Serving Byzantium's Emperors: The Courtly Life and Career of Michael Attaleiates (New Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture)
This book is a microhistory of eleventh-century Byzantium, builtaround the biography of the state official Michael Attaleiates.Dimitris Krallis presents Byzantium as a cohesive, ever-evolving,dynamic, Roman political community, built on traditions of Romangovernance and Hellenic culture. In the eleventh century, Byzantiumfaced a crisis as it navigated a shifting international environmentof feudal polities, merchant republics, steppe migrations, and arapidly transforming Islamic world. Attaleiates' life, fromprovincial birth to Constantinopolitan death, and career, as amember of an ancient empire's officialdom, raise questions ofidentity, family, education, governance, elite culture, Romanness,Hellenism, science and skepticism, as well as political ideologyduring this period. The life and work of Attaleiates is used as aprism through which to examine important questions about along-lived medieval polity that is usually studied as exotic anddistinct from both the European and the Near Eastern historicalexperience.