Renaissance Encounters

Greek East and Latin West


The present volume has grown out of the conference held at Princeton University on November 12-14, 2009. Its essays explore a coherent, interrelated nexus of topics that illuminate our understanding of the cultural transactions (social, political, economic, religious and artistic) of the Greek East and Latin West: unexpected cultural appropriations and forms of resistance, continuity and change, the construction and hybridization of traditions in a wide expanse of the eastern Mediterranean. Areas that the volume addresses include the benefits and liabilities of periodization, philosophical and political exchanges, monastic syncretism between the Orthodox and Catholic faiths, issues of romance composition, and economic currency and the currency of fashion as East and West interact. Contributors are Roderick Beaton, Peter Brown, Marina S. Brownlee, Giles Constable, Maria Evangelatou, Dimitri Gondicas, Judith Herrin, Elizabeth Jeffreys, Marc D. Lauxtermann, Stuart M. McManus, John Monfasani, Maria G. Parani, Linda Safran, Teresa Shawcross and Alan M. Stahl.


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Biographical Note

Marina Brownlee, Ph.D. (1978) in Romance Languages, is the Robert Schirmer Professor of Spanish and of Comparative Literature at Princeton. She has published extensively on late medieval and early modern Spanish and Comparative literature. Dimitri Gondicas is Stanley J. Seeger Director, Center for Hellenic Studies, Classics; Lecturer in Classics and Hellenic Studies. His publications include Ottoman Greeks in the Age of Nationalism (1999) and Greek Today: A Course in the Modern Language and Culture (2004).

Table of contents

List of Illustrations ... ix List of Contributors ... xv Introduction Hellenic Studies at Princeton: Thirtieth Anniversary ... 3 Dimitri Gondicas The Perils of Periodization ... 5 Marina S. Brownlee Renaissance Encounters: Preface ... 9 Peter Brown Part one: Philosophical and Political Exchanges George Gemistos Plethon and the West: Greek Emigres, Latin Scholasticism, and Renaissance Humanism ... 19 John Monfasani Renaissance Encounters: Byzantium Meets the West at the Council of Ferrara-Florence 1438–9 ... 35 Judith Herrin and Stuart M. McManus Byzantine and Italian Political Thought Concerning the Rise of Cities before the Renaissance ... 57 Teresa Shawcross Part Two: Monastic Syncretism The Meeting of East and West in Medieval Monasticism in Sicily and South Italy ... 97 Giles Constable Betwixt or Beyond? The Salento in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries ... 115 Linda Safran Part Three: Iconic Dialogues Between East and West: The Symbolism of Space in the Art of Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) ... 147 Maria Evangelatou Linguistic Encounters: The Presence of Spoken Greek in Sixteenth-Century Venice ... 185 Marc D. Lauxtermann Part Four: Romance Issues Boccaccio and the Greek World of His Time: A Missing Link in the “True Story of the Novel”? ... 207 Roderick Beaton Byzantine Romances: Eastern or Western? ... 217 Elizabeth Jeffreys Part Five: The Currency of Fashion The Mediterranean Melting Pot: Monetary Crosscurrents of the Twelfth through Fifteenth Centuries ... 237 Alan M. Stahl Encounters in the Realm of Dress: Attitudes towards Western Styles in the Greek East ... 259 Maria G. Parani Index ... 000 i-


This volume will be read with interest by those interested in Byzantine and Medieval history, in cultural interaction and resistance, in periodization, and in the disciplines and institutions of politics, philosophy, religion, art and architecture.