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The 10th Scientific Conference of the Mount Athos Center focused on what is a crucial period in the thousand-year-long history of Mount Athos as it is connected with Greek self-consciousness in the broader Balkan region, marks the progression of the Athonite community towards the modern era and, in effect, Athos’s position in the Orthodox world today in institutional, constitutional, ecclesiological and geopolitical terms, thus making it a period of particular importance and relevance.

The theme ‘Mount Athos: Spreading the Light in the Orthodox World: the Metochia’ was the focus of the third conference on the special thematic cycle. Through the centuries, the Athonite metochia have played a decisive role in the survival and development of the monasteries since the geological morphology of the Athonite peninsula has not provided sufficient resources for the survival of the sacred foundations.  

The 8th Scientific Conference of the Mount Athos Center, with its 37 conference papers and one round table, constituted the first attempt to adopt a composite approach to the phenomenon of scholarship on Mount Athos.
 

The conference on the theme ‘Mount Athos in the period before, during and after the Liberation’, which was organised in November 2012 to mark the centenary of the liberation of Mount Athos from Ottoman rule, presented an opportunity for researchers to explore not only the historical event of the liberation of the Athonite peninsula, but also the history of Athos during the last few decades of the 19th century and the period up to about 1920, roughly ten years after the incorporation of Athos into the Greek state.

The conference on the theme ‘Mount Athos in the 15th and 16th Centuries’, which was held in November 2011, examined the period when Athos and its external possessions gradually passed from Byzantine to Ottoman rule, leading to a multidimensional crisis and a series of reverses and adjustments (15th century). This period was soon followed, from the early years of the 16th century, by a period of renewal and prosperity. The conference provided answers to crucial questions, such as the nature and extent of the 15th-century crisis, the mechanisms for adjustment to the reality of Ottoman rule, the continuities and breaks in the institutions (administrative and financial) and the extent of the revival in the 16th century, together with its different aspects and the factors that brought it about.      

This conference, which focused on the area of research, was on the theme ‘The Architecture of Mount Athos: History and Research (A Tribute to the Memory of Pavlos Mylonas’. Held in October 2010, it was the first scientific attempt to draw together research on Athonite architecture as a whole. The participants’ contributions followed a diachronic approach to the architecture of Mount Athos, from Byzantine times to the interventions of the 20th century. More specifically, the conference papers dealt with the construction programmes of the building complexes, church buildings (monastic katholika and chapels, the kyriaka [main churches] of sketes, and the churches of kellia), secular buildings and fortifications, as well as the buildings of metochia.

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