Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics – Greek manuscript on parchment (15th century) – National Library of Naples

The Reception of Greek Ethics in Late Antiquity and Byzantium:
Continuities and Transformations
Corpus Christi – Oxford, 14 November 2018

Venue: MBI Al Jaber Auditorium, Corpus Christi College, Merton Street, Oxford, OX1 4JF


The conference will look at writings on ethics and morality from Late Antiquity and Byzantium with the aim of examining their distinctive features and dialogue with existing philosophical models. This is a strand of research that has not previously been subject to systematic investigation, which has precluded a thorough appreciation of the reception of Greek ethics in various cultural and intellectual contexts.


10am Registration

10.25am-10.30am Welcome Address

10.30am-12.30pm Session 1: Aristotelian ethics in Byzantium

Chair: Jozef Matula (Palacký University Olomouc)

10.30am-11.10am: Péter Lautner (Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest)

“Michael of Ephesus’ notion of happiness”

11.10am-11.50am: Sophia Xenophontos (University of Glasgow)

“George Pachymeres’ commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics”

11.50am-12.30pm: Erika Gielen (KU Leuven)

“From prudence to brutal Scythians: The anonymous overview of virtues in the De Virtute of Joseph Racendytes”

12.30pm-13.40pm Lunch

13.40pm-15.40pm Session 2: Neoplatonic responses to ethics and moral education

Chair: Anna Marmodoro (University of Durham/University of Oxford)

13.40pm-14.20pm: Riccardo Chiaradonna (Roma Tre University)

“Ethics and politics in early Greek Neoplatonism: From Plotinus to Julian”

14.20pm-15.00pm: Bert van den Berg (Leiden University)

“Imitation and self-examination: The later Neoplatonists on the Platonic dialogue as moral education”

15.00pm-15.40pm: David Bradshaw (University of Kentucky)

“Sexual difference and the difference it makes: Τhe Greek Fathers and their sources”

15.40pm-16.10pm Break

16.10pm-18.10pm Session 3: Ethos and emotions in Byzantine exegesis

Chair: Jane Baun (University of Oxford)

16.10pm-16.50pm: Stratis Papaioannou (University of Crete)

“The ethics of self-representation in Byzantium”

16.50pm-17.30pm: Byron MacDougall (Brown University)

“The ethos of a theologian: Gregory of Nazianzus on character and theoria”

17.30pm-18.10pm: Yannis Papadogiannakis (King’s College London)

“How emotions give structure to virtue(s) in Patristic thought: The case of Gregory of Nyssa and the emotion of shame”

6.10pm-6.30pm Conclusions Richard Sorabji (King’s College London/Wolfson College–Oxford)

We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of our sponsors, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Corpus Christi College and the University of Glasgow. The event is part of the AHRC-funded research project “The reception of Aristotle in Byzantium: the first critical edition of George Pachymeres’ Commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics” (

Attendance is free but requires registration to ensure that appropriate catering is provided. To register, please contact Sophia Xenophontos ( by Monday 5 November.

Sophia Xenophontos (University of Glasgow) and Anna Marmodoro (University of Durham/University of Oxford)