Byzantine Tree Life: Christianity and the Arboreal Imagination

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book examines the many ways Byzantines lived with their trees. It takes seriously theological and hagiographic tree engagement as expressions of that culture’s deep involvement—and even fascination—with the arboreal. These pages tap into the current attention paid to plants in a wide range of scholarship, an attention that involves the philosophy of plant life as well as scientific discoveries of how communicative trees may be, and how they defend themselves. Considering writings on and images of trees from Late Antiquity and medieval Byzantium sympathetically, the book argues for an arboreal imagination at the root of human aspirations to know and draw close to the divine.


External organisations
  • Syracuse University
  • Uppsala University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Religious Studies


  • Trees, Byzantine Christianity, Dendrites, Icons, Hexaemeron, hybridity, Anthropomorphism, Plant sex, Grafting, Animism, Locus amoenus
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages206
ISBN (Electronic)9783030759025
ISBN (Print)9783030759018
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameNew Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture