Anastasia KONTOGIANNOPOULOU, The Notion of δῆμος and its Role in Byzantium during the Last Centuries (13th-15th c.), Βυζαντινά Σύμμεικτα, 22|2012, 101-124

The notion of “demos/demes” (people/circus factions) has been a favorite subject in the modern research and various opinions have been formulated with regard to their organisation and the role they played in the political developments. In the modern bibliography referred to the period under examination (13th-15th c.) the term “demos” denotes generally the lower strata of the urban population. However, through the systematic study of that period’s sources thinner nuances can be detected in the meaning of the term “demos”, which apart from the lower social stratum, it also seems to include members of the the middle social class and to denote a larger group that contains the two social categories mentioned above. This study intends to examine the concept of “demos” and similar expressions, the social composition of this body and its role in the political life of the era. The research is based primarily on narrative sources of the late byzantine period (13th-15th c.). The fragmentary material extracted from these sources is complemented by information come from the monastery archives, the lives of saints, the correspondence and other literary sources of the era.

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