Basil II and the Governance of Empire (976-1025)

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Oxford University Press, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 625 pages
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"Catherine Holmes considers the problems inherent in governing such a large, multi-ethnic empire, and the solutions that Basil adopted. She explains how the extant sources make unmasking the political realities of this period so difficult, and demonstrates that a convincing picture of Basil's reign only emerges when these sources are understood in their original contexts. Particular attention is paid to the impact that the Synopsis Historian of John Skylitzes, a little-studied text from the reign of Alexios Komnenos (1081-1118), has on our understanding of Basil. As the late eleventh-century context in which Skylitzes operated is exposed, so the political, military, and administrative history of Basil's reign is reconstructed. Basil's Byzantium is revealed as a state where the rhetoric of imperial authority became reality through the astute manipulation of force and persuasion."--page 4 of cover.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Basils Reign in Modern and Medieval Historical Literature
16
The Historians Career and Working Methods
66
Textual Analysis
120
Contexts
171
Historiography and the Skleros Manifesto
240
6 Administration and Imperial Authority on the Eastern Frontier
299
7 Administration and Imperial Authority on Byzantiums Western Frontiers
392
A Reconstruction
448
Coverage of Basils Reign in John Skylitzes Synopsis Historion
544
Translation of the Prooimion to John Skylitzes Synopsis Historion
548
Bibliography
551
Index
589
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About the author (2005)

Catherine Holmes is Tutor and Fellow in Medieval History, University College, University of Oxford.

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