Caucasia and the Second Byzantine Commonwealth: Byzantinization in the Context of Regional Coherence Print

 


Stephen H. Rapp Jr., Independent Scholar

Abstract

This paper investigates the contribution of the cohesive yet diverse Caucasian region to the formation and life of the Second Byzantine Commonwealth, a multicultural configuration whose origin is typically associated with the so-called Macedonian dynasty of the Byzantine Empire (which, in fact, was likely of Armenian background). Whereas the various Armenias and Armenians played the leading role in the Caucasian milieu during the First Byzantine Commonwealth, the various Georgian polities were at the forefront during the Second Commonwealth. This phase witnessed the unprecedented “Byzantinization” of certain aspects of elite Caucasian society, beginning especially in the bi-cultural districts bordering eastern Anatolia and culminating under the pan-Caucasian empire of the Bagratids based in Georgia.