Kinship and Justice in Byzantium, 11th–15th Centuries

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  • R.J. Macrides, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Series : Variorum Collected Studies Series: CS642
  • The articles in this volume deal with subjects which have received relatively little attention from students of the Byzantine empire. The studies are concerned with aspects of the law, both civil and canon, and with the kinship ties formed through godparenthood, adoption and marriage by the emperor and his subjects, the considerations which contributed to their creation and the significance of these ties for those who contracted them. The common theme linking the studies on kinship and justice is an interest in determining how the law worked. Using legal commentaries, notarial formulae, court case transcripts and literary sources, the author attempts to reveal contemporary practices in court procedure, in crime detection and punishment, in legal teaching and argumentation. The studies examine technical aspects of the law such as its promulgation and dissemination, and the interaction of civil and canon law, but also the wider influence of the law on literary culture.

  • Contents: The Byzantine godfather; Kinship by arrangement: the case of adoption; Substitute parents and their children in Byzantium; Dynastic marriages and political kinship; Dowry and inheritance in the late period: some cases from the Patriarchal register; Nomos and kanon on paper and in court; Perception of the past in the twelfth-century canonists; The competent court; Justice under Manuel I Komnenos: four novels on court business and murder; Killing, asylum and the law in Byzantium; Poetic justice in the Patriarchate: murder and cannibalism in the provinces; Bad historian or good lawyer? Demetrios Chomatenos and Novel 131; Index of Greek terms; Index.

  • Ruth Macrides has a profile page on the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, University of Birmingham website.