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Der Xenon des Pantokratorklosters in Konstantinopel – Standard oder Ideal?

Author(s): Tristan Stefan Schmidt

Journal: Skriptum : Studentische Onlinezeitschrift für Geschichte und Geschichtsdidaktik
ISSN 2192-4457

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 31;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: pantokrator monastery | xenon | constantinople | nursing

The seminar paper discusses the so called ‚xenon‘ (ξενών) of the Pantokrator-Monastery, a foundation made by emperor John II. Comnenus. According to the foundation charter this nursing-institution was extremely well equipped with material and staff. Furthermore, it was characterized by a high degree of medical specialization. On the basis of the sources as well as previous research this paper tries to investigate, to what extent the equipment of the obviously quite short-living Pantokrator-Xenon was the average case in Byzantium at that time. A contextualization with the contemporary system of social welfare shows that the level of nursing was generally lower. Comparisons with similar institutions, like the also lavishly equipped xenon of the Lips-Monastery and the ‚orphanotropheion‘ of Alexios I. show that houses like the Pantokrator-Xenon definitely existed. However, they also suggest that a form of nursing, which is comparable to the one practiced in hospices, was more common in Byzantium. Furthermore the paper deals with the prominent role given to the Pantokrator-Monastery by the ruling Comnenian dynasty. The use of this place as imperial memorial- and burial place, as well as the display of imperial philantropy is probably causally related to the equipment of the Pantokrator-Xenon.
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