KUSHCH T.V. The Fate of the Lost Lands as Viewed by Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2018.5.13 

Tatiana V. Kushch

Doctor of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Head of Department of Ancient and Medieval History,

Ural Federal University,

Prosp. Lenina, 51, 620000 Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9097-5466 


Abstract. Introduction. In the Late Byzantine Period, the predominant trend was the reduction of possessions of the emperors of the Palaiologoi dynasty. The main reason of the Empire’s territorial decay was the Ottoman conquests.

Methods. The methods of historical-anthropological and imagological research allow us to trace the value of ideological constructions that formed the notions of the place of the Romaioi state in the Oikoumene under the conditions of territorial reduction in the current Byzantine mind, and the degree of historical realities’ influence on the Romaioi’s perception of their own space.

Analysis. The author of this paper has put the following questions: how did the Byzantines perceive their territorial losses? how did the view the lost lands? how did they understand the fate of the people that found themselves under the conquerors? Searching for answers to these questions, the author uses the history of Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos’ visit to the lands of Anatolia. As sultan’s vassal, in 1390-1391 Manuel II participated in the Ottoman raids to Asia Minor. This paper analyses the description of the lost territories in the Manuel II’s letters.

Results. In the view of Manuel II, the barbarian conquest of Byzantine possessions started their “decivilization”: the destruction of urban and rural settlements, depopulation, changes of the ethnic structure, decline of the living standards, neglecting Greek culture and language, and the erasing of the Romaion past. The fate of the lands conquered by the Ottomans was viewed as sorrowful, especially in comparison with their former flourishing and prosperity under the Romaioi. The disappearance of Greek place-names in the Asia Minor and the destruction on the Greek world order were the mostly visible results of the loss of Romaion control over these territories. Although barbaric names of former lands and ruined traces of the Byzantine presence changed the civilization landscape of the periphery of the former Romaion orbis terrarum, they did not expelled them from the “imagined” Greek world.

Key words: Late Byzantium, Ottoman conquests, Manuel II Palaiologos, loss of lands, fate of the conquered population.

Citation. Kushch T.V. The Fate of the Lost Lands as Viewed by Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2018, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 147-156. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2018.5.13

Лицензия Creative Commons

The Fate of the Lost Lands as Viewed by Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos by Kushch T.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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