Urbanism in the Byzantine heartland and the coastal/ insular koine
This chapter will navigate through the many incarnations of Byzantine urbanism in three different geographical areas of the empire: Anatolia and Aegean (the two constitutive pillars of the Byzantine heartland) and the so-called insular/coastal koine. Each of these played a changing and diverse role in the political, administrative, fiscal, and military strategies of the empire, as well as betraying peculiar economies of scale. It will examine by proposing a brief historical and archaeological overview of a selection of urban centers in different geographical contexts. This should help the reader see through the various functional trajectories of the Byzantine city (sometimes contemporary, sometimes diachronic) from a comparative perspective. It allows to extrapolate the reality of Byzantine urbanism from the historiographical and terminological debate as presented by the literary sources.