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the other.
Thus, there is a viable model for analysis of pre-modern societies in the
theory of ethnicity which emphasises (±) subjective self-ascription within
the context of a group, () perceptible criteria by which membership of a
group may be expressed or de¬ned and () the impetus to ethnic group
formation provided by the awareness of difference from other groups and
particularly the need to maintain a border against other groups perceived
as a threat to one™s own group™s survival or prosperity.
This model has hitherto been applied most comprehensively to the
so-called barbarian kingdoms which came to power in western Europe
at the end of the Roman period. In the analysis of the presentation of
difference in the texts of these kingdoms and the historians who recorded
them, a picture has been gained of negotiable boundaries and mixed self-
ascription in the western Roman provinces that has revolutionised the
previously prevailing images of barbarian invasions.° The later medieval
history of Europe has also begun to receive attention, with the renewal


° Goffart ±° and ±; Pohl ±·; Pohl and Reimitz ±; Wood ±; Amory ±·.
±
Ethnic identity?
in the ±°s of ethnic con¬‚icts in eastern Europe proving a catalyst for
the re-examination of the proclaimed medieval roots of modern ethnic
nations.± Greece has also attracted speci¬c attention. Michael Herzfeld™s
Ours Once More explores the construction of the modern Greek identity,
while Jonathan Hall has analysed the classical nexus of identities in his
Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity and Hellenicity; Simon Goldhill and
others have meanwhile looked at the experience of being Greek under the
Romans.
There is, moreover, a growing interest in this area within Byzantine stud-
ies. The collection by H´l`ne Ahrweiler and Angeliki Laiou, Studies on the
ee
Internal Diaspora of the Byzantine Empire, provides valuable insights into
´
˜the other™ within the Byzantine world, while the volume Etudes Balka-
ˆ
niques 6, Byzance et l™hell´nisme: l™identit´ grecque au Moyen-Age contains
e e
useful material alongside highly traditional nationalistic interpretations of
the Frankish period by Spyros Vryonis and Chryssa Maltezou; however,
neither of these collections takes real account of the implications of ethnic-
ity theory. The nineteenth International Symposium of Byzantine Studies
took identity in Byzantium as one of its central themes, and the proceed-
ings included an as yet rare application of sociological theory to Byzantine
studies in Dion Smythe™s paper on labelling theory. Again, Anthony East-
mond™s Art and Identity in Thirteenth Century Byzantium: Hagia Sophia
and the Empire of Trebizond considered alternative Byzantine Roman iden-
tities on the fringes of their world and divorced from the elite written
records to provide a fresher approach. Overall, however, Byzantinist
approaches to identity remain ¬xed in the older model of rigid ethnic
division. This study, in contrast, will consider ethnicity in the Frank-
ish period from the starting point of the model of negotiable ethnic
boundaries.

method: the historians
Ethnicity then, following Barth, is encapsulated in the relationship between
the subject ethnic group and the other group or groups it sees as different;
ethnicity is not something that can be engendered, perceived or expressed
without the existence of contrasting groups, though it will be perceived and


± Geary °°; also Forde, Johnson and Murray ±µ; Smyth ±.
 Herzfeld ±; Hall ±· and °°; Goldhill °°± and °°: especially °“±°·.
 Ahrweiler and Laiou ±; Etudes Balkaniques  ±.
´
 Smythe ±; Eastmond °°; also McKee °°° and Harris ±µ.
 Being Byzantine: Greek identity before the Ottomans
expressed by a focus on a variety of cultural factors that promote an intro-
spective, ethnocentric, perspective. It is thus true that ethnicity becomes
more apparent, in the form of cultural expression, when the subject group
is perceived to be under threat. When the relationship between ethnic
groups undergoes or threatens to undergo material qualitative change, this
impinges on a group™s sense of ethnicity.
By any standard, the events of ±° constituted qualitative change in the
relationship between the Byzantine Romans and their western neighbours.
The coming of the Franks as rulers into the territory of the Byzantine
Roman empire must, then, have stimulated some change in the con-
sciousness of identity among the Byzantine Romans. So how can we gain
access to the minds of the Romans, in order to analyse and assess this
change?
The evidence available to us is primarily documentary, with a surpris-
ingly large and varied number of extant texts in Greek from this period.
The content of a selected group of these texts, and more particularly the
occurrence and frequency in them of signi¬cant items of vocabulary (˜key
content items™), will be analysed with the aim of assessing the hypotheses
with which we began.µ It must be assumed that there is an analysable
relationship between what someone says and what they are thinking, con-
sciously or unconsciously, and thus the method can provide a window into
the thought patterns and attitudes of the writers of the past. Here we may
see expression given to the group identities experienced by the writer, and
those which the group wished to project.
Taking into account the importance of self-ascription in ethnic aware-
ness, ethnonyms like <Rwma±ov (Rhomaios: Roman), Graik»v (Graikos:
Greek), and í Ellhn (Hellen: Hellene) will be a particularly important
group among the key content items. Attention will also be paid to the
usage of the terminology of groups “ g”nov (genos), ›{nov (ethnos) and
their cognates “ and similarly to the usage over the period of b†rbarov
(barbaros: barbarian) and other terms indicating the foreign as well as the
application of other ethnic signi¬ers “ Lat±nov (Latinos: Latin), Fr†gkov
(Fragkos: Frank) etc.
All these key content items are considered in depth in Chapter , in
preparation for the analysis of their use in the texts of the Frankish period.
More generally at this stage, we can say that the application of the key
content items is important in showing in what the identity inheres “
language, land, customs and so on “ and particular attention will be given
to those markers which are typically seen as indicative of group ethnic

µ 
Berelson ±µ; also Krippendorf ±°; Smith ±. Barth ±: .

Ethnic identity?
identity, whether in its formation, maintenance or dissolution. Are there,
for example, speci¬c mentions of ethnically typical styles of appearance?
Yes: in the fourteenth century, the historian Gregoras makes a single passing
reference to a ˜shaven beard™ as being typically Latin as opposed to Roman;
we will similarly come across references to contrasting ethnic law codes and
churches, and to ethnically determined linguistic competence. However,
bearing in mind the more recent consensus on the ¬‚uidity of ethnic identity,
it will be important to see whether many of these supposed boundary
markers were actually honoured more in the breach than the observance.
Were languages shared, did personal names cross the supposed ethnic
divides; is there evidence of intermarriage? Furthermore, it is plain that
there were other identities at work, not least social status, and these could
outweigh ethnicity in in¬‚uence: it will not be assumed that ethnicity was
the key motivating factor in interactions between the Byzantine Romans
and westerners.
In relation to the use of key content items, a quantitative approach will
be employed whereby it may prove possible to access the less considered
opinions of our writers. To assess any given statement as unconsidered is
a problematic business; the temptation is to see any ˜rogue™ statement “
that is, anything remarkably at odds with a writer™s perceived norm “ as
the unconscious speaking and so, somehow, as more valid and interesting.
This is an easy and appealing option, and not necessarily always the wrong
one. The problem remains that we can never be sure if we are assessing
these statements correctly; we must look for patterns that seem internally
coherent and consistent with the general, external, trends and sequences.
An example of a rogue statement may clarify the issue. The thirteenth-
century historian George Akropolites at one point uses the word ˜Romans™
to describe Peloponnesian forces ¬ghting on the side of the Frankish princes
of Achaia, against his own people of Nikaia. This is a rogue statement
in that Akropolites is generally very careful in his restriction of the term
˜Romans™ to those loyal to Nikaia, withholding the terminology from those
actively opposed to Nikaia. Furthermore, such restriction of the term to the
Byzantine Roman political context is typical of historical writing within
the empire. It will be argued that this usage is revelatory of an ethnic sense
of being Roman, beyond the more restricted political sense, and that it
was prompted either consciously or unconsciously by Akropolites™ need
to distinguish these people from the Franks they served politically. Thus,
following Kazhdan and Constable, ˜sources can also be asked questions
that their creators never intended to be asked™.·

· Kazhdan and Constable ±: ±, and more generally ±“·µ.
 Being Byzantine: Greek identity before the Ottomans
This study, then, considers a selection of texts in Greek from the period
±°°“±±° with the aim of analysing the effect of the Frankish conquest
and occupation on the Byzantine Romans™ sense of their own identity.
The range of texts available for the period is huge, including lengthy
formal histories, collections of letters, speeches, stories in verse and prose,
religious tracts and shorter poems but, as the emphasis here is on the
impact of Frankish rule, the decision has been taken to focus on works of
history (with the addition of one explicitly oratorical work with a strong
historical focus), since the histories deal most closely with the detail of
the arrival and settlement of the Franks. Moreover, as can be seen in the
case of Paparrigopoulos and the modern Greek historians in the nationalist
tradition, it is clear that historians can play an important role in shaping
group identities since they deal with the past, the source of tradition and
validation for the group™s special nature. For their audiences, historians can
provide an expression of a sense of group identity, by locating it securely in
the past; at the same time, historians can be especially useful in revealing
group identity by the ways in which they tackle the stories they have to
tell.
There is an apparent problem in using formal works by elite Byzantine
Roman writers, and that is the arti¬cial style of writing that incorporated
not only a simulation of classical Greek that would have been incomprehen-
sible to the majority of contemporary Greek speakers, but also a mimicking
of classical styles such that, for example, contemporary peoples were named
with appropriate classical ethnonyms. Thus western crusaders might be
called ˜Celts™, Turkish opponents could be called ˜Persians™ . . . This par-
ticular kind of homage to the classics could be taken to denote that the
Byzantine Romans were not only obsessed with the classical Greek past but
identi¬ed with the ancient Greeks in some ethnic sense. This appeal to a
linguistic tradition will need particular attention, but it will be important
to get a grasp of its contemporary signi¬cance, and to see to what extent
the ancient Greek past appears as an ethnic criterion outside the linguistic
sphere.
A focus on works of history also permits a direct contrast between
writings from different ends of the social spectrum in the period. Studies
hitherto have placed overmuch emphasis on the writings of elite Byzantine
Romans as basically typical of the outlook of the Greeks of this period. This
is of course not surprising, but it is an imbalance this study aims to redress.


 Mango ±·µ; Mullett and Scott ±±.
µ
Ethnic identity?
Through placing equal weight on a vernacular work by a writer of far lesser
social standing, a comparison will be made between the focus of the elite
and, at least, the existence of other viewpoints. It may well prove necessary
to deny any meaningful ethnic solidarity across geographical and social
divisions; pre-modern societies lacked the means of mass mobilisation and
indoctrination that have facilitated modern ethnic nationalism, and we
may need to employ different models of ethnicity for the different social
levels of our period. Thus the investigation is looking for variation in
ethnicity over both a temporal period and a geographical area, as well as
within the social hierarchies.
The ¬rst group of texts comprises formal historical works written by
highly educated members of the Byzantine Roman elite: Niketas Choni-
ates, George Akropolites, George Pachymeres, Nikephoros Gregoras and
John VI Kantakouzenos; to this collection of histories can be added a
lengthy oratorical work with a strong historical focus, written by the
emperor Manuel II Palaiologos. Here we have a group composed of two
emperors and four senior civil servants, and such writers shared three key
characteristics. Firstly, they were highly educated, and this is re¬‚ected in
their style and modes of expression. Secondly, they were all concerned in
affairs of state and are likely to have had an agenda to defend or pro-
mote. Thirdly, they are writing for an audience like themselves: educated,
privileged and politically active. These writers will be treated as generally
self-aware; moreover, while not thinking of ethnicity in the same terms as
twenty-¬rst century academics, they were aware of some formal taxonomy
of ethnic difference inherited from their predecessors; they were also aware
of inter-group negotiation and interaction on the practical political stage.
From these works, we shall get an impression of the changing ideologies
of the Byzantine Romans under the impact of the Frankish conquest as
viewed and formulated at the heart of Roman power.
Set against this group of works by the privileged elite is the Greek
Chronicle of the Morea, a very different kind of work. Written in something
approaching the vernacular and originating in the Frankish-ruled Pelo-
ponnese very far from the ideological in¬‚uence of Constantinople, this
work will provide the starting point for a closer examination of the actual
experience of living under the Franks. The examination will additionally
move beyond the textual focus of the analysis of the literature outlined
above to place the results of that analysis within the context of develop-
ments in the Peloponnese between ±°° and c.±°. By an examination,

 Smith ±: “±; Armstrong ±: °±“.
 Being Byzantine: Greek identity before the Ottomans
as far as possible, of the day-to-day dealings between ruling Franks and
local Romans, a picture will be drawn of the actuality of ethnic identities
and inter-ethnic relations as well as developments in ethnic identity among
the people of the Peloponnese over the course of two centuries. This is a
long enough period to allow us to make some assessment of the long-term
impact of Frankish rule “ what effects it had on local ethnicity and how
critical it was in comparison with other factors “ making this localised
study in depth an ˜acid test™ of actual, practical responses, set against the
traditional ideologies of the Byzantine Roman elite.° The other evidence
utilised to build up the many-sided picture of the Peloponnese under the
Franks includes archaeology, architecture and art history, alongside history
and archival material in other languages.
Furthermore, the vernacular romances of the period will be given some
attention, since there is so little in the vernacular compared to the vast
amounts of surviving work by high-status writers in their educated classi-
cising Greek. Finally, there is also the Journey into Hades by Mazaris; this
satirical work from the early ¬fteenth century uses something of a middle
register in Greek and, dealing as it does once more with the Peloponnese,
stands usefully alongside both the Chronicle of the Morea and Manuel II
Palaiologos™ Funeral Oration on his brother Theodore, despot of Mistra in
the Peloponnese.

° Heather ±: ±±°“±±.
chapter 2

Byzantine identities




This chapter has two objectives. Firstly, by providing a portrait of Byzantine
Roman identities in the years leading up to the Fourth Crusade, it aims to
set the scene for the investigation of Roman identities during the Frankish
period. How did the Byzantine Romans view their state at the end of

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