An excerpt from Veronica della Dora’s entry, Landscape, Nature and the Sacred in Byzantium

The reassuring enclosure of a garden and the overwhelming vastness of a desert swept by the wind; the majestic charisma of a mountain looming on the horizon and the impenetrable darkness of a cave; the flamboyant glistening of a torrent and the touch of the waves caressing the seashore as the sun is about to … Read more

Ivan Drpić

An excerpt from Ivan Drpić’s entry, Epigram, Art, and Devotion in Later Byzantium

A reader familiar with the traditional periodization of Byzantine history may find it surprising that in this study the momentous events of 1204 – the capture of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade and the subsequent disintegration of the Byzantine Empire – hardly figure as a meaningful chronological break.

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An excerpt from Ivana and Andrej Petrovic’s entry, Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion

Throughout this book we have explored the inner stance of Greek worshippers, such as they appear in individual and varied guises of the pre-Platonic sources, rather than that of ‘the Greek worshipper’ as a generalized amalgam. The outcomes, we believe, are several.

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An excerpt from Paul Cartledge’s entry, Democracy: A Life

Every schoolchild knows that it was the ancient Greeks who invented democracy. But first it must always be remembered that there were some one thousand ancient Greek political entities, often very different, always radically self-differentiated, in the extended and diverse ancient Greek world of Hellas between say 500 and 300 BCE, when demokratia emerged, rose, peaked, and declined or was destroyed.

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Marc Domingo Gygax

An excerpt from Marc Domingo Gygax’s entry, Benefaction and Rewards in the Ancient Greek City: The Origins of Euergetism

3. Proleptic Honors

Let us return to our initial question: how is it possible that at Hippucome and other Greek poleis significant honors were granted to individuals who had only promised contributions to public projects and had not yet accomplished them? Put another way: How can we explain the paradox of public subscriptions? An initial answer is that euergetism was a form of gift-exchange, and that in this typically Greek practice it was normal to outdo oneself, whether intentionally or not, in the counter-gift, to the extent of indebting the initial giver and forcing him to reciprocate with a new gift.

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