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Between 350 and 850 Constantinople emerged as both the greatest city of the Mediterranean world and a monastic centre of unparalleled importance. Drawing upon a wide range of sources, including a rich body of hagiographical evidence, this study documents the historical relationship between the city and its monks during this crucial formative period. Monks and nuns played a key role from the beginning. In 350 their numbers were few, yet their impact on local politics and the church was significant. By 850 their presence was felt everywhere - from the world of the imperial court and church, to the local economy, elite culture, social services and popular piety. This dramatic rise in the influence of local monasticism was the result of its impressive numerical growth over time, and hard-won success in adapting the singular call of the monastic life to the challenges of the great medieval metropolis and imperial capital.Read more
- Discusses the enduring themes of the interplay between society and religion, church and state
- Focuses on Constantinople, one of the last and greatest outposts of Roman Civilization toward the end of antiquity and one of the most magnificent cities of the medieval world
- Includes evidence of Byzantine Hagiography, an exciting, challenging and largely neglected genre of Christian religious folk literature and local history
Reviews & endorsements
Review of the hardback: 'This is [an] important book which fills a gap. It covers the crucial period before that treated in Rosemary Morris's excellent Monks and Laymen in Byzantium, 843–1118 (1995), and it provides a detailed and comprehensive treatment of the neglected subject of monks and monasteries in Constantinople itself. … It will certainly become a standard work.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History
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- Date Published: April 2011
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521208895
- length: 566 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 32 mm
- weight: 0.82kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. Poverty, Politics and Patronage (ca. 300–565):
1. Developing trends in early Byzantine monasticism, ca. 300–565
2. The founding generations of monks in Constantinople, ca. 350–430
3. Conflict and confidence, ca. 430–518
4. Compromise and its rewards in the age of Justinian and Theodora, 518–565
Part II. Stability and Loss (565–ca. 730):
5. Useful partners in the late antique city, 565–ca. 610
6. Lost in adversity, ca. 610– 730
Part III. Noble Monks and New Causes (ca. 730–850):
7. The monastic social context: numbers, families, friendship and fraternities
8. The great expansion of monastic institutions
9. Monks in the world
10. Monks and culture
Appendix 1. A master list of the monasteries of Constantinople (ca. 350–850)
Appendix 2. A catalogue of iconodule bishops and metropolitans (815–843)
Appendix 3. A catalogue of iconodule abbots, abbesses and important monks and nuns (815–843)
Appendix 4. A select list of monastic authors working in Constantinople (ca. 730–850)
Appendix 5. Maps.
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