About this collection the publisher tells us:
The role of Byzantium in the Middle Ages is comparable to that of a modern political superpower such as the United States. The latter has a pervasive cultural impact on Europe and Asia, and similar cross-cultural relationships between East and West were also evident in medieval Europe, when Byzantine literature, music, art, and ritual were not only known but also studied and appropriated throughout the West. Scholarship on Byzantium and its relationship with Western Europe has yet to explore the full dynamics of this relationship or the extent to which the West was influenced by Byzantine culture. The papers presented in this volume offer a wide interdisciplinary perspective on the crucial importance of Byzantium for Western Europe, featuring articles on art and architectural history, social and religious history, musicology, literature, historiography, gender studies. The essays originate from an interdisciplinary conference, held in the Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald in December 2007, which brought together an international group of scholars. The proceedings of this gathering give a new and compelling testimony to the exceptionally high status of Byzantine culture in Western Europe and invite further studies on the exceptional and unique role of the Byzantine Empire, positioned at the crux between Europe and Asia.A very lengthy and detailed table of contents of the book may be seen here.