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Axis Mundi: An Analysis of Byzantine Imperial Geography
AuthorCatlin III, Richard Allen
AdvisorStarrs, Paul F
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This work is a geopolitical analysis of the Byzantine Empire's method of governance, expansion, and imperial administration over the lands it chose to inhabit. While no single scholar or then-contemporary Byzantine author has articulated a specific policy of geostrategy in the Byzantine Empire, this dissertation demonstrates an overt bias in Byzantine military and diplomatic operations toward coastal regions and maintenance of their physical control within the Mediterranean Basin. These imperial choices were fueled largely by: 1) the reigning geopolitical model of the Byzantine Empire; 2) the importance of the capital, today's Istanbul (then Byzantium, and later, Constantinople); 3) the distribution of other major cities of the Empire; and 4) the maritime-based trade economy of the Byzantine Empire.