Nicholas S.M. Matheou deposited Hegemony, elitedom and ethnicity: “Armenians” in imperial Bari, c.874–1071 in the group Medieval Studies on Humanities Commons 2 years ago
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.