Princeton University Program in Hellenic Studies May 12, 2006 When Culture Dreams Empire: 'Byzantium' as Usable Past morning session: 9: 30 a m. – 12: 30 p m. Chair: Dimitri Gondicas



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Nikos Chrissidis

Southern Connecticut State University


Was there Byzantium after Byzantium?

The evidence from Russia in the seventeenth century
This presentation analyzes the activities of Greek high-ranking clerics in Russia in the second half of the seventeenth century. By focusing on certain aspects of these clerics’ educational and sacramental practices, the author examines the extent to which these activities can be seen as remnants of a continuing Byzantine Orthodox culture in the post-1453 period. The conclusion is that there was very little that was Byzantine in what Greek clerics offered the Russians in the seventeenth century. Contrary to Nicolae Jorga’s scheme as outlined in Byzance après Byzance, this presentation argues that far from carriers of Byzantine Orthodoxy, the Western-educated Greek clerics became a conduit of a Westernized Orthodoxy both in the Balkans and in Russia. Ultimately, the author proposes dropping the term Byzantine as a qualitative term for the cultural world of the seventeenth-century Greek clerical elite.



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