The historiography of Byzantine city: interpretations, methodology, and sources
This chapter will be divided into two parts. The first one will try to propose a more nuanced and complex approach, as paired with its archaeological penchant to the traditional historiographical juxtaposition continuity vs. discontinuity which has been the unavailable starting point in any discourse on the Byzantine city. It will propose a more Mediterranean-based approach to the trajectories of Byzantine urbanism encompassing the fragmentation of the Great Sea post-Late Antiquity and reaching out to the eleventh and twelfth-century when Byzantine cities were deeply embedded in a flourishing Mediterranean economy. The second part will move from another supposed juxtaposition (polis vs. kastron) to examine the historiographical debate concerning the fate of urbanism in the period spanning between the Late Antiquity and the Fourth Crusade. It will also present the reader with the main methodological issues concerning material and literary sources essential to analyze regional trajectories of urban city-life and cityscape.