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7-08-2015, 19:49

Notes on using this volume

Our approach to transliteration may induce unease among some colleagues – and invite charges of inconsistency – but we have tried to make proper names and technical terms accessible to the English-speaking world wherever possible. Greek has been transliterated and bars have been used to distinguish ¯eta from epsilon and ¯omega from omicron in the case of individual words and technical terms, but abandoned for proper names. Greek forms of proper names have generally been adopted in Parts II and III – Komnenos instead of the Latinised Comnenus, for example – in contrast to Part I, set in late antiquity, when Latinised names seem appropriate. In general, we have adopted a ‘b’ and not ‘v’ when transliterating the Greek letter b¯eta. However, where a name is more or less domiciled in English usage, we have let it be, e.g.Monemvasia and notMonembasia. Where the names of places are probably so familiar to most readers in their Latinised forms that the use of a Greek form might distract, the Latinised form has been retained in Parts II and III – Nicaea instead of Nikaia, for example. Familiar English forms have been preferred out of the same consideration – Athens not Athenai, for example – and in Part III, when the empire’s possessions were being taken over by speakers of other tongues, the place names now prevalent have generally been preferred – Ankara instead of Ankyra, for example. Arabic diacritics have been discarded in proper names, with only the ayn (’) and hamza (‘) retained in the form shown, on the assumption that the diacritics will not help non-Arabic readers and may actually distract from name recognition and recall; however, full diacritics have been retained for individual words and technical terms. We have tried to be consistent yet accessible in transliterating other key scripts, such as Armenian andCyrillic, using for the latter a modified version of the Library of Congress system. Detailed notes on how to use the bibliography can be found below at pp. 936–8. Chronological sectioning for the secondary bibliography is – like the periodisation of history itself into mutually exclusive compartments – rather arbitrary. The bibliography of secondary works should therefore be treated as a whole and the reader failing to find a work in one section should try the others. The Glossary and Tables are not intended to be comprehensive guides. The Glossary offers a selection of the technical terms, foreign words and names of peoples and institutions appearing in CHBE. But wherever possible, these are explained in the context of a chapter and only the more problematic proper names have a Glossary entry (see also Maps 3 and 52). Likewise, the lists of rulers and genealogies have been kept to a minimum, since they are available in more specialised works. The list of alternative place names is intended to help the reader locate some towns and regions which were known under radically different names by diverse occupants or neighbours, and to offer modern equivalents where known. The maps are designed to reconcile accessibility for anglophone readers with a sense of the form prevalent during the chronological section of CHBE in question, not wholly compatible goals. The maps are intended to be viewed as an ensemble, and readers unable to spot a place in a map positioned in one chapter should look to adjoining chapters, or (aided by the list of alternative place names and the index) shop around.

 

 

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