Ludovic Bender. Ermitages et monastères rupestres de la Laconie byzantine (XIe-XVe siècle): Archéologie, topographie et paysages. Studies in Historical Geography and Cultural Heritage, no. 4. Akademska Knjiga, 2022.
From Akademska Knjiga
The landscape of the Southeast Peloponnese (Laconia, Greece), a very important region of the Empire in the context of the late Byzantine period, was comprised of important bishopric centers, such as Mistra and Monemvasia, as well as numerous villages, powerful monastic foundations, and smaller hermitages frequently built in caves and isolated settings. Grounded both on systematic fieldwork and detailed surveys of the monuments, this book is the first comprehensive study of the eremitical and monastic landscapes of the region. It investigates the interactions of isolated hermits and established communities, the relationships of large monasteries to smaller foundations, and the interweaving of monastic and rural economies. It aims at identifying the monks themselves, their preoccupations and aspirations, which are reflected not only by the choice of the patron saints of the holy places they founded or the content of the painted decoration but also by the choice of location or a deep relationship with natural elements of the landscape.