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How to get (and stay) rich in the late Byzantine world

Strand Campus, London

11 Feb
Stathakopoulos
Dionysios Stathakopoulos (KCL).
Part of CHS Late Antique & Byzantine Seminar Series (Spring)

Dionysios Stathakopoulos (KCL). 

This paper looks at pathways to great wealth in the last two centuries of the Byzantine Empire. As the state was becoming smaller and poorer, numerous people from different social backgrounds acquired fortunes in a number of ways: some inherited it, others manipulated the collection of fiscal revenues and became rich due to corruption and bribes; others engaged in trade and financial enterprises. Becoming very wealthy was never a stable state and socio-economic mobility worked both ways: in this period more people lost their fortunes (as a result of political reversals or bad business decisions) than made new ones. By examining case studies from different groups of wealthy individuals from different phases of these two hundred years this paper will offer a new reading of the social and economic history of the late Byzantine world.

Dionysios Stathakopoulos has been teaching at King's College London since 2005. He read Byzantine and Medieval History at the University of Münster and received his PhD from the University of Vienna. He is a social historian of the Byzantine world and has published widely on epidemics and famines, the practice and practitioners of medicine, charity, poverty and remembrance. His latest book is A Short History of the Byzantine Empire (2014), recently translated in Greek, Turkish and Estonian. He is currently working on a monograph on wealth, consumption and inequality in the late Byzantine Empire and another on the cultural history of the late Byzantine aristocracy.


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