Featuring specially translated studies, Jean-Claude Cheynet presents the first major study in the English language of Byzantine aristocracy of the 8th-12th centuries. The collection examines the evolution of aristocratic families and the composition of this group, their relative importance to landholding and public office and the notion of 'civilian' and 'military' families, and patterns of inheritance. With a particular emphasis on the Byzantine army, studies also detail the position of aristocrats within its formation and more generally at the effectiveness of the army itself, notably in the campaigns in Asia Minor against the Arabs and the Turks.