The 13th century CE was a period of dramatic transformation for the societies of Anatolia and the Eastern Mediterranean, with the conquest of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade (1204), the Mongol conquests of the Seljuk Sultanate (1243) and Baghdad (1258) or the Mamluks coming into power in Egypt (1250) unsettling socio-political structures. While selected aspects have been addressed, a systematic comparison on how the polities of Anatolia tried to reconstruct their power networks within the framework of their perception of world order is missing.

The project ENCHANT, funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF (P 36403-G) for the years 2023-2026, aims to provide such a comparison based on a systematic survey of important artefacts of these efforts, i. e. the documents issued by the state chancelleries of the Byzantine “empires in exile” of Nicaea and Trebizond, Cilician Armenia and the Seljuk Sultanate. The project provides a digital catalogue, a corpus of those documents whose texts have been transmitted at least in significant parts, and a number of publications presenting a comparative analysis of these multifaceted acts of “world (re)ordering” after crisis.

Cooperation partners


  • E. Mitsiou, Networks of Nicaea: 13th century socio-economic ties, structures and prosopography, in: G. Saint-Guillan - D. Stathakopoulos (eds.), Liquid and Multiple: Individuals and Identities in the Thirteenth-Century Aegean. Paris 2012, 91-104.
  • J. Preiser-Kapeller, Liquid Frontiers. A relational analysis of maritime Asia Minor as religious contact zone in the 13th-15th century, in: A. Peacock - B. de Nicola - S. Nur Yıldız (eds.), Islam and Christianity in Medieval Anatolia. Farnham 2015, 117-146.
  • J. Preiser-Kapeller - E. Mitsiou, Mercantile and religious mobility between Byzantines, Latins and Muslims, 1200-1500: on the theory and practice of social networks. Medieval Worlds 1/2019, 187-216 (open access)
  • R. Shukurov, Trebizond and the Seljuks (1204–1299). Mésogeios 25–26 (2005), 71–136.
  • R. Shukurov, The Byzantine Turks, 1204–1461. Leiden 2016.


Johannes Preiser-Kapeller (PI)

Ekaterini Mitsiou (project collaborator, University of Vienna)

Rustam Shukurov (project collaborator, University of St Andrews)