The city of Melitene in eastern Asia Minor/western Armenia presents a peculiar case in the study of Byzantine-Islamic commerce in the early Middle Ages, because, unlike Trebizond or Attaleia, its commerce was entirely based on land-route connections, and the available evidence does not identify it as a town deliberately designated as a commercial exchange point by the Byzantine authorities. My purpose is to find an answer to the question of how Byzantine- Islamic trade took place in a location on the eastern land frontier where the coexistence of war and trade was a daily reality. The products and export items as well as the routes of the Melitene zone and its neighboring regions (Cappadocia, Pontos, Armenia) are examined in order to situate Melitene in a larger commercial context. I argue that Melitene prospered commercially in the middle of war zone for centuries and that its commercial fortunes began to improve especially by the beginning of the tenth century, reaching their climax in the eleventh century.
© 2022 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston