BALKANS.

THEBYZANTINE RETHINKING CENTURIES BOOKON THE IOth_I2th A RECENT
ALEXANDRUMADGEARU

on his Ph.D.dissertation is based The bookrof this youngBritish historian well-knownByzantinist ofthe the direction in 1996, under at Cambridge defended published 1994somepartsof since hasalready PaulStephenson Shepard. Jonathan and,pyzantine in ,Byzantinoslavica", ,,Byzantion" this volumeasdistinctshtdies in his work points view discussed of The innovative Studies". and ModernGre€k problems like the dedicated to controversial in thosestudies were first presented of the rebellionof Tatos,or the natureof the Byzantine-Hungarian significance duringthereignof ManuelI. relations reached Why ,,Rethinking the ByzantineBalkans"?BecauseStephenson for the study of the Byzantine that are really revolutionary severalconclusions interestfor the Balkan increasing provinces. The in the Balkan administration the rootsof the needto understand times)denotes history(not only for the modern how and why the disintegration bookexplains conflicts.Stephenson's the present of the ethnic statesin the and the emergence of the ByzantineadminisFation authoritywas to be that ,,Byzantine His main ideaseems werepossible. Balkans (p. 7)localpowerstructures" existing exercised through almostalways and is (with subchapters) chapters major The book is divided in nine on citation and providedwith a list of maps and figures,a preface,a note conclusiongbibliography an introduction, transliteration, a list of abbrevations, andindex. studies appliedto the Balkanprovinces The first noveltyfor the Byzantine has payed a special (pp. l-17). Stephenson can be found in the introduction the limit between ideological as an of the frontier to the significance attention the a new concept: He also introduces and the Barbaricum2). civilizedOikumene rulersby by the local authochtonous mastered internalfro;tiers of the territories wasexerted. administration whomtheByzantine
I P Srephcnson, of the Northern Balktw, 900B;zal tium'sBalkanFron ier. A Polirical Strtdy p. Press, 2000, XII+352 University /20J, Cambridgc 'By a rn'ere frontier oflhe Byzantinc on thecharacter a similardiscussion I made coinci6incc, Dtndreo in epoca book (A. Madgcaru, into a study written in lhe sametimc with Stcphcnson's X-X ): ofrontierdpermeobild, bizantint(iecolele .Rcvistalstoricl", SN, 10, 1999'|-2, pp 4l-55) Bucarcst Europ.: XXXIX, l-4, p. 203-212, Sud-Est Rev.Etudes

while the l{ungarianchronicles are speaking only about the regionsettledby the ruling Arpad'stribe nearthe Middle Danube.SN. in diplomacy ofthe Byzantine Stephenson bringsheremorelight on the principles evenduringTzar Peter the lOth century.The Pecheneg wereattracted with gifts in orderto become and Croatian allies. 5. with the fact independent (pp.RcvislaIstoricA". B linl Sitdungarn in 10. The emperor established relations with a subordinated tribe.thearrangement would havehad little effect on I A.-led. ' C. Thewell-known example (Hierotheos) of Tourkia is rightly interpreted.whenbecame useful. ofthe territorymastered The location of by Gylas and baptized by Hierotheos is madeaccording to the concentration Byzantine This is alsoour coi-ns and luxuryfinds:nearthe confluence Mureg-Tisapoint of view'. when Bulgariawasa statein expansion. The loyaltywas secured gifts. We arehowever surprised doesnot knowthe basic that Stgphenson an bookofCsan6dBAlint. t tq). Lemerleand morerecentlyby M..while the Serbian rulerswereconsidered albeit they were in subjected to the Byzantine suzeranity. The sametype of relationsestablished Pechenegs wasapplied in Pannonia.whichconfirms his ideas'. conclusions of Paradunavon The first chapteris dedicated to Bulgariabetween90G-963(pp..not with the leading one. Stephenson (p.iO-St. 1994. 147-154. (thedecline He emphasizes afterSimeon is an obsolete idearejected by theauthor).but alsoby conversion ofthe bishop to Christianity. 25-38).The result . t-2.. 18-46). not raiding"). to theMagyars aftertheirsettlement Stephenson is right when he points that Byzantinesdealt rvith certain not only by chieftains andnot with all the Magyartribes. legacy: after the strategy and that his 'civilian' successors hied to transform the general limesis not hardPecheneg inroads obvious that a classical of 1036.Discussions of the I lth century The bookbringsvaluable arguments for the new interpretation Oshogorska's supponed by P. . Budapcst.He considers on tradeand gifts for the barbarians BasilII left a poisoned a too large andexpensive army(pp.but. because Byzantine . Jabhundert. Of course.this book gives much Unlike many works of Byzantine carefully usedin aftentionto the rich archaeological and numismatic evidence. growing 9) and thatthe rapidly" economy was decline. t99|. pp.somepointsare order to supply the scarcityof the literarysources. political history.he makes interestingremark: only this region was known as Tourkia by Constantine Porphyrogenitus. generally speakingthe useof archaeology to important for the history andSerbia. as resultsfromDe Administrando Imperio.. Madgearu. Conlribulii la istotia Transilvaniei li Ungariei in secolul al -f.rvithcertainchieftains was that . On the otherhand. led him disputable or evenwrong. Angold against wasnot a sho\vs thattheshiftto'civilian' govemment old viewpoint. Misaunea episcopului Hierotheos.the policy based policy based with a moreadequate defence on warfarewasreplaced that ("haiding. the role playedby the Pechenegs. the Serbsand the Croatsin the strategfbuilt chiefs against Bulgaria.

. admitsthat .the civilized world". places). This straregic suggests they becarnethe new mastersof this traffic. salt was not (alsoquoted at p. Stephenson's received these for salt.Ephemeris Lledieval Transylvania.we considerthat the Byr . by Stephenson Primary Chronicle mentioned by theRussian by Bulgariain saltminesweremastered In fact. . at leastsomeTransylvanian When Moravia. Trade and Wodare in Eorly I I.lnonim. Unfortunately.3&-a ). to provideincentives The author considersthat the Maryars were attractedin the Byzantineorbit his salt trade. to pass throughthe lron Gates Among the various goodstradedon the Lower Danubearound968. but nothing provesthat this traffic reachedByzantium.45-aQ..as establish with Magyars. not only by the gifu. it wastoo difficult (because the traffic was madeby Muregand Tisa).were absorbed advanceof the Byzantine fiontier was made first by influence and next by the militarism"of BasilII (pp. 2001.RomAnii in opers Notorului .. He also madea greatmistakebelievingthat the name Siebenbiugen remembers seven salt mines located in Transylvania. 49).. already Hungarian that a Therefore. fonhcoming in . The chapter in the second adminishation on its &rritory areexamined by Bulgarianand especially in the last two decades subjectwas often discussed someof pointsof view ar€takinginto account Stephenson's Romanian historians.By the diplomacy into the oikumene. The Transylvaniansalt was indeed an object of trade in the Early Middle Ages.r€marks a real shield againstthe inroads.tade and titles".there peaceful exchanges). not raiding"seems However. by water. In this way we can undersbndwhy it was impossibleto . to establish but he considers thatsaltwasa mean to be very valuable. me story about the duke Achtum of Banat illushatesjust this facls. The absenccof Byzantine loth century coins and artifacts in the Transylvaniansalt In with Byzantium. toward was directed we that the export the 9dr century and know in first settled they in the l0th century. 47-79).The naturalanswerv.tribute. 185-192 and ldcm. relations minesareashowsthat this regionhad no economic area.traiding. certainly directed toward we*. pp.. Tranrylvania to conquer Hungarians began poins on the roadsusedfor salt trading(like Cluj and Alba Iulia). .. and peaceful processes the of exchange Stephenson to encourage for themto traderatherthanto raid" (pp.They payed only with peaceful abut the salttradeare suppositions gifts andhonours. Sa/. with salt. This the barbarians .triumphal The conquestof Bulgaria and the first steps of the new Byzantine (pp.tine gifu were not payedby Magyars who keptonly by the chieftains relations. but also by a developed argnments are not valid.Discussions other distinct groups". group conquered this period....By terrestrialroads it was too difficult to transportsuchheavyware acrossBulgaria. the theoryabout.. except this pointon the salttraffic. of. Napoccnsis". but he (the from other Preslav and sealsfrom the new discoveredsources t For the Bulgfiian mastqship in th€ salt mincs are4 seeA Madgearu. Cluj-Napoca 2001. as Transylvania" (He as far need to look was no futile.

he was forcedto conquer all the tenitory in 1014-1018 because GabrielRadomirachieved somevictories.Stephenson (a new vision ofthe policy followedby Basil lI in his conquest vision developed into a furtherstudyrl). pp. . l-9. 42.ldour de ls locolisationde ld PerirePrcrrav. Diaconu. 10. .Sur l'organisationecclesiastique dans la tigion du Bas-Danube(dernier tters duf. by the numismatic supported his opinion could be was If Presthlavitza only after 971".pp..nom consigndtur cerlains sceaur du Grond Preslav?. et Post-Byz{ntin€s". the chapteris remarkable. Another point of view aboutthe fortress Pacuiullui Soarc the Romanian was George of Bulgarianamed thatthe archbishop example: Stephenson considers duringthe reign of Basil II (p. free a part of Bulgaria. Presthlovitza. evidence showsthat the site was developed datedbefore968' On there. kongres pp.l-. ldem.. 1991. 64). long time it wasproventhat Presthlavitza just this In fact. . is PreslavT. l9l. pp.p' 87.DokJadi. presentshere a such Except enors. Diaconuro. 77-82. as like as (a fact which is admitted population by Stephenson in Dobrudja .. 57). 6. ' Scc P. to P. The Legend of Batil the Bulgar-slayer. 1983. 65).2000.Jregranted titlesto Bulgarians " N.. pp.S0dost-Forschungen". Stephenson. is in bibliography Romanian althoughsince at NuIEru(like N. .He argues that the emperorhad not the intentionto be a hasshown as he wasconsidered in the l2th century(Stephenson . The exclusive to be definitive:a datebetween of the problemexplain knowledge useof Hungarian literature and an insufficient (not Ajtony) is Vita tVajor mistake: that speaks about Achtum another the source Sancti Gerardi. Diaconu. until 1005to leave BasilII planned On the contrary. he ignores latter(which seems 870 and 918). 38+3.from rVIores. evidence..pp. Byzantines II. outdated). the polernicsconcemsthe presenceof the Romanian .Circulalio nonetard la Nujdru tn secolele. which seemsto reflect a Romanianform Moresana. . 46. but to Euchaitain Asia Minor'. Diaconu. The name Marosvdr is a Hungarizationof the name Morisma.. BasilII gaveByzantine and.vol.it seems city (p. the littlePreE av. Sofia 198?.Byzantine and Modem Greek Studies".. Much more important is that debate the real natureof the Bulgarian-Romanian did not understand Stephenson was a part of Bulgaria.3. 53). 198'7 . 24. Oi se trouvait Thiodoropolis.Sudost-Forschungen" " G. Oikonomides. He believes that the point is if Paristrion aboutParistrion. De nouveaud propos de Prcsthlavitza. 5G57) he believes pan For instance. Minucu-Adamctteantt. l-7.p. 497-554.onecouldexpectto find manycoinsandotherobjects wasnot givento a Danubian that the nameTheodoropolis the otherhand. 102-132. 437-447. Bucar€st. pp. not Vita Gerardi Maioris (p. .During the wars and after the the empire's conquest.Bulgar-slayer". 1965.it Vtori meldunaroden po bdlgoristika(Sofru 1986). 279-293. Oikonomides6).Y-Xlf. As anybody knows.. 1 P. was located that Presthlavitza that he considers Moreover. the solutiongiven by the Althoughhe citesthe studyof P.-Xlf siCcles).. Mureq.Peuc€'. how this legend wascreated).Discussions (the problems given to somedisputed ignores the ultimatesolutions surprisingly (pp.Etudes " P. RESEE. appointed in this functionby the Byzantines.

andseems difficult to sustain is right in partofthe Danube Stephenson thewestem wasorganized asa province. 62--77'1. The author considers . the groupin 1046wasonly the second act ofa long process seftlement ofa Pecheneg of accommodation between barbarians andByzantines. wasorganized but we think that Paradunavon in thesame andSerbia. in the next chapter. 4211. in otherpoint: dre change in the frontierpolicy initiatedby JohnOrphanotrophus the access to orderto discouage the Pecheneg inroads by allowingto the nomads the Byzantinegoods.as resultsfrom of a hibute dregrowthof thecoin circulation. A goodproofstill €xists: (Cetatea Alb5" issuedbetween RomanIII and MichaelVII found in Bessarabia '' A. dte commander unresr" he appointed Dobromir. .muchthat had beenforeign policy became domestic.Northem (see also p. .TheMilitary 60.by trade and gifu (pp.. in l0l8-1020. It is certain time with thethemes of Bulgaria that only that the Serbian themeexistedsince1018.entitled This history of Paradunavon is researched (1025-1100)" (pp.but causeda supplementary burdenfor the peopleof the theme of remarksthe Bulgariawfto revoltedagainstit in 1040(pp. givesa very inter€sting of the policy follorvedby Stephenson interpretation in Paristrion: a concentration MichaelIV andby his minister JohnOrphanotrophus andtheir controlled of resources in orderto supplythe payments for thePechenegs accession ten years of peaceon the to Byzantinegoods. that this nomads 80-116). as duke of Thrace and WesternMesopotamia(p. but by Constantine in 1043(Katakalon Indee4the first knowncommander of this province is attested asa distinctprovince Kekaumenos). 82-39). 67). of Verria. In this light.. Madgearu. Unfortunately. The fact rvas seems to be right when he identifies idependentlyobserved by usr2.not with Berrhoe in Macedonia. Organizstionof Parqdu avon. IX themewas not established by Basil II. 79).Stephenson drc forrress with Verria in Thessaly.This can improve our suppositionabout the possible Vlach origin of Damian Dobromir (anotber too wasNiculitzas from Servi4 who was perhaps commander of Samuel of Vlachorigin).Discussions newestsubjectsa degteeof authonomyand removeda potential focus for native (pp. Stephenson economic boomof the Paristrian townsin the '30-iesand '40-ies.and diplomatictechniques employedto ensurestability acrossthe within them" (p. |999.thehistoryof Paradunavon easilyunderstood. of accommodation anpire's bordersbecametechniques giveshereoneofhis basic conhibutions to the historyofthe Byzantine Stephanson provinces the central pcriphery: the new conquercd became a bufrerzonebetween canbe partof theempireandBarbaricum. In this new vision. 80-83). o. He associates this with the payment for dle Pechenegs.This policy secured Danube. By the conquest of Bulgaria. Stephenson failed to give solid proofsfor the existence a lot ofgold andsilvercoins ofthesepayments.Byzantinoslavica".Damian For instance.. 94). 2.

. In fact.IX-X!). 87). na orhiereina Ddstdr otXl ve&. The successors of Basil II choseto apply guerilfatactics. but he makesan unfounded distinctionbetweenthem and . Therefore.. Constan[42000.Stephenson's assertions on the Byzantine-Pecheneg relations are not entirely convincing.Dobrudla". 185-195.rculatia .On the otherhand.Purcari.Teg4 Zimnicele)r3. Thesecoins could arrive thereby raids but also by tribute. Stephenson useseveryopportunity to contradict the old theorythat the. PeCati pp. He is othenvise right when remarks that both Bulgarians and Vlachswerecalledrl1). some against the Pechenegs partsof the frontierwereindeed point neglected. rr SecG.soi by theByzantine (p. whichgivesonly the title of episkopos" .Proto-Romanians".but they really broughta new comprehensive view on the history of Paradunavon. tordnov.Teia) and in Wallachia(Borenefti.Colibaqi. theeparchy of Dristrawastransformed from bishopric into a metropolitan seat. Vam4 q 1992. and not a shift to anotherstrategyro.Musaid. In this casewe can not be on his side.and its ruler Leontiosbecame bishop. authors Stephenson demonstrates that the rebellionled by the Pecheneg Tatouswas caused by the intentionof Nikephoritzesto ensur€ the payments for the Pechenegs monedeibizantinein Dobrogea(sec.424.. Stephenson admits that this populationincludedVlachs. but we do not think that the establishment of a metropolitan seatat Dristrawas madewith this purpose (p.we do not understand why Stephenson states that Constantine X realizedthat he had to organize the Pechenegs (p.civilian" emperors neglected the deience of the frontiers. In sum.Leontios (anested in l07l ) is the same with theownerof a seal. asdefenders ofa bufferzonein Paradunavon Another part of the policy toward Pechenegs was their conversionto Christianity. 97).the statistics of the low valuecoinsfound in Paristrion needs a comparison with otherprovinces or townsin orderto seeif the level was influenced or not by theposition nearthefrontier. The most important contributions concemthe rebellion startedin 1072by the local population against by the financialpolicy practiced Nikephoritzes.into a a metropolitan moment thatseems to be morerecent than104G1047.. On the otherhand. Theililitary. 96). The abandonment of a strategic like Dervent after 1036 illustrates very well the incapacityof the Byzantine commanders.92-93). " I.more adequate (pp. Stephenson was arguesthat this policy of payments towards Pechenegs necessary because the defence based regular with fortresses and on a /ines many troopswas not possible on the Danube. Madgearu. The defence was weakened and furthereventsare showinghow easy the troopsof Paradunavon weredefeated by the Pechenegs. p. Custure4 C.Buziu County. The first known metropolitan bishop. t4SceA.. Stephenson is right when he emphasizes the importanc€ of this act.Discussions Cinigeuli. explicitly blamedby Kekaumenos and Skylitzeswhen they have written about the invasion of Tyrach. pp.. 163-164.

the Byzantinepowerwasexertedoverterritories includedin the loyalty However. 123-130).In this way. Diocleea of Dalmati4 Serbianorigin in the Byzantineadministration They were monitored by Blzantine stategoi settled in the main cities. Ahrwcilcr.Stephenson of the rebelled timesbetween 1040and l08l . The relations between the stategoi and the local mchontes were based on gifts.9t-100).peopled The fourthchapter of the bookdealswith the 'SouthemSlavs(1025-1100)" of (pp.but somecities d.Srcphenson empbasizes the role playedby the local aristocrats and Ra. the Vlachs(pp. See S.473+84. 19. the empire. H.like the relations betweenthe emperorand the barbarian chieftains. irr Studiei on the Internal Oaks."an intermediary whichwasByzantium's by n ixobarbtoi (pp.3. Dumbarton l99t. stipendsand honours. I 17. 105-14?. Of greatvalueis his analysis several (1040). pp. I95.cutting the subsidiesfrom the centre when only in 1091. Peter Deljan situation ofthe Bulgarian themebeforeandafterthemutinyof needofmoneyfor thatthe increasing As we havealready noted. 86-88. Laiou. determined the arising of . l-15.l9tl.He andH..isappeared. MalamutrT followsthe way opened by two recent studies to the classical Byzantine frontieraccording thinkingthe realities ofthe Danubian antithesisbetweenOikumeneand Barbaricum: the settlementof the Pechenegs the semi-civilizedworld category. only the defance alongthe Haemus that . Stephenson (p.Dis€ussions from Paradunavon only by local means. on Stephenson emphasizes that the new strategrin th€ l2th centurywas based presewed ganisons were while few Mountains.Stephenson argues (pp.E. Another mistlke is the bcforcthe l3th idcntification of Chilia with Aklia recorded by tdrisi (p. Zcilschrift". 103-105). but sepanted by intemalfiontiers(pp. . 107). quotes the povince duringthe l2th century. pp. pp. t1L'image 8t. Balkanfrontier". Ahrweillerr8. byzantine desPetcdnigucs.Les sourcesbyzantirwr et la localisation de la citd de Kilia 6lf-Xlt srdc/es7.He remarks remained a rich Paradunavon the mountain dwellers". I. Baraschi. 130-138). A.Byzantinische ts ByzantineConceptsof the ForeigtEr: the Coseol the Nonads.197t.5ka. I I l-l l4). wronglylocarcd csse at Dinogetia'" of Demnitzikos. (pp.Alexius' Achilles' heelwasthe loyalty of on the Danubian frontier.Chilia wasnot s€ttl€d ccntury.Washington' Diqsporaof tha Brzotrtine Empirc. The self-interest of the local aristocrats was movement popularsupport for a secessionist to galvanize .the Pecheneg crisiswasstopped for empire almost lost the Alexios I began fte reorganizationof Paradunavon. As it is known. but mutinies.155). during the lasttwo decades. ends with some interesting The overview of the history of Paradunavon remarkson the Byzantineimageofthe barbarians seftledin the frontier zones. Diaconu'les at Dinogetiawas dcfinitivelyrejected Coumans ou Bos-Darabe at/l Xf et XIf siickJ.. Bucarcst. of E.ed. examines how and why they of these rulers was not permanent.. wassupplied cash taxesin Bulgaria Paradunavon by introducing of the I lth century the significance Anotherimportant conclusion concerns is seenas the main factor. 106).theprincipalmeans 16Tte locationof Dcmnitzikos by P. pp. RESEE.

the Serbian landsevolvedtoward independence after 1077 (pp. la3-laa). I: Normansand Crusaders (10E1-l1lE)' (pp. II: Hungarians (1100-t143)" (pp. while Bulgaria remained province.Therise of the west.2t0 Discussions to appeal to the common memory of an independent rulerofthe northern Balkans.On the other hand.The author showshere that the Germanalliance established by Johnll Comnenus was not efficient.They beganto searchahemativesourcesfor the lggitimation of their power.The and Venetians Stephenson examinesthe evolution of the Bfzantine-Hungarian political and economicrelations. The second part of the Balkanpolicy of Manuelis examined in the eighth chapter: the frontier. lE7-210).. whoseauthorityresided in the title 'emperorof the Bulgarians"'(pp. but .50-ies is proposed. but alsoby the contribution ofthe locatAlbanian tribes(p.an archaeological and military approach that is not usual in the Byzantinehisoriography(pp. l5zt-155).In this way. hinterland The gr€at geopolitical changesbegan with tlre Norman occupation of Dynachion(lOEl) are presented in the fifth chapter:.. Stephenson argues that John II Comnenusried to keep good rclations with Hungary. and next Hungaryand Venice). .as Stephenson argues.he did not wish to annexthis counw. 207).. He presentsthe fortification systembuilt aroundDyrrachion. The futureByzantinepolicy in the Balkanswascompelledto take into accountthis new factor.outsideByzantium (the Papacy. 167).However.211_238).Manuel I Comlenus confronts the West (1143-1 156)" (pp. such eveDtsincreased the distancebetweenthe local Serbianrulers and the Byzantinecentre. However. or that he aspired to annex any landsbeyond the Danube" (p.M. The next chaptercontinues to pregent the expansionof the Westernpowers: rise of the west. the Normans. A revisedchronolosv ofthe Hungarien-Byzantine warsin the . l5Glt6). The seventhchapter is entitled .The defenceof the areanearDyrrachionwas secured not only by thesefortresses. a stable s€en by the Byzantines asa semi-barbarian (pp. The mutinieshad no ethnicdetermination in the llth centuryand they usually occunedwhenthe empirewasconfronted with invasions or civil wars.Advancing of SirmiumandDalmatia fl 156- . this one is mostlya nanation ofthe military andpoliticatevents alongthe reignof AlexiosI Comnenus.there is no indication that the emperor intendedfor his conquestof Frangochorion to be permanent. 153-154). l6G-164).Theannexation . The Byzantine-Hungarian warsof I 127-1129 hadonly a defensive targetand...the samewestempolicy fulfilled by the first two Comneniallowedthe expansion of Hungary toward Dalmatia and Ra5ka.The Normanthreadwas not removedand Byzantiumlost the southem Italy in 1156.The confrontationbetweenthesestatestook place in the area near Sirmium and in Dalmatia. Unlike the formerchapter. in order to concentrate his forces in the eastempart of the empire. Stephenson usedthis opportunity to examine how functioned the frontier defencein the case of a major threat.nuel reactedagainstHungary.The Huncarianannexation of Croatia in ll05 changed the whole balance ofpower in the 6akans.

Theauthor establishes a link between the factionsin the capial andthe centrifugalmovements: ..By the b€ginning of the thirteenthc€nturythe Byzantineprestigewas so low that the peoplesof the northemBalkansconsidered the pafonageof any westempotentate superiorto that of the eastemempero/'.which had beencalled.The tasksassumed by the emp€rorwere to recoverthe Byzantineauthority in the areaspreviouslyconquered by Hungaryand to prevent the rise ofa Serbianindependent state. ofthe earth" One of the basicStephenson's ideasis the role playedby the westernpowers in the Bulgarianand Serbiananti-Byzantine movements.. because VlachsandBulgarians playeda majorrole in the ... who said. The final result was the orientation of the new stat€ toward another center of legitimation.Stephenson uses the archaeological evidence into a greatextent in orderto establish the chronologSr andthe significance of the Byzantinedefensive policy on the Middle Danube. He rejcctsthe .but othersfought on the Byzantineside".both escalation of the rebellion. In facg this was alreadyremarkedby Nicetas Choniates. against Hungary. but the weaknessof the central power determinedthem ..fratricidespread asa pattem.275-315).The formeradministration exerted by localaristocrats waspreserved. This explains the policiesfollowedby the rulersof thenew Serbian andVlacho-Bulgarian states. the . 315)... they sought to draw on .cold war.Discussions 2ll ll80)" (pp. 2tl).2E0).... Stephenson gives an objective account of the rebellion led by the Asan brothers. The civil unrest evolved into a separatistmovement becausethe Cumans improved tlre military forc€ of the rebels and becausethe Byzantine army was wrongly commanded.the relationsbetweenManuel and FrederickI Barbarossa after 1156could be charaaterized as a kind of.national" reasonsof the revolts and considersthat . Stephensonalso argues that Manuel's intention was to transform Hungary into a buffer state betwe€n Byzantiumand the GermanEmpire. The successful poliry of Manuellastedwith him.The wish of independence was a result and not a cause of the movement: and Asen possibility saw the free of a permanent settlement .293-29\. He remarks that the rebetlionhad no ethnicbackground.rule in the northern called.' (an idea first expressed by PaulMagdalino). followed both by Romanian andBulgarian historians.Peter from Byzantine interferenceor suzerainty. He emphasizes the role ofthe Vlachsandthe importance of the alliance with the Cumans.the increasedcentifugalism of the twelfth century was exaccrbatedby the extension of the empire's frontiers" (p. rnd thereforewas once again traditions of indopendent .Naturally.modelandgeneral law from the queenof the citiesto thefar comers (p. but otherwise thanthe usual.The Danubianfrontier was stenghtenedby Manuelafter I 156.rationel" int"rptrt tion.to look elsewhere for patons or symbolsof powerand prestige" altemative (p. 239-274).Casting off the 'Byzantine (l Yoke' lE0-1204)"(pp. The breakdown expansionist ofthe Byzantinedominationin the Balkansis presented in the lastchapt€r.Bulgarian Balkaas"(pp.

20. We tried to above EastemEuropean studies. Pdcuiul lui Soare should not be whereSoareis a it is a placename. not SanPaul. 84. 57 and others).l). (pp. explainedin the legendof map 1.2t2 Discussions IO was Balkans in the northern domination The dissolution of the Byzantine Papacy.3 (p. ofthe western rulerssearched the support th€ Balkanrebelled context statewas ofthe new Vlacho-Bulgarian On the otherhand. Suchsmallmistakes into a second couldbe easilycorrected or translation. the names the numbersmust be Romanianforms (only Somesis written in Romanian). I l ).theIslandof the Sun". himself in his Conclusions aresummarized by theauthor We pointhere Therearesome mistakes in the book.because person phrowia arcnot watchtowers. Theydo not decrease thevalueofthis book. translated in . edition (pp. In this by the Normanattacks and by the third and founh Crusades. 42). (p. map l. Stephenson's viewpointson the northernBalkanregionsduring the l0th-l2th ofthe Southinnovative andincentivefor the progress centuries are in manyrespects main items The present some of them.the independence strrnghtened Byzantiumtried to defendonly the Balkan range. influenced powers.Sdnpaul..but of smallimportance. insteadof the Danube. Salzburg is is wronglylocated the moststriking:Plcuiul lui Soare given in be riven should of the OcnaSibiului.which because becameits new northem frontier. 306).3 I G323). to th€ historyofthe South-Eastern .Byzantium will never recover Paradunavon. but smallfortresses name(p. a major will be considered We canbe surethatthe work of PaulStephenson contribution Europe in the MiddleAges.The defencein the Vlachsand Bulgarians mountains was ensured with the aid of the pro-Byzantine (p.