Mendicant Orders in the Eastern Mediterranean

Mendicant Orders in the Eastern Mediterranean lead image

Mendicant Orders in the Eastern Mediterranean: Art, Architecture and Material Culture (13th-16th c.), Vouleftiko (Old Parliament Building), Nafplion, April 19–23, 2017

The aim of this conference is to examine the artistic legacy of the Mendicant Orders, namely the Franciscans and the Dominicans, in the eastern Mediterranean. This is a hitherto unexplored topic, overshadowed by the extensive research on the mendicants mainly in Italy and the West in general. Unlike the Crusaders, who were viewed with hostility in the East, the ascetic way of living of the mendicants was instrumental in promoting a compassionate face of Catholic Western Europe in the eyes of Orthodox Easterners. Their vow to poverty and active charity towards the poor brought in closer contact two worlds of differing doctrines, hitherto divided by the trauma of the religious schism in 1054 and the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204.

This conference will bring together a group of junior and senior scholars, active in academic research as well as archaeological fieldwork, who will collaborate in presenting new material, exchanging ideas and formulating new approaches, that will shed light on the activity of the Mendicant Orders in the Eastern Mediterranean. The participation of scholars from all over Europe, as well as the United States, will promote a ‘global’ exchange of ideas and foster new methodological approaches. The expertise of researchers working on the mendicants in Italy will kindle the research interest of their activities in the East and will hopefully create a new area of study.