the 7-10th centuries but with the Turkish conquest and raids of the 11-12th centuries.
Ahrweiler lists and locates the towns of the area which is the subject of her research: Smyrna, Nymphaeum, Magnesia on Sipylum, Clazomenae, Erythrae, Psithyra, Monoicus, Petra, Archangelus, Ambrioulla, Sosandra, Linoperamata, Stylarium. But what is it that constitutes these agglomerations towns ? The author relies on two basic criteria: (1) Appearance in the literature of a site as a metropolitanate, archbishopric, or bishopric indicates that it is a town (provided that this occurs during a period of prosperity and not during one of decline), (2) The contemporary description of a site as a polis, castrum, etc., indicates that it is a town. This however leaves us with a protean definition of the Byzantine town in terms of its population. Was the Byzantine city a city in name only or did it possess a substantial population? How strict were the ecclesiastical authorities in applying the episcopal nomenclature only to large inhabited sites? And how large did the population have to be before the site qualified as a city and therefore as an episcopal see?
The canon lawyer Balsamon provides us a partial answer to these thorny questions inasmuch as he comments on the canons with direct reference to actual conditions in the Anatolian churches during the twelfth century. Ahrweiler remarks that the existence of a bishopric
indicates the existence of an urban center, a town (p. 47). However, she continues, this generalization is valid only for periods of economic prosperity, and the mention of a bishopric in an area during a period of decline is questionable evidence for urban history. In other words the church allowed the titular existence of bishoprics in places where there was no longer sufficient population (whatever the minimal number) to constitute a town.
In the twelfth century the upheavals besetting the church as a result of the Turkish conquests caused considerable administrative difficulty, not the least of which was the status of the episcopal structure. There is an indication in Balsamon’s comments that though on occasion bishops were ordained to villages, by and large the church and state observed the principle that bishops were appointed only to towns (Rhalles & Potles, III, 222-223, 245-248). Thus episcopal indications in times of decadance (at least for parts of the twelfth century) may have some validity in Byzantine urban history, for the existence of a bishopric depended on τὸ πολυάνθρωπον.
But this still leaves unanswered the question of urban numbers. How large was πολυάνθρωπος? Did it have numerical substance or was it merely a sobriquet of Byzantine archaism? Were bishoprics or poleis simply villages with fancy titles or were they real towns? A short review of the few available figures would seem to support the latter conclusion, i.e., that Byzantine towns and bishoprics were usually substantial (by medieval standards) centers of population.
- 1071 — 35,000 (Sawirus ibn al Mukaffi, II, iii, 305).
- c. 1144 — 47,000 (Bar Hebraeus, I, 273).
13th century — 36,000 (Pachymeres, I, 469).
- c. 1155-56 — The Turks took a population of 70,000 into captivity from Albistan and (regions of ?) Caihan; (Matthew of Edessa, 344).
- 1256-57 — Mongol general Baicu slew 7,000 of the inhabitants, carried away the youths and maidens; (Bar Hebraeus, I, 426).
- 11th century — The Turks took away 15,000 of its inhabitants; (Michael Syrian, III, 146).
Indications of Numerical Smallness
Tantalus (comopolis) & Caria (comopolis)
In 1197 the Seljuk sultan took captive the inhabitants of these two comopoleis. These captives numbered 5,000, therefore c.
2,500 for each comopolis (Nicetas Choniates, 655-7). However these figures are probably too low, for Caria had been raided previous to 1197 and was again raided after that date. Comopolis is also a vague term: It may apply to a village, a large town scattered over a large area, or a large village.
- 12th century — After its destruction by the Turks the site was inhabited by 2,000 Turkmens, a figure which contemporaries considered insignificant in comparison with its former size (Cinnamus, 294-5, 297).
These few figures for town populations would indicate that the epithet πολυάνθρωπος applied by Byzantine and other sources to the cities has some numerical substance and a large city could have as many as 35,000 (or more) inhabitants, though it is likely that most of the towns were smaller, ranging upward from 5,000. This estimate would seem to be in line with the results of certain other demographic studies.
L. Torres Balbas, “Extension y demografla de las ciudades hispanomusulmans”, Studia Islamica, III (1955), 55-57, on the basis of area measurements, gives the following population estimates for eleventh-twelfth century Spain.
O. Barkan, “Essai sur les données statistiques des registres de recensement dans l’empire ottoman aux XVe et XVIe siècles”, Journal of the Ec. and Soc. History of the Orient, I, 1958, 27, furnishes reliable figures for some of the Anatolian towns in the years c. 1520-1530 (These figures are based on official tax registers of hearths).
Though the similar magnitudes of the Spanish figures (arrived at by area measurement) and the Ottoman numbers (results of reliable tax registers from a later period) when combined with the Byzantine
estimates do not necessarily prove anything, it is interesting that the sizes of the towns tend to range between similar extremes.
Byzantium 5,000 to 36,000 (perhaps 47,000)
Spain 15,000 to 37,000
Turkey 5,560 to 34,930
Thus a Byzantine town (and therefore a bishopric) was frequently a substantial urban settlement which could range from 5,000 to 36,000 or 47,000 inhabitants.
Ahrweiler remarks that, though Smyrna was an important naval center by the ninth century, it was not a great maritime commercial port until the thirteenth century, and consequently it is absent from such itineraries as that of the twelfth century Idrisi. However once more it is surely a matter of possessing few sources (Even so, A.B., XXV, 1906, 81; A.S. Nov. Ill, 579, mention Smyrna as a port for commerce and passenger trade with Constantinople, the isles, and the European provinces during the tenth-eleventh centuries). Indeed by her own interpretation of the notitiae episcopatum the rise of Smyrna to metropolitan status in the ninth century and the acquisition of bishoprics formerly belonging to Ephesus must indicate a general economic and demographic prosperity.
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Part II, L’Église et son administration, certainly the most significant portion of Ahrweiler’s monograph, contains a detailed discussion of the ecclesiastical seats and monasteries, and a highly detailed prosopographic table of all known religious officials in this district. The basic source for much of this invaluable information is the cartulary (of which Ahrweiler promises a new edition) of Lembos (which ends at 1307 when the Turks burned the monastery), a monastic foundation 10 km. east of Smyrna. The drawing up of a prosopographic chart which includes all the known metropolitans, archbishops, bishops, protopappades, episcopal officials, notaries, and scribes of the district does more than anything else to give the appearance of life and historicity to the region and its society. But it does much more, for it enables Ahrweiler to deduce some very important facts about Byzantine society. For instance, though the metropolitans were usually men who had risen in patriarchal service and were not local Smyrniotes, the bishops and other officials were of local origin. This fact becomes even more striking when Ahrweiler establishes a similar pattern on the level of Byzantine administration. The dux of the Thracesian theme in the thirteenth century
was an outsider, whereas the prokathemenus of Smyrna (in charge of police functions within the city) was usually of local origin. Ahrweiler might have gone on to conclude that centralization did not stifle local initiative and participation in government. The dux and metropolitan, appointed from the imperial capital, assuredly constituted the apex of the power structure, but the mass of the governmental and ecclesiastical offices were in the hands of local people. This doubtlessly assured a certain local vitality in economic and political affairs.
Far and away the most important fact to emerge from the author’s prosopographic investigation is the following: the metropolitans possessed an 'enormous’ bureaucratic organization, with an extensive personnel, which dispensed a number of social and political (as well as religious) services to the populace and as a consequence the church needed extensive properties and revenues to function. The administrative organization and personnel of the patriarchate have been better studied than those of the metropolitans and bishops, for the documentation was more plentiful. Thus H.-G. Beck, Kirche und theologische Literatur im byzantinischen Reich (Munich, 1959), p. 20, posed the question whether or not the metropolitans enjoyed so extensive a bureaucratic organism. Ahrweiler’s research indicates that the administrative system of the metropolitanate was similar to and nearly as extensive as that of the patriarchate (at least in the case of Smyrna). In the cartulary of Lembos she has found mention of 26 dignitaries who exercized their functions under the metropolitan of Smyrna, though only the first two pentades appear complete in the Lembos documents.
Ahrweiler’s detailed tableau of this extensive ecclesiastical bureaucracy permits a further deduction. The church administration permeated not only the religious but also the secular life of Byzantine society. Without the church organization Byzantine life was inconceivable, and a certain economic well-being was essential to the organization and functioning of this vast religious bureaucracy. Consequently, the metropolitans and bishops had their own enoriai and incomes to support their administrative cadres as well as to finance all the eleemosynary and educational institutions which ministered to the needs of the flock. Ahrweiler points out that when the Turks conquered Smyrna they confiscated the properties of the church and consequently Ephesus (suffering from a similar confiscation of properties) began to quarrel with Smyrna over possession of the few remaining ecclesiastical properties. Ahrweiler’s picture of the economic affluence of the Smyrniote metropolitanate
in the thirteenth century enables us to evaluate very clearly the effects of the Turkish invasions on Byzantine society. By the mass confiscation of church properties (as well as by the fitful removal of Byzantine metropolitans) the Turks destroyed the church as an effective social institution in the life of the remaining Christian subjects of the Turks. The Turkish emirs then doled out these church properties and revenues to their military supporters and to Muslim religious and charitable institutions, and thus the history of the Anatolian church in the 14-15th centuries is one of great poverty, administrative collapse, and finally of virtual disappearance. (By the early sixteenth century only 7,9% of the Anatolian population was Christian, Barkan, loc. cit., 20). The letters of Matthew of Ephesus (M. Treu, Matthaios Metropolit von Ephesus, Pottsdam, 1901), contain an excellent case study of this whole process as it occured in the metropolitanate of Ephesus after it fell to the Turks in the early fourteenth century.
Part Three, Administration civile et militaire, is organized much in the manner of Part Two and concludes Ahrweiler’s study.
Though the review has been long and though it has gone into certain questions at great length, it should not fail to convey to the reader an urgent sense of the great importance of the contribution which Ahrweiler has made to a better understanding of medieval Hellenism on the eve of the Turkish conquest. Arnakis was the first to demonstrate the effect of Byzantine political and social disarray on the decline of Hellenism. Ahrweiler has shown that the medieval Greek society of western Asia Minor was a vital, productive and compact entity prior to the disorganization of the late thirteenth century which prepared it for the disastrous Turkish conquest. Her study will remain a model for the future rewriting of the histories of Nicaea and Trebizond.
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The remaining eight studies, though shorter, are also significant, and in many cases fascinating, contributions in the fields of philology, administrative, social, economic, and political history.
I. Dujčev, “La chronique byzantine de Pan 811”, 205-254, turns once more to a subject which he first treated in 1936, to wit the Diegesis on the death of Nicephorus I contained in fol. 119v-122v of Vaticanus gr. 2014. Dujčev gives a short history of scholarly views as to the importance and nature of this interesting source, edits, translates, and explains the text, and then delivers his own opinion as to its character. It is in essence a historical narrative composed by a contemporary of
the events, which was reworked some time after the conversion of the 11 ul gars (865) by an editor who sought to transform it into a work of edification and a memorial to the Byzantine victims of 811-814. It is this revision of the text which has added a certain hagiographical flavor to the composition. Dujčev agrees with the opinion of the late Grégoire that the Diegesis is an extract from a historical work of the first order, but he asserts that as yet one cannot say whether it is part of either Scriptor Incertus or of a supposed Malalas Continuatus.
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P. Lemerle contributes a thorough study, “Thomas le Slave”, 255-297, in which he reviews the complex problems attendant upon the history of the revolt of Thomas. He subjects the sources to a critical evaluation (ninth century: Letter of Michael II to Louis the Pious, George Monachus, and the Lives of David, Symeon, and George of Lesbus; Tenth century: Genesius and Theophanes Continuatus) and demonstrates that the official version (expressed in the letter of Michael II and in the so-called Syrian version of the revolt) is highly slanderous of Thomas. This official version crystallized in the circle of Constantine VII and consigned other more reliable accounts to historiographical oblivion. However, Lemerle continues, it is the “version micrasiatique”, found in parts of both Genesius and Theophanes Continuatus, which is the more reliable. Lemerle consequently relies heavily on this anatolian version of the events to interpret the history of the revolt. He rejects as legendary: The story of Thomas in Constantinople and the seduction of the patrician’s wife; The flight to and domicile among the Arabs for a period of twenty-five years; The assertion that Thomas posed as Constantine VI; Thomas’ abjuration of the Christian faith; The beginning of the revolt in the reign of Leo V. Conversely, the following items are knowable with certainty: Thomas was descended from a Slavic family transplanted to the regions of Lake Gazourou southeast of Amaseia; He first appears in the retinue of the strategus Bardanius Tourkus in the revolt against Nicephorus I (803); In the prediction of the Philomeline monk he was grouped with his friend Leo (V) and his enemy Michael (II); Later Leo V appointed Thomas turmarch of the foederatoi (813), a post he held until 820; As holder of this post he resided in Anatolia until the murder of Leo V and his decision to revolt; Though he recruited foreign troops (Armenians, Abasgians, and Iberians), the bulk of the military and administrators in Anatolia joined him (save for the armies of Armeniacon and Opsicium), so that contrary to what is usually alleged
about the ethnic character of his army the troops seem to have been largely Greek; Thomas acquired the necessary peace on the Arab front by military and diplomatic action ( consequent to which his coronation took place in Antioch); From December 25, 820 to December 821 he occupied Anatolia, at the latter date began the siege of Constantinople, and by mid-October Thomas was dead. Finally, Lemerle departs from the interpretations which have long been associated with this spectacular revolt. The success of Thomas in mustering so much support in Thrace, the Aegean, and Anatolia was due neither to Arab military aid nor to reliance upon non-Greek ethnic elements. Inasmuch as he was of Slavic origin it has often been supposed that his primary support came from Slavs settled in Anatolia, but the theme of Opsicium, where Slavic settlement had been strongest, opposed him. Lemerle sees no socio-economic basis for the success of Thomas in Anatolia, for not only do we know of no social program in the revolt but the struggle had none of the characteristics of class warfare. It was relatively bloodless, and it did not continue after the rebel’s death. In short, Lemerle implies that we are probably dealing with one of those many struggles for the imperial power in which personal ambition and political alliances played the key roles. Lemerle’s insistence upon following the sources comes as a refreshing and welcome breeze upon the sea of Byzantine history where too often the stormy winds of imagination have threatened to sink the ship of Byzantine scholarship.
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The history of heresy in the Byzantine Empire has attracted considerable attention in the research of the post-war years but the majority of the problems remain relatively obscure and the very character of the Byzantine cultural and social phenomenon cannot be accurately evaluated without a proper understanding of the quality and quantity of heresy within the empire. J. Gouillard, “L’Hérésie dans l’empire byzantin des origines au XIIe siècle”, 299-324, approaches, many of these questions in a short study which dispenses with most of the secondary literature and utilizes only some of the primary sources in an impressionistic manner. Gouillard begins by defining the focus of his interest: It does not include the Christological heresies of the first six ecumenical councils (these concern only the haute époque); The deviations (Gouillard does not specify which they are) denounced in the writings of the twelfth century dogmatists he leaves to the research of other scholars; But it is the syncretistic sects (such as Marcionism),
the ancient sects severed from the church before the founding of the Christian empire (Montanism, Novatianism, etc.) which followed their own evolution, etc., upon which Gouillard concentrates.
“. . . Le fait sectaire nous paraît la matière essentielle d’un essai sur l’hérésie à Byzance. C’est lui qui dégage par excellence les corps étrangers réfractaires à certaines formes de l’hellénisation et de la byzantinization, fait intervenir des facteurs éthniques et sociaux caractérisés, exprime la diversité des tempéraments religieux.” (p. 300).
While there is some substance in such a generalization the little that we do know about Anatolian heresy would seem to indicate that the bonds of heresy and “ethnicity” did not always coincide. It is curious that he justifies the concentration on this third group of sectaries on the grounds of their “ethnic” character. It is curious because the most obvious cases of identification between heresy and “ethnicity” in Anatolia are not to be found among any of the sectaries he describes (The Montanists were probably Greek speaking, as witness all their funerary inscriptions. Though Neo-Phrygian is in evidence as an epigraphic language, the Montanist epigraphy is entirely Greek. The Paulician movement seems to have recognized no linguistic boundaries and spread throughout the Greek regions of western Anatolia), but among the adherents of the Christological heresies: the Armenians and Syrians in tenth-eleventh century Anatolia.
It was the Armenian and Syriac Christians of Byzantium’s eastern Anatolian regions who most vigorously resisted Byzantinization, with disastrous results to the empire in the eleventh century.
Gouillard then takes a fleeting glimpse at the evolution of the sects during three periods: (1) From the founding of the empire to Iconoclasm; (2) The Iconoclastic period; (3) The era from Bulgarian Bogomilism mid-tenth century to 1143. The historian is able to reconstruct the sectarian life of the first period from the religious legislation of the emperors and the Panarion of Epiphanius († 403). The sects of Anatolia were not numerous (Theodosian Code lists a half-dozen names, John of Ephesus gives four or five). After Epiphanius the literary treatment of heresy becomes simplified and schematized, and that bewildering laxity of nomenclature which so harasses the church historian throughout Byzantine history is already apparent. The second period on the sketch of sectarian history Gouillard rightly presents as the most obscure and the poorest in documentation. The principal heretics are the Paulicians and the Iconoclasts, which the author has purposely set aside as obviously any treatment of these sects would unnecessarily lengthen his discussion.
He sees a resurgence of sectarian life with the rise of Iconoclasm and poses the question of reciprocal influences. The heretical nomenclature of the period reveals two “families” of sects:
(1) Paulician, Manichee
(2) Montanist, Athinganian, Phrygian, Sabbatian.
Having removed the Paulicians from his discussion Gouillard proceeds to discuss the second “family”. He asks the question, “Who were the Montanists?” and replies that they were not in the tradition of the ancient Montanists (whose traces disappear in the sixth century). By utilizing a series of parallel texts Gouillard concludes that there is an equation of heretical appellations : Montanists = Anthinganoi = Phrygians = Sabbatians. However the sources do not really tell us necessary detailes about this heretical “family”, though contemporary observers rightly characterized the sects of this period as Judaizing, Iconoclastic, given to prophecy and magic, and to gyrovaque monasticism.
The author describes the third period (10th-12th c.) as a veritable renascence of heresy: Bogomils in the Balkans, Phundagiagites-Bogomils in western Asia Minor, Messalians in Cappadocia, etc. The heretical nomenclature once more changed as the names Montanist, Sabbatian, Quatuordeciman fell into disuse, and Paulician and Athinganus were mentioned more rarely. The term Bogomil and Messalian came to dominate the literature, the affinities of the two heresies being stressed, and haeresiologists annexed them to the heretical line of the Paulicians. Gouillard takes the position that both Bogomils and Neo-Messalians represent a continuity of the Paulician and old Messalian heresies, both heresies flourishing in areas where Paulicianism and Messalianism had bloomed.
Gouillard’s thesis of the continuity between Bogomilism and Paulicianism seems quite plausible, and indeed the author could have martialled the scant sources of the tenth-eleventh centuries to support this continuity. By way of example, it is not unlikely that the Phundagiagites in Opsicium and the Bogomils of the Cibyrrheote, whom Euthymius (976-1025) mentions, are simply the older Paulicians with new names. The Paulicians seem to have moved into Pisidia as early as the eighth century (Runciman, The Medieval Manichee, p. 35), and in the tenth century they were still a vigorous sect which threatened the Orthodox. This detail emerges from the life of St. Paul the Younger (t 955), A.B., XI (1892), 156.
“Ἀπόδειξις τῶν εἰρημένων αἱ κατὰ τῶν Μανιχαίων αὐτῶν σπουδαίῶν
τοὺς ἐπισημοτέρους καὶ τῷ βλάπτειν πιθανωτέρους, τῶν ὁρίων Κιβυῤῥαιώτου τέ φημι καὶ Μιλήτου μακρὰν ἐκτετόπικε. .
The “Manichees” of the Cibyrrheote were such a danger to the Orthodox that St. Paul had their leaders exiled from the theme. Manichee here is certainly a reference to the Paulicians, an equation which had existed at least since the early ninth century, Theophanes, I, 488,
“τῶν δὲ Μανιχαίων, τῶν νῦν Παυλικιάνων καλουμένων.”
The date of St. Paul († 955) places the existence of the Paulicians in the Cibyrrheote well before Euthymius (976-1025) refers to the Bogomils in the area. A century later St. Lazarus of Galesium converted a village of unnamed heretics in the bishopric of Philetus (under the metrop. of Myrrha), and the possibility that they were Paulicians is suggested by his conversion of a Paulician in his monastery (A. S. Nov. III, 512, 543). These incidentals from the vitae of Sts. Paul and Lazarus are strong indications that the Paulician heresy was a significant one in the Cibyrrheote Theme during the tenth-eleventh centuries and that the Cibyrrheote “Bogomils” mentioned by Euthymius (976-1025) are one and the same with the Paulicians. The tradition of onomastic confusion is a strong one in the works of Byzantine haeresiologists (Manichee—Paulician, Theophanes, I, 488; Bogomil—Messalian, Rh. & P., II, 531-532, IV, 408), and given the similarities in the doctrines of Bogomils and Paulicians it is highly probable that the Paulicians of Cibyrrheote merely received new names.
Gouillard concludes his important contribution with two propositions: (1) The heresies of the Bogomils, Messalians, and Paulicians absorbed what remained of the old gnostic and prophetic traditions embodied in Marcionism and Montanism. (2) There is a continuity in the sectarian life of the empire, though onem ust also take account cases of spontaneous resurgence and “foreign” contributions.
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N. Svoronos, “Les privilèges de l’église à l’époque des Comnènes: un rescrit inédit de Manuel 1er Comnène”, 325-391, makes important additions to our knowledge of Byzantine fiscal, social, and religious history. An acknowledged authority on Byzantine finance, Svoronos edits and translates f. 8-8v of Marcianus gr. 173, and utilizes this short text as the starting point for an investigation of the fiscal and ecclesiastical policies of Manuel I. The author dates the document to 1171 and identifies it as an imperial rescript of Manuel I in which the emperor expresses his desires in the question of property held by just or unjust titles.
Svoronos relates this rescript to a series of Manuel’s chrysobulls which reflect a bitter struggle between the fiscal agents and the church. Though the documents describe the agents as greedy and ferocious they nevertheless indicate that the church had acquired property in a highly irregular manner. Many of these abuses are known from Macedonian times but they were not so extensive as they became in the twelfth century. The state had reacted against such abuses in the tenth and eleventh centuries, but in the twelfth century Alexius I and Manuel I had declared the agrarian ordinances tobe inoperative for certain ecclesiastical and lay magnates and it is by this artifice that church and laity were able to constitute their enormous properties. The emperors allowed this because they needed the support of both lay and ecclesiastical lords.
Svoronos divides Manuel’s fiscal policy toward the church into two chronological periods: (1) 1143-58 Manuel issued a number of chrysobulls which attempted to regulate the quarrel between the fisc and the church, and these documents were comprehensive, encompassing the totality of the church, i.e., bishops, metropolitans, priests, and St. Sophia. In striving to safeguard the rights of the state, Manuel continuously gave in to the demands of the church, legalizing property acquisition which the latter had made illegally and also awarding new privileges. (2) 1158-76 The excessive privileges of the church provoked conflict among the various social groups which in turn prompted the emperor to equalize his generosity to all the powerful. Finally, during the latter part of his reign (1166-67), pressed by needs of money for his western project and pushed by the rampant agressions of the powerful, Manuel took more energetic measures to bridle their land and privilege-hunger. By these late measures Manuel appears as one of the last emperors to attempt to halt the growth of the powerful.
The complex study of Svoronos is a noteworthy addition to our knowledge of the evolution of Buzantine fiscalo-agrarian history during the twelfth century. Of great interest is his indication that the main thrust of Manuel’s generosity favored the church throughout his reign (even in the more parsimonious mood of his later years). This raises an important question: Why did Manuel so favor the church? Svoronos remarks that Manuel rewarded both the lay and ecclesiastical magnates with concessions because he needed their support. Now his need of the military support of the laity is self evident... wars in the west, the Balkans, and Asia Minor. But why did he favor the church over the lay magnates? What support could they give him (aside from
their prayers which in any case they would tender on the emperor’s behalf)? In short Svoronos has shown that Manuel strongly subsidized the church, but he has not indicated why the emperor did so.
He explains the irregularity in the acquisition of property by the church as having arisen %from the anomalous situation created by the invasions and upheavals of the late eleventh century in the Balkans, Anatolia, and the isles. During this period, he continues, the representatives of the bishops and metropolitans remained in their districts and profited from the disarray and the flight of population to take lands and rights in actions which were directly opposed to Byzantine legislation (p. 347). Thus Svoronos assumes an unbroken continuity in the growth and acquisition of ecclesiastical property from the Macedonian to the Comnenian period.
But let us examine the conditions attendant upon the Turkish invasions of Anatolia in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, for such an examination will shed light on the increased anomalies related to land ownership and will also help to illuminate Manuel’s ecclesiastical policy in matters of land ownership and tax exemptions. The sources on the fate of the church in Anatolia during the Turkish invasions and settlements reveal a violent disruption of ecclesiastical administration and economic life. Contrary to Svoronos’ assertion is the fact that bishops and metropolitans were removed from the ecclesiastical seats in Anatolia for considerable periods of time. This disruption in the continuity of episcopal and metropolitan administration was accompanied by a drastic impoverization of the Anatolian churches. The Turkish policy of removing the hierarchs and of the mass confiscation of church properties is discernable from the late eleventh century until the reign of Manuel I (R. & P., II, 46, 147, 388, 390-391, 344; III, 156, 274-275. Zepos, JGR. I, 325-326). In a prostaxis of 1093 Alexius remarked of the clerics promoted to Anatolian seats :
“They fear that as such churches are located in the Anatolian regions they (the appointees) shall never have the necessities, for the churches to which they have been appointed are altogether poor and entirely inaccessible to them.” (R. & P. II, 390-391; Zepos, JGR, I, 325-326).
This prostaxis has survived in Balsamon’s comments on canon 37 of the Council in Trullo, a canon concerned with bishops and metropolitans who are unable to take over their churches because of barbarian invasions and occupation,
“The present canon decrees that the bishops who have not been able to go to their appointed thrones because of barbarian attack are to be honored, and are to carry out all the episcopal duties... and are plainly to be reckoned as if they had gone to their church and been enthroned. Just so the metropolitan of Iconium, and other Anatolian metropolitans who have no churches as they are held by the barbarians, validly^ordain bishops. And they carry out all the metropolitan duties, even if they were not at all able to go their appointed churches and to be enthroned.” (R. & P. II 390).
One must therefore assume, contrary to Svoronos, a basic disruption of ecclesiastical administration and landowning in Anatolia during parts of the eleventh-twelfth centuries. Consequently the large-scale acquisition of estates by the church (at least in Anatolia) in the twelfth century is not a continuation of the process which is so much in evidence in the tenth-eleventh centuries prior to the Turkish invasions. This decline of the Anatolian church is no doubt one of the basic explanations behind the economic generosity of Manuel’s ecclesiastical policy, and indeed it is already to be observed in the policies of Alexius I (In the prostaxis of 1093 Alexius provided for the indigent Anatolian clergy, which had taken up its residence in Constantinople). The Turkish conquest had removed Byzantine control from practically all of Anatolia by the early years of the reign of Alexius I and this entailed not only a mass exodus of Greeks from western Anatolia but the collapse of the church. The most important accomplishment of the Comnenian dynasty was the recovery of the Anatolian littoral from the Turks and the recolonization of these regions. Alexius I, John II, and Manuel I resettled the reconquered lands, rebuilt the towns, and as a vital element in this recolonization they gave unstinted support to the re-establishment of the ecclesiastical institution. It was for this reason that the emperors maintained the metropolitan hierarchy in tact and provided the titularies with income, even when the hierarchs were unable to go to their Anatolian churches.
“Thus let it be noted that the Anatolian bishops who do not have seats because their churches are held by foreigners are not to be ejected from the queen of cities.” (R. & P., Ill, 274-275. The Bishops of Europe, however, were not to be allowed to remain in Constantinople). With the removal of the Turks from western Anatolia by the Comnenoi the hierarchs once more entered their churches, received lands and privileges, and played a vital role in the revival of Byzantine control and society in the reconquered lands. The efforts of the emperors to revive
the church were not limited to their new Anatolian domains, but extended as well to the lands held by the Turks. Euthymius Tornices, in a florid eulogy addressed to Manuel, indicates that the emperor enjoyed some success in forcing the Turks to apply his ecclesiastical policies in their domains, i.e., to receive the bishops and to give land to the church.
“You persuade the barbarians to free the Christians from acts of violence, to give them extensive land to express freely their piety, and to receive the spiritual guardians of each city (bishops). And it seemed that you escort the churches of God again and carefully select the grooms that they might not outrage the wedding ceremonies. You do not wed new widows, as the command of the apostle desires, but those who are long widowed and consumed by love for their grooms. Now the churches of the east are once more clad in white, having shed the darkness of their widow’s garments, and they embrace their grooms, sing the nuptial song, and the children are comforted...” (Papadopulos-Kerameus, Sbornik vizantiĭskikh textov XII-XIII v., St. Petersburg, 1913, 182-183).
Viewed against these remarks the economic generosity of Manuel’s ecclesiastical policy takes on a new light. The church had suffered a nearly mortal blow in Anatolia and the emperors had to do everything in their power to revive it. Even the patriarchate and monasteries located in Constantinople (and therefore not in Turkish lands) suffered losses of revenues when the Turks occupied Anatolia. The Turkish invasions and continuous raids must also have contributed to the disorder which Svoronos has indicated in the titles and documents associated with land ownership.
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I. Beldiceanu-Steinherr, “La conquête d’Adrinople par les Turcs: La pénétration turque en Thrace et la valeur des chroniques ottomanes”, 431-461, is a fascinating article which, in attempting to settle the chronology of the Turkish conquest of Adrianople, produces some startling propositions. Beldiceanu-Steinherr’s argumentation and her examination of the source problems (she makes interesting use of the life of Sheyh Bedr ed-Din of Simavna), too complex to discuss in a review, lead the author to form conclusions which all students of early Ottoman expansion (whether or not they agree) must henceforth take into account.
1. The initial Turkish conquest of Adrianople and parts of Thrace was the work of emirate Turks, i.e. non-Ottoman Turks.
2. These emirate Turks captured Adrianople sometime between 1365-1369.
3. The first Ottoman to take possession of Adrianople was Murad I, and he did so in 1376-77 or 1377.
4. The attribution of the first Turkish conquest of Adrianople to the house of Osman is a fiction of the official court chroniclers, who desired to attribute this deed to the Ottomans for purposes of dynastic glorification. Consequently we have one more example of the unreliability of the court creatures, and the author rightfully suggests that we must review our knowledge of the early Turkish penetration in Thrace.
Crucial to her argument is the history of the enigmatic Haci Ilbeği (from Qaras!) who crossed to Thrace with Umur of Aydin and who (according to Beldiceanu-Steinherr) conquered Didymoteichus and Adrianople. The key to the problem is to ascertain when and if Haci Ilbeği became attached to the Ottoman rulers, and was he so attached at the time that he took Adrianople.
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Finally, the articles of C. Astruc, “La tradition manuscrite des oeuvres oratoires profanes de Théodore II Lascaris”, 393-404, D. Jacoby, “Un aspect de la fiscalité vénitienne dans le Péloponnèse aux XIVe et XVe siècles : Le zovaticum”, 405-420; and J. Verpeaux, “Hiérarchie et préséance sous les Paléologues”, 421-437, make useful contributions to the fields of Byzantine philology, economic and administrative history.
With the initiation of the new series, Travaux et Mémoires, Monsieur Lemerle and his colleagues have made an impressive contribution to Byzantine studies, one which is as rich in content as it is in variety. Scholars will anxiously await the appearance of the second tome, but future contributors are forewarned that they will have to strive mightily to equal the quality of this first volume. Byzantinists are greatly indebted to the director and his fellow contributors for this scholarly jewel !
University of California
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