Rural Lives and Landscapes in Late Byzantium: Art, Archaeology, and Ethnography

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 15, 2015 - Social Science
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This is the first book to examine the late Byzantine peasantry through written, archaeological, ethnographic and painted sources. Investigations of the infrastructure and setting of the medieval village guide the reader into the consideration of specific populations. The village becomes a micro-society, with its own social and economic hierarchies. In addition to studying agricultural workers, mothers and priests, lesser-known individuals, such as the miller and witch, are revealed through written and painted sources. Placed at the center of a new scholarly landscape, the study of the medieval villager engages a broad spectrum of theorists, including economic historians creating predictive models for agrarian economies, ethnoarchaeologists addressing historical continuities and disjunctions, and scholars examining power and female agency.

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List of Illustrations
Dedicatory inscription of 1462 church of St John the Hermit
The Landscape of the Village
Chrysobull of 1319 south wall of the southwest chamber
Plan Panakton Attica
Density of ceramic fragments found in surface survey
Plan of medieval settlement Veloukovo medieval Loidoriki
Communication and the Village Church
The Village Woman
Village Men Village Labor
In the Service of the Church
The Body and the Soul

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About the author (2015)

Sharon E. J. Gerstel is Professor of Byzantine Art and Archaeology in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has authored and edited books including Beholding the Sacred Mysteries: Programs of the Byzantine Sanctuary (1999), A Lost Art Rediscovered: The Architectural Ceramics of Byzantium (2001), Thresholds of the Sacred: Architectural, Art Historical, Liturgical, and Theological Perspectives on Religious Screens, East and West (2007), Approaching the Holy Mountain: Art and Liturgy at St Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai (2010), and Viewing the Morea: Land and People in the Late Medieval Peloponnese (2013).

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