Byzantium or Democracy?

Kondakov’s Legacy in Emigration: the Institutum Kondakovianum and André Grabar, 1925–1952

Ivan Foletti, Adrien Palladino
Collana: PARVA Convivia, 8
Pubblicazione: Ottobre 2020
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Edizione cartacea
pp. 211, 12,2x19,5 cm, bross.
ISBN: 9788833134963
€ 25,00
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The notion of “Byzantium” has for centuries been associated with autocracy, totalitarianism, and suppression of freedom. It thus became the favored model for the Russian autocracy. In the nineteenth-century, Russian scholars working under Tsarist regimes were, either explicitly or tacitly, condoning and even supporting the ruling autocracy. After the Revolution of 1917, however, many of these effectively complicit intellectuals left Russia for Western democracies. This book shows how this experience affected the lives of intellectuals who fled and transformed their scholarship. Archival materials and writings from the time reveal how scholarship can move from aspiration to reality, as it did for the Russian émigrés until the crash of 1929 and the rise of Nazism in Germany. But how is this relevant today? Because it shows how scholarship and science must be understood as part of history, and because it illustrates the power of hope. As studied and presented by émigrés from Tsarist totalitarianism, “Byzantium” came to be a multinational screen onto which scholars projected not only frustrations but also dreams.

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. Russian Émigré Byzantinists
    • Nikodim Kondakov, the Institutum Kondakovianum, and the “Russian Action”
      Kondakov’s Legacy in Prague: the Seminarium Kondakovianum
      André Grabar, from Kiev to Paris
  • Chapter 2. Byzantium and Democracy
    • The Seminarium Kondakovianum and Interwar Czechoslovakia
      André Grabar, Byzantium, and France
  • Chapter 3. Byzantium in Crisis
    • Grabar and the War
      The Institutum Kondakovianum and the German Occupation
      The Institutum Kondakovianum and Communism
  • Conclusion

Ivan Foletti

Ivan Foletti is professor of art history at Masaryk University, Brno, where he specializes in the study of the historiography of Byzantine studies and in the art of Milan, Rome, and the Caucasus in the Late Antique and Early Medieval period. He is the head of the Center for Early Medieval Studies in Brno, editor-in-chief of Convivium, and director of the Hans Belting Library.

Adrien Palladino

Adrien Palladino is a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Early Medieval Studies, Department of Art History, Masaryk University, Brno. His interests include the history of art history and art theory, as well as the study of Late Antique and Early Medieval material cultures – mainly centred around objects.

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