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