Post-classical history

Continuation or Change? Borders and Frontiers in Late Antiquity and Medieval Europe

Continuation or Change? Borders and Frontiers in Late Antiquity and Medieval Europe

This volume examines interdisciplinary boundaries and includes texts focusing on material culture, philological analysis, and historical research. What they all have in common are zones that lie in between, treated not as mere barriers but also as places of exchange in the early Middle Ages.

Focusing on borderlands, Continuation or Change uncovers the changing political and military organisations at the time and the significance of the functioning of former borderland areas. The chapters answer how the fiscal and military apparatus were organised, identify the turning points in the division of dynastic power, and assign meaning to the assimilation of certain symbolic and ideological elements of the imperial tradition. Finally, the authors offer answers to what exactly a "statehood without a state" was in regard to semi-peripheral and peripheral areas that were also perceived through the prism of the idea of a world system, network theory, or the concept of so-called negotiating borderlands.

Continuation or Change is a useful resource for upper-level undergraduates, postgraduates, and scholars interested in medieval warfare, Eastern European history, medieval border regions, and cross-cultural interaction.


Chapter 1. Of beards and men: The archaeology of facial hair in the Carpathian Basin (6th–9th centuries)

Chapter 2. The Slavs and the conceptual Roman borderland in Macedonia

Chapter 3. Imperial legacies and multiple borderlands: Was there an “Adrio-Byzantine” model of identity in the upper Adriatic?

Chapter 4. Rulership, warfare and sacrality in medieval Central Europe

Chapter 5. The Danube River between Byzantium and nomadic confederations (Huns and Avars): The dual role of barrier and bridge

Chapter 6. At the gates of the empire: Organization of the Byzantine borderland in the context of early medieval Bulgaria

Chapter 7. Cross-border cooperation between Óláfr Haraldsson and the clan of Rǫgnvaldr Úlfsson

Chapter 8. The “barbarian” borderlands between East and West: The first Piast dynasty as an organiser of interregional trade – a comparative approach

Chapter 9. Polish Piast rulers and the prayers of monastic communities

Chapter 10. Public Military Service of Bishops in the Piast Monarchy (Twelfth to Early Thirteenth Centuries)

Chapter 11. Conflict and Contact Zone: The Lower Middle Elbe (Northern Germany) as a Border in the Carolingian and Ottonian Periods

Chapter 12. Who are you calling peripheral? The creation of Piast central power, on the example of the Lednica settlement complex

Chapter 13. Discovering traces of possible early first millennium ad Nordic settlements in the lower Vistula River Basin: Interdisciplinary archeological research at the site in Osie, northern Poland

Chapter 14. A time of change: Puck harbour in the context of the growth of the early Piast monarchy

Chapter 15. Between the world of Christians and Pagans: Galician-Volhynian Rus’ towards Lithuania in the 13th century

Chapter 16. Foundations, frontiers, and sacral history in Peter von Dusburg’s Chronicon terre Prussie (c. 1326)

Chapter 17. Tribute as a political instrument in the borderlands: The example of the “tribute of Dorpat”

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