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Monks and Laymen in Byzantium, 843-1118

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In Byzantium monks did not form a separate caste, apart from society. They held loyalties not only to their own houses or monastic leaders, but also formed part of a nexus of social, economic and spiritual relationships which bound together the 'powerful' in the middle Byzantine state. Monasticism displayed a highly individualistic streak, unlike the Western religious 'orders'. Using hagiography, chronicles and, in particular, the newly available archives of the Athonite monasteries, this book reassesses the role of monks in Byzantine society and examines the reasons for the flowering of the monastic life in the period from the end of iconoclasm to the beginning of the twelfth century. It is the first study of its kind in English, and is aimed at anyone interested in either the Western or the Byzantine early medieval religious life.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Morris has produced a study that is impressive in its scholarship, and argumentation, and in the flow of its presentation." Steven Fanning, The Historian

"Morris has produced a study that is impressive in its scholarship and argumentation and in the flow of its presentation." Steven Fanning, The Historian

"This book is a pioneering work on the life of the monk in the middle Byzantine period." Charles A. Frazee, American Historical Review

" impressive range of source materials....should be of vital interest to anyone studying the history of monasticism." Religious Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521265584
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2009
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

List of maps
List of tables
Note on transliteration and citation
List of abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 The resurgence of the monastic life 9
2 Groups, communities and solitaries 31
3 Monastic founders 64
4 Monasticism and society 90
5 Piety, patronage and politics 120
6 Monasteries and the law 145
7 Fortune and misfortune 166
8 Territorial expansion and spiritual compromise 200
9 The challenge to central authority 241
10 The Komnene reaction 267
Appendix: Imperial privileges to monasteries, c. 900-1118 296
Bibliography 298
Index 314
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