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Desire and Denial in Byzantium edited by Liz James

Desire and Denial in Byzantium edited by Liz James


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.


Desire, sex, love and the erotic are not terms usually associated with Byzantium and Byzantine studies, unlike celibacy, virginity and asceticism, which mroe readily spring to mind as being characteristics of Byzantine society. In order to examine whether the balance between these two extremes needed redressing, desire and denial was adopted as the theme for this symposium.


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, imagines of sexuality and sensuality; the law; and Byzantine attituds to bodies and the senses. What the symposium illustrated is that the question of desires in the Byzantine world is significant, and that such desires can offer insights into Byzantine conceptions of their own world.

  • Details

    Imprint: Ashgate Variorum

    Publication Date: 1999

    ISBN: 0860787885

    Pages: 220

    Format: Hardback, secondhand

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