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The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, c. 500 to 1050The Early Middle Ages$
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Florin Curta

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748638093

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638093.001.0001

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Early medieval Greece and the Middle Byzantine economy

Early medieval Greece and the Middle Byzantine economy

(p.209) Chapter 7 Early medieval Greece and the Middle Byzantine economy
The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, c. 500 to 1050

Florin Curta

Siu-lun Wong

Edinburgh University Press

The general withdrawal of troops from the Balkans in c. 620 gave the final blow to a regional economy much weakened by state intervention and military catastrophe. The revival came in the eighth and ninth centuries, when through state intervention, groups of population were moved into the themes of Hellas and Peloponnesos. By the early eighth century, Hellas was little more than a military outpost for the imperial navy. Two centuries later, its grain fed the population of Constantinople. The relative prosperity of the region in the mid-tenth century is responsible for the explosion of church building. However, neither economic recovery nor controlled expansion could lead to an expansion of the local markets or to the integration of Greece into the network of international commerce. With the exception of Thessaloniki and, later, Corinth, there are no signs of long-distance trade in early medieval Greece. The driving force behind economic growth remained the agricultural production of fields owned by freeholders or large monastic estates.

Keywords:   Climate, agriculture, monastic estates, trade

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