Negotiating Co-Existence

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Barbara Crostini, Sergio La Porta (Eds.)

Negotiating Co-Existence: Communities, Cultures and Convivencia in Byzantine Society

ISBN 978-3-86821-504-5, 300 S., kt., € 34,50 (2013)

(BAC - Bochumer Altertumswissenschaftliches Colloquium, Bd. 96)

Straddling Europe and Asia, the Byzantine Empire encompassed dozens of peoples and cultures. The essays in this volume, selected from a European Science Foundation Exploratory Workshop held at Trinity College Dublin in October 2010, apply the controversial concept of convivencia, borrowed from Iberian studies, to the traditional structure of the Byzantine Commonwealth. Their overall purpose is to challenge dominant perceptions defining the identity of and interaction among the cultures of the Byzantine Empire.

B. Crostini: Introduction: Exploring Byzantine Convivencia
D. Woods: Maslama and the Alleged Construction of the First Mosque in Constantinople c. 718
R.F. Glei: John Damascene on Islam: a Long-Term History in Byzantium
N. Koutrakou: Language and Dynamics of Communication in Byzantium: the 'Image' of the Arabs in Hagiographical Sources
A. D’Ottone: Manuscripts as Mirrors of a Multilingual and Multicultural Society: the Case of the Damascus Find
M. Fincati: Tò ioudaikón: Greek Bible and Hebraica Veritas among Byzantine Christians and Jews
A.K. Vionis: 'Reading' Art and Material Culture: Greeks, Slavs and Arabs in the Byzantine Aegean
I. Toral-Niehoff: Constantine's Baptism Legend: a 'Wandering' Story between Byzantium, Rome, the Syriac and the Arab World
F. Dell'Acqua: The Fall of the Idol on the Frame of the Genoa Mandylion: a Narrative on/of the Borders
Ch. Lee: The Tale of the Veronica in Paris, BnF fr. 1553: an Example of Translatio studii et imperii?
J. Holo: Both Byzantine and Jewish? The Extent and Limits of Jewish Integration in Middle Byzantine Society
A. Peters-Custot: Convivencia between Christians: the Greek and Latin communities of Byzantine South Italy (9th-11th centuries)
S. Neocleous: Greeks and Italians in Twelfth-Century Constantinople: Convivencia or Conflict?
S. La Porta: Re-Constructing Armenia: Strategies of Co-Existence amongst Christians and Muslims in the Thirteenth Century

Buchvorschau / Inhaltsverzeichnis (pdf)


"The volume includes articles that challenge several long-held opinions on a number of topics. In this regard, the in-depth analysis of the sources on the first mosque in Constantinople, including reflections on their historical reliability versus legendary elements (by D. Woods), is sure to stimulate further new discussion on the whole complex of issues raised there. J. Holo provides an excellent theoretical synthesis on the complexities and multiple levels of Jewish identity construction in the Byzantine Empire, highlighting the two basic concepts around which it coalesced - religious and ethnic - as well as Jewish claims to represent a much more ancient strain of 'Roman' identity than the dominant Christian culture could assert for itself. S. La Porta's 're-constructing' of the social realities of Christian-Muslim interactions between the Seljūq and Mongol periods of Armenian history challenges long-standing convictions about inter-religious boundaries and their permeability, providinga new basis for further research in the field. A. D'Ottone's overview of multi-lingual and multi-religious material preserved in the Umayyad Great Mosque will invariably alert scholars and stimulate studies into this rich but barely explored resource."

Zaroui Pogossian, Medieval Encounters 21 (2015)