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Les apélates : bandits, soldats, héros. De la réalité à la légende

Apelates: Bandits, Soldiers, Heroes. From Reality to Legend
Lisa Bénou
p. 27-36

Abstracts

The text is centered on author’s assumptions regarding historic fate of apelates. Their origins could date back the end of the 4th c.: they probably were Gothic groups that came in the depopulated oriental marches of the Empire as nomads. They lived of cattle breeding and robbery. The Justinian Code gives further evidence on their social definition in the Empire as cattle thieves; but the 10th c. marks their final acquiring of a social status: theses robbers served at that time also as irregulars to defending the frontiers, probably against the Arabic invasions that we can observe in the previous centuries. At the same time as they definitively entered into the Byzantine society, their legend dawns in their patron saints’ Vitae of and in Digenis epic cycle, where they are ambivalent figures of hero’s companions and enemies. Simultaneously, historic sources do not tell us anything more about them; they are probably replaced by other marginal groups of robbers.

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References

Bibliographical reference

Lisa Bénou, « Les apélates : bandits, soldats, héros. De la réalité à la légende », Études balkaniques, 7 | 2000, 27-36.

Electronic reference

Lisa Bénou, « Les apélates : bandits, soldats, héros. De la réalité à la légende », Études balkaniques [Online], 7 | 2000, Online since 08 April 2009, connection on 11 August 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/etudesbalkaniques/200

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About the author

Lisa Bénou

E.H.E.S.S.-Paris / Centre Pierre Belon

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Copyright

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