The last century of roman power (c. 500 to c. 620): army, church, and countryside

Florin Curta and Siu-lun Wong

in The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, c. 500 to 1050

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780748638093
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670741 | DOI:
The last century of roman power (c. 500 to c. 620): army, church, and countryside

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Until the late sixth century, the territory of present-day Greece suffered only occasionally from barbarian attacks. Unlike the central and northern regions of the Balkans, there were fewer regular troops and fewer fortifications erected during the Justinianic era, the only major exception being the large fort at Isthmia. By contrast, there were many basilicas built in Greece and the study of the marble capitals recuperated from their ruins shows a complicated network of artistic relations linking ecclesiastical centers in Greece to Constantinople. By contrast, little is known about rural settlements, but the recent discovery of a farm at Pyrgouthi shed new light on the dispersed settlement pattern in Late Antiquity. The longer resilience of the agricultural economy in Greece (as opposed to the rest of the Balkans), and the inclusion of the Greek lands in the larger network of exchange across the Mediterranean explains the relative prosperity of the region and the vitality of the urban life.

Keywords: Procopius of Caesarea; Cutrigurs; Slavs; forts; burial chamber; basilica; wine press

Chapter.  13968 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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