Byzantium: its internal history and relations with the Muslim World

Speros Vryonis Jr.




Professor Vryonis is one of the most brilliant of the younger generation of Byzantinists, and this selection of his articles is reproduced here in order to make the results of his valuable researches available to students of general history. He specializes in social and economic developments, as well as in the relations between Byzantium and the Muslims. In all of these areas he has made important contributions.


Particularly interesting among the materials included in Part I of the present volume is his analysis of the political, social, economic, and cultural forces which determined the character of the Byzantine Empire in the eleventh and subsequent centuries. Moreover his paper on the Constantinopolitan guilds breaks new ground and lays the basis for a true understanding of the economic structure of Byzantium. Historians of economics will profit greatly also from his essays on the great landed estates, the continuity between the urban centers of antiquity and Byzantium, money economy, and mining.


Vryonis’ papers in Part II discuss illuminatingly the influence of Byzantine forms and institutions not only upon Islamic society in general but also upon the popular culture of the Ottomans even after the Turks had completed their conquest of Asia Minor and Islamized its inhabitants.


The materials included in Part II thus prepare the way for Vryonis’ monumental forthcoming book, in which he examines tile process by which Asia Minor was Islamized.








I should like here to acknowledge the kindness of several journals and institutions which granted permission for the reproduction of my studies in this volume. These include: University of California Press; Duke University Press and the editor of Greek Roman and Byzantine Studies; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and its Publication Committee; Comité National Grec des Etudes du Sud-Est Européen; The editors of Byzantion, Speculum, Byzantina, Zbornik Radova Vizantoloshkog lnstituta, East Eupopean Quarterly, Der Islam, Balkan Studies, Byzantinische Zeitschrift.





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