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A. Volkoff The Byzantine aristocracy as an  object of scientific research  (historiographical notes)

Published in journal "History magazine: researches", 2013-6 in rubric "HISTORIOGRAPHY AND SOURCE STUDIES", pages 493-500.

Resume: The article presents a description of the methodological developments in the study of Byzantine aristocracy, unfolding during the 20th century primarily during its second half. The author attempts to show how scientific interest in the ruling class of Byzantium helped to widen the existing source base and advanced the elaboration of these sources, which consequently deepened the perception of Byzantine aristocracy in particular, and of the Byzantine Empire in general. The article specifically reviews the role of the prosopographical approach and of other auxiliary historical disciplines (sigillography and numismatics) in the elucidation of historical information and in the creation of new methods of its analysis. The topic is discussed on the basis of a systematic review of the main scientific works that lead towards the formation of a separate research field in Byzantine historiography the history of the Byzantine aristocracy. The author highlights the main research stages in the study of Byzantine aristocracy and it is shown that the results of these researches significantly determined the development of such branches of Byzantinology as source criticism, socio-economic, military and political history, and others.

Keywords: history, the Byzantine Empire, society, aristocracy, Byzantinology, historiography, sources, prosopography, sigillography, numismatics.

DOI: 10.7256/2222-1972.2013.6.11480

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