Negotiating Power and Identities
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Salzmann, Miriam Rachel: Negotiating Power and Identities: Latin, Greek and Syrian Élites in Fifteenth-Century Cyprus, Heidelberg: Propylaeum, 2021 (Byzanz zwischen Orient und Okzident, Vol. 25).

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License 4.0
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Creative Commons License BY-SA 4.0

ISBN 978-3-96929-087-3 (PDF)

Published 07.12.2021.


Miriam Rachel Salzmann

Negotiating Power and Identities

Latin, Greek and Syrian Élites in Fifteenth-Century Cyprus

Byzanz zwischen Orient und Okzident

This study traces the development of Latin, Greek and Oriental Christian aristocratic groups and their interaction in fifteenth-century Cyprus. Since 1192, the island was under the rule of the Lusignan Crusader dynasty, which had introduced a nobility of Crusader families. However, due to various moments of political crisis from the end of the fourteenth century on, autochthonous Greeks and Oriental Christians (so-called Syrians) rose high in the state administration and challenged the power balance. This study explores their social mobility as well as the fate of the noble Crusaders who had to contend with the newcomers, and the consequences for the relationship between these groups. Moreover, it asks how the aristocrats constructed their identities with respect to social standing, ethnicity and religion. This analysis of the interplay between social change and identity construction permits a new, broad perspective on the Cypriot aristocracies during the fifteenth century.

Methods and Sources
Chapter 1 – Latins, Greeks and Syrians: the Élites of Fifteenth-Century Cyprus
Chapter 2 – Noble Knights and Aspiring Secretaries: Social Profiles and Demographic Developments among Fifteenth-Century Cypriot Élites
Chapter 3 – Trying to Marry Up: Contacts and Integration between Latins, Greeks and Syrians
Chapter 4 – Climbing the High End of the Ladder: the Ascension of Syrians and Greeks into the Power Élite
Chapter 5 – A Matter of Style: Social and Ethnic Identity Construction among Nobles and Homines Novi
Chapter 6 – Choosing the Right Church: Religious Identity Construction as a Social Statement
General Index
Index of Persons
Sigles Used