Monks and monasteries of Byzantine Thrace 10th-14th centuries
|Institution:||University of Birmingham|
|Keywords:||BX Christian Denominations; CC Archaeology; D051 Ancient History; DF Greece; DR Balkan Peninsula|
|Full text PDF:||http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/6818/|
My Ph.D. dissertation examines the history and archaeology of the monastic institutions of Thrace between the tenth and the late fourteenth centuries. Primarily concerned with the fundamental aspects of monastic life and its modes of interaction with lay society, I sought to investigate the life-cycle, topography and spatial composition of monastic communities in the western hinterland of the imperial capital of Byzantium, the city of Constantinople. My second objective was the investigation of the cultural, economic, and social aspects of the relationship between Thrace and Constantinople as evidenced in the surviving material culture, which consists mainly of architecture and decorative programmes. I followed an interdisciplinary methodology that brings together the systematic analysis of a large corpus of texts associated with monastic institutions -namely wills, monastic foundation documents, monastic archives, letters and imperial laws- with the results of three seasons of archaeological fieldwork. I conducted extensive surveys and recorded remains of monastic complexes including churches and refectories on Mount Ganos (Turkey), on the southern Rhodope Mountains (Greece) and in the cities of Sozopolis and Mesembria (Bulgaria), and explored the cultural ties with Constantinople and other meaningful centers of the Byzantine world.