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Look Inside Hellenism in Byzantium

Hellenism in Byzantium
The Transformations of Greek Identity and the Reception of the Classical Tradition


Part of Greek Culture in the Roman World

  • Date Published: January 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521876889

£ 93.00

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About the Authors
  • This text was the first systematic study of what it meant to be 'Greek' in late antiquity and Byzantium, an identity that could alternatively become national, religious, philosophical, or cultural. Through close readings of the sources, Professor Kaldellis surveys the space that Hellenism occupied in each period; the broader debates in which it was caught up; and the historical causes of its successive transformations. The first section (100–400) shows how Romanisation and Christianisation led to the abandonment of Hellenism as a national label and its restriction to a negative religious sense and a positive, albeit rarefied, cultural one. The second (1000–1300) shows how Hellenism was revived in Byzantium and contributed to the evolution of its culture. The discussion looks closely at the reception of the classical tradition, which was the reason why Hellenism was always desirable and dangerous in Christian society, and presents a new model for understanding Byzantine civilisation.

    • Discussion of the changes in Greek identity from antiquity to 1300 informed by the latest theoretical literature
    • Fills a large gap in our knowledge of the reception of the classical tradition
    • Based on dozens of hitherto untranslated Byzantine sources
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'The study is based on a direct acquaintance with an impressive range of authors from two thousand years of Greek literature. … I do hope that this discussion will be held in future scholarly literature, and that this book will find many readers: it is directly relevant for any student interested in the lasting legacy of Greek Antiquity.' L'Antiquité Classique

    'Kaldellis's book brings many provocative points to an area of Byzantine studies that had stagnated for several decades. The contention that 'Hellenism' in Byzantium was synonymous with 'paganism' has always been unconvincing, but Kaldellis is the fist modern scholar to devote a book-length study to the topic.' The Journal of Speculum

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521876889
    • length: 482 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.87kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Greeks, Romans, and Christians in Late Antiquity:
    1. 'We too are Greeks!': the legacies of Hellenism
    2. 'The world a city': Romans of the east
    3. 'Nibbling on Greek learning': the Christian predicament
    Interlude. Hellenism in limbo: the middle years (400–1040)
    Part II. Hellenic Revivals in Byzantium:
    4. Michael Psellos and the instauration of philosophy
    5. The third sophistic: the performance of Hellenism under the Komnenoi
    6. Imperial failure and the emergence of national Hellenism
    General conclusions.

  • Author

    Anthony Kaldellis, Ohio State University

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