Aspects of Post-Byzantine and Ottoman Culture

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EIS807 Aspects of Post-Byzantine and Ottoman Culture

Professor: Christos MERANTZAS | Course outline [pdf file]

The course examines the post-Byzantine material culture integrated, on the one hand, into the environment of the Ottoman Empire and, on the other hand, into that of the Venetian domination-as far as Crete and the Ionian Islands-with reference to artistic production (secular and religious painting, Silversmiths, pottery) and permeability of religious and secular art with Western and Ottoman influences, for the period from the 15th to the early 19th century.

The post-Byzantine material culture is presented in the context of a wider cultural space, depending on issues which shaped the modern Greek identity and the role of religion in the formation of the cultural identity in relation to: a. the social structure and the economic reality of the urban population in the Balkans with an emphasis on commercial activity, b. the ideology of the Balkan societies within their different hegemonic authoritarian attitudes, c. the management of the load of the Ottoman heritage in shaping historical identities, d. the process of Europeanization (industrialization) that undermine the foundations of Ottoman reality, e. the economic dynamics of mountain systems, and finally, f. the formation of mechanisms of nation states based on ethnic characteristics.

Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able to:

  1. Understand the organization of the Ottoman Empire and the reasons that have strengthened its consolidation and survival under a strict centralization and a rigorous corporate control.
  2. To be aware of the mechanism by which the collapse of the Byzantine Empire has brought the regions to new custodians of the newly established Ottoman Empire and especially the great orthodox monastic centers which, by the theological training and spirituality of their bodies, reinforced the efforts to preserve the Byzantine identity, as well as the Byzantine painting tradition.
  3. Understand the artistic evolution of the post-Byzantine art (secular and religious) for a long period (15th-19th century) in the context of a wider and longest artistic tradition from which these practices draw on their standards.
  4. Acquire a clear picture of the process by which the new morphological elements of post-Byzantine art modify and enrich the traditional aesthetic categories of Byzantine painting and alter the “Byzantine canon”, under the weight of mainly the Western and, secondly, Ottoman influences.


  1. Τα Βαλκάνια, Mazower Mark (Eudoxus code: 21978)
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