The period from the beginning of the 7th century to the early years of the 9th century was a critical one for the future of medieval Byzantine society. Texts and material remains reveal that the older cities suffered a period of crisis and that gradually the ancient urban way of life disappeared, while there was a marked general turn towards the agricultural life.

A characteristic feature of this social transformation, as noted by the Byzantinist A. Kazhdan, is the fact that in the hagiological texts of the 4th and 6th centuries the saints seem to come from urban environments and big cities, while from the 7th to the 9th centuries they came from rural families, often being the children of country priests, or else they belonged to the landowning class.

Changes in the social structure brought about more general changes both in public life and in cultural activities, and increased the anxieties of the empire's population.

By examining the crises and the transformation of ancient cities and the impact of change on the social structure, the public life and the culture of the people, we will try to delineate the changes that occurred in society of this period. Additionally, in the Social Structure unit, we will present the main characteristics of the social classes in this period.