Sotiriou, Athanasios

University of Crete

Outlining the Petty Aristocracy of Byzantine Anatolia in the Thirteenth Century

Mr. Sotiriou is a PhD candidate in Byzantine History at the University of Crete. His research interests lie in Byzantine social stratification, and his doctoral thesis concerns the Byzantine petty aristocracy, consisting of local elites and middle/low rank officials of the administration and the army. His ANAMED project focuses on the presence of petty aristocracy in Asia Minor during the Late Byzantine period. He aims to identify its socio-economic characteristics and to shed light on the social mechanisms that enabled it to acquire, negotiate, and exercise power. Ultimately, his goal is to describe the role that this social group played as a whole at the Empire of Nicaea and the attitude of its members during the period of the gradual Turkic beylik expansion in the area. For his PhD he holds a scholarship from the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (IKY). Since 2015 he is also a member of the Amorium excavation project in Central Anatolia where he combines historical research with hands-on experience of provincial Byzantine material culture.