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by Archaeology Newsroom

The late Byzantine town

This article concentrates on the Late Byzantine town. Here, the position of towns in the administrative system of the Byzantine Empire is examined, as well as the privileges some of them enjoyed, in context of the gradual weakening of the central power and the establishment of the landed aristocracy as the leading social class. The social stratification of the urban population in this period is also examined, and emphasis is given to the role and function of the “middle” classes, active in trade and entrepreneurial activities. The forementioned aspects are the context within which the organization of social life in towns of the time is studied, in relation to the evolution of their urban character, also their function during the last three centuries of Byzantium.