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Rural Lives and Landscapes in Late Byzantium
Art, Archaeology, and Ethnography


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  • Date Published: September 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521851596

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About the Authors
  • This is the first book to examine the late Byzantine peasantry through written, archaeological, ethnographic and painted sources. Investigations of the infrastructure and setting of the medieval village guide the reader into the consideration of specific populations. The village becomes a micro-society, with its own social and economic hierarchies. In addition to studying agricultural workers, mothers and priests, lesser-known individuals, such as the miller and witch, are revealed through written and painted sources. Placed at the center of a new scholarly landscape, the study of the medieval villager engages a broad spectrum of theorists, including economic historians creating predictive models for agrarian economies, ethnoarchaeologists addressing historical continuities and disjunctions, and scholars examining power and female agency.

    • Discusses a number of unpublished sites and includes new information on previously published sites
    • Straddles the fields of history, art history and archaeology
    • Richly illustrated, with 127 images (90 of which are in color)
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    • Winner, 2017 Maria Theocharis Prize, Christian Archaeological Society, Greece

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521851596
    • length: 234 pages
    • dimensions: 289 x 220 x 16 mm
    • weight: 1kg
    • contains: 34 b/w illus. 90 colour illus. 3 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The landscape of the village
    2. Communication and the village church
    3. The village woman
    4. Village men, village labor
    5. In the service of the church
    6. The body and the soul.

  • Author

    Sharon E. J. Gerstel, University of California, Los Angeles
    Sharon E. J. Gerstel is Professor of Byzantine Art and Archaeology in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has authored and edited books including Beholding the Sacred Mysteries: Programs of the Byzantine Sanctuary (1999), A Lost Art Rediscovered: The Architectural Ceramics of Byzantium (2001), Thresholds of the Sacred: Architectural, Art Historical, Liturgical, and Theological Perspectives on Religious Screens, East and West (2007), Approaching the Holy Mountain: Art and Liturgy at St Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai (2010), and Viewing the Morea: Land and People in the Late Medieval Peloponnese (2013).


    • Winner, 2017 Maria Theocharis Prize, Christian Archaeological Society, Greece
    • Winner of the 2016 Runciman Award, Anglo-Hellenic League
    • Winner, 2016 ICMA Book Prize, International Center of Medieval Art

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