By Catherine Holmes

This can be the 1st book-length learn in English of the Byzantine emperor Basil II, the "Bulgar-slayer." Basil presided over a Byzantium which was once the superpower of the jap Mediterranean and the center East within the century ahead of the Crusades. Catherine Holmes peels away the layers of later interpretations to bare an empire that was once ruled by means of a effective mix of refined persuasion and brute strength.

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Extra info for Basil II and the Governance of Empire (976-1025) (Oxford Studies in Byzantium)

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Pertz, MGH ss 5 (Hanover, 1844), 51–63. 2 for the use of these texts in reconstructing the southern Italian experience. There is a third version of the text, the Anonymi Barensis Chronicon; however, the manuscript of this version is now lost: see V. ), Byzantium in the Year 1000, 138 n. 14. 50 Basil’s Reign in Historical Literature 43 useful information about the fate of Byzantine oYcials dispatched from Constantinople to Apulia and Calabria, the two regions of southern Italy under direct Byzantine authority in Basil’s reign.

Exhaustive analysis of an evidence-base which includes lead seals and medieval historical narratives has enabled Cheynet to develop many new ways of thinking about the resources and motivations of diVerent political individuals and groups, the development of the administrative structures, and the evolution of the relationship between public and private power within Byzantium over a three-hundred H. Ahrweiler, ‘Recherches sur la socie´te´ byzantine au XIe sie`cle: Nouvelles hie´rarchies et nouvelles solidarite´s’, TM 6 (1976), 99–124; and in the same volume, N.

70 Schlumberger, L’E´pope´e byzantine, i. 586–7; S. Runciman, History of the First Bulgarian Empire (London, 1930), 269–70. It should be noted, however, that other historians have been less wary about the relatively insubstantial nature of Yahya and Stephen’s Bulgarian testimony, and have used these historians to support their own hypotheses about the prosopography and chronology of the Balkan conXict between Basil and Samuel: Adontz, ‘Samuel l’arme´nien’, 347–407. More caution about the potential of the Balkan evidence contained in eastern sources has been exhibited by Whittow, Making of Orthodox Byzantium, 389, 423.

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