Rutger Kramer and Walter Pohl
Oxford Studies in Early Empires
"This book deals with how empires affect smaller communities such as ethnic groups, religious communities, and local or peripheral populations. It raises the question of how these different types of community were integrated into larger imperial edifices and in which contexts the dialectic between empires and particular communities caused disruption. How did religious discourses or practices reinforce (or subvert) imperial pretenses? How were constructions of identity affected? How were Egyptians accommodated under Islamic rule, Yemenis included in an Arab identity, Aquitanians integrated into the Carolingian Empire, Jews into the Fātimīd caliphate? Why did the dissolution of Western Rome and the Abbasid caliphate leave different types of polities in their wake? How was the Byzantine Empire preserved in the seventh century; how did the Franks construct theirs in the ninth? How did events in early medieval Rome and Constantinople promote social integration in both a local and a broader framework? Focusing on the post-Roman Mediterranean, the book deals with these questions from a comparative perspective. It considers political structures in the Latin West, Byzantium, and the early Islamic world in a period exceptionally well suited for studying the expansive and erosive dynamics of empires and their interaction with smaller communities. By never adhering to a single overall model and avoiding Western notions of empire, this volume combines individual approaches with collaborative perspectives. The chapters are in-depth studies written in full awareness of the other contributions; taken together, they constitute a major contribution to the advancement of comparative studies on premodern empires."
Keywords: Mediterranean history, medieval history, Roman Empire, Carolingian, Arabia, Byzantine history, Islamic history, Fātimīds, Ummayad, Byzantium
Print publication date: 2021
Print ISBN-13: 9780190067946
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2022