Chapter

Mapping Byzantium – The Project “Macedonia, Northern Part” in the Series Tabula Imperii Byzantini (TIB) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-15537-6_14 In book: Mapping Different Geographies, pp.219-234

ABSTRACT

The aim of the present paper is to outline the history, development and current status of the project Tabula Imperii Byzantini (TIB) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The TIB carries out systematic research on the historical geography of the Byzantine Empire, which existed from the beginning of
the 4th century AD until the 15th century AD (i.e., from Late Antiquity to the Ottoman conquest), in order to create an atlas
of the aforesaid empire. The project was founded in 1966. Since 1973 eleven volumes of the main series of the TIB have appeared. The main part of each volume of the TIB is comprised of a catalogue of the Byzantine names of towns, settlements, fortresses, churches, monasteries, fields, mountains,
rivers and lakes in alphabetical order and extracted for each region / province of the Byzantine Empire from four categories
of sources. The collected and sorted information is presented in headwords (i.e., lemmata). The results of each volume are
presented to the reader on a map on the scale of 1 : 800,000 with the headwords marked onto it. Whereas the structure of the
volumes of the TIBhas remained nearly unchanged since the 1970s, Prof. Dr. Johannes Koder, director of the overall TIB project, has introduced new scientific methods and technical innovations in the last thirteen years [Central Place Theory, Global Positioning System (GPS), digital photography, Historic Landscape Characterisation, Geographic Information System (GIS)].

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    ABSTRACT: A key to understand historical geographies are historical road networks. GIS (Geographical Information Systems) can provide the tools to model roads of which the exact course is unknown due to lack of archaeological remains. Wayfinding algorithms, like least cost paths, can calculate routes over a landscape, based on assigned cost factors. But which factors are important for the routing of historical roads, besides the relief and rivers? Not just physical factors play an important role, but social, cultural, political and military factors as well. To model historical roads, these factors have to be identified and formalized. Formalization leads to a theoretical model, which can then be implemented in a GIS. Social geographic approaches, like systems theory, will act as framework for the formalization. Furthermore, two case studies will be presented. The first one is a medieval Byzantine road in the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, which is mentioned in documents from the 13th and 14th Century. The second case study deals with a historical Buddhist pilgrimage route from the 11th Century in the Western Himalayas. Understanding of historical geography is necessary to create models of historical roads, but once created, they can help to further understand spatial relations in the historical landscape.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013
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    Preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Zbornik radova Vizantoloskog instituta