HIS 542 / HLS 542 / MED 542

Problems in Byzantine History: The De thematibus: Texts and Historical Geography in 10th-c Byzantium

John Frederick Haldon

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The De thematibus, a mid-tenth-century historical-geographical gazeteer of the eastern Roman/Byzantine empire ascribed to the emperor Constantine VII, remains a somewhat under-investigated text both in terms of language, its historical and geographical information, and its structure. In this seminar we commence a complete translation of this important text into English and a detailed section by section commentary. We compare Byzantine geographical writings with that of contemporary Arab writers and discuss the sources and the historical and cultural-historical importance of the genre and the texts individually.

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