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By Professor Warren Brown, Dr Marios Costambeys, Professor Matthew Innes, Professor Adam Kosto

Many extra records live to tell the tale from the early heart a while than from the Roman Empire. even though ecclesiastical documents may perhaps account for the dramatic raise within the variety of surviving files, this new research unearths the dimensions and unfold of documentary tradition past the Church. The members discover the character of the surviving documentation with out preconceptions to teach that we can't infer altering documentary practices from styles of survival. all through overdue Antiquity and the early heart a long time - from North Africa, Egypt, Italy, Francia and Spain to Anglo-Saxon England - humans in any respect social degrees, no matter if laity or clergy, landowners or tenants, farmers or royal functionaries, wanted, used and stored files. the tale of documentary tradition within the early medieval global emerges no longer as certainly one of its catch via the Church, yet particularly of a reaction followed by means of those that wanted files, as they reacted to a altering felony, social and institutional panorama.

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Thus, in the eleventh century, we see the retired general John Cecaumenos advising a young man, ‘When you are free and not busy with a commander’s duties, read books, both histories and church writings. ’63 There is no reason to suppose that middle Byzantine imperial government was any less reliant on the written word than was late antique imperial government. Nor is there any reason to suppose that middle Byzantine landowners made any less use of written instruments. 64 That so little documentary material survives is not the point.

Goffart, Barbarian Tides: The Migration Age and the Later Roman Empire (Philadelphia, 2006); J. Durliat, Les finances publiques de Diocl´etien aux Carolingiens (284– 889) (Sigmaringen, 1990). 26 Peter Sarris and inequality and by the urge to enforce or contest rights over property and person. 35 As a result, it should not surprise us that, just as archivalized documentation continued to be central to the workings of the late Roman state in the early Byzantine East, so, too, did it remain central to the operation and workings of society beyond the state, especially the concerns of landowners and those who interacted with them.

Ancient Archives, 344–59, at 344–5. G. Greatrex, ‘The Nika Riot: A Reappraisal’, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 117 (1997), 60–87, at 75. See Greatrex, ‘The Nika Riot’, for discussion and bibliography. 1:240). P. M. Sijpesteijn, ‘The Archival Mind in Early Islamic Egypt’, in Sijpesteijn et al. ), From al-Andalus to Khurasan: Documents from the Medieval Muslim World (Leiden, 2007), 163–86, at 165, referring to text no. 13 in F. Morelli, ‘Dalle prigioni dell’Arsinoite’, in H. Harrauer and R. ), Gedenkschrift Ulrike Horak (Florence, 2004), 185–95.

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