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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.

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

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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