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Classicising learning in medieval imperial systems: Cross-cultural approaches to Byzantine paideia and Tang/Song xue

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 PAIXUE project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the PAIXUE project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "PAIXUE" about.

1350    learning    eurasian    function    subjectivity    equal    phenomena    co    constructed    centre    insights    monopolise    strata    eacute    fact    impressions    progressed    china    explores    conscious    stand    classicising    transformations    forms    paixue    burgeoning    perceived    middling    literatus    800    song    space    frequently    subsequent    mechanisms    examines    medieval    geopolitical    independent    byzantium    galvanising    byzantinists    traces    possibility    purposely    revival    historical    traditions    later    cultivation    time    tied    dialectics    performances    unbroken    literati    serves    byzantine    spotlight    longue    social    orders    aristocratic    culture    agency    divergences    western    individual    angles    rst    merely    juxtaposing    self    parallels    sinologists    sought    output    places    service    middle    became    cross    claimed    humanities    power    stage    structural    tandem    evolution    empire    opens    basis    618    initially    prestige    authoring    day    newly    practices    imperial    cultural    bridges    seemingly    dur    ethos    channel    elites    drew    deeper    centralised    1279    modern    tool    culturally    tang   

Project "PAIXUE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: EH8 9YL

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙999˙155 €
 EC max contribution 1˙999˙155 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-08-01   to  2022-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH UK (EDINBURGH) coordinator 1˙999˙155.00


 Project objective

In the medieval Eurasian geopolitical space, Byzantium and China stand out as two centralised imperial orders that drew on seemingly unbroken, in fact purposely constructed, traditions of classicising learning. PAIXUE examines in tandem, with equal focus on structural parallels and divergences, the conscious revival and subsequent dialectics of classicising learning in middle and later Byzantium (c.800–1350) and Tang/Song China (618–1279). Initially tied into aristocratic culture, it became a tool by which the imperial state sought to monopolise prestige and access to power so as to effectively channel the activities of newly emerging burgeoning ‘middling’ strata into the service of empire. As time progressed, it was also the basis upon which these new elites constructed novel forms of subjectivity that claimed authority and agency increasingly independent of the imperial state.

PAIXUE traces this evolution of classicising learning in Byzantine and Tang/Song literati culture from two angles. The rst examines the galvanising function of social performances that involved classicising learning in the imperial systems. The second places the individual literatus centre-stage and explores the transformations of self-awareness, ethos, and self-cultivation. Given PAIXUE’s concern with examining phenomena cross-culturally in the longue-durée, rather than merely juxtaposing ‘spotlight’ impressions, a comparison of these two imperial systems does not only allow for deeper insights into the historical development of both China and Byzantium: it opens the possibility of studying cultural mechanisms behind the formation of institutions, practices and values. The project explores novel forms of collaboration in the humanities, including the co-authoring of research output between Byzantinists and Sinologists. Byzantium, frequently perceived as the ‘Other’ within western culture to the present day, serves here to build meaningful bridges to (pre-modern) China.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2021 Niels Gaul
Fringe encounters: Translations of antiquity and negotiations of scholarly authority in the margins of Byzantine manuscripts of Ioannes Tzetzes and Manuel Moschopoulos
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 111 2020-04-01
2021 Curie Virág
Attention as Cognitive Resonance: Self, Mind and Agency in the Neo-Confucian Vision of Zhu Xi 朱熹(1130–1200)
published pages: , ISSN: 0960-8788, DOI:
British Journal for the History of Philosophy 2020-04-01
2021 Niels Gaul
Schools and Learning
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Cambridge Companion to Constantinople 2020-04-01
2021 Niels Gaul
Voicing and gesturing emotions: Remarks on emotive performance from antiquity to the middle Byzantine period
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Emotions Through Time: From Antiquity to Byzantium 2020-04-01
2021 Foteini Spingou
Niketas Choniates’ De Signis Reconsidered: Classicising Visions of Constantinople after 1204
published pages: , ISSN: 0070-7546, DOI:
Dumbarton Oaks Papers 2020-04-01
2020 Curie Virág
Achieving Intimate Familiarity: Reading as a Devotional Practice in Song Neo-Confucianism
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Les émotions au Moyen Âge, carnet d\'EMMA 2020-04-01
2019 Niels Gaul
The Letter in the Theatron: Epistolary Voice, Character, and Soul (and their Audience)
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Companion to Byzantine Epistolography 2019-10-28
2019 Michael Hoeckelmann
To Rot and Not to Die: Punitive Emasculation in Early and Medieval China
published pages: , ISSN: 0082-5433, DOI:
T’oung Pao 105 2019-10-28
2020 Michael Hoeckelmann
Power Emasculated: Eunuchs, Great Clans and Political Reproduction under the Tang
published pages: , ISSN: 0737-5034, DOI:
Tang Studies (Journal of the T’ang Studies Society) 38 2019-10-28
2018 Foteini Spingou
Γράμμα από τη φυλακή: Η φυλακή ως συλλογική εμπειρία στο έργο του Μιχαήλ Γλυκά & του Καισάριου Δαπόντε [Letter from Prison: Prison as a Collective Experience in the Work of Michael Glykas and Kaisarios Dapontes]
published pages: 76–79, ISSN: 1106-1898, DOI:
Mandragoras 59 2019-10-28
2018 Volker Scheid, Curie Virág
Introduction to History of Science Special Section on tong 通
published pages: 123-130, ISSN: 0073-2753, DOI: 10.1177/0073275318770832
History of Science 56/2 2019-10-28

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