Volume 7, 2007

Václav Ježek
Pages 291-304

Education as a Unifying and “Uplifting” Force in Byzantium

The present contribution discusses the dynamics of education (paideia) in Byzantium. As is well known, Byzantine education built on previous Greek/Roman educational traditions. We attempt to demonstrate, that while Byzantine education built on previous traditions, it transformed these traditions into a new specifically Byzantine ideal of paideia, which combined the content of previous hellenistic educational practices with a Christian outlook. But this Byzantine paideia was not merely a combination of the Greek and Christian tradition, but a new product. For the first time, education was being regulated, since it was an important aspect of the ideological cohesivness of the state. Education was associated with morality and ethics. Perhaps due to Christian influence, especially from the ninth century, education became to be viewed as an „uplifting“ or anagogical force, which enabled one to arrive at a universalist perspective of life and the state.