Presentation of the project. Antiquities and novelty of the thematic strand

Although Italo-Greek monasticism is a well-established field of study it has only recently been examined in order to reconstruct its material aspects. In fact the first archaeological excavations that focus on these buildings were undertaken only in the 1990s in Italo-Greek monasteries or shrines in Southern Italian areas, such as Latinianon, Salento or the Eparchy of Saline. Whereas art-historical research was carried out in the often rupestrian sites of Salento and Eastern Sicily, in the monasteries of the Lombard Cilento and in the Norman Sicilian sites.
Although this type of research has developed only recently, there is a long tradition of written sources studies, particularly hagiographic studies; therefore this theme is old and new at the same time. Among the literary sources the biographies of some of the leading figures of Byzantine monastic phenomenon in Italy stand out, reaching its acme in the ninth and tenth centuries, with Saints Elijah the Younger and the Speleota in the Saline area, Fantinus the Younger in Mercurion, the monastic family from Collesano in Latinianon and finally Saint Nilus of Rossano who founded the monastery of Grottaferrata (1004 AD) and united Italo-Greek monasticism, whence he came, and the cenobitism of Rome.
The data from the first archaeological surveys undertaken in Southern Italy, mainly in the Byzantine reconquest sites, are therefore useful in the study of these structures, often too hastily attributed to Byzantine monasticism.
The aim is to determine whether their features, which soon acquired a strong link to Italo-Greek identity, have retained their Greek traits, have absorbed Roman ones or have instead taken on original traits, the result of mixing the two monastic traditions.
This Website aims to be a meeting and discussion place between scholars with different backgrounds to bring together all the material aspects of Italo-Greek monasteries, to host research proposals and reports on various initiatives in this field of study.