Hegemony, elitedom and ethnicity: “Armenians” in imperial Bari c.874-1071

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Melus, rendered “Meles” in Greek sources, first appears in 1009 when he and a relative named Dattus rebelled against the east Roman governor-general, the katepano, taking Bari, Ascoli and Troia, before being defeated by a new katepano in 1011 and fleeing to the prince of Salerno. This chapter looks at the evidence for identified Armenians in east Roman Bari, and analyses their integration into local elitedom. In the most astute study to date Nina Garsoïan elucidated the many different forms of east Roman Armenianness, with the ethnic category able to cover often sharply differing actors and cultural stuff. There is no need to connect Barese actors to the inconclusive evidence for identified Armenians settling in imperial Italy and Sicily between the mid-sixth and mid-ninth centuries, since the late ninth-century east Roman revival provides the strongest conditions for actors entering the south.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationItaly and the East Roman World in the Medieval Mediterranean
EditorsThomas J. MacMaster, Nicholas S.M. Matheou
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781315108094
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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