TitleThe Construction and Imagery of Borders
Date/TimeThursday 7 July 2022: 14.15-15.45
OrganiserIMC Programming Committee
Moderator/ChairGrzegorz Pac, Wydział Historii, Uniwersytet Warszawski
Paper 1727-a Defending the West Border: A Challenge for Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, 1081-1118
(Language: English)
Agon Rrezja, Department of History, Faculty of Croatian Studies, University of Zagreb
Index Terms: Administration; Byzantine Studies; Military History; Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1727-b Resolving a Boundary Conflict: Law, Social Practice, and Ethnic Difference
(Language: English)
Piotr Górecki, Department of History, University of California, Riverside
Index Terms: Law; Literacy and Orality; Social History
Paper 1727-c From the Croatian Borderlands: The Imagery of the Border in the Late Medieval 'Anti-Ottoman' Writings
(Language: English)
Violeta Moretti, Department of Classical Studies, Juraj Dobrila University of Pula
Index Terms: Language and Literature - Latin; Rhetoric
AbstractPaper -a:
This paper has to do with the military and political challenges of Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos who during his reign (1081-1118) was dealing with the new enemies Normans and Serbs. The west border of the Byzantine Empire, especially Theme of Dyrrachium and Theme of Skopje, become a military arena from where these two new enemies tried to penetrate rich Byzantium's capital, Constantinople. An attention will be given to the Byzantine expedition against the Normans in 1081 and against the Serbs in 1091 and 1094. Also I will give attention to the western border with the Serbs which was very important for Byzantine policy and administration and their strategy to keep the border safe restoring old and building new castles and towers among the 'Zygum' in today's territory in Kosovo and abroad.

Paper -b:
An unusually rich document from medieval Poland is a diploma issued in 1359 by two royal 'governors' of the provinces of Lublin and Chełm, comprising a border zone between the Polish Kingdom and Rus', reporting a resolution of a conflict concerning the boundary line between two provinces. In unusual detail, the document reports and ratifies the making of a linear boundary: its ascertainment, clarification, participants, and the resulting social knowledge. This instance is related to ethnic difference. The participants include 'Ruthenians'. The narration, mostly in Latin, incorporates unusually complex phrases in Polish, suggesting a turn toward Slavic vernacular as a mutually intelligible mode of written communication.

Paper -c:
The basic goal of this paper is to give further insights into the imagery of the border between the Ottoman Empire and the West, as depicted by the late 15th and early 16th-century Croatian authors from the territories affected by Ottoman military activities. The research is based on the discourse analysis of a number of speeches, orations, and letters all sharing the same purpose - obtaining military assistance against 'the common enemy of Christianity', i.e. the Ottoman Empire. The author focuses on the highly schematic depictions of the borderlands represented as the ideological and metaphorical delimitation between Christianity and Islam, and discusses their employment in the argumentative structure of these texts.