What is the reason of the decline of Anatolian cities during the 7th Century CE?

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,128
Republika Srpska
#3
What is the reason of the decline of Anatolian cities during the 7th Century CE? Most of the cities in Anatolia were left during the 7th c.
What cities? Ancyra, Nicaea, Trapezunt and Iconium remained vital and quite prosperous with many serving as thema capitals. Some cities were destroyed along the borders with the Caliphates, but generally Anatolian cities continued to thrive throughout the 7th century.
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,052
Canary Islands-Spain
#4
But all of Anatolia experienced hardships as well.

Arabs invaded regularly the region, disrupting normal distribution of commodities. Also the empire experienced a ruralization process, and trade suffered a lot in all of the Mediterranean.

I want to point as well to the closure of the Egyptian source of food, which affected to Constantinople, but probably also to the great cities of western Anatolia.
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,128
Republika Srpska
#5
But all of Anatolia experienced hardships as well.

Arabs invaded regularly the region, disrupting normal distribution of commodities. Also the empire experienced a ruralization process, and trade suffered a lot in all of the Mediterranean.

I want to point as well to the closure of the Egyptian source of food, which affected to Constantinople, but probably also to the great cities of western Anatolia.
What you say is true. But the Anatolian cities didn't experience a great decline in the 7th century. Many remained important centers and regional capitals.
 

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,816
Blachernai
#6
Destruction via invasion is the old Clive Foss thesis back from 1976. A lot of work has been done on late Roman cities since then, and it turns out that the picture is much more complicated. Urban life continued in places, but many of the places that start showing up as important after the seventh century were not important in classical times, like Attaleia and Amorion. Some places survived in reduced form, like Ephesos. Just because we live in cities does mean that we should assume that the classical city was in any way a natural formation. Rather, the classical Mediterranean city is the product of a particular set of elite desires and the Roman state's willingness to manage its territory through cities. That changes in the seventh century as the tax system is reformed and a new non-urban and much more militarized elite comes to the fore. They did not base their power in cities and made no effort to maintain them, and so they withered.

Foss, Clive. “The Persians in Asia Minor and the End of Antiquity.” The English Historical Review 90, no. 357 (1976): 721–47.

Ivison, Eric A. “Amorium in the Byzantine Dark Ages (Seventh to Ninth Centuries).” In Post-Roman Towns, Trade and Settlment in Europe and Byzantium, Vol. 2: Byzantium, Pliska, and the Balkans, edited by Joachim Henning, 25–59. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2007.

J. Haldon, “The Fate of the Late Roman Senatorial Elite: Extinction or Transformation?” in J. Haldon and L. Conrad (edd.) The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East IV: Elites Old and New (Princeton: Darwin Press, 2004): 179-234.
 
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