Research Area A


Research Area B


Research Area C


Research Area D




Everyday and Social Life in Byzantium

The Program Daily and Social Life of the Byzantines (KKBB) aims to explore aspects of Byzantine everyday life through the study and analysis of perceptions, habits and practices, attested in written sources and everyday objects, as well as in monumental and artistic expression.

The Program covers two main thematic areas. The first focuses on the investigation of daily activities and their interaction with social structures, and further attempts to identify trends and activities, collective and individualized, as they were manifested in public and private life. Furthermore, interactions among various social groups within the context of daily life and aspects of cultural and social relations with other peoples are examined. Among the objectives of the Program’s second thematic area is the study of production, processing-manufacturing, maintenance, distribution-marketing and consumption of agricultural, and livestock or marine products, but also of innovations and research in various fields (economy, artisanship, agriculture, cultivation). Emphasis has been laid on research into Byzantine agricultural production and diet, and particularly the sophisticated culinary preparations and their dissemination and interpretation at a symbolic level.



The Program was founded in 2000 with the aim to study material life in Byzantium; it has gradually expanded its activities into related and multidisciplinary areas of Byzantine culture. Research and indexing of Saints Lives on cultivation equipment, construction devices and furnishings was conducted experimentally during the period 1995-2000. Since 2000, special emphasis has been placed on international collaborations to study the production process, distribution and consumption of wine and oil, as well as nutrition, to explore aspects of environmental history and in particular fauna. Gradually, the Program encompassed research on perceptions, behavior and devotional practices. In cooperation with international colleagues, the Program attempted to put together a database for dreams-visions ("Dream experience in Byzantium") and the senses in Byzantium (see Conferences and Events, Publications).

Over time, the Program has included new topics, such as the History of Economic Ideas and the History of Science, which in turn have produced monographs, articles and presentations in international conferences (Gerasimos Merianos).

In the framework of KKBB, a postdoctoral research has been prepared on the social history of Byzantium, which had as its object the creation of a database (, Efi Ragia).
Initially, Byzantine alchemy was explored as part of the Program. However, in 2018 this activity evolved into an independent project entitled "Alchemy in Byzantium" (Gerasimos Merianos). ΕΔΩ ΟΙ ΣΥΝΔΕΣΜΟΙ

The Program includes two projects on performativity: "Elements of Performativity in Late Antique, Byzantine and Modern Greek Culture", and the traditions of the Adoration of the Virgin: "The Virgin beyond Borders" (Niki Tsironis).

The Program carries out research on issues related to the history of the environment, the relations between the natural and the built environment, and the symbolic and literary representations of landscapes and space. Workshops and seminars are organized on an annual basis in collaboration with other institutions and academic associates (Maria Leontsini).

Since its beginning, the Program has developed a wide network of collaborations with scientific institutions, individual academics and independent researchers from Greece and other countries, inviting them for lectures and international symposia.

External collaborators of the Program study the history of gender and religious identity in Byzantium on the occasion of the critical edition and translation of the Greek Passions of Saints Barbara and Catherine (Daria Resh, NYU, in collaboration with David Konstan, NYU).



Maria Leontsini, Senior Researcher, Program co-ordinator
Gerasimos Merianos, Senior Researcher
Niki Tsironis, Functional Researcher A


Other members

Research Directors Emeriti and Former Researchers
Christine Angelidi, Research Director Emerita
Ilias Anagnostakis, Research Director Emeritus
Εutychia Papadopoulou, Former IHR Researcher

External Collaborators:
Katerina Nikolaou, Associate Professor, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Charis Messis, Laboratory Teaching Staff, Faculty of Philology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Efi Ragia, PhD, Historian of Byzantium, Hellenic Open University
George T. Calofonos, Historian of Byzantium
Daria Resh, PhD, Research Collaborator, Department of Classics, New York University
D. Letsios, PhD, Historian of Byzantium



Research Projects

As part of the Program, the following projects have been concluded, or are ongoing, scheduled or in the process of preparation:

  • History of Byzantine wine
  • History of the olive and olive oil
  • History of Byzantine diet.
  • History of the Environment


Current / ongoing Projects

Collaborative research Programs

The Everyday and Social Life in Byzantium Program has set up open-access databases covering various aspects of the Program, relating to technology, the handling of agricultural products in Byzantium (database partly published in volume IV of Οἶνονἱστορῶ, Athens 2005, 77-167), Byzantine diet and household furnishings (mainly Byzantine furniture “Domestic equipment and handling networks. A diachronic approach”, see below Completed Programs). Research on domestic animals and wildlife in Greece (9th-15th cent.) is ongoing in the framework of the Project "History of the Environment". Aspects of contribution of the fauna to living and production processes, as well as symbolic interpretations and stereotypes in references to animals, are examined and recorded.

In the present phase the following databases are under way:
(entries have already been submitted for electronic configuration)

“Chrysothemis. Byzantine Gastronomy” [Abstracts]
Ilias Anagnostakis, 2017-2020
The project forms part of the collaborative project of IHR/ NHRF Anavathmis. Development of historical research. Studies and digital applications. The aim of the project is to collect and study Byzantine gastronomic material, which exists in Byzantine sources. The goal is to develop a database containing entries on Byzantine gastronomy. The database will appear under the title “CHRYSOTHEMIS. Byzantine Gastronomy”. The project consists of the following: a) identification, synthesis and processing of Byzantine culinary material, b) creation of a database of Byzantine gastronomic data entitled: “CHRYSOTHEMIS. Byzantine Gastronomy”.

“Domestic Animals and Wildlife in Greece (9th-15th century)”
Maria Leontsini, 2017-2020
Written testimonies and archaeological evidence related to the topics of domestic animals and wildlife in Greece are currently under indexing in order to develop a database in the context of the research project of the IHR / NHRF Anavathmis. Development of historical research. Studies and digital applications. The project aims to: a) map the geographical, historical and environmental evidence regarding wildlife exploitation and the development of animal husbandry and fishing; b) record evidence on an open access data base.

“Byzantine Literary Sources for the History and Civilization of Arabs and Arabia”
Maria Leontsini, Taxiarchis Kolias, Professor Emeritus National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, D. Letsios, 2019-2022.
The project is carried out in collaboration with the King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives and aims at a) indexing documents on the history and prosopography regarding the relations of Byzantium and the Arabs (society, economy, daily life, material culture), b) recording of items on an open access database.

“Digital Routes in Greek History’s Paths” (RoGH)
Gerasimos Merianos, 2019-2022

The project is implemented in collaboration with IHR / NHRF researchers George Koutzakiotis and Vyron Antoniadis, together with the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and Content Management in Culture enterprise. The project aims at developing a virtual reality and 3D platform, allowing users to visit historical locations of Ancient, Byzantine and Modern Greece, following particular routes. The project is funded by the State Aid Action "Research – Create – Innovate” (EPANEK).



  • Participation in the project: Nature and Religion in South Eastern European Space: Mapping Science and Eastern Christianity Relations in South Eastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean – NARSES ( of the EU-funded "Aristeia/Excellency" (G. Merianos, 2012–2015).

  • Electronic Database on the Social History of Byzantium from the 7th to the 12th Century: Sources, Problems and Approaches
    Developed within the context of the Postdoctoral Research Program by Dr. Efi Ragia as part of the Action “Supporting Postdoctoral Researchers” of the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs (funded by the EU/European Social Fund), hosted by IHR/NHRF and included in the Program “Everyday and Social Life in Byzantium” (2012-2015). 

  • Domestic Equipment and Handling Networks. A Diachronic Approach
    Developed within the context of the collaborative Project of IHR “Kyrtou Plegmata: Networks of Economy, Power and Knowledge in the Hellenic Space from Prehistorical Times until the Modern Age: Analytic Documentation – Interpretive Mapping – Synthetic Approaches”, 2013-2015. The Project’s objective was to offer documentation and interpretative mapping of the networks developed (as part of wider economic market-networks) to distribute the various items that made up household equipment. Developed in co-operation with the IHR research team of the same name (I. Αnagnostakis, Μ. Leontsini).
  • Rural Networks for the Production and Distribution of Products in the Peloponnese during the Byzantine Period
    The project entailed the study, documentation and interpretive mapping of the production and distribution networks of agricultural products (Corinthia). The database was developed within the collaborative Project of IHR ““Kyrtou Plegmata: Networks of Economy, Power and Knowledge in the Hellenic Space from Prehistorical Times until the Modern Age: Analytic Documentation – Interpretive Mapping – Synthetic Approaches”, 2013-2015 (I. Αnagnostakis, Μ. Leontsini, in collaboration with the “Historical Geography Program”).

  • Participation in the Project: Harbours and Landing Places on the Balkan Coasts of the Byzantine Empire (4th-12th centuries).
    Data on the harbours of Messenia and the NE Peloponnese (4th-12th c.) were registered to the Project (I. Αnagnostakis, Μ. Leontsini, in collaboration with the “Historical Geography Program”).



Conferences and Events


  • 2000: Η αφύπνιση των αισθήσεων και προσωπικές προτιμήσεις (11ος-15ος αιώνας) [The Awaking of the Senses and of Personal Choices], Athens, IBR/NHRF, 24-25 November.
  • 2005: Το βιβλίο στο Βυζάντιο: Βυζαντινή και μεταβυζαντινή βιβλιοδεσία [The Book in Byzantium: Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Bookbinding], in collaboration with the IBR Program ''Archival, Palaeographical and Diplomatic Research'', Athens, IBR/NHRF, 13-16 November.
  • 2006: Μονεμβάσιος οίνοςΜονοβασ(ι)ά – Malvasia [Monemvasian Wine - Monovas(i)a - Malvasia'], in collaboration with the IBR Program ''Historical Geography of the Greek Region'', Athens, IBR/NHRF, 19-20 May.
  • 2008: Όνειρα και οράματα στην ύστερη Αρχαιότητα και στο Βυζάντιο (Dreams and Visions in Late Antiquity and Byzantium), Athens, IBR/NHRF, 23-24 May.
  • 2008: Ζώα και περιβάλλον στο Βυζάντιο (7ος-12ος αιώνας) [Animals and Environment in Byzantium (7th-12th centuries)], Athens, IBR/NHRF, 6-7 June.
  • 2015: Latte e Latticini. Aspetti della produzione e del consumo nelle società mediterranee dell’Antichità e del Medioevo, Convegno Internazionale di Studiopromosso dall’IBAM – CNR e dall’IRS – FNER nell’ambito del Progetto MenSALe, Athens, IHR/NHRF, 1-3 October.
  • 2016: POMEDOR final conference: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Food and Foodways in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean, organized in collaboration with the Program partners POMEDOR, Lyon, Paul Bocuse Institute, Ecully, Lyon, 19-21 May.

The conference proceedings were edited by the respective directors of each project.


Meetings, Seminars, Workshops

  • 2013: Organization of a series of lectures: Πριν την οικολογία: Η διαχείριση του περιβάλλοντος στις προβιομηχανικές κοινωνίες [Before ecology: Management of the environment in pre-industrial societies], Workshop organized as part of the Hermoupolis Seminars, Hermoupolis (Syros Island), July, 5th -14th.
  • 2016: 2nd Two-day Conference on the History of the Environment: Ιστορικό και πολιτιστικό τοπίο: Παρεμβάσεις και διαχείριση, πρόσληψη και μετασχηματισμοί [Historical and Cultural Landscape: Interventions and Management, Understanding and Transformations], Historical Archives of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, November, 3rd -4th.
  • 2017: 3rd Two-day Conference on the History of the Environment: Φυσικοί και ενεργειακοί πόροι [Natural and energy resources], Historical Archives of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, November, 2nd -3rd.
  • 2018: 4th Two-day Conference on the History of the Environment: Περιβάλλον και Διατροφή [Environment and Nutrition], Conference Amphitheatre of the Agricultural University of Athens, December, 10th -11th.
  • 2019: 5th Two-day Conference on the History of the Environment: «Άλλοτε η θάλασσα»: Θαλάσσια οικοτοπία στις ελληνικές περιοχές [«Άλλοτε η θάλασσα»: Marine ecotopy in the Greek regions], Historical Archives of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, November, 6th -7th.


Lecture series

  • 2006: Οίνος: Πολιτισμός και κοινωνία. Το χθες και το σήμερα [Wine: Culture and Society. Yesterday and Today], “Science in Society” – NHRF Lecture Series, NHRF, May.
  • 2010: Άνθρωπος και Περιβάλλον στο Βυζάντιο [Man and Environment in Byzantium], “Science in Society” – NHRF Lecture Series, NHRF, March.
  • 2013: Παλιά και νέα φτώχεια και η εξουσία του χρήματος [Old and New Poverty and the Power of Money], “Science in Society” – NHRF Lecture Series, NHRF, January-February.
  • 2017: Η διατροφή στη Μεσόγειο: Ιστορικές πτυχές και βιοχημικές προσεγγίσεις [Diet in the Mediterranean: Historical Aspects and Biochemical Approaches] (organized with the Hellenic Institute of Biological Research), “Science in Society” – NHRF Lecture Series, NHRF, March.
  • 2018: Νεότητα, αντιγήρανση και μακροζωία: Σύγχρονες προσεγγίσεις της βιολογικής ηλικίας μέσω των Ιστορικών και Βιολογικών Επιστημών [Youth, Anti-ageing and Longevity: Modern Approaches to Biological Age through Historical and Biological Sciences] (co-organized with the Hellenic Institute of Biological Research), “Science in Society” – NHRF Lecture Series, NHRF, March.
  • 2018: Συνάντηση Ιστορίας και Λογοτεχνίας στη σύγχρονη έρευνα [Encounters of History and Literature in Modern Research] (co-organized with the IHR, Section of the Neo-Hellenic Research Program: Modern Greek Literature and History of Ideas, 18th-20th c.), “Science in Society” – NHRF Lecture Series, February.
  • 2019: Athens Science Festival 2019: Εξημερώνοντας το δάσος [Τaming the Forest], The Municipality of Athens Technopolis, 7 April.

book cover        lectureseries        oinos_politismos_en



Collaborations with scientific bodies in Greece

Collaborations with scientific institutions in Greece

  • Faculty of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Historical Archives of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation
  • Society for the Study of Modern Hellenism – Mnemon
  • Scientific and Cultural Foundation of the Cyclades Islands
  • Agricultural University of Athens.

International Academic Collaborations

The Program has developed collaborations with scientific institutions through the organization of meetings and international conferences:

  • 2010: L’équipe Mondes Anciens du CeRMAHVA et l’Institut Européen d’Histoire et des Cultures de l’Alimentation (IEHCA). Organizing a conference at l’Université François-Rabelais de Tours on La viticulture grecque de l’époque hellénistique à l’époque byzantine: une approche interdisciplinaire des techniques viticoles grecques, 12-13 November..
  • 2011: Koç University. Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations [RCAC], Organization of the Istanbul conference, Of Vines and Wines. The Production and Consumption of Wine in Anatolian Civilizations through the Ages, 3-4 December.
  • 2012-2014: Partner in the Program Setorie e rappresentazioni della cultura dell’alimentazione regionale – MenSALe (Mense Storiche ed Artistiche Lucane), in collaboration with the Istituto per i beni archeologici et monumentali del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Basilicata, Italia.
  • 2013-2016: Partner in the POMEDOR Project: People, Pottery and Food in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean, in collaboration with the Laboratoire de Céramologie, CNRS, UMR “Archéométrie et Archéologie”, Lyon, France (–project,
  • 2017: Collaboration in the international documentary "The Journey of Food. Diet from Prehistory to Modern Times" produced by Anemon Productions, with Ilias Anagnostakis (historical consultant on Byzantium) and Maria Leontsini. (


  • A. Kazhdan, in collaboration with L. F. Sherry – Chr. Angelidi, A History of Byzantine Literature (650–850), IBR/NHRF - Research Series 2, Athens 1999.
  • Chr. Angelidi (ed.), Το Βυζάντιο ώριμο για αλλαγές. Επιλογές, ευαισθησίες και τρόποι έκφρασης από τον ενδέκατο στον δέκατο πέμπτο αιώνα [Byzantium Matures. Choices, Sensitivities, and Modes of Expression (Eleventh to Fifteenth centuries)], International Symposium 13, IBR/NHRF, Athens 2004.
  • Κ. Νikolaou, Η γυναίκα στη μέση βυζαντινή εποχή. Κοινωνικά πρότυπα και καθημερινός βίος στα αγιολογικά κείμενa[The Woman in the Middle Byzantine Period: Social Models and Everyday Life in the Hagiographical Texts], Monographs 6, IBR/NHRF, Athens 2005.
  • A. Kazhdan, A History of Byzantine Literature (850–1000), ed. Chr. Angelidi, IBR/NHRF - Research Series 4, Athens 2006.
  • Μ. Leontsini, Κωνσταντίνος Δ΄ (668–685). O τελευταίος πρωτοβυζαντινός αυτοκράτορας [Constantine IV (668-685). The Last Emperor of the Early Byzantine Period], Monographs 7, IBR/NHRF, Athens 2006.
  • Οίνος: Πολιτισμός και κοινωνία, Το χθες και το σήμερα [Wine: Culture and Society, Yesterday and Today], NHRF - Science and Societ], Athens 2006.
  • I. Anagnostakis, Βυζαντινός οινικός πολιτισμός. Το παράδειγμα της Βιθυνίας [Wine Culture in Byzantium: The Bithynian Example], Byzantium Today 6, IBR/NHRF, Athens 2008.
  • I. Anagnostakis (ed.), Μονεμβάσιος οίνοςΜονοβασ(ι)ά – Malvasia, [Monemvasian Wine – Monovas(i)a – Malvasia, Οίνον Ιστορώ V, International Symposium 17, IBR/NHRF], Athens 2008.
  • G. Merianos, Οικονομικές ιδέες στο Βυζάντιο τον 12ο αιώνα. Οι περί οικονομίας απόψεις του Ευσταθίου Θεσσαλονίκης [Economic Ideas in the 12th Century Byzantium: The Views of Eustathios of Thessaloniki on Economy], Monographs 13, IBR/NHRF, Athens 2008.
  • I. Anagnostakis – T. G. Kolias – E. Papadopoulou (eds.), ΖώακαιΠεριβάλλονστοΒυζάντιο (7ος–12οςαι.) [Animals and Environment in Byzantium (7th-12th c.)], International Symposium 21, IBR/NHRF, Athens 2011.
  • Eir. Mergoupi-Savaidou – G. Merianos – F. Papanelopoulou – Ch. Christopoulou (eds.), Επιστήμη και Τεχνολογία. Ιστορικέςκαιιστοριογραφικέςμελέτες [Science and Technology. Historical and Historiographical Studies], Society for the Study and Dissemination of the History of Science and Technology 1, Ekdotike Athenon, Athens 2013.
  • I. Anagnostakis (ed.), Flavours and Delights. Tastes and Pleasures of Ancient and Byzantine Cuisine, Athens 2013.
  • Chr. Angelidi – G. Calofonos (eds.), Dreaming in Byzantium and Beyond, Farnham – Burlington, VT 2014.
  • I. Anagnostakis – A. Pellettieri (eds.) Latte e Latticini. Aspetti della produzione e del consumo nelle società mediterranee dell’Antichità e del Medioevo, Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studiopromosso dall’IBAM – CNR e dall’IRS – FNER nell’ambito del Progetto MenSALe, Atene, 2–3 ottobre 2015, Lagonegro 2016.
  • S. Germanidou, Βυζαντινόςμελίρρυτοςπολιτισμός [Byzantine Honey Culture], Byzantium Today 7, IHR/NHRF, Athens 2016.
  • G. Merianos – G. Gotsis, Managing Financial Resources in Late Antiquity: Greek Fathers’ Views on Hoarding and Saving, New Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture, London 2017.
  • I. Anagnostakis – E. Balta (ed.– intr.), History of Olive Cultivation and Olive Oil in the Eastern Mediterranean from Antiquity to the Pre-Industrial Times, Piraeus Bank Cultural Foundation – Institute of Historical Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens 2020.

monemvasios_oinos_en         zwa_perivallon_en         dreaming_inbyzantium


financial     vyzantinos_melirytos_en     elia_ladi




The program's researchers are actively involved in educational and academic activities, such as teaching at universities, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, lectures and seminars and they supervise MA dissertations and PhD theses, student internships.





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