Chapter

Christianity in early medieval greece

Florin Curta and Siu-lun Wong

in The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, c. 500 to 1050

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780748638093
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670741 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638093.003.0012
Christianity in early medieval greece

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The multiplication of bishoprics in early medieval Greece is well represented in the lists of episcopal sees subject to the patriarch of Constantinople (notitiae episcopatuum). Their distribution is in sharp contrast to the distribution of churches dated to the 10th or 11th century. This suggests that the building of churches on diocesan borders may have something to do with the multiple conflicts between metropolitans and bishops in early medieval Greece. The Chronicle of Monemvasia was in fact written in 900/1 to support the claims of the metropolitan of Patras over the suffragan see of Lakedaimon. The late tenth and early eleventh century witnessed an increase in pilgrimage, but popular religion verging on black magic survived along with the strong belief in the healing power of myrrh or olive oil from the holy shrines. Some of the most important holy men of early medieval Greece—St. Nikon Metanoiete, St. Luke the Younger, and St. John Xenos—established communities of ascetics, many of whom were their dedicated disciples. In sharp constrast, the monastic community at Mount Athos under St. Athanasios adopted a more strictly cenobitic discipline.

Keywords: Bishops; Chronicle of Monemvasia; saints; liturgy; pilgrimage; myrrh; holy oil; cenobitic monasticism

Chapter.  11857 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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