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The Essence of Greek Education since Antiquity

Plato, Photios the Great and Nicodemos the Athonite


This book attempts to answer the question: what are the essential features of Greek education? In so doing, it explores the extent to which the educational ideals and practices of paideia have displayed continuity from classical Athens until modern times. The views of Plato, Photios the Great (9th century) and Nicodemos the Athonite (18th century) are examined in particular, revealing significant stages of development. The book offers a presentation of what paideia holds up to be its own goal on its own terms. The proponents of the paideia tradition sought an answer to the age-old question, ‘What constitutes the human person?’ The response to that enigma determined everything else. Education took shape accordingly and led to a lifelong process of harmonising the respective functions of the soul and body. On account of its value on both a personal and communal level, paideia is of paramount significance for Plato and other exponents, such as Nicodemos. Their individual legacies stand like bookends on either side of some 22 centuries of Greek education that are appraised within these pages.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-4453-8
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Publication Status: Forthcoming
Publication Date: Jun 30,2022
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 339
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4453-8
$114.95

This book attempts to answer the question: what are the essential features of Greek education? In so doing, it explores the extent to which the educational ideals and practices of paideia have displayed continuity from classical Athens until modern times. The views of Plato, Photios the Great (9th century) and Nicodemos the Athonite (18th century) are examined in particular, revealing significant stages of development. The book offers a presentation of what paideia holds up to be its own goal on its own terms. The proponents of the paideia tradition sought an answer to the age-old question, ‘What constitutes the human person?’ The response to that enigma determined everything else. Education took shape accordingly and led to a lifelong process of harmonising the respective functions of the soul and body. On account of its value on both a personal and communal level, paideia is of paramount significance for Plato and other exponents, such as Nicodemos. Their individual legacies stand like bookends on either side of some 22 centuries of Greek educationthat are appraised within these pages.

This book attempts to answer the question: what are the essential features of Greek education? In so doing, it explores the extent to which the educational ideals and practices of paideia have displayed continuity from classical Athens until modern times. The views of Plato, Photios the Great (9th century) and Nicodemos the Athonite (18th century) are examined in particular, revealing significant stages of development. The book offers a presentation of what paideia holds up to be its own goal on its own terms. The proponents of the paideia tradition sought an answer to the age-old question, ‘What constitutes the human person?’ The response to that enigma determined everything else. Education took shape accordingly and led to a lifelong process of harmonising the respective functions of the soul and body. On account of its value on both a personal and communal level, paideia is of paramount significance for Plato and other exponents, such as Nicodemos. Their individual legacies stand like bookends on either side of some 22 centuries of Greek educationthat are appraised within these pages.

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ContributorBiography

Dimitri Kepreotes

Born in Sydney, Dimitri Kepreotes, PhD, studied arts and theology before working in the fields of tertiary teaching, translation and church administration, including as Personal Secretary to Archbishop Stylianos of Australia. He has taught at the Orthodox University in Kinshasa (DR Congo) on an honorary basis. Having edited St Basil the Great’s Address to Youth, his interest in education for all ages continues with his recent children’s book in rhyme titled Where is God? He regards music as the most pleasant gift and potent remedy.

Chapter One. Introduction ........................................................ 1
1.1 The meaning of paideia in Greek thought ................... 2
1.2 The scope of our enquiry ........................................... 7
Chapter Two. Continuity or discontinuity of education in
history ............................................................................. 23
Chapter Three. Plato ............................................................... 35
3.1 Plato on paideia ......................................................... 35
3.2 Turning towards the Good ......................................... 42
3.3 The education of the soul .......................................... 50
3.4 The correlation between Soul and State ..................... 55
3.5 Education as schooling .............................................. 61
3.6 Diverging from the Sophists ...................................... 73
3.7 Resultant Platonic themes.......................................... 77
3.8 The body-soul relationship in Plato ........................... 83
Chapter Four. Photios the Great .............................................. 95
4.1 Photios’ context ......................................................... 96
4.2 The past – dead documents or source of revival? ..... 120
4.3 The background of the 7th and 8th centuries ............. 132
4.4 Educational institutions of Constantinople ............... 139
4.5 Photios’ approach to learning .................................. 144
4.6 Placing scholarship in the service of sanctity ........... 169
4.7 The body-soul relationship in Photios ...................... 193
Chapter Five. Nicodemos the Athonite .................................. 199
5.1 Nicodemos’ context ................................................. 199
5.2 Modern Greek Enlightenment .................................. 208
5.3 The Kollyvades ........................................................ 216
5.4 Education under occupation .................................... 226
5.5 Nicodemos’ thought relating to paideia .................... 234
5.6 The body-soul relationship in Nicodemos ................ 249
Chapter Six. The Mutual Influence of Body and Soul ............. 267
6.1 Other exponents of paideia historically .................... 267
6.2 Where appraisal of the tradition leads ..................... 287
Appendix. References to Plato and Photios in the writings of
Nicodemos .................................................................... 305
Bibliography ......................................................................... 315
Primary sources ............................................................. 315
Secondary sources ......................................................... 317
Index .................................................................................... 329