Desire and Denial in Byzantium: Papers from the 31st Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, Brighton, March 1997

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Overview

The papers in this volume derive from the 31st Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, held for the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies at the University of Sussex, Brighton, in March 1997. The papers in this volume, by a group of international scholars, explore the many different aspects of Byzantine perceptions towards their own humanity and the frailties of that humanity. Using evidence from archaeology, art history, and literary texts ranging from sermons to legal documents, these chapters reveal writings about love, both secular and religious; images of sexuality and sensuality; the law; and Byzantine attitudes to bodies and the senses.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The theme of the symposium was selected to balance the conventional associations of Byzantium, such as celibacy, virginity, and asceticism with desire, sex, love, and the erotic. The 18 essays discuss such topics as spiritual treatises on resisting the passions, the sexual and social dangers of in the Septuagint Greek stratum of patristic Christian Greek thought, the senses and early Byzantine Christianity, the ambiguous relationship between Michael III and Basil the Macedonian, and erotic imagery on ivory caskets. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
List of Plates
Preface
1 From Byzantium, with love 3
2 'Shutting the gates of the soul': spiritual treatises on resisting the passions 23
3 The sexual and social dangers of Pornai in the Septuagint Greek stratum of patristic Christain Greek thought 35
4 Manly women and womanly men: the subintroductae and John Chrysostom 41
5 Anastasios of Sinai's teaching on body and soul 49
6 Divine sex: Patriarch Methodios's concept of virginity 57
7 The city a desert: Theodore of Stoudios on porneia 67
8 Desires denied: marriage, adultery and divorce in early Byzantine law 77
9 Body vs. column: the cults of St. Symeon Stylites 87
10 Christian bodies: the senses and early Byzantine Christianity 101
11 Writing on the body: memory, desire, and the holy in iconoclasm 111
12 Passing the test of sanctity: denial of sexuality and involuntary castration 123
13 In denial: same-sex desire in Byzantium 139
14 Michael III and Basil the Macedonian: just good friends? 149
15 Ninth-century classicism and the erotic muse 161
16 Erotic imagery on Byzantine ivory caskets 173
17 Ostentatio genitalium: displays of nudity in Byzantium 185
18 Desire in Byzantium - the Ought and the Is 205
Index 215
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