The Red Monastery Church: Beauty and Asceticism in Upper Egypt

The Red Monastery Church: Beauty and Asceticism in Upper Egypt, ARCE lecture by Dr. Elizabeth S. Bolman (Temple University), Penn Museum, May 23, 2015, 3:30pm

The results of a 10-year conservation project at the Red Monastery church have revealed a fabulously dynamic, painted interior with close aesthetic and iconographic ties to major early Byzantine monuments. The church dates to the late 5th century CE, a formative period in the history of monasticism. It illustrates one of the earliest conjunctions of spectacular monumental architecture and asceticism, a fusion that has become so familiar that it seems natural. Initially, however, the choice to deploy such tools in a desert community of men who had chosen to leave the world behind was a contentious one.

Presented by the American Research Center in Egypt—Pennsylvania Chapter.

Acquiring and Post-processing 3D Data in Anthropology and Archaeology

Acquiring and Post-processing 3D Data in Anthropology and Archaeology, Università di Bologna, July 1–10, 2015

Nowadays the virtual environment is becoming pivotal in anthropology, archaeology, medical and dental field. New technologies for acquiring and post­processing three­dimensional (3D) image data, originally developed for medicine and engineering, are increasingly being applied in anthropology and archaeology for data collection, preservation and analysis.

The summer­ school in “ACQUIRING AND POST­PROCESSING 3D DATA IN ANTHROPOLOGY AND ARCHAEOLOGY” is suitable for undergraduate/graduate students, PhD students, post­doctorates in the field of anthropology, archaeology, medicine and dentistry who are interested in developing basic, but fundamental, skills in 3D data acquisition and post­processing.

We aim to provide the participants the knowledge to create 3D digital models (starting from different sources) useful for further specific analysis/visualization/3D printing. Teaching is arranged with both lectures and practical sessions by experts in the field.

To register to the Summer School and reserve a spot, participants are required to fill out the application form and send a non-refundable deposit of 5% of the total program fee (Euro 105) no later than May 31st, 2015. This fee will cover lectures, course materials, coffee breaks, lunches, Wi-Fi internet connection organizational costs. The payment must be transferred exclusively in euros by through bank transfer on IBAN code.

The Byzantine Republic: A Round-Table Discussion

The Byzantine Republic: A Round-Table Discussion with Benet Salway, Dennis Stathakopoulos, and Anthony Kaldellis, University College London, June 4, 2015, 6pm

In a revolutionary new book, Anthony Kaldellis reconnects Byzantium to its Roman roots, arguing that from the fifth to the twelfth centuries CE the Eastern Roman Empire was essentially a republic, with power exercised on behalf of the people and sometimes by them too. The Byzantine Republic recovers for the historical record a less autocratic, more populist Byzantium whose Greek-speaking citizens considered themselves as fully Roman as their Latin-speaking "ancestors." Kaldellis shows that the idea of Byzantium as a rigid imperial theocracy is a misleading construct of Western historians since the Enlightenment. With court proclamations often draped in Christian rhetoric, the notion of divine kingship emerged as a way to disguise the inherent vulnerability of each regime. The legitimacy of the emperors was not predicated on an absolute right to the throne but on the popularity of individual emperors, whose grip on power was tenuous despite the stability of the imperial institution itself. Kaldellis examines the overlooked Byzantine concept of the polity, along with the complex relationship of emperors to the law and the ways they bolstered their popular acceptance and avoided challenges. The rebellions that periodically rocked the empire were not aberrations, he shows, but an essential part of the functioning of the republican monarchy.

Material Hagiography

Material Hagiography, Hagiography Society panel at the Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting 2016, Boston, March 31–April 2, 2016

The Hagiography Society invites papers for RSA 2016 for thematic panels taking up the question of issues of material hagiography. Scholars across disciplines—art history, religious studies, and anthropology among others—have increasingly directed attention to material cultures of religions, considering everyday sensory, material, and aesthetic practices of religions as well as monuments in art and architecture. The material hagiography panel(s) undertake to explore ways in which early modern religious practices related to hagiography—engaging with holy people and their cults across eras, cultures, and religious traditions—were as inherently sensory and material as they were textual, and were intimately engaged with “stuff.” This stuff could include “high art” or quotidian utensils, consecrated ritual objects, as well as customary gestures, texts, and/or spaces. Proposed papers may consider sites—geographic, material, physical and metaphorical—where sensation and materiality engaged each other, and both concerned hagiography. They may also address how early modern hagiography, particularly the objects and spaces cults used and activated, looked, felt, smelled, tasted, and sounded, together with what cultic practitioners said, did, or wrote.

Please submit a 150-word (max) abstract, a 300-word (max) CV, and keywords to Ruth Noyes at by June 5th.

Laonikos Chalkokondyles, The Histories

Kaldellis' introduction and explanations are gracefully written. In his translation, he has taken difficult Greek and made it readable, regularizing punctuation for the sake of coherence, giving helpful names where Chalkokondyles had left more than one ruler or king, specifying 'sultan' instead of using the all-purpose 'ruler.'

Anthony Kaldellis. Laonikos Chalkokondyles, The Histories (2 vols.). Dumbarton Oaks medieval library, 33-34. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2014.

From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Diana Gilliland Wright, Seattle

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Render unto the Sultan: Power, Authority, & the Greek Orthodox Church in the Early Ottoman Centuries

Tom Papademetriou. Render unto the Sultan: Power, Authority, and the Greek Orthodox Church in the Early Ottoman Centuries. Oxford University Press, 2015.

From Oxford University Press

The received wisdom about the nature of the Greek Orthodox Church in the Ottoman Empire is that Sultan Mehmed II reestablished the Patriarchate of Constantinople as both a political and a religious authority to govern the post-Byzantine Greek community. However, relations between the Church hierarchy and Turkish masters extend further back in history, and closer scrutiny of these relations reveals that the Church hierarchy in Anatolia had long experience dealing with Turkish emirs by focusing on economic arrangements. Decried as scandalous, these arrangements became the modus vivendi for bishops in the Turkish emirates.

Primarily concerned with the economic arrangements between the Ottoman state and the institution of the Greek Orthodox Church from the mid-fifteenth to the sixteenth century, Render Unto the Sultan argues that the Ottoman state considered the Greek Orthodox ecclesiastical hierarchy primarily as tax farmers (mültezim) for cash income derived from the church's widespread holdings. The Ottoman state granted individuals the right to take their positions as hierarchs in return for yearly payments to the state. Relying on members of the Greek economic elite (archons) to purchase the ecclesiastical tax farm (iltizam), hierarchical positions became subject to the same forces of competition that other Ottoman administrative offices faced. This led to colorful episodes and multiple challenges to ecclesiastical authority throughout Ottoman lands.

Tom Papademetriou demonstrates that minority communities and institutions in the Ottoman Empire, up to now, have been considered either from within the community, or from outside, from the Ottoman perspective. This new approach allows us to consider internal Greek Orthodox communal concerns, but from within the larger Ottoman social and economic context.

Render Unto the Sultan challenges the long established concept of the 'Millet System', the historical model in which the religious leader served both a civil as well as a religious authority. From the Ottoman state's perspective, the hierarchy was there to serve the religious and economic function rather than the political one.

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New Perspectives on the Man of Sorrows

…it is a beautiful book with solid scholarship on a theme that is often elusive but always a moving reminder of the preeminence of the Passion in medieval and early modern art history and religion.

Catherine R. Puglisi and William L. Barcham, eds. New Perspectives on the Man of Sorrows. Studies in Iconography: Themes and Variations. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2013.

From The Medieval Review (TMR). Review by Donna L. Sadler, Agnes Scott College

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Greek Libraries in the Ottoman Empire

Greek Libraries in the Ottoman Empire (Bibliothèques grecques dans l’Empire ottoman), University of Crete, May 26–27, 2015

As part of the project ANR i-Stamboul, the Greek Department of the IRHT has organized in partnership with the University of Crete a symposium dedicated to Greek libraries in the Ottoman Empire.

It will bring together a dozen contributions on books and Greek manuscripts of the post-Byzantine period, their owners, their readers and their history.

The publication of the proceedings will be together with that of the second symposium held as part of project i-Istanbul (Istanbul, 14-15 October 2015) and entitled Around the Holy Trinity of Halki: Greek Manuscripts in Constantinople 1453 (Autour de la Sainte-Trinité de Chalki : manuscrits grecs à Constantinople après 1453).


Sharing the Holy Land

Sharing the Holy Land: Perceptions of Shared Sacred Space in the Medieval and Early Modern Eastern Mediterranean, The Warburg Institute, June 12–13, 2015

This symposium seeks to address how both Western pilgrims and the indigenous Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Levantine population perceived the sharing of religious shrines with other faiths. In particular, scholars will look at how this sharing is described and explained in contemporary accounts and how this influenced the knowledge of other faiths among the Semitic religions. The symposium will focus on the period from c.1100 to c.1600, addressing the changing political context in the Levant and its influence on the sharing of sacred space.

Registration closes June 10, 2015.

Panels & Papers:

Keynote 1
The Various Meanings of “Shared Sacred Space”
Prof. Benjamin Z. Kedar (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Keynote 2
The Mount Sinai Monastery: A Successful Example of Shared Holy Space
Prof. Bernard Hamilton (University of Nottingham)

Session 1 - Pilgrimage I: Emotions of Sharing
Bathing in the Boundaries of the Holy Land: Latin Perspectives on Christian Devotion at the Jordan, c.1099-1291
Phil Booth (University of Lancaster)

Mount Joy: Pilgrimage and Emotional Landscape in Late Medieval Palestine
Prof. Anthony Bale (Birkbeck College, Univ. of London)

Islam and Muslims in Franciscan Descriptions of the Holy Land: The Role of the Convent of Mount Zion, c. 1330-1530
Dr Michele Campopiano (University of York)

Session 2 - Art & Material Culture
From the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem to the Church of St Theodore at Behdaidat: Art, Politics and Communities in Sacred spaces in the Levant between the 12th-13th Centuries
Prof. Lucy-Anne Hunt (Manchester Metropolitan University)

The Western And Byzantine Elements of the Mural Cycle of the Church of the Resurrection at Abu Gosh: A Manifestation of a Shared Sacred Space
Dr Gil Fishhof (Tel Aviv University)

Understanding Absence: The Church Façades of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem
Dr Lisa Mahoney (DePaul University)

Session 3 – Non-Christian Perspectives
Permeability and Mutual Congruence as Categories in the Study of Shared Sacred Space: The Case of 12th/13th-Century Jazīra
Dr Georg Leube (Marburg University)

Mingling at the Sites: Shared Sacred Space in Benjamin of Tudela's Book of Travels
Marci Freedman (University of Manchester)

Worth Their Weight in Gold: The Imprints at the Dome of the Rock between Islam and Christianity
Dr Lucy Donkin (University of Bristol)

Session 4 - Latins alongside Eastern Christians
Sharing the Holy Places, Unifiying Christianity
Dr Camille Rouxpetel (École Française de Rome)

”Ululant more luporum”: Frankish Perceptions of Other Christians’ Liturgies in Churches of the Holy Land
Dr Beatrice Saletti (Università degli Studi di Udine)

Sharing New Rome: Papal Directives to Pera in Constantinople during the Fourteenth Century
James Hill (University of Leeds)

Dr Yuri Stoyanov (SOAS) - Title TBC

Keynote 3
Preserving the Memory of St. John the Baptist/Prophet Yahia's Tomb in Sabastiya by Christian and Muslim Communities
Prof. Osama Hamdan (Al-Quds University, Jerusalem)

Session 5 - Constantinople and the Greek Islands
Sharing on the Way to the Holy Land: The Shrine of Our Lady of Cassiope on the Island of Corfu
Dr Nickiphoros Tsougarakis (Edge Hill University)

Shared Worship at Filerimos on Rhodes: 1306-1420
Anthony Luttrell

Session 6 - Pilgrimage II
Illa famosa granaria. The Pyramids in the Eyes of the Western Pilgrims
Dr Giuseppe Perta (Centro di Ricerca sulle Relazioni Mediterranee)

Knowledge of the Other and Understanding Shared Sacred Space, c. 1150-1250
Jan Vandeburie (Warburg Institute)

Sharing Sacred Space in Late Fifteenth-Century Travel Narratives
Alexia Lagast (University of Antwerp)

Session 7 - Sharing Space and the Crusades
The Distribution of Communities in Jerusalem in the Period 1099-1187
Dr Alan V. Murray (University of Leeds)

Did the First Crusade Initiate a “Clash of Civilizations” between Christianity and Islam?
Dr Nicholas Morton (Nottingham Trent University)

Session 8 - Sharing Texts and Libraries
Libraries as Loci of Intellectual Encounter
Dr Merav Mack (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Benjamin Balint

Vespasian's Sword and Crown: Reading Josephus in the Latin East
Dr Julian Yolles (Harvard University)

The Itinera ad Loca Sancta Collection in the Franciscan Libraries in Jerusalem
Alessandro Tedesco (Catholic University of Milan)


Salamis of Cyprus, History and Archaeology from The Earliest Times to The Late Antiquity

Salamis of Cyprus, History and Archaeology from The Earliest Times to The Late Antiquity, University of Cyprus, May 21–23, 2015

Salamis, pivotal setting for encounters and exchanges between the Aegean and the Middle East, has played a key role in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean. This is the perspective under which the participants of this conference share their recent research and insights on this part of the history of Cyprus.


Wading in DAH (Digital Art History) Water: A Workshop Week for Those Beginning and Curious

Wading in DAH (Digital Art History) Water: A Workshop Week for Those Beginning and Curious, University of Maryland, College Park, May 26–29, 2015

The past few years have seen within the field of Art History a groundswell of interest in the Digital Humanities (DH for short), with a crop of well-funded institutes last summer signaling of the arrival in earnest of Digital Art History, the term many are giving DH-centered Art History. These institutes are wonderful, but not all will have the opportunity to attend as a result of what can be a competitive application process. As well, many feel intimidated by the perceived cloistered expertise of DH-themed gatherings and are unsure just how they and their work can fit, and where they can start to gain some of the needed expertise.

That is where “Wading in DAH Water” comes in. Conceived as a gentle and easy introduction to some facets of Digital Art History, akin to slowly entering a swimming pool via the shallow section, this four-day event covers some of the more popular areas of DAH (mapping, virtual modeling, augmented reality, online exhibitions, database-building and visualization) and is divided into two parts: Tuesday features rotating showcases of different methods in DAH (to allow you to sample a bit of everything) and the remainder of the week offers free, drop-in-as-you-will workshops so that you can dive in a bit more and get hands on experience with a method or tool. Organized by the Michelle Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland, these workshops will be run by Collaboratory staff, members of the DIG (graduate students in the Digital Innovation Group), and some old friends.

Topics likely to be covered include Mapping, Virtual Modeling, Omeka + Neatline, Augmented Reality, and Databases + Basic Visualization.

Registration requested.

The Senses and Visual Culture from Antiquity to the Renaissance

The Senses and Visual Culture from Antiquity to the Renaissance, University of Bristol, June 8–9, 2015

Where does the recent sensory turn in the Arts and Humanities leave the study of Visual Culture? Can the viewer/object model incorporate the full sensorium without imposing ocularcentrism? How has vision’s relation to the other senses been expressed and explored through the visual arts from Antiquity to the Early Modern Period? How have the senses and sensory experience been represented in art before the Modern era? This conference explores the complex relationship between the visual and the sensory in contemporary theory and ancient practice.


The registration deadline is 27 May 2015.

Piroska and the Pantokrator: Dynastic Memory, Healing and Salvation in Komnenian Constantinople

Piroska and the Pantokrator: Dynastic Memory, Healing and Salvation in Komnenian Constantinople, Central European University, June 3, 2015


Diplomatic Relations between Hungary and Byzantium in the Eleventh-Twelfth Centuries
Attila Bárány (University of Debrecen)

Empress Eirene in the Poems of Nicholas Kallikles
Roman Shlyakhtin (CEU, Budapest)

The Family Poet of Piroska-Eirene’s Children: Manganeios Prodromos and the Hungarians
Michael Jeffreys (Oxford University)

Piroska-Eirene, an Empress from the West
Maximilian Lau (Oxford University)

Imperial Women under the Komneni
Roberta Franchi (Pisa/Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest)

Female Power between the Byzantine and Islamic Worlds:  The Example  of Queen Tamar
Sandro Nikolaishvili (CEU, Budapest)

The Politics of (Female) Monastic Foundations in Komnenian Constantinople
Elif Demirtiken (CEU, Budapest)

Healing and Salvation: the Christ Pantokrator Hospital
Marianne Sághy (CEU, Budapest)

Piroska-Eirene and the Holy Theotokos
Etele Kiss (Hungarian National Museum, Budapest)

Piroska and the Pantokrator
Robert Ousterhout (University of Pennsylvania)

50th International Congress on Medieval Studies

50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Medieval Institute, Kalamazoo, MI, May 14–17, 2015

Sessions or papers of interest to Byzantinists:

Thursday 10:00 am

In Honor of Annemarie Weyl Carr I: Women as Artists and Patrons (Session 14)
Unexpected Statements of Female Power: Case Studies from Crete and Cyprus
Cristina Stancioiu, College of William & Mary
Lillian P. Bliss as a Patron of Byzantine Art
Helen C. Evans, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Re-Purposing West for East at Resafa: A Woman Patron in the Christian Middle East
Glen Peers, Univ. of Texas–Austin
Female Sovereignty and Strategic Art Making: Crossing Cultural and Religious Borders in Medieval Iberia
Therese Martin, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

Bodies that Matter I: Miracles, Manuscripts, and Medicine (Session 34)
Daemons and Aliens: Supernatural Occurrences in Early Byzantine Plague Narratives
Scott Hieger, Univ. of Dallas

Early Medieval Europe I (Session 38)
Where Have All the Olives Gone? The Changing Fortunes of the Olive in Byzantium, 600–1000 A.D.
Alexander Olson, Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison

Thursday 3:30 pm

Mary in the Medieval Franciscan Tradition (Session 131)
Saint Bernardine of Siena and the Byzantine Context of His Mariology
Christiaan W. Kappes, Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius

Thursday 7:30 pm

Theory and Practice in Medieval Contexts (Session 173)
Neptic Prayer in Early Medieval Monasticism: The Byzantine Ascetic Theme of Watchfulness in the Rule of Saint Benedict
Daniel VanderKolk, Independent Scholar

Friday 10:00 am

Church, Mission, Enculturation, and Conversion in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (Session 178)
The Conversion of Armenia: Re-Evaluating Byzantine Missions across the Imperial Frontier
Alexander Angelov, College of William & Mary

Catalogus Verborum: Catalog, List, and the Spilling-Over of Learning (Session 190)
Will and Ekphrasis in Byzantine Mystical Discourse
Henry M. Bowles, Harvard Univ.

Friday 3:30 pm

Fluctuating Networks: The Constructive Role of Broken Bonds in the Medieval Mediterranean and Beyond (Session 315)
The Peasant Parvenu: Social Climbing in Tenth-Century Spain
Robert Portass, School of History and Heritage, Univ. of Lincoln
Noble Women and Their (Broken) Allegiances in Late Byzantium
Petra Melichar, Slavonic Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Studios: A Network of Alternative Power in Ninth-Century Constantinople
Arthur Robert Westwell, Univ. of Cambridge

Saturday 10:00 am

Byzantium and the Middle Ages: Bosom Buddies or Uneasy Allies? (A Roundtable Discussion) (Session 343)
A roundtable discussion with Anthony Kaldellis, Ohio State Univ.; Deborah M. Deliyannis, Indiana Univ.–Bloomington; Rebecca Darley, Warburg Institute, Univ. of London; and Demetrios Tonias, Independent Scholar.

Gendering Emotion in Medieval Thought (Session 368)
The Gender of Emotion: The Case of Byzantine Eunuchs
Shaun Tougher, Cardiff Univ.

Saturday 1:30 pm

Urban and Sacred Topography of Prilep: A Byzantine Town in the Balkans (Session 417)
Sivec Marble, the Prilep Region, and the Early Byzantine Empire: A Case Study for Integration
Philipp Niewöhner, Dumbarton Oaks
Patronage and Art in Thirteenth-Century Prilep
Petrula Kostovska
A City under a Holy Mountain: Prilep and the Monastery Treskavec
Svetlana Smolčić Makuljević
From Artistic Excellence to Marginalization: Traveling Painters from Mount Grammos in the Region of Prilep
Theocharis Tsampouras, Princeton Univ.

Money in the Middle Ages (Session 432)
Modern Money in a Pre-modern Economy: Fiduciary Coinage in Early Byzantium
Andrei Gândilâ, Univ. of Alabama–Huntsville
East Roman Imperial Spending and the Eleventh-Century Crisis
Lee Mordechai, Princeton Univ.
War, Politics, and the Flow of Cash on the German-Czech-Polish Frontier
Lisa Wolverton, Univ. of Oregon

Saturday 3:30 pm

Epigrams on Art in Byzantium (Session 479)
Epigrams and the Placement of Names on Works of Art
Brad Hostetler, Florida State Univ.
Reading the Poetry of Sacred Interiors: Ekphrastic Epigrams in Early Byzantine Churches
Sean V. Leatherbury, Getty Research Institute
The Logistics of Writing Epigrams: “Producers” and “Products” in Later Byzantium
Foteini Spingou, Princeton Univ.

Sunday 10:30 am

Good Behavior/Bad Behavior: Asserting and Advocating Behavioral Norms in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (Session 561)
Generals Gone Wild: Complaints about Byzantine Generals in the Sixth Century
David A. Parnell, Indiana Univ. Northwest

Religious Convergence in the Ancient Mediterranean

Religious Convergence in the Ancient Mediterranean, Palermo, June 23–26, 2015

Historical and cultural studies over the last two decades have embraced a range of models and foci for exploring distinct communities at points of cultural and geographic convergence, including network models, complexity studies, colonial encounters, middle ground, frontiers, ethnicity studies, center-periphery, empire theory, and the articulation of “alien” identity within a complex urban setting. Geographic and cultural points of convergence offer exceptional insight not only into ritual studies and the exploration of ritual as mediating and adaptive space, but also for identity construction and the connectivity that enables economic and political advantage. This international conference brings together scholars in religion, archaeology, philology, and history to explore case studies and theoretical models of converging religions.

Convergence may be explored along any of five broad trajectories:

  1. Geographic: How do rituals and religious narratives respond to and impact geospatial boundaries such as shorelines, mountains, and rivers? Is there a difference between geographic and political/cultural boundaries or other forms of human-constructed space (the urban and the rural, the monumental and the mundane)?
  2. Social structures: How do rituals negotiate the differentiation between state-sponsored and private expression, between elite and nonelite, or between the professional—artisan, scribe, warrior, athlete—and the lay? Are such boundaries modern figments or ancient realities; what are their archaeological, epigraphic, and ideological signatures?
  3. Assymetricality: How does religion respond to pressures from above and below? How are different forms of assymetricality articulated in written and material expressions of ritual and belief? Examples may include ritual in colonial contexts—imposition versus emulation—and urban cults accessible to both elites and commoners alike.
  4. Imaginary boundaries: How do powerful cultural tropes such as mythic genealogies, divine interventions, heroic legends, or numinous landscapes inform ritual action as it responds to the “other” both within and at the edge of the “realm”?
  5. Socioeconomic: How are engagements between those at the top and at the bottom of socioeconomic power informed by ritual practice: does ritualized empowerment of the lower class reinforce or mitigate social boundaries? How might the religion of merchants and travelers facilitate or problematize their interactions in the wider Mediterranean world?

Other, related, topics will also be considered. We welcome submissions by those working on new methodologies.

Send paper title and brief abstract to

Organizers: Sandra Blakely, Emory University, Billie Jean Collins, Emory University, Lela Urquhart, Georgia State University, and Sebastiano Tusa, Soprintendenza del Mare, Regione Siciliana

Visiting Research Assistant Professor in Syriac Studies & Digital Humanities, Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University and invite applications for the open position of Visiting Research Assistant Professor in Syriac Studies and Digital Humanities. The term of appointment is one full year, beginning in fall 2015, with the possibility of renewal for one further year.

The Visiting Research Assistant Professor will work full time under the direction of Prof. David Michelson on the publications of The Syriac Reference Portal, a digital reference project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The researcher will be affiliated with an academic unit at Vanderbilt University depending on expertise (Classics,Divinity, History, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Religion, etc.). The scholar will also be invited to take an active role in the life of Vanderbilt’s Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, including its Digital Humanities seminar.

The person hired for this position will be a specialist in Syriac studies with strong linguistic skills (ancient and modern) and considerable experience working with Syriac texts, both editions and manuscripts. There will be a strong preference for a candidate who has experience with digital humanities, especially TEI XML, but additional training in digital technology specific to the project will be provided as needed.

The researcher will be a contributing author to SPEAR (Syriac Persons, Events, and Relations), the New Handbook of Syriac Literature, Gateway to the Syriac Saints, and other publications as needed. The researcher will collect and interpret data in Syriac and other languages, contribute to evolving data models, test user interfaces and XForms, collaborate with other project researchers, and perform additional project duties as needed.

Term of Appointment:
The term of appointment is one full year, beginning in fall 2015, with the possibility of renewal for one further year. Applicants are expected to be in residence for the duration of the appointment.

Required Qualifications:  
The Candidate must have previous research experience in Syriac studies, particularly Syriac literature. Reading ability in classical Syriac and at least one other ancient or medieval language as well as relevant modern languages is required. Candidate must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent by January 1, 2016.

Preferred Qualifications:  
We welcome candidates with an interest in digital research methods, such as the use of TEI XML. Ideal candidates should have additional expertise in one or more fields contiguous to Syriac studies, such as Jewish studies, Islamic studies, Middle Eastern or Mediterranean history, Byzantine studies, history of Christianity, Classics, or medieval history.

Late Antique and Medieval Georgia: A Colloquium

Late Antique and Medieval Georgia: A Colloquium, Ertegun House, Oxford, June 19–20, 2015

Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research and Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity Colloquium

The Colloquium is free, but those wishing to attend must book a place.


What is Georgian about Georgian Art?
Antony Eastmond (Courtauld, London)

Georgia and the Christian Caucasus
Robert Thomson (Oxford)

Donors and their Images in Medieval Georgia
Zaza Skhirtladze (Tbilisi State University)

The Cult of Saints and Political Rhetoric in Medieval Georgia
Nikoloz Aleksidze (Oxford)

The Architecture of Tao-Klarjeti (Medieval Southwest Georgia) and its (inter-)national Reception in Medieval and Modern Times
Markus Bogisch (University of Copenhagen)

The Question of a pre-Renaissance in 12th–13th-century Georgia: Petritsi and the ‘Knight in the Panther’s Skin’
Levan Gigineishvili (Ilia University, Tbilisi)

Religious Tolerance (and Occasional Intolerance) in Medieval Georgia
Donald Rayfield (Queen Mary, London)


Saints Envisioned: Visual Representations of Saints in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries

The Saints Envisioned: Visual Representations of Saints in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries, Ertegun House, Oxford, June 12, 2015

An Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity collaborative colloquium between two Oxford-based research projects – ‘Empires of Faith’ and ‘Cult of Saints’

The colloquium is free, but space is limited so registration is essential.


Saints and their icons
Jaś Elsner (‘Empires of Faith’ project)

Saints in their architectural configuration
Efthymios Rizos (‘Cult of Saints’ project)

Saints for every day: depictions of saints on household objects
Ine Jacobs (Oxford University)

The two processions of saints in S. Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna
Bryan Ward-Perkins (‘Cult of Saints’ project)

Papal agency and mosaic images of saints in 7th-century Rome
Maria Lidova (‘Empires of Faith’ project)


London Summer School in Classics 2015

London Summer School in Classics, University College London, July 7–17, 2015

The London Summer School in Classics is taught in alternate years at UCL and KCL: in 2015 the Summer School will be held at UCL.

The Summer School offers eight days of intensive teaching in Greek or Latin. We will also be offering Beginners’ classes in Syriac, Coptic and Biblical Hebrew, subject to demand. There are four language classes each day, as well as lectures and epigraphy workshops, between 10:30 and 16:30. The course is not residential, and there is no teaching during the weekend.

Teaching is generally in groups of 12–15, which, as far as possible, comprise students of roughly the same level of experience (beginners, intermediate or advanced). The style of teaching is friendly, but demanding: a lot of work is expected from students during the School, but they usually find the whole experience both stimulating and valuable. Some classes concentrate chiefly on reading texts, while others offer a mixture of grammar and translation practice. Our tutors include some of the most experienced and talented teachers of Classics in the London area and beyond.

The Summer School in Classics caters for school and university students, and for anyone else who wishes to learn Greek or Latin, or to revive their knowledge of the languages.

The cost of the summer school is £150. The fee covers tuition, but not accommodation or travel expenses.

The Summer School is non-residential. However, students who require somewhere to stay can (subject to availability) arrange accommodation in a University of London Hall of Residence. Details of prices, availability and information on how to book can be found here.

Travel Grants and Bursaries
A limited number of grants may be available as a contribution to the travel costs of some students, though these may not cover all expenses. The travel grants will be arranged during the Summer School.

The Early Byzantine Christian Church

Bernard Mulholland. The Early Byzantine Christian Church: An Archaeological Re-assessment of Forty-Seven Early Byzantine Basilical Church Excavations Primarily in Israel and Jordan, and their Historical and Liturgical Context. Byzantine and Neohellenic studies, 9. Bern; Berlin; Bruxelles; Frankfurt am Main; New York; Oxford; Wien: Peter Lang, 2014.

From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Achim Arbeiter, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

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The Holy Fools Symposium

The Holy Fools Symposium, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, September 11–12, 2015

Holy foolery is one of the most remarkable phenomena in the context of human religiosity. Our symposium will look at this phenomenon for the first time from an intercultural perspective, and thus contribute to its deeper understanding. The holy fool intentionally ignores social conventions and behaves provocatively in public, thus leading his fellow men to the true knowledge of God. An essential component of this behaviour is also a conscious self-abasement by living in poverty, on the streets, and often by nudity. The symposium aims at a comparative investigation of holy foolery in Europe, the Middle East and in non-European cultures, and its continued presence in the modern world.


Constructing Connections: Place and Identity in Early Modern Visual Culture

Constructing Connections: Place and Identity in Early Modern Visual Culture, panel at the Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting 2016, Boston, March 31–April 2, 2016

Location, location, location. Late medieval and early modern artists and patrons constructed and communicated civic, religious, and personal connections with specific places through various image modes. This session seeks papers that explore these profound and complex associations between identity and place as they developed in global visual culture between 1300 and 1700. Possible topics include (but are in no way limited to): topographical iconography, the establishment of saints’ cults and pilgrimage destinations, the development of civic and regional styles, imagined locations and/or travel, and the trans-national movement of artists and/or objects. Papers that address the imaging of place and identity in materials beyond that of painting and sculpture are particularly welcome.

Please send a paper title, an abstract (150 words maximum) and a CV (300 words maximum) to Ashley Elston (Berea College) and Madeline Rislow (Kansas City Art Institute) at by May 31, 2015.

OPenn: Primary Resources Available to Everyone

The Penn Libraries and the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies are thrilled to announce the launch of OPenn: Primary Resources Available to Everyone, a new website that makes digitized cultural heritage material freely available and accessible to the public. The website contains complete sets of high-resolution archival images of manuscripts from the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, along with machine-readable TEI P5 descriptions and technical metadata. More datasets, including additional material from the Penn Libraries and other institutions, will be added to the site.



Cereals of Antiquity and Early Byzantine Times

Maciej Kokoszka, Zofia Rzeznicka. and Krzysztof Jagusiak, eds. Cereals of Antiquity and Early Byzantine Times: Wheat and Barley in Medical Sources (Second to Seventh Centuries). Jagiellonian University Press, 2015.

From Jagiellonian University Press

The present book entitled Cereals of antiquity and early Byzantine times. Wheat and barley in medical sources (second to seventh centuries AD), penned by Maciej Kokoszko, Krzysztof Jagusiak and Zofia Rzeznicka, aims at a detailed analysis of the evolution of dietetic doctrines and an assessment of the value of medical sources for historians of food. In order to achieve the goal, the authors have analysed select medical sources composed between the 2nd and the 7th centuries AD, i.e., treatises published from the moment of canonizing dietetic doctrine by Galen up to the composition of the medical encyclopaedia compiled by Paul of Aegina and the publication of the anonymous work entitled De cibis. Within this timeframe, there appeared a number of works which, following the assumptions of the Hippocratic school, contain a cohesive discourse devoted to the role of food in maintaining and restoring human health, thus allowing us to trace the development of diets during the period in question.In order to conduct their research, the authors have selected a food group, namely cereals and cereal products, starting with common and durum wheat (and including in the research hulled wheats, i.e. einkorn, emmer and spelt) and finishing with barley, since all the above-mentioned crops constituted the basis of diet of the majority of peoples inhabiting the Mediterranean. The researches have shown the history of the said cereals in the area around the Mediterranean Sea, singled out the most important products obtained therefrom, demonstrated their dietetic evaluations as presented in the sources, determined the place of cereals in cuisine and outlined their role in medical procedures.The final result of the analyses proves stability of the dietetic doctrines throughout the researched period, explains intricacies of the conceptual system developed by the medical doctors to describe cereal and other foodstuffs, defines recipes, methods and technologies profited from in food processing and outlines the place of cereal substances (both as independent medicinal agents or as ingredients included in composed medicaments) in popular medical treatment methods.

book cover

Translating the Past, (Re-)shaping History?

Translating the Past, (Re-)shaping History?: Translation Issues in Late Antique and Medieval Christian Historiographical Sources in the Middle East, ISAW, May 30, 2015

Late antique and Medieval Christian historiographical corpuses often result from multi-step composition and transmission processes, accumulating successive layers of historical knowledge. Given the cultural diversity of the Middle East, those derive, in many cases, from older sources composed in a different linguistic (and sometimes religious) environment. In this perspective, this workshop intends to address the issue of the impact of the translation processes on the actual historical content of such corpuses, occurring whether in their composition or in their later transmission. Accordingly, the question of the edition of such multilingual textual traditions will also be addressed. Texts in the following languages will be taken into consideration: Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Georgian, Greek and Syriac.


Space is limited. RSVP required.

Mashritho: Syriac Summer Course 2015

Mashritho: Syriac Summer Course 2015, Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute, Piscataway, NJ, July 20–August 7, 2015

Building off the success of our first ever Syriac Summer course in 2014, Beth Mardutho (The Syriac Institute) in collaboration with Rutgers University (Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literature) will be holding two intensive Syriac summer courses from July 20–Aug 7, 2015.

Course I: Introductory Syriac.  Students with no prior experience in Syriac will learn introductory reading, writing, grammar, and should be able to translate introductory texts by the end of the course. A hybrid method of teaching will be used drawing from both traditional reading/writing and immersion (conversational) models. Classes will be held Mon–Friday, 3-4 hours per day. Students are expected to spend the rest of the day doing homework and preparing for the next day lesson.

Course II: Intermediate-Advanced Syriac. This course is geared towards students who have already done Syriac and would like to dig deeper into the grammar and nuances of the language. A hybrid method of teaching will be used drawing from both traditional reading/writing and immersion (conversational) models which will allow the student to get a better command of the language. Intermediate-advanced texts will be read.

Class Fees are $875 per student for the duration of the course.

The class will be taught by Dr. George A. Kiraz who has a long experience in teaching the Syriac language at various levels. There will also be a series of guest lectures on various topcis by Syriac scholars.

The Medieval Islamicate World

Arc-Medieval Press announces a new series The Medieval Islamicate World.

During the medieval period, the Islamicate world encompassed a great arc stretching from al-Andalus to China. Within this arc, Muslims, Jews, and Christians, along with other diverse cultures and belief systems, established  sophisticated and cosmopolitan communities, creating an environment that fostered intellectual, political and social interaction and cultural exchanges. Such connections were key to the vibrancy, achievements, and innovations of this period, resulting in a social reality that was as complex as it was subtle.

This series seeks to explore the intersections among the cultures that comprised the medieval Islamicate world, as well as the impact of specific communities, texts, and events on the development of Islamicate cultures. By considering these relationships and exchanges, we seek to trace the connections that gave rise to the variety and sophistication so characteristic of this era.

Topics and themes that the series intends to consider include
Identity, Religion, and Law; Dress and Social Discourse; Gender and Social Roles; Trade and Cultural Exchange; Art and Architecture; Patrons, Clients, and Slaves; Social Networks and hierarchies; Spaces and Borders; European Encounters with the Islamicate world; Islamicate encounters with the Occidental world; Material cultures; Music, Music Theory and Philosophies of Music; Literature and Poetry; Translation and Linguistics; Sexualities.

Geographical Scope
From al-Andalus, across the Mediterranean and Middle East, to the Punjab and beyond into China and Mongolia

Chronological Scope
7th-15th centuries CE (1st-9th centuries AH)

Call for Contributions
The Medieval Islamicate World is currently seeking academic monographs, including those based on doctoral research, and contributions for forthcoming edited volumes gender, sexuality, and identity as produced in various genres of medieval Islamicate texts.

Editorial Contact
E. T. Dailey

Source: H-Mideast-Medieval

Editorial Assistant for Speculum

Speculum is searching for an editorial assistant.

Applicants must have strong computer and editorial skills, together with a background in any area of the humanities with a particular specialty in Medieval Studies, and must be available to start work in the fall of 2015 in Cambridge, MA. Strict attention to detail and excellent communication skills are particularly important. Reading ability in French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Latin and/or Italian is also highly desirable.

Job Description
This internship will provide experience with the book review process of Speculum, the journal of the Medieval Academy of America. Duties include: sorting books; mailing books to reviewers; compiling information in a database from print books and online resources; transmitting information to the book review editors; receiving, organizing, and proofreading reviews for publication; and using an Excel-based management system (or other appropriate software).

This is a two-stage part-time paid internship. For the first three months the intern will sort and mail the review books while training under the current senior intern (12 hours per week). In January the intern will share the duties of the senior intern, including managing the database of reviews, working with the Book Review Editors, and coordinating and proofreading the reviews (up to 28 hours per week at a higher rate).

The position will begin in September 2015 and run for one year, with a possible renewal for a second year.

Preference will be given to applicants residing in the Boston area during the tenure of the job.

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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.

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