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BY-NC 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2020

The Little Ice Age and Byzantium within the Eastern Mediterranean, ca. 1200–1350: An Essay on Old Debates and New Scenarios

From the book The Crisis of the 14th Century

  • Johannes Preiser-Kapeller and Ekaterini Mitsiou


This paper discusses written historical documentation and paleoenvironmental evidence in order to explore connections between climatic and socio-economic change. It focuses thereby on the Byzantine Empire and the eastern Mediterranean more generally in the period between the collapse and “restoration” of Byzantine rule in Constantinople (1204-1261) and the beginning of Ottoman expansion in the Balkans in 1352, which roughly coincided with the outbreak of the first wave of the “Black Death” in 1347. The paper entails juxtaposing various older scenarios of “fatal” social and political developments in Byzantine history with new studies based on proxy data from regions across the Balkans and Asia Minor and comparing these events with developments in other polities of the region during the transformation from the “Medieval Climate Anomaly” to the “Little Ice Age.”

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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