Mapping the Jewish Communities of the Byzantine Empire using GIS
de Lange, Nicholas
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The purpose of this paper is to outline the methodology used to map, for the first time, the Jewish communities of the Byzantine Empire. The project Mapping the Jewish Communities of the Byzantine Empire enables specialists, general scholars and indeed the public at large to browse web maps of the Jewish presence in the empire to their own specifications, using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The project was funded from 2010 to 2013 by the European Research Council and aimed to fill a gap in two fields: Byzantine history and Jewish history. Additionally, it is hoped that the application of GIS to the study of a mediaeval historical subject will be useful to other historical projects. This paper focuses on how this project has dealt with the issue of uncertainty in the dates and locations of the Jewish communities of the Byzantine Empire, a problem that hinders interpretations of many periods of mediaeval history.