Next Article in Journal
Gender, Language and a Lipstick: Creating Cultural Change in a World of Paradoxes
Next Article in Special Issue
Recognizing the Delians Displaced after 167/6 BCE
Previous Article in Journal
Crank up the Feminism: Poetic Inquiry as Feminist Methodology
Previous Article in Special Issue
Citizenship as Barrier and Opportunity for Ancient Greek and Modern Refugees
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030086

It’s in the Water: Byzantine Borderlands and the Village War

Department of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
Received: 6 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [275 KB, uploaded 27 August 2018]

Abstract

This essay examines Byzantine military manuals created between the sixth to the tenth centuries for what they can reveal about Byzantine imperial attitudes toward the landscapes of war and those who inhabit them. Of foremost concern in these sources is the maintenance of ‘security’ (Greek: asphaleia) by commanders with the necessary quality of ‘experience’ (Greek: peira). Experience meant knowing how to best exploit the land, including the villages under Byzantine authority, in the prosecution of war. Exploitation in the name of security involved destroying villages, using villages and their inhabitants in ambushes, poisoning and seizing crops, evacuating villages, and using villages for the billeting of, at times undisciplined, soldiers. Villages were thus central to a Byzantine military strategy that is identified here as the ‘village war,’ a strategy that is analogous to security strategies evident in more recent conflicts. Through the juxtaposition of premodern and modern modalities of war, this essay intends to be a pointed reminder that the village war has deep roots in imperialist thought, and that the consequences of the village war profoundly reshape the lives of those caught up in its midst, particularly the peasantry. View Full-Text
Keywords: borderland; Byzantine empire; experience; Goths; imperialism; Islamic State; peasant; Pseudo-Joshua the Stylite; rural; security; Theophanes the Confessor; village; warfare borderland; Byzantine empire; experience; Goths; imperialism; Islamic State; peasant; Pseudo-Joshua the Stylite; rural; security; Theophanes the Confessor; village; warfare
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Moralee, J. It’s in the Water: Byzantine Borderlands and the Village War. Humanities 2018, 7, 86.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Humanities EISSN 2076-0787 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top