Argyri Dermitzaki
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I would primarily like to thank Michele Bacci for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the research programme in the framework of which my PhD thesis was produced. This book is a revised version of that thesis, defended in October 2019 at the University of Fribourg. His supervision guided me along various paths and introduced me to research methods and fields that were new to me. His support throughout the entire process was invaluable.

I am grateful to Maria Vassilaki, who supervised my master’s thesis and was my external PhD examiner. Even before I met her, her work had been an inspiration to me. Throughout the years of my MA studies, she acquainted me with a way of thinking about and approaching Byzantine and Post-Byzantine art, while ever since her support, help and encouragement have been inestimable.

The project’s team members, Gianvito Campobasso, Vesna Scepanovic, Sofia Zoitou and Angela Schiffhauer, my research companions, are the ones who helped to lay the bases for both our common and personal work. Vesna Scepanovic and Sofia Zoitou, the other two PhD researchers of the project, especially stood by me and generously supported me through the phase of writing my thesis.

The Ephorates of Antiquities of Corfu, Zakynthos, Messenia and Heraklion continually assisted my research and offered valuable information, in particular concerning unpublished or insufficiently studied monuments in their areas of interest. I would specifically like to acknowledge Tenia Rigakou and Alexios Alexis at the Ephorate of Corfu, Michalis Kappas at the Ephorate of Messenia and Eleni Kanaki at the Ephorate of Heraklion. For their help, discussions of ideas, translations and insights, I thank Nikos Livanos, Spiros Gaoutsis, Giorgos Zoumbos, Grigoris Apostolidis, Thomas Kaffenberger and Alexandre Varela. For providing me with photos of the hard-to-reach churches of Crete, I would like to thank Alexandros Roniotis.

The sponsorship of the Swiss National Science Foundation made the publication of this book possible. I would also like to thank the Mediterranean Art Histories editors, Hannah Baader, Michele Bacci and Gerhard Wolf, for including this book in the series; Teddi Dols, the Brill Editor/Editor Middle East and Islamic Studies in charge of the series, as well as Thalien Colenbrander, Production Editor, and the Brill production team; and my language editor, Alexandra Pel, for a harmonious collaboration in preparing the manuscript for publication.

I appreciate Béatrice and Michel Bavarel and Florian de Lehner for their hospitality in Fribourg and for making me feel like a member of their family. Martha Housianakou and Patrick Bainchet helped and supported me every step of the way. Finally, I am thankful for my family, who supported me throughout my studies, and dedicate this book to my late father, who was so proud to see me working on his beloved Crete and who unfortunately did not see my work completed. Last but not least, heartfelt thanks to my husband for his love and support and to my wonderful son, who was born while I was writing my thesis and who makes everything so much more beautiful.

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