The Making of the Slavs: History and Archaeology of the Lower Danube Region, c. 500-700

The Making of the Slavs: History and Archaeology of the Lower Danube Region, c. 500-700

Hardback Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life & Thought; Fourth

By (author) Florin Curta, Series edited by Rosamond McKitterick, Series edited by Christine Carpenter, Series edited by Jonathan Shepard

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  • Format: Hardback | 496 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 235mm x 31mm | 1,016g
  • Publication date: 28 January 2006
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521802024
  • ISBN 13: 9780521802024
  • Illustrations note: 10 tables

Product description

This book offers an alternative approach to the problem of Slavic ethnicity in south-eastern Europe between c. 500 and c. 700, from the perspective of current anthropological theories. The conceptual emphasis here is on the relation between material culture and ethnicity. The author demonstrates that the history of the Sclavenes and the Antes begins only at around 500 AD. He also points to the significance of the archaeological evidence, which suggests that specific artefacts may have been used as identity markers. This evidence also indicates the role of local leaders in building group boundaries and in leading successful raids across the Danube. Because of these military and political developments, Byzantine authors began employing names such as Sclavines and Antes in order to make sense of the process of group identification that was taking place north of the Danube frontier. Slavic ethnicity is therefore shown to be a Byzantine invention.

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Review quote

"The book is notable for the emphasis on the study of the material culture as evidence of cultural process...the novel and thorough approach of the book has a great deal to offer the scholar interested in many aspects of the history and historiography of early Medieval eastern and southeastern Europe and the study of past ethnicities." Slavic Review "...the author offers quite a coherent and convincing approach...not only intriguing, but quite inspiring...this new study of early Slavic history is a particularly successful attempt to open new perspectives for dealing with the important challenges of history." Comitatus "...brilliant...this book is a significant contribution to medieval history and an outstanding achievement in Slavic studies." Journal of Interdisciplinary History "The hypothesis that Curta advances is extremely neat..." International History Review

Table of contents

List of figures; List of tables; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Slavic ethnicity and the ethnie of the Slavs: concepts and approaches; 2. Sources for the history of the early Slavs (c. 500-700); 3. The Slavs in early medieval sources (c. 500-700); 4. The Balkans and the Danube limes during the sixth and seventh centuries; 5. Barbarians on the sixth-century Danube frontier: an archaeological survey; 6. Elites and group identity north of the Danube frontier: the archaeological evidence; 7. 'Kings' and 'democracy': power in early Slavic society; Conclusion: the making of the Slavs; Appendices; References; Index.