Category: Conferences

ESSHC 2014

Tenth European Social Science History Conference, organized by the International Institute for Social History, Vienna, April 23–26, 2014

The aim of the ESSHC is to bring together scholars who explain historical phenomena using the methods of the social sciences.

The conference is characterized by a lively, small group exchange, rather than in formal plenary sessions. The conference is organized in many networks covering specific topics.

Panels of interest to Byzantinists:

Thursday April 24, 11:00–1:00 (Hörsaal 41 first floor)
O-6 - ETH06a: Early Medieval Migrations I: Migrations in the Abbasid Caliphate - Iran - East Slavic Lands

Chair: Johannes Koder
Organiser: Dirk Hoerder
Discussant: Johannes Koder

Aksumites in South Arabia: An Ethiopian Diaspora in Late Antique Yemen
George Hatke
Migration – Travel – Commerce – Cultural Transfer: The Complex Connections Byzantium-Kiev-Novgorod-Varangian Land, 6th–14th Century
Dirk Hoerder
Regime Change and Elite Migration in the Islamic Caliphate (642–969 AD)
Lucian Reinfandt

Thursday April 24, 2:00–4:00 (Hörsaal 41 first floor)
O-7 - ETH06b: Early Medieval Migrations II: Migrations in Byzantium and Armenia
Chair: Claudia Rapp
Discussant: Claudia Rapp

Turkish Migration Processes and Patterns of Cross-Cultural Permeation in Medieval Anatolia (Eleventh–Thirteenth Century)
Alexander Beihammer
Remarks on the Slavic Immigration and landnahme in the Byzantine Balkans
Johannes Koder
Aristocrats, Mercenaries, Clergymen and Refugees: Deliberate and Forced Mobility of Armenians in the Early Medieval Mediterranean and Near East (6th to 11th century)
Johannes Preiser-Kapeller
Migrating within Medieval Empire: Towards a Typology of Movement of People and Groups in Post-Seventh Century Byzantium
Ioannis Stouraitis

The Experience of the Sacred Places: Times and Sceneries

The Experience of the Sacred Places: Times and Sceneries, IV Ars Mediaevalis Colloquium, Aguilar de Campo, September 26–28, 2014

Speakers include:

The Aesthetic Act: Hagia Sophia and Santiago de Compostela
Bissera Pentcheva, Stanford University

Black Box Theater: Reliquaries as Experimental Drama
Herbert L. Kessler, Johns Hopkins University

COMMEMORATING AUGUSTUS: a bimillennial re-evaluation

COMMEMORATING AUGUSTUS: a bimillennial re-evaluation, University of Leeds, August 18–20, 2014

The bimillennium of Augustus’ death on 19th August 2014 commemorates the end of his life and the beginning of a rich posthumous reception history. Running over the date of the bimillennium itself, the Commemorating Augustus conference will undertake a focused, comparative exploration of this history of responses, from AD 14 to 2014.

Already in his lifetime, Augustus was a man of many images. Since his death, he has served in one context as a model of ideal rule and another as a tyrant, while playing a key role in narratives about the emergence of Christianity, the foundation of Europe and the relationship between politics and the arts. His reception history is a vivid exemplum of historical relativism in action, demonstrating the scope of the source material to support utterly conflicting interpretations. Yet to date it has been studied only sporadically. The Commemorating Augustus conference aims to address the full range of Augustus’ reception history, to trace its evolution, to explore its connections and disjunctions, to understand its impact on contemporary perspectives, and to put us in a better position to articulate what Augustus means to us in the 21st century.

Sessions on late Antiquity and Byzantium scheduled for August 19.

H.J. Scheltema - Symposium on Byzantine Law

H.J. Scheltema - Symposium on Byzantine Law, University of Groningen, June 23–24, 2014

On 24 June 2014, Prof. Giuseppe Falcone will give his solemn address marking his acceptance of the H.J. Scheltema-chair of Byzantine Law at the University of Groningen. Preceding this festive occasion, the Department of Legal History in cooperation with the University of Palermo (Italy) will host a Symposium on Byzantine Law. The aim of the symposium is to present the results of the two year cooperation between Groningen and Palermo following the establishment of the H.J. Scheltema-chair. The results will also be published in the Subseciva Groningana, scheduled to appear in June 2014.

Registration is open until June 10, 2014. There is no registration fee.


The first constitution of the Codex Justinianus
Jan H.A.Lokin (Univ. Groningen)
Thalelaios' translations  and the first draft of the commentary on the Codex Iustinianus
Salvatore Sciortino (Univ. Palermo)
Preluding the Basilica, but how?
Tom van Bochove (Univ. Groningen)
The ὅρος ἤτοι ἐτυμολογία of testamentum and the problem of sources in the Paraphrase of Theophilus
Francesca Terranova (Univ. Palermo)
Graeca Pandectarum in Basilicis
Bernard H. Stolte (Univ. Groningen)
Quelques  considérations sur le "Breviarium Novellarum" de Theodorus
Francesco Sitzia (Univ. Cagliari)
Hagiotheodorites the last antecessor? Some remarks on one of the ‘new’ Basilica scholiasts
Daphne Penna (Univ. Groningen)
The personality of Theophilus and the influence of his previous professional experiences on the Paraphrase
Stefania Scarcella (Univ. Messina)
Subsecivum Groninganum
Frits Brandsma (Univ. Groningen)
The ‘mysterious’ beauty of Laws
Giuseppe Falcone (Univ. Groningen)

The Mediterranean City and Its Rulers

The Mediterranean City and Its Rulers, Princeton University, April 26–27, 2014

The High Middle Ages were a period of profound transformation for the Christian cities of the central and western Mediterranean. However, it has generally been thought that the urban centers of the Islamic and Byzantine worlds to the south and east did not share in the same economic, political, and cultural developments. Most interregional studies carried out so far have promoted this understanding of the period by considering the "classic example" of the cities of northern Italy solely in the context of the situation on the other side of the Alps. Otherwise, attention has tended to be focused on specific polities within each of the three Mediterranean macro-regions, to the neglect of the picture across macro-regions. There has been no in-depth comparison of how cities were ruled in the various lands encircling the Great Sea, despite the existence of a strong common Roman heritage, as well as evidence for extensive interaction through long-distance trade, pilgrimage, diplomacy, and warfare. This conference will begin to undertake such an analysis, highlighting similarities and differences in governmental institutions, civic identity, and revolutionary activity throughout the Mediterranean.  The event is intended as a pilot establishing a network of scholars. The next meeting will be held at the University of Edinburgh in 2015 and is being organized by Dr. Gianluca Raccagni, Chancellor's Fellow in History.


David Abulafia, Cambridge University
Adam Beaver, Princeton University
Amira K. Bennison, Cambridge University
Ronnie Ellenblum, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Justine Firnhaber-Baker, University of St. Andrews
Molly Green, Princeton University
R. Stephen Humphreys, University of California, Santa Barbara
Alison Isenberg, Princeton University
Paul Oldfield, University of Manchester
Gianluca Raccagni, University of Edinburgh
Scott Redford, Koç University
Zdenka Janekovic ́ Römer, Institute for Historical Sciences of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Teresa Shawcross, Princeton University
Deborah G. Tor, University of Notre Dame

Institutions in Egyptian Villages

Institutions in Villages in Egypt from the Early Roman to the Fatimid Period, King’s College London, July 3–4, 2014

This conference will focus on the study of administrative, economic and social institutions in villages in Egypt from the early Roman period through to the Fatimid period.


Private Associations and Village Life in Early Roman Egypt
Mario C. D. Paganini (Copenhagen)
Private Banks in Villages of Roman Egypt
François Lerouxel (Université Paris-Sorbonne)
Feste und Feierlichkeiten im Hinterland
Andrea Jördens (Heidelberg)
Security, Legality and Police Procedures in Roman Egypt: The Role of Village Officials in the Submission of Complaints
Roberto Mascellari (Florence)
The Organisation of the State Farmers and Its Role in Village Administration
Thomas Kruse (Vienna)
Village or Town: Does It Matter in Legal Terms?
Maria Nowak (Warsaw)
Presbyteroi nell'Egitto Romano: I Casi di Bakchias e Karanis
Silvia Strassi (Padua)
Record-offices in Villages in Roman Egypt
Micaela Langellotti (King's College London)
Fiscal Institution or Local Community? The Village Koinon in Late Antiquity (4th–8th Centuries)
Lajos Berkes (Heidelberg)
Associations (Koina) in Villages and Minor Localities of the Apion Estate between Reality and Documentary Formulas
Roberta Mazza (Manchester)
The Monastery of Apa Apollo as Landowner and Employer
Gesa Schenke (Oxford)
The Lashane and the ‘Great Men’: Secular Authority in Villages of the Umayyad Period
Arietta Papacostantinou (Reading)
Tribal Institutions in Ayyubid Fayyum (1243 CE)
Yossef Rapoport (London)

The Emperor in the Byzantine World, 47th Byzantine Spring Symposium

The Emperor in the Byzantine World, 47th Byzantine Spring Symposium, Cardiff University, April 25–27, 2014

In Byzantine Studies it is a strange fact that there exists no equivalent to Fergus Millar’s The Emperor in the Roman World, despite the centrality of the ruler in the Byzantine world. While there may be books on individual emperors or periods or aspects there is no general book on the emperor across the span of the Byzantine empire. This oddity is compounded by the recent publication of a plethora of books devoted to Byzantine empresses. This Symposium (the first Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies to be held in Wales) seeks to address this oddity, placing the Byzantine emperor centre stage as both ruler and man.


Dynasty: Imperial Families
Family, Dynasty, and the Construction of Legitimacy: The Roman Background
Mark Humphries (Swansea University)
The Dynasty of Heraclius
Mike Humphreys (University of Cambridge)
Basil II and the Macedonian Dynasty
Mark Masterson (Victoria University of Wellington)

Imperial Literature: The Emperor as Subject and Author
Imperial Panegyric
John Vanderspoel (University of Calgary)
The Emperor in Historiography – The History of John Kantakouzenos
Savvas Kyriakidis (University of Johannesburg)

The Imperial Court: The Emperor’s Men
The Court of Theodosius II and its Consequences
Meaghan McEvoy (Goethe University, Frankfurt)
Emperors and Administrators in the Middle Empire
Jonathan Shepard (Oxford)
Who was who at the Court of Constantine XI (1449-1453)
Jonathan Harris (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Imperial Duties: The Emperor as Ruler
The Emperor and Law
Bernard Stolte (University of Groningen)
The Emperor and the Patriarch
Michael Grünbart (University of Münster)
The Emperor and War
Frank Trombley (Cardiff University)

The Material Emperor: Imperial Art and Architecture
The Emperor in Art
Alicia Walker (Bryn Mawr College)
The Emperor and Coinage
Eurydice Georganteli (University of Birmingham)
Emperor and Palace
Lynn Jones (Florida State University)

Public Lecture
Byzantium and Wales: Antiquity, Connections, and Collections
Mark Redknap (National Museum Cardiff)

Manuscripts and Texts, Languages and Contexts:The Transmission of Knowledge in the Horn of Africa

Manuscripts and Texts, Languages and Contexts:The Transmission of Knowledge in the Horn of Africa, Hamburg, July 17–19, 2014


The papers in the Palaeography and Codicology section are expected to centre on the analysis of the physical aspects of Ethiopian manuscripts. Such issues as layout, decoration, writing styles, but also the reconstruction of provenance, scriptoria or historical libraries are of primary interest. Case studies on manuscript preservation and/or material analysis methods are also welcome.

The panel on the Philology and Language would like to address in the first place the earliest strata of Ge'ez literature. Papers dealing with the reconstruction and the history of texts - also in the sense of the borrowings and/or transfer of literary motifs - shall be in the centre of academic discussion. Besides discussing little known textual problems, the organizers would invite, on this occasion, to revisit the issues of such complex and multi-layered texts as the Kebra Nagast or the Miracles of Mary. An additional issue shall be the developments in the style and lexicon of the Ge'ez language as it may be reflected in the texts from different periods.

The History and Historical Geography panel welcomes contributions centring on the use of manuscripts for reconstructing Ethiopian cultural landscape of the past. Not only the major works but also, and even more so, the many additional texts or notes can assist in establishing the relationships that once existed between persons, places or regions. These may have been occasional or systematic. Revealing these historical links is the purpose of the discussion.

The final panel, Islamic Tradition, welcomes scholars dealing in their research with the manuscripts written or used by the Muslims of Ethiopia. These may be in Arabic or in other languages (written in Arabic script). The actual texts transmitted in these manuscripts, their themes and distribution, are of primary interest. Codicological or historical issues shall also be considered.

Preliminary program.

Mosaics of Thessaloniki Revisited

Mosaics of Thessaloniki Revisited, The Courtauld Institute of Art, May 30, 2014

The mosaics of Thessaloniki provide the most comprehensive ensemble of Byzantine mosaics in the world, with examples from late antiquity right through to the fourteenth century. They present remarkable testimony to the skills of artists throughout the Byzantine millennium, and give insights into many aspects of Byzantine society and belief. They also document the changing concerns of the city and its relationship with the earthly and divine worlds. The publication of The Mosaics of Thessaloniki, 4th-14th century (Athens: Kapon editions, 2012), edited by C. Bakirtzis, E. Kourkoutidou-Nikolaidou and Ch. Mavropoulou-Tsiumi, has provided an exemplary documentation of the mosaics in the city, with photographs of exceptional quality. In the light of this book as well as the growing quantity of recent work on the mosaics this workshop will look once more at the issues and controversies surrounding the mosaics, especially their dating, contexts and meanings, but also to look at new ways forward in the study of this extraordinary group of monuments. The day includes papers which examine all the major mosaic monuments in the city, but there will be extensive time for discussion so that the controversies and relationships between them can all be discussed.


The Mosaics of Thessaloniki: The State of Research
Beat Brenk
Considerations on the Chronology of the Rotunda Mosaics
Hjalmar Torp
The Mosaics of Saint Demetrios Basilica: Iconographical Issues
Charalambos Bakirtzis
After Iconoclasm—Forwards or Backwards?
Robin Cormack
The Mosaics of the Church of the Holy Apostles: Byzantine Mosaics in the Fourteenth Century
Liz James
Representing the First-Century Thessalonians: Early Christian Commentaries on the Pauline Epistles and the Acts of the Apostles
Laura Nasrallah
Colour, Light and Luminosity in the Rotunda Mosaics
Bente Kiilerich
Peacocks, Rainbows and Handsome Men: Perceiving Physical Beauty in the Early Byzantine Mosaics of Thessaloniki
Myrto Hatzaki

Complete program and abstracts available.

Liturgical Space and Time in Byzantium

Liturgical Space and Time in Byzantium, Institute of Sacred Music, April 24, 2014

Patriarchal Lectionaries and the Liturgical Spaces of Constantinople
Robert Nelson
From Dawn to Dusk: How the Byzantines Constructed Their Liturgy of the Hours
Stefano Parenti & Elena Velkovska
Liturgical Time in Periphery Spaces: Adapted Cathedral Singing According to the Testimony of Early Euchologies
Nina Glibetic & Gabriel Radle
‘He Who Is at the Point of Death’: The Fate of the Soul in Byzantine Art and Liturgy
Vasileios Marinis
Through Their Own Eyes: Viewing the Invisible, Describing the Ineffable, Explaining the Inexplicable: The ‘Byzantine Synthesis’ as the Byzantines Saw It
Robert F. Taft

Ravenna in the Imagination of Renaissance Art

Ravenna in the Imagination of Renaissance Art, University of Toronto, April 10, 2014

The focus of this conference is the city of Ravenna seen as a crucial center of the Greek East and Latin West on the Italian peninsula. It proposes to recover the overlooked role played by Ravenna’s rich corpus of early Christian monuments, Byzantine mosaics, and marble revetments in the development of Renaissance art. Of central interest is the reception of this composite corpus that indexed multi-dimensional views of the past and dense intersections between media and materiality, historicity and chronologies. How were Ravenna’s monuments and portable works copied, adapted, and re-invented by artists who physically confronted but also just heard about local remains, and what was Ravenna’s relationship with the other capitals of the ancient Christian world, such as Rome, Byzantium, and Jerusalem, in the Renaissance imagination?

The conference further intends to recapture the meanings that Ravenna’s unique heritage had in the local historiography, which describes a triumphalist past that sits uncomfortably with the city’s reality of political and religious subjugation in the early modern period. The conference also aims to be a forum to reflect on the significance of spoliation, manipulation, and destruction suffered by Ravenna’s artistic treasures over time. As a result, we will address and begin to attend to this understated node of Ravenna and its heritage to bring into view a different Renaissance.

Ravenna: From the Outside
Giancarla Periti (University of Toronto)
Ravenna’s Antiquities in the Sixteenth Century
Paola Novara (Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici e Paesaggistici di Ravenna)
Porta Aurea in Ravenna. Palladio and Others, Drawings and Projects
Antonella Ranaldi (Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici e Paesaggistici di Ravenna)
The Church of St. Vitale between East and West in the Renaissance
Silvia Foschi (Banca Intesa San Paolo)
Almost Ancient: Giuliano da Sangallo and the Mausoleum of Theodoric in Ravenna
Cammy Brothers (University of Virginia)
Ravennate Patriotism and Roman Censorship: Tomaso Tomai’s Historia di Ravenna (1574) on the Index of Forbidden Books
Ingo Herklotz (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

Naxos and the Byzantine Aegean

The Norwegian Institute at Athens in collaboration with the 2nd Ephorate of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Antiquities, and the Demos of Naxos and The Small Cyclades wishes to announce Naxos and the Byzantine Aegean, April 12–13, 2014, The Ursuline School, Naxos Chora.

The Norwegian Institute at Athens has carried out field work on Naxos at the 7th century Byzantine urban fortress of Kastro Apalirou in collaboration with the 2nd Ephoria of Byzantine Antiquities since 2010. The project has recently been widened to include the Universities of Edinburgh and Newcastle. A conference is being arranged to bring together scholars who have worked on Naxos and other Byzantine sites in the Aegean.

The conference focus will be Byzantine research on Naxos, though some aspects of Late Antique settlement will be included. Research from other insular sites with relevance to Naxos will also be presented. The following research areas will be covered: Archaeology, History, Landscape History, Ecclesiastical History, and Iconographic and Architectural development.

Download program here

“Curating Art History”: Dialogues between Museum Professionals and Academics

“Curating Art History”: Dialogues between Museum Professionals and Academics, May 7–8, 2014

Keynote speaker: Catherine De Lorenzo (University of New South Wales, Australia)

Helen Shaw (University of York)
Aparajita Bhattacharya (Hans Raj College, New Delhi, India)
Andy Ellis (Public Catalogue Foundation)
Karen Raney (Engage Journal)
Ming Turner (National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan)
Vera Carmo (University of Coimbra, Portugal)
Elin Morgan (The New Art Gallery, Walsall)
Rebecca Darley and Daniel Reynolds (Warburg Institute; The University of Birmingham)
Richard Clay, Henry Chapman, Leslie Brubaker (The University of Birmingham)
Stacy Boldrick (The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh)
Simon Cane (Birmingham Museums Trust)

Matters of the Word

MATTERS OF THE WORD. Barnard College’s twenty-fourth Medieval and Renaissance Conference. December 6, 2014

Interdisciplinary at its core, this conference examines not only the intersection of literary studies and art history, but also addresses central concerns of the history of science, history of law, aesthetic philosophy, museum conservation, and book history.

Confirmed keynote speakers:
-Brigitte Miriam Bedos-Rezak (History, NYU)
-Peter N. Miller (Cultural History and Dean, Bard Graduate Center)

Senses, Affect, and the Imagination in Late Antiquity

Keynote Address, Case-Geyer Library, Room 560, Friday, April 11, 4:30–6:00
The Consecration of Fear: Religio from Plautus to Tertullian and the Psychological and Social Roles of Fear and Shame, Professor Carlin Barton (University of Massachusetts at Amherst)

Workshops, Merrill House, Colgate University Faculty Club, 88 Hamilton Street

Friday, April 11, 2:00–3:45 pm: "Troubled Boundaries"
How do such varied phenomena as the haunts of ascetics, wild animal friends of monks, and statues of the Virgin Mary become the foci for affective intensity? Panelists will draw on affect theory, ecocriticism, and the new materialism in their explorations of the usefulness of such theories for the study of the pre-modern world.
Panelists: Virginia Burrus, Syracuse University; Nell Champoux, Le Moyne College; Patricia Cox Miller, Syracuse University

Saturday, April 12, 9:00–10:45am: "Listening to Silence"
What happens when hearing is tuned to the unsayable, to the anticipation of sound? Panelists will engage landscape, language, and the tension between physical and spiritual senses.
Panelists: Jennifer Glancy, Le Moyne College; Kim Haines-Eitzen, Cornell University; Karmen MacKendrick, Le Moyne College

Saturday, April 12, 11:00am–12:45pm: "Disciplining the Senses"
This workshop draws on four papers exploring the role of materiality in seemingly spiritual texts: writings on the soul, on saints, and on monasticism. We will pay particular attention to the intersection of the senses and materiality to see how the senses need to be disciplined (or redirected) in order to achieve the writer’s aims.
Panelists: Albrecht Diem, Syracuse University; Rebecca Krawiec, Canisius College; Philip Webster, University of Pennsylvania; Zachary Yuzwa, Cornell University

Seating is limited for the workshops. For more information, please contact Georgia Frank.

Heaven and Earth: Perspectives on Greece’s Byzantium

Heaven and Earth: Perspectives on Greece's Byzantium, May 2–3, 2014

Focusing on the artistic legacy of Byzantine culture in Greece, this two-day symposium foregrounds the important role of this region throughout late antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern period and addresses themes from the exhibition Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections on view April 9 through August 25, 2014 at the Getty Villa.

May 2 at the Getty Villa


  • Demetra Bakirtzis, The Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia, Cyprus
  • Jas' Elsner, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Mary Louise Hart, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Ioli Kalavrezou, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Anthony Kaldellis, Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Henry Maguire, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Elizabeth Marlowe, Colgate University, Hamilton, New York
  • Maria Parani, University of Cyprus, Nicosia

May 3 at the Huffington Center at Saint Sophia Cathedral (1324 S. Normandie Avenue)


  • Patricia Brown, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
  • Annemarie Weyl Carr, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
  • Father Maximos Constas, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary, Brookline, Massachusetts
  • Anastasia Drandaki, Institute for Advanced Study-Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece
  • Barbara Drucker, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Sharon Gerstel, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Maria Georgopoulou, Gennadius Library, Athens, Greece
  • Euagenia Gerousi, Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Athens, Greece
  • Michalis Kappas, 26th Ephoreia of Byzantine Antiquities, Kalamata, Greece
  • Sean Roberts, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • David Schaberg, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Alicia Walker, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

The event is free, but tickets are required. 

Bessarion’s Treasure: Editing, Translating and Interpreting Bessarion’s Literary Heritage

Bessarion's Treasure: Editing, Translating and Interpreting Bessarion's Literary Heritage, International Conference, Venice, 4–5 April 2014

April 4 at the Centro Tedesco di Studi Veneziani


Bessarions textkritische Arbeit in Platon- und Aristoteles-Manuskripten
Christian Brockmann (Hamburg)
Ergänzungen und Paratexte in einem Aristoteles–Manuskript aus dem Kreis des Bessarion
Vito Lorusso (Hamburg)
Modern Philology as a Key to understand a Byzantine Quarrel: Bessarion vs. Trapezuntius
Fabio Pagani (Berlin)
Two unedited works of the young Bessarion: Oratio ex pers. Ioannis Lascaris Leontaris ad filium and Homelia in illud: Beatus vir qui invenit sapientiam
Antonio Rigo (Venezia)
Bessarion's monastic rule, the modalities of the text's redaction, and its impact on the Italian–Greek 'basilian' monasteries
Annick Peters–Custot (Paris)
Aristoteles, Theodoros Metochites und Bessarion: Bemerkungen zum Codex Marcianus 239
Claudia Ludwig (Berlin)
Discovering Bessarion. Philological and Philosophical Approaches to Bessarion's Texts)
Sergei Mariev (München)


Il Cardinale Bessarione e i latini
John Monfasani (Albany)

April 5 at Venice International University


Michael Apostolis on Substance
Georgios Steiris (Athens)
Logos e Physis. Platonismo e Aristotelismo nel De Natura et Arte di Bessarione
Monica Marchetto (Palermo/München)
Bessarion among the Aristotelians
Eva Del Soldato (Philadelphia)

Theodore Gaza’s translations and their sources
Grigory Vorobyev (St.–Petersburg/Roma)
A Cultural Aspect of ‘Bessario Scholasticus’: the Latin ‘Quaestio’ as a Tool for Peacefully and Effectively Resolving Disagreement
John Demetracopoulos (Patras)
Bessarion’s Quotations from the ‘Thomas de Aquino Graecus’ and the ‘Thomas de Aquino Latinus’
Panagiotis Athanasopoulos (Ioannina)
Bessarion on the ‘Distinctio in Divinis’: a Chapter of Bessarion’s Thomism
Chrestos Triantafyllopoulos (London)
Bessarion als Philologe am Beispiel von De natura et arte
Katharina Luchner (München)
Bessarion's speech before the Synod of Trebizond
Frederick Lauritzen (Bologna)
Bessarion’s Enkomion of Trebizond
Aslihan Akışık (Istanbul)
Bessarion and the Planudean Anthology
Delphine Lauritzen (Paris)

The Healing Arts Across the Mediterranean

The Healing Arts Across the Mediterranean, Rutgers, March 28, 2014

The Healing Arts Across the Mediterranean examines theories and practices of healing in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. An emphasis will be placed on tracing the continuities and evolution in knowledge to specific sites, texts and material artifacts. The event is free and open to all.


Glen Cooper, Brigham Young University
Nahyan Fancy, DePauw University
Tuna Artun, Rutgers-New Brunswick
Jennifer Edwards, Manhattan College
Leah DeVun, Rutgers-New Brunswick
Ozgen Felek , Middle East & Middle East American Center, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Valentina Pugliano, University of Cambridge
Nükhet Varlik, Rutgers-Newark
Yaron Ayalon, Ball State University

Working with Collections in Research and Teaching

The aim of the conference is to articulate, describe and critically analyse the benefits for partnership projects between curators, museum professionals and academics. Museums are well placed to work with researchers to engage audiences with their activities and achieve impact, and for museums accessing research expertise can help them unlock the potential of collections, offer dynamic new ways of interpreting and displaying collections, lead to new audiences engaging with collections, and enable staff to develop their collections knowledge and expertise.

Morning sessions will provide examples of collaborative working between academics and curators to encourage and inspire more cross-sector partnerships. Speakers will discuss their motivations for working across sectors; the challenges (including finding funding); and also the benefits (or otherwise!) that it has brought for both partners.

Medieval Art History after the Interdisciplinary Turn

Medieval Art History after the Interdisciplinary Turn, University of Notre Dame, March 27–29, 2014

This conference gathers a diverse group of scholars representing Byzantine, Islamic, and western European fields to consider the methods and insights of medieval art history in disciplinary terms and in dialogue with the interdisciplinary practice of medieval studies.

In the spring of 2014 it will have been twenty years since Jeffrey Hamburger and Michael Camille confronted the relationship of medieval art history with medieval studies in a volume of conference proceedings, The Past and Future of Medieval Studies (Notre Dame, 1994), and twenty-six years since Herbert Kessler’s authoritative assessment of the state of medieval art history in the Art Bulletin (1988). Since these landmark statements, the interdisciplinary character of medieval art history has become “a given” for new generations of scholars trained in the field. At the same time, a decided “turn” to the visual and material has become increasingly evident throughout medieval studies, as scholars in other disciplines have selectively embraced or appropriated domains of evidence and methods of visual analysis and material interpretation once regarded as the purview of art historians.

In light of these developments, the papers at this conference critically examine the convergences and divergences that mark the intersection of medieval art history and a broader tradition of interdisciplinary medieval studies ever more invested in visual and material evidence. Adhering to the tradition of forward-thinking inquiry promoted by the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame, this prospective – rather than retrospective – conference aims to frame new questions, formulate future research agendas, and identify lacunae in the current state of our knowledge that require new approaches, and new work.

Keynote Speaker:
Medieval Modern: Art in Time
Herbert L. Kessler


The Efficacy of Byzantine Statues between Practice and Theory
Benjamin Anderson, Cornell University
Folding and Unfolding the Physician’s Almanac
Jennifer Borland, Oklahoma State University & Karen Eileen Overbey, Tufts University
The Byzantine Enkolpion: Object and Agency
Ivan Drpić, University of Washington
The Work of Hands
Christina Normore, Northwestern University
Interdisciplinary Objects: Thick Description and the Manuscript Studies Paradigm
Alexa Sand, Utah State University
Medieval Bodies, Medieval Minds: Somaesthetics and Viewing Bodies in the Expanded Field of Art History
Allie Terry-Fritsch, Bowling Green State University
The Sense of an Ending: The Triumph of Byzantine Orthodoxy and its Consequences
Paroma Chatterjee, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Numeracy and Representation in a Time “Without” Science
Megan C. McNamee, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
The Seljuqs by any Other Name
Margaret Graves, University of Indiana, Bloomington
From Pages to Walls: Designing a Painted Space in 13th-Century Salzburg
Ludovico V. Geymonat, Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max Planck Institute for Art History, Rome
Facing Facture and Pygmalion’s Dilemma
Sarah Guérin, Université de Montréal
Post-Formalism and the Photographic Mediation of Medieval Sculpture
Christopher Lakey, Johns Hopkins University
Emergence and Enchantment: The Act of Ornament in Insular Art
Benjamin C. Tilghman, Lawrence University
An Encounter with the Architectural Surface of Samarra
Matthew Saba, University of Chicago
Meaning on the move. Sacred images and medieval ornamental patterns
Loretta Vandi, Liceo Artistico Statale – Scuola del Libro, Urbino


Jeffrey Hamburger, Harvard University
Charles Barber, Princeton University
Avinoam Shalem, Columbia University

Property and Power in Late Antiquity

Property and Power in Late Antiquity, International Late Antiquity Network, International Conference 2014, ISAW, June 11–14, 2014

For most of the 20th century, the distribution of land and other wealth has been central to scholarly discussion of late antique societies, not least in assessing the causes of the fall of the Roman Empire. While the pace of scholarly discussion slowed down towards the end of the century, in recent years a new interest in the economic history of Late Antiquity has emerged. Much of this renewed interest has focussed on assessing the wealth and the power of secular elites, such as the influential contributions of Jairus Banaji on the social impact of the gold currency (2001) or the relevant sections in Chris Wickham’s Framing the Early Middle Ages (2005), among others. Renewed interest has also emerged in related areas such as the history of the household, with work such as Kyle Harper’s 2011 study of slavery, and the history of Christianity, with, for example, Peter Brown’s monumental study of the issue of wealth in the rise of ecclesiastical institutions (2012).

In light of these developments, a cross-disciplinary stock-taking seems more than welcome. ILAN 2014, Property and Power in Late Antiquity, will offer an opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues from numerous disciplines and as many countries.

Keynote speaker:
Slaves, paroikoi and labor regimes in the Late Antique Greek Census Inscriptions
Noel Lenski (Boulder)

Seating is limited. Email ISAW to reserve seats.

The Religious Institutions of Jerusalem and Its Hinterland in Late Antiquity

The Religious Institutions of Jerusalem and Its Hinterland in Late Antiquity Colloquium, Kenyon Institute, Jerusalem, August 11-12, 2014

In Late Antiquity, Jerusalem was a centre for the three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Each of these faiths transformed the sacred and physical topographies of the city in different ways. However, while much research has been done on Jerusalem and its most famous religious buildings—the Temple, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock—the relationship between these institutions in the centre and the religious settlements, buildings, and complexes of Jerusalem’s periphery has remained largely unexplored. This is rich ground for further exploration, and previous studies of some of the religious foundations outside of Jerusalem, for example Mar Saba and other desert monasteries, have revealed both connections and disjunctions between life in the holy city and in the surrounding cities, towns, countryside, and desert.

By illuminating the relationship between Jerusalem and the surrounding regions in the period, this colloquium aims to encourage a broader contextual approach to the study of religion, politics, and architecture, bounded by an emphasis on religious institutions. We encourage papers to consider the religious, social, political, architectural, art historical, and literary relationships between Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religious institutions in Jerusalem and the surrounding regions from the third through the ninth centuries CE. Papers might investigate pilgrim routes and sacred topography between Jerusalem and neighboring holy sites, religious and political links between religious buildings and settlements in the region, or artistic and architectural relationships between religious structures in Jerusalem and the surrounding area.

Knowing Bodies, Passionate Souls: Sense Perceptions in Byzantium

Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Studies Symposium. Symposiarchs: Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Brown University, and Margaret Mullett, Dumbarton Oaks

Byzantine culture was notably attuned to a cosmos of multiple domains:  material, immaterial; bodily, intellectual, physical, spiritual; human, divine. Despite a prevailing discourse to the contrary, the Byzantine world found its bridges between domains most often in sensory modes of awareness. These different domains were concretely perceptible; further, they were encountered daily amidst the mundane no less than the exalted. Icons, incense, music, sacred architecture, ritual activity; saints, imperial families, persons at prayer; hymnography, ascetical or mystical literature:  in all of its cultural expressions, the Byzantines excelled in highlighting the intersections between human and divine realms through sensory engagement (whether positive or negative).

Byzantinists have been slow to look at the operations of the senses in Byzantium, especially those of seeing, its relation to the other senses, and phenomenological approaches in general.  More recently work on smell and hearing has followed, and yet the areas of taste and touch—the most universal and the most necessary of the senses—are still largely uncharted. Nor has much been done to explore how Byzantines viewed the senses, or how they envisaged the sensory interactions with their world. A map of the connections between of sense-perceptions and other processes (of perception, memory, visualization) in the Byzantine brain has still to be sketched out. How did the Byzantines describe, narrate or represent the senses at work? It is hoped to further studies of the operations of individual senses in Byzantium in the context of all the senses, and their place in what the Byzantines thought about perception and cognition. Recent work on dreaming, on memory and on the emotions has made advances possible, and collaborative experiments between Byzantinists and neurological scientists open further approaches. The happy coincidence of a Dumbarton Oaks Garden and Landscape symposium on ‘Senses in the landscape: non-visual experiences’ and of a forthcoming exhibition at the Walters Art Museum on the five senses enable some cross-cultural comparisons to be made involving gardens in Islamic Spain, Hebrew hymnography, Syriac wine-poetry, Mediterranean ordure, and Romanesque and Gothic precious objects—that were not just looked at but also touched, smelled, heard. Architects, musicologists, art historians, archaeologists, philologists, all can contribute approaches to the revelation of the Byzantine sensorium.

40th Byzantine Studies Conference

40th Byzantine Studies Conference, Simon Fraser University, November 6–9, 2014

The Byzantine Studies Conference was founded in 1975 and is the premier venue for the presentation and discussion of papers embodying current research on all aspects of Byzantine history and culture in North America. The BSC meets in October or November in a different city every year. Roughly 75 papers are presented and discussed in a relaxed but professional atmosphere. Graduate students are strongly encouraged to attend and may compete for prizes for the best papers. The BSC is also the occasion for the annual BSANA business meeting. BSANA is incorporated in the state of Florida.

Exegetical Crossroads

The international conference Exegetical Crossroads –Understanding Scripture in Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the Medieval Orient will focus on the mutual influences between the three exegetical traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It aims at uncovering the traces of rich exchange between Near Eastern religious communities and disclosing its impact on the scriptural interpretations in the medieval period. Highly recognized experts on Church History, Oriental studies, Judaic Studies, Theology and Medieval History will present their research findings from different perspectives.

The conference is organized by the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in cooperation with the University of Münster and the University of Marburg and will be the initial part of an international conference series.


19th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Student Colloquium

19th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Student Colloquium, Research Forum, The Courtauld Institute of Art, February 1, 2014

Medieval art and architecture are often misconceived as being governed by categories and boundaries, be it geographical, social, or artistic. This colloquium will aim to question and challenge these assumptions by highlighting the fluidity and flexibility extant within art and architecture at the time. Boundaries will be interpreted in the wider sense of the word, encompassing geographic location and artistic media as well as questions of in-betweenness and hybridity. The papers will explore the issue of the creation and articulation of boundaries, the question of the validity of scholarly categories, and how art ventured to transgress visual, architectural, and cultural divisions.

Envisioning the Eucharist—Transcending the Literal in Medieval and Byzantine Art

Envisioning the Eucharist—Transcending the Literal in Medieval and Byzantine Art, Art Institute of Chicago, February 11, 2014

This daylong symposium will examine the assertion that Medieval and Byzantine art functioned not as a mere supplement to or reduction of advanced theological concepts, but as theology in its own right.

Featured will be new scholarship that explores how developing Eucharistic doctrine was translated—and transformed—visually. Special consideration will be given to how artists envisioned the Eucharist theologically and transcended the literal representation of the Last Supper to convey other dimensions of the Eucharistic mystery.

Manuscripts and Epigraphy

Manuscripts and Epigraphy, Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Hamburg, November 14–16, 2013

In order to establish manuscriptology as a discipline of manuscript studies it is necessary to clarify the concept of manuscript. The Conference in particular aims to focus on this clarification and will therefore discuss the relationship between manuscripts and epigraphy, which is particularly insightful for this purpose. Manuscripts, including the texts, illustrations, notes, or other signs contained in them, are to be distinguished from other means of recording and transmitting information, particularly from other media of literacy. Regarding manuscripts and epigraphy, it will not be possible to begin with clear-cut definitions; rather, blurred boundaries and overlaps have to be expected, not least because the concept of epigraphy is neither homogenous nor uncontroversial.

When examining the types and amounts of text found in epigraphy and manuscripts, one will immediately discover great differences between these two writing supports. Therefore, detailed comparative analyses of the conventions are desirable, which stipulate particular types, sizes and arrangements of signs for different types of inscriptions and texts contained in manuscripts, and which are reflected in an intentionally planned layout. Additionally, a more or less spontaneous use of letters and signs has to be taken into account, as, for instance, is the case with annotations or graffiti. Furthermore, it is to be examined how reliable a distinction according to the producers of these types of writings is, as suggested at times, who sometimes are considered to belong to an artisanal circle or, at other times, to a scriptorium or chancellery.

Thus the basic material conditions of epigraphy and manuscript are addressed as well. Whether or not the distinction between ‘soft’ materials for manuscripts and ‘hard’ materials for epigraphy, as has been suggested, is feasible should be examined in the light of clay and bamboo manuscripts or epigraphic evidence found on textile or leather. Furthermore, it is to be asked whether the category of durability derived from the attribution to a certain material may be exclusively ascribed to inscriptions. Also, the differentiation between stationary and transportable use, which can be deduced from the difference between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ materials, does not seem to apply without limitation.

Finally, the transfer from inscription to manuscript (and vice versa?) will be addressed which can be found, for example, when specific epigraphic conventions are being included in manuscripts, for instance text pages appearing in epigraphic mode. Illustrations and image sequences can also be accompanied, supplemented, or explained by inscriptions and, last but not least, the visual representation of real inscriptions should be mentioned in this context.

Lives, Relics, and Beneficial Tales in Byzantium and Beyond

Lives, Relics, and Beneficial Tales in Byzantium and Beyond, Harvard University, November 8–9, 2013

The conference organized in honor of John Duffy, Emeritus Professor of Byzantine Philology and Literature in the Department of the Classics at Harvard University, and Senior Fellow in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection

The event is free and open to the public. In addition to the 10 scheduled papers, there will be a celebratory reception at the Harvard Faculty Club on Friday, November 8, from 5:30-7 p.m, where all participants are warmly invited to join us in raising a glass to John, a valued scholar and teacher in the field of Byzantine Studies, and a much-loved member of the Harvard community.

To monitor any updates or changes to the schedule, please check the website of the Department of the Classics at Harvard, where final program information will be available closer to the event through the "announcements" sidebar.

Speakers include

  • Emmanuel Bourbouhakis (Princeton University) - "Romancing the Saints: Is There Such a Thing as Fictional Hagiography?"
  • Panagiotis Roilos (Harvard University) - “Saintly Simplicity and Rhetorical Opulence: Writing Hagiography in the Komnenian Renaissance”
  • Sarah Insley Say (Brown University) - “‘Those who teach in love’: Modeling Asceticism in The Lausiac History”
  • Saskia Dirkse (Harvard University and Dumbarton Oaks) - “The Posthumous Experiences of Bodies in the Early Byzantine Religious Tales”
  • Michael Zellmann-Rohrer (University of California, Berkeley) - "'The Jewish Boy Legend' and its Variants in Byzantium and Beyond"
  • Ivan Drpic (University of Washington and Dumbarton Oaks) - “Manuel I Komnenos and the Stone of Unction”
  • Ioli Kalavrezou (Harvard University) - "Bread for the Liturgy: Images of Controversy"
  • Stratis Papaioannou (Brown University) - “A Performance in the Church of the Virgin at Chalkoprateia”
  • Alice-­‐Mary Talbot (Dumbarton Oaks) - “The Four Lives of St. Maximos the Hutburner"
  • Nikos Panou (Brown University) - "Sovereignty and the Sacred in Post-Byzantine Hagiography"

The Transformation of Romanness

The Transformation of Romanness: Regions & Identities, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Vienna, October 29–31, 2013

The program looks great.  Papers of particular interest to Byzantinists include

  • Annick Peters-Custot, Between Rome and Constantinople: the Romanness of Byzantine Southern Italy (9th-11th centuries)
  • Roland Steinacher, Staying and Becoming Roman as well as the Other Way Round: Africa in the First Millennium
  • Johannes Koder, Remarks on the Linguistic Romanness in Byzantium
  • Ioannis Stouraitis, "Byzantine Romanness: Ethnic, National or Class Identity?
  • Jack Tannous, Romanness in Arabic and Syriac Sources in Late Antique/Early Islamic Syria
  • Bernhard Palme, Rhomaioi, Hellenes, and Barbaroi in Late Antique Egypt

conference poster

Heraclea Sintica: from Hellenistic Polis to Roman Civitas

Heraclea Sintica: from Hellenistic Polis to Roman Civitas (4th c. BC–6th c. AD), Petrich, Bulgaria, September 19–21, 2013

The conference brings together 21 scholars from different fields to present their latest research and excavation results on the archaeology and history of Heraclea Sintica. The topics of presentations include historical geography, text-critical analyses of literary sources and inscriptions, new syntheses of archaeological and numismatic data, art historical treatments of little known or unpublished artifacts, etc. By addressing a variety of subjects and utilizing different methodologies, we aim to provide a holistic and diachronic view of the site's complex history, from a tribal center of the Sintians to an important Roman provincial town. The conference also includes a site visit to Heraclea Sintica, the Museum of History in Petrich and the Regional Museum of History in Blagoevgrad. A small exhibit of selected finds from one of the city's rich necropolises will be on display in the Regional Museum of History in Blagoevgrad.



for Byzantine Arts and Culture

Founded in 2010 through a generous gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of knowledge about the rich heritage of Byzantine art and culture.