Eastern Mediterranean Economic Networks in the Age of the Crusades: The case of the Peloponnese, 11th-15th Centuries

→ Katerina Ragkou

My PhD research focuses on the Eastern Mediterranean Economic Networks in the Age of the Crusades (late 11th-mid 14th Century). The principle aim is the analysis of the economic and social transformation before and after the establishment of the Crusader States in its shores. The Peloponnese in Greece forms the main case study. Earlier conclusions on the Peloponnese will be re-evaluated, while comparisons with other areas that experienced a similar passage to Latin rule due to the Crusader movement, such as Cyprus, Cyclades in Greece and the Syro-palestinian coast will also be drawn wherever possible, for the sake of comprehensiveness.

The two main categories of evidence for understanding economic relationships within and between cultural groups in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Period under question are material and textual.  The material evidence is of primary interest, while texts are incorporated to supplement economic and cultural information. The two primary material groups that will be analyzed are table pottery and coins. The choice to focus on decorated tableware and coins stems from the availability of archaeological studies that allow the analysis of the accumulated evidence that come from individual sites and surveys. Moreover, other industrialized and commercialized sectors of the economy, like the silk and glass industry will be investigated. By comparing the ceramic assemblages from each site with the numismatic and industrial evidence, interpretations are further developed pertaining to the role settlements played within local and wider regional economic networks.

In order to understand relationships between different sites in the Peloponnese, I have decided to apply network theory approaches. This research is significant, it is interdisciplinary since it combines elements from different academic fields such as Archaeology, History, Social Anthropology and Art History and various levels of analysis in order to accomplish the aforementioned aims across time and space. The results of this research will have a wider relevance to the cultural and economic history of the Levant, Greece, Italy, Asia Minor and the Medieval Mediterranean in general.




Dissertation Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Claudia Sode, Prof. Dr. Sabine Schrenk, Dr. Athanasios Vionis