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Transformations of City and Countryside in the Byzantine Period
The concept of »transformation« or simply »reshaping« contains the elements of what remains, the conservative, the kernel of what continues, as well as the elements of what changes, the innovative. In the framework of this publication of articles from a conference in 2016 on »Transformations of City and Countryside in the Byzantine Period«, we draw attention to this dichotomy and investigate the social dynamics behind changes in urban and rural life in the Byzantine period that can be detected by archaeology, history and art history.
The Byzantine Empire is an ideal subject for studying how social transformation proceeds, what triggers transformation, what factors underlie it and what the processes involved are. Who were the agents of transformation and how did they and their environment change? How flexible were the state or its citizens in handling external and internal pressures of innovation? In what manner and to what extent were the Byzantines able to preserve their identity and the internal cohesion of their empire in the course of these processes of adaptation?