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

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 31, 2008 - History
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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.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Greeks Romans and Christians in late antiquity
11
the legacies of Hellenism
13
Romans of the East
42
the Christian predicament
120
the middle years 4001040
173
Hellenic revivals in Byzantium
189
Michael Psellos and the instauration of philosophy
191
the performance of Hellenism under the Komnenoi
225
Imperial failure and the emergence of national Hellenism
317
General conclusions
389
Bibliography
398
Index
453
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Page 15 - Greekness: we are one in blood and one in language; those shrines of the gods belong to us [both the Spartans and the Athenians] all in common, and the sacrifices in common, and there are our habits, bred of a common upbringing.

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