The November 25 post on the British Library’s Medieval manuscripts blog explores the illumination of the Phillipps Lectionary (Additional MS 82957), one of five Greek manuscripts acquired by the library in 2006 and 2007.
The Center for Humanities and Information (CHI) at The Pennsylvania State University seeks up to three visiting fellows for the 2015–16 and 2016–17 academic years.
Taking “information” in its broadest possible senses, the Center aims to bring together a diverse, interdisciplinary group of scholars who read and think widely across fields, geographical space, and historical time.
Fellowships are awarded at two levels: Senior Fellowships, appropriate for scholars employed in tenure-track positions at any level, are for one year, and carry no teaching obligation; Junior (postdoctoral) Fellowships are for two years, and require fellows to teach one course per year. Salaries for both Senior and Junior Fellows are $50,000; support also includes research/travel funding and a benefits package.
Fellows have access to extensive research design support, as well as to grant-writing and job market workshops, career mentoring, and archival/library support and research consultation. Fellows are expected to be in residence at Penn State’s University Park campus and to participate in the Center’s weekly lunches and lecture series.
Applicants must have a PhD or equivalent scholarly credentials (obtained by July 30, 2015) and a record of peer-reviewed work. Emerging scholars as well as senior scholars are encouraged to apply. Applicants from all parts of the world are welcome; U.S. citizenship is not a requirement. CHI also encourages co-applications from groups of two or more people working on a single project. At least one Fellow each year should have a background in or a research project oriented towards library research.
APPLY Job number: 54527
The Margo Tytus Visiting Scholars Program at the University of Cincinnati Classics Department is pleased to offer fellowships for study and research in the Burnam Classics Library. Fellows, in the fields of philology, history and archaeology will ordinarily be at least 5 years beyond receipt of the Ph.D. Apart from residence in Cincinnati during term, the only obligation of Fellows is to pursue their own research. Fellowships are tenable during the regular academic year (September to April).
There are two categories of Tytus Fellowships, long-term and short-term.
Long Term Fellows will come to Cincinnati for a minimum of one semester and a maximum of two during the regular academic year. They will receive a monthly stipend of $1500 plus housing and a transportation allowance.
Short Term Fellows will come to Cincinnati for a minimum of one month and a maximum of two during the regular academic year. They will also receive a monthly stipend of $1500 plus housing and a transportation allowance.
Both Long Term and Short Term Fellows will also receive office space and enjoy the use of the University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College Libraries. While at Cincinnati Tytus Fellows will be free to pursue their own research.
The University of Cincinnati Burnam Classics Library is one of the world's premier collections in the field of Classical Studies. Comprising 260,000 volumes, the library covers all aspects of the Classics: the languages and literatures, history, civilization, art, and archaeology. Of special value for scholars is both the richness of the collection and its accessibility -- almost any avenue of research in the classics can be pursued deeply and broadly under a single roof. The unusually comprehensive core collection, which is maintained by three professional classicist librarians, is augmented by several special collections such as 15,000 nineteenth century German Programmschriften, extensive holdings in Palaeography, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies. At neighboring Hebrew Union College, the Klau Library, with holdings in excess of 445,000 volumes, is rich in Judaica and Near Eastern Studies.
The British Library is pleased to be able to offer a nine-month paid internship in the Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts section of the Western Heritage Department for a doctoral or post-doctoral student in History, History of Art or other relevant subject.
The intern will be involved in all aspects of the work of the Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts section, including responding to enquiries, providing talks for students and patrons, selecting and presenting manuscripts for display in our exhibition gallery, and cataloguing, thereby gaining insight into various curatorial duties and aspects of collection care. During the internship at the Library, the intern will enjoy privileged access to printed and manuscript research material, and will work alongside specialists with wide-ranging and varied expertise.
The primary focus of the internship will be to enhance the online Digitised Manuscripts website by creating and supplementing catalogue entries for medieval manuscripts and accompanying images, and assisting with the Library’s Magna Carta exhibition, working under the supervision of the Lead Curator, Illuminated Manuscripts.
The internship is designed to provide an opportunity for the student to develop research skills and expertise in medieval and Renaissance art and history, and in presenting manuscripts to a range of audiences.
The programme is only open to students who are engaged actively in research towards, or who have recently completed, a PhD in a subject area relevant to the study of pre-1600 manuscripts, and who have a right to work in the UK.
Hours of Work/Contract Duration
- 36 hours per week over normal business hours, full time for nine months.
- The internship will start on 2 February 2015 or as soon as relevant security checks have been completed.
The Foundation announces the twenty-first (21st) annual Programme of research grants and educational scholarships starting on October 1st, 2015, which is addressed to non-Greeks, University Professors of all levels (Ph.D. holders), Postdoctoral Researchers (Ph.D. holders), and Ph.D. Candidates.
The Programme covers the following fields only:
- Humanities: Philology, Literature, Linguistics, History, Archaeology, Philosophy, Educational Studies, Psychology
- Social Science (excluding Law): Political Sciences, Sociology, International and European Studies, Administration Sciences, Social Policy
- Economic Science: Maritime Studies, Finance, Public Finance
- Arts: Art History, Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Theatre, Photography, Film Studies, New Media, Cultural administration, (only Theoretic Studies, artists are not included)
The grants and scholarships offered within the framework of this Programme cover scholarly research in Greece only and in the fields stated above.
Transformation of Romanness: Archaeological Perspectives (400–800 AD), Being Roman after Rome 6, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Vienna, November 27–28, 2014
Roman identity is one of the most interesting cases of social identity because in the course of time, it could mean so many different things. Many scholars have dealt with its development in Antiquity in recent years; some studies have also been devoted to the role of Roman identity in Byzantium. For the early medieval West, in spite of some valuable research, a comprehensive study is lacking. A previous workshop “The Transformation of Romanness: Regions and Identities” held in Vienna in October 2013 was mainly based on written evidence, seeking to achieve a fairly broad regional and thematic overview. The archaeological perspectives on who and what can be called “Roman” after the end of Roman rule will be dealt with in this second workshop. In the course of two days it will explore the multiplicity and variety of Romanness and the methodological challenges connected with assessing Roman identity and its various social meanings in early medieval archaeology.
Disasters & Catastrophes: Navigating Periods of Crisis and Transition in Anatolia, the Mediterranean and the Near East, Koç University Archaeology & History of Art Graduate Research Symposium, Istanbul, April 25, 2015
Koç University’s department of Archaeology and History of Art (ARHA) is pleased to announce “Disasters & Catastrophes: Navigating Periods of Crisis and Transition in Anatolia, the Mediterranean and Near East,” its third annual Graduate Student Research Symposium, on April 25, 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey.
As archaeologists, historians, and cultural heritage scholars, we look to historical moments of catastrophe as signifiers of radical change, with periods of transition marking the complicated and intersecting evolution of cultural, political, religious and environmental influence over time. Such events shape current topographies, mould collective memories and in some cases inform regional and national identities. In these pivotal periods of instability, exigency, and crisis followed by aftermath and recovery, we can learn much about the dynamics of societies and the range of historical factors underpinning them.
This symposium seeks to encourage a diverse range of perspectives and disciplines concerned with a span of subjects, areas and periods of research as they relate to the topic of disaster and crisis, both natural and human-instigated.
Students of archaeology, art history, history, cultural heritage, and museum studies may present research related to Anatolia and its neighboring regions, including the Mediterranean, Aegean, the Levant and the Ancient Near East, from the earliest prehistory through Bronze and Iron Ages, Classical, Byzantine, Ottoman periods and into the contemporary.
Subjects could include (but are not limited to): climate change, civilization collapse, war, drought/famine, natural disasters like earthquakes & volcano eruptions, fire, urban crises or transformations, political upheaval, civil unrest, disaster preparedness in heritage, etc., as well as periods of transition and recovery.
All graduate students are encouraged to apply, including:
PhD students at any stage
The Italian Academy invites applications for a limited number of positions in its 2015-16 Fellowship program, which will be devoted to the project “Emotion, Embodiment and the History of Art and Music: Aesthetics, History and Anthropology.”
Given the exceptional number of recent applications addressing the relationship between these topics, the Academy has decided to dedicate an entire year to them. The aim is to bring together philosophers, anthropologists, and historians of culture, especially of the visual arts and music. Some members of the working group have already been selected from last year’s group of candidates.
In evaluating this year’s projects, special consideration will be given to proposals in the neurosciences relevant to the Academy's ongoing project in Humanities and Neuroscience.
Fellowships are open to both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens at the post-doctoral and faculty level. Applications are encouraged from countries beyond Europe.
Crusades, volume 13 (2014)
The ‘schism’ of 1054 and the First Crusade
The Gesta Francorum Iherusalem expugnantium of ‘Bartolf of Nangis’
The Jerusalem conquest of 492/1099 in the medieval Arabic historiography of the Crusades: from regional plurality to Islamic narrative
Geoffrey, prior of the Templum Domini on the seven books of Josephus
Irish involvement in the Crusades? A reconsideration of the eleventh- and twelfth-century chronicle and annalistic evidence
The German Crusade of 1197-98
Burchard of Mount Zion’s Descriptio Terrae Sanctae: a newly discovered extended version
A templar’s belt: the oral and sartorial transmission of memory and myth in the Order of the Temple
Nuove pergamene messinesi due-trecentesche relative ad Acri e Famagosta
Humbert of Viennois and the Crusade of Smyrna: a reconsideration
Italy and the Mediterranean, proposed panel for the American Association for Italian Studies Annual Meeting, University of Colorado, Boulder, March 26–28, 2015
The CU Mediterranean Studies Group and the Mediterranean Seminar are seeking papers for a panel or panels, “Italy and the Mediterranean” to be proposed for the meeting of the American Association for Italian Studies to be held at the University of Colorado Boulder from 26–28 March, 2015.
Papers in Literature, Italian Studies, History, Art History and any relevant disciplines are welcome; particularly welcome are papers that are framed as “Mediterranean” or comparatively, that address the relation of Italian history and culture to other Mediterranean traditions, or that address methodological and or historiographical questions. Papers may range in chronological sweep from Antiquity to the Modern.
“Trade and Exchange” Winter MRP Workshop & Ottomanists Workshop, UC Davis, January 30–31, 2015
The Mediterranean Seminar/University of California Multi-Campus Research Project (MRP) in Mediterranean Studies announces its Winter 2014 Workshop, to be held at UC Davis on Friday, January 30, to be held in conjunction with the Western Ottomanists Workshop (WOW) on Saturday, January 31.
The Workshop consists of discussion of three pre-circulated papers and a talk by our featured scholar, Molly Greene (History, Princeton University), who will present “Where are the Ottomans in Mediterranean History?” The Mediterranean Studies MRP invites proposals for workshop papers on the topic “Trade and Exchange,” construed either literally or figuratively. We seek papers in any relevant discipline, especially comparative or interdisciplinary work that uses the Mediterranean as a frame of analysis. Priority is given to faculty and graduate students from the UC system and collaborating institutions, but any North American-based scholars working on relevant material are encouraged to apply. The Mediterranean Seminar/UCMRP will cover travel and lodging expenses for presenters.
A separate call for workshop and conference registration will be sent out on December 7. Workshop presenters and attendees are encouraged to attend both events.
Debating Religious Space and Place from Constantine to Cnut (AD 306–1035), University of Leicester, November 22–23, 2014
Our two-day post-graduate led conference will bring together academic research on the theme of religious landscape transformation from The North Sea to the Holy Land from the fourth to eleventh centuries. A series of key studies which provide a more international comparative approach to religious and spatial transformations in the Late Antique and Early Medieval world will readdress questions of continuity and change, transformation or decline, and diversity or uniformity in both landscapes and social patterns across Europe and the Near East.
The Late Mediterranean Society According to Procopius of Caesarea, Landesmuseum Mainz, December 11–13, 2014
The conference will present a fresh look at one of the most productive authors of the late antique/early Byzantine period and his extensive and multi-facetted oeuvre. The focus of the conference is on the question of what view of contemporary society(-ies). The broad theme of the conference makes space for a comparative-interdisciplinary approach.
Wide areas of the empire underwent a comprehensive demographic change from the fifth century onwards, while wars, natural catastrophes, theological controversies and interventions by ‘state’ structures also led to the development of different social and religious forms of communication and interaction. The ancient cities experienced a fundamental transformation, not just through church building, the role of the bishops in the cities and on behalf of rural areas, a restructuring of the central and local administration and altered economic forms and fiscal conditions. Often much reduced in size and with massive fortifications, they featured abandoned residential areas as well as formerly public buildings that were built over by private citizens and put to new uses. A new way of living and a new approach to life must have arisen, but, although many publications have noted this in its concrete cultural expressions, it has been granted hardly any space in scholarship as a phenomenon. The only explanatory key offered in recent scholarly approaches has been concepts like ‘anxiety’ as regards the masses and ‘mysticism’ as regards the elites; though this is indeed attractive and convincing, it is remains an attempt to grasp the zeitgeist ‘with one eye shut’. Out of the new (religious) forms and sites of communication and the plurality of the traditions – and not only through demographic change – a diverse range of new cultural practices arose in the sixth century. These distinctive regional and social forms stand in contrast to an ever more forcefully presented central authority (emperor, administration, army, patriciate, etc.).
At the conference we aim to examine this extremely dynamic sixth-century cultural milieu from a fixed point of departure (Procopius) and through four major complexes of themes: 1) One Society, Many Communities?, 2) Economic Life: Regional and Global Contexts; 3) Dynamics of Military and Civilian Spheres; 4) The World of the City: Space, Culture, Art.
Organized by Prof. Dr. Marietta Horster and Dr. Andreas Goltz
El Greco from Crete, to Venice, to Rome, to Toledo (Ο Ελ Γκρέκο απ' την Κρήτη, στη Βενετία, στη Ρώμη, στο Τολέδο), Benaki Museum, November 21–23, 2014
This three day International Conference focuses on the life and ouevre of Domenikos Theotokopoulos, known universally as El Greco, one of the greatest painters of all time.
The conference is organized in conjunction with the exhibitions on “El Greco’s Friends and Patrons in Toledo” and on “D. Theotokopoulos between Venice and Rome" which will take place in Benaki Museum buildings November 2014–Febuary 2015), commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco in Toledo, Spain.
Domenikos Theotokopoulos between Venice and Rome (Ο Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος μεταξύ Βενετίας και Ρώμης), Benaki Museum, Pireos Street Annex, on view November 13, 2014–March 1, 2015
The exhibition is organized on the occasion of the quatercentenary of Domenikos Theotokopoulos’ death, focused on the two panels of the painter’s Italian period which are kept in Heraklion. These are The Baptism of Christ, which belongs to the Municipality of Heraklion, and the View of Mt Sinai and the Monastery of St Catherine, which was purchased by Andreas & Maria Kalokairinou Foundation in 1991.
The exhibition at the Benaki Musuem will present for the first time in Greece the El Greco's painting A Boy Blowing a Candle from the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte in Naples.
The exhibition investigates the artist’s first steps in the West, during his stay in Venice and through the early stages of his residence in Rome (1567–1574). With the help of paintings, engravings and manuscripts, visitors will be able to follow the blossoming art of the ambitious and defiant Cretan in the important artistic centres of post-Renaissance Italy.
Friends and Patrons of El Greco in Toledo (Ο φιλικός κύκλος του Γκρέκο στο Τολέδο), Benaki Museum, on view November 13, 2014–March 1, 2015
The exhibition is organized on the occasion of the quatercentenary of Domenikos Theotokopoulos’ death, focused on the presentation of the intellectuals, collectors and patrons who constituted El Greco’s personal close circle in Toledo, inspiring and supporting him, throughout his creative journey.
The exhibition comprises important archival material from archives in Toledo (Archivo Municipal de Toledo, Archivo Provincial de Toledo, Biblioteca de Castilla-La Mancha) and Madrid (Archivo Historico de Protocolos de Madrid), manuscripts and books from the National Library of Spain (Biblioteca Nacional de Espana), as well as four portraits of El Greco from the collections of the Museo del Prado, the Museo del Greco in Toledo as well as from a private collection in London.
The exhibition is accompanied by a rich scientific publication, edited by Art Historian Nikos Hadjinikolaou (Professor Emeritus of the University of Crete).
Exhibition curators: Richard Kagan (Professor, John Hopkins University, Baltimore), Nikos Hadjinikolaou
The Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) Multi-Country Fellowship Program supports advanced regional or trans-regional research in the humanities, social sciences, or allied natural sciences for U.S. doctoral candidates and scholars who have already earned their Ph.D. Preference will be given to candidates examining comparative and/or cross-regional research. Applicants are eligible to apply as individuals or in teams.
Scholars must carry out research in two or more countries outside the United States, at least one of which hosts a participating American overseas research center. Approximately nine awards of up to $10,500 each will be given.
The Council of American Overseas Research Centers is pleased to announce a new focused regional fellowship program enabling pre- and early post-doctoral scholars to carry out research in the humanities and related social sciences in countries bordering the Mediterranean and served by American overseas research centers. Funding for this program is generously provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Scholars must be a US citizen or Permanent Resident; be a doctoral candidate or a scholar who obtained his/her Ph.D. within the last ten years (September 2004 or later); propose a three to nine month humanities or related social science research project; and propose travel to one or more Mediterranean region country, at least one of which hosts a participating American overseas research center. Fellowship awards will not exceed $33,500.
2014 Mostly Orthros Conference, Union Theological Seminary, New York City, December 5
The Axion Estin Foundation, in collaboration with Columbia University's Music Department and the Sophia Institute, announces the 2014 Mostly Orthros Conference.
The Mostly Orthros Conferences feature distinguished speakers from around the world and historically-informed chant demonstrations by invited virtuoso chanters and choirs. This year's Mostly Orthros Conference marks the third edition of the foundation's flagship publication "Great Theory of Music" by Chrysanthos of Madytos with translation and commentary by Dr. Katy Romanou. The third edition includes a new forward by Dr. Grammenos Karanos, Assistant Professor of Byzantine Music at Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline, MA, and marks the 200-year anniversary (1814–2014) of the introduction of the "New Method" of teaching Byzantine Music based on Chrysanthos' reform of the musical notation. This year's keynote address by Marcel Peres, founder and director of Ensemble Organum, will focus on a renowned music manuscript of the Cathedral of Benevento, Italy, featuring Latin and Greek music texts chanted antiphonally.
Significant events scheduled around this year's Mostly Orthros conference include
- Byzantine Christmas concerts at the Metropolitan Museum's Medieval Sculpture Hall on December 5th, 2014, at 2 pm, 4 pm, and 6 pm,
- participation at the Great Vespers Service at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Shrine Church, Flushing, New York, on December 5th, 2014, at 7:30 pm, featuring antiphonal Byzantine chanting by virtuoso chanters Eleftherios Eleftheriadis and Christos Chalkias, and
- two concerts at the Cloisters Museum on December 6, 2014, at 1 pm and 3 pm featuring the world renowned Ensemble Organum directed by Marcel Peres and virtuoso chanter Christos Chalkias of Thessaloniki, Greece, in a rare juxtaposition of Greek Byzantine and Latin chant on the occasion of the feast of Saint Nicholas.
Nadine Schibille. Hagia Sophia and the Byzantine Aesthetic Experience. Ashgate, 2014.
Paramount in the shaping of early Byzantine identity was the construction of the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (532–537 CE). This book examines the edifice from the perspective of aesthetics to define the concept of beauty and the meaning of art in early Byzantium. Byzantine aesthetic thought is re-evaluated against late antique Neoplatonism and the writings of Pseudo-Dionysius that offer fundamental paradigms for the late antique attitude towards art and beauty. These metaphysical concepts of aesthetics are ultimately grounded in experiences of sensation and perception, and reflect the ways in which the world and reality were perceived and grasped, signifying the cultural identity of early Byzantium.
There are different types of aesthetic data, those present in the aesthetic object and those found in aesthetic responses to the object. This study looks at the aesthetic data embodied in the sixth-century architectural structure and interior decoration of Hagia Sophia as well as in literary responses (ekphrasis) to the building. The purpose of the Byzantine ekphrasis was to convey by verbal means the same effects that the artefact itself would have caused. A literary analysis of these rhetorical descriptions recaptures the Byzantine perception and expectations, and at the same time reveals the cognitive processes triggered by the Great Church.
The central aesthetic feature that emerges from sixth-century ekphraseis of Hagia Sophia is that of light. Light is described as the decisive element in the experience of the sacred space and light is simultaneously associated with the notion of wisdom. It is argued that the concepts of light and wisdom are interwoven programmatic elements that underlie the unique architecture and non-figurative decoration of Hagia Sophia. A similar concern for the phenomenon of light and its epistemological dimension is reflected in other contemporary monuments, testifying to the pervasiveness of these aesthetic values in early Byzantium.
David A. Michelson. The Practical Christology of Philoxenos of Mabbug. Oxford Early Christian Studies. Oxford University Press, 2014.
From Oxford University Press
Philoxenos of Mabbug (c. 440–523) was a prolific late-antique theologian and polemicist who produced the largest literary corpus to have survived in Syriac. He earned a reputation as the leading Syriac opponent of the Council of Chalcedon (451) and its two-nature Christology. In The Practical Christology of Philoxenos of Mabbug, David A. Michelson offers a new understanding of Philoxenos one-nature Christology by interpreting the post-Chalcedonian doctrinal disputes through a holistic analysis of Philoxenos life and works. Michelson’s close reading of the entire Philoxenian corpus reveals a miaphysite perspective on the Christological controversies in which the intellectual clash was not primarily over defining doctrine. As a metropolitan bishop, sponsor of a revised New Testament, and monastic theologian, Philoxenos was principally concerned with matters of Christian praxis and the ascetic pursuit of divine knowledge. This book shows how he opposed Chalcedonian Christology because he was convinced its intellectual theological method was inimical to the mystical pursuit of divine knowledge through liturgical and ascetic practice. Philoxenos polemical engagement drew upon a theological epistemology that he had adapted from Pro-Nicene theologians including Ephrem, the Cappadocians, and Evagrius. Philoxenos argued that divine knowledge was not to be achieved through human understanding or doctrinal inquiry. Instead, true divine knowledge was attained through practice, specifically contemplation, reading of scripture, participation in the liturgical mysteries, and ascetic discipline. Michelson considers each of these practices in turn to show how Philoxenos thought ofopposition to Chalcedon as part of a larger vision of ascetic and spiritual struggle. In short, for Philoxenos conflict over Christology was foremost a practical matter.
Porphyra is an internationally accredited academic journal, founded in 2003 by Nicola Bergamo. It is currently the only e‐journal dedicated solely to the promotion and understanding of Byzantine Studies. It is has been online since 2003 and has its own ISSN (2240‐5240). Porphyra is a biannual journal. CFP deadline dates are the 15th May and the 15th November. It publishes articles and book reviews in; Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Neo Greek languages.
Porphyra publishes articles and essays to exemplary academic standards and as a consequence, high historical value. All published works are approved by a committee of esteemed academic members worldwide. To be considered for publication contributors must hold, as a minimum requirement, a Masters degree. Work must be thoroughly researched, showing drive, accuracy and where possible, originality. Our aim is to contribute to the transmission of precise knowledge and perception of what Byzantine culture was, as well as highlighting its relevance to both our present and past.
The Assistant Editors will help the editorial staff in editing and checking English articles. The AE will also interact with the Porphyra website and its sister Facebook page in order to fulfill our mission. Successful applicants will also be involved in the review section, especially (but not exclusively) if some of them are written in English. Successful candidates will also be involved in international academic relationships (in collaboration with the Editor), with other cultural institutions that work with Porphyra. Applicants must hold at least an MA in Byzantine Studies or similar, though preference will be given to PhD (or equivalent) students. Successful candidates will work together with the staff for one year with an opportunity to continue his/her experience for another two.
- Ability to communicate and coordinate him/herself with an international staff
- Excellent organisational skills
- Dedicate extra time after the first of the year's CFP's has ended in order to organise the future issue on time (mainly end of May, end of November)
- Speak another language, preferably Italian
All positions are considered as voluntary. We provide a great opportunity to work with an international staff. We offer a unique opportunity for someone to gain excellent experience with an internationally accredited academic journal, dedicated to Byzantine Studies.
Please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with:
- Letter of statement (intent)
- Updated CV
New Perspectives on Construction Materials and Manpower in Late Antique Ravenna, lecture by J. Riley Snyder (ERS Fellow), Università di Bologna, December 2, 2014, 6:00–8:00 pm
Ravenna saw many changes in late antiquity following the decision to make it the administrative capital of the Roman Empire at the beginning of the fifth century. One major change that this small town underwent was a massive expansion through major infrastructural building programmes. Recent research has examined the logistical implications of sourcing and supplying building materials in quantities large enough to sustain the projects needed to for this transformation. Specifically, what obstacles were faced while trying to sustain such a large and sudden building programme almost exclusively of brick masonry?
The particular case study used was the major extension of Ravenna’s city walls, which was one of the most demanding projects from a material and labour standpoint. Through a combination of material volumetric analysis and manpower comparisons, some important questions will be addressed about how the wall was constructed and how this would influence other large-scale construction projects in Ravenna.
Ninth International Conference of Iconographic Studies "Icons and Iconology,” Rijeka, Croatia, June 1–4, 2015, and Clinton, MA, June 11–13, 2015
Icons, iconography and iconology represent some of the most prominent concepts and research topics of art history. They refer both to a particular artistic practice, to liturgical objects, and to methods of art historical interpretations. Given this multitude of meanings and functions that the concepts of icon, iconic, iconography and iconology imply, it is not surprising that all of them have been interpreted as objects of theological reflection, didactic instruments, media of transmitting visual, aesthetic and metaphysical content, and, finally, as artworks in the modern sense of the word.
The conference seeks to explore and discuss recent development in the dialogue between theology, art history, philosophy and cultural theory concerning the ways we can perceive and interpret icons, iconography and iconology. It is also our objective to offer an insight into the development of iconographic studies and related disciplines, and to reflect upon their future development in the broader context of the humanities.
We welcome academic papers that will approach icons, iconography and iconology in an interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse way. The themes and subjects can include the following:
- Icons, iconography and iconology: “Western” and “Eastern” perspectives
- Sacred and profane icons
- Reverse perspective: formal and metaphysical dimensions
- Icons as a medium and metaphor
- Icons of power, icons as power
- Icon and modern culture
- Icons and film and digital media
- Icons and the “canon” of modern art
- Modern and contemporary icon painting
- Theological and philosophical reception of icons
All presented papers will be published in the thematic issue of the IKON journal in May 2016.
The University of Chicago seeks applications for a specialist in the architectural history and theory of any period or culture for a four-year postdoctoral teaching appointment as a Harper and Schmidt Fellow with the rank of Collegiate Assistant Professor. Fellows are members of the College Faculty whose primary responsibility is to teach art history in the College’s general education (Core) program. Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or fully expect to complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree by August 31, 2015.
The teaching load is six courses per year, comprising three Core courses, each taught twice. Course enrollment is limited to 25 students. The three types of courses are a survey course in the Fellow’s field; a broadly thematic, discussion-taught introduction to art history developed from syllabus materials provided by the Art History department (Art History 101); and a discussion-taught "Art in Context" course designed to introduce students to art historical thinking through a focused examination of a particular set of materials of the Fellow’s choice. The Fellow will be a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, which supports intellectual exchange. S/he will be eligible for one quarter of research sabbatical, typically in the third year. The annual salary for 2015–16 will be $64,000 plus health benefits and an annual research fund of $5,000. The effective appointment date is September 1, 2015.
Rethinking the Enemy, Secret Strategy and Tactics: An Early Byzantine Military Treatise, Petr Shuvalov (St. Petersburg State University & Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellow, Hellenic Studies) Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, Princeton University, November 21, 2014, at 1:30 pm
Respondent: John Haldon, History and Hellenic Studies
The Greek text of the famous late Roman compendium of the classic art of war, the Strategikon of Pseudo-Maurice, can be divided into different chronological layers, dated from the fifth to the seventh centuries. The basis for this division is the analysis of textual unity, of inner citation, of the described strategic and tactical schemes and used terms. The main three phases of the development of the text coincide with the three great military reforms – introduction of the Hunnic mobile cavalry tactics of "hippotoxotae" (the so-called defensors and cursors), the secret “hyperkerastae” reform of Justinian’s brother Germanus, and the reform according to the Avarian scheme of time of the emperor Heraklios. All three reforms are based on the deep contemplation of the ethnographical data gathered by imperial intelligence services.
Petr Shuvalov graduated in 1985 from St. Petersburg State University, studying medieval history and classics. His Ph.D. (1989) focused on the history, archaeology, and numismatics of the Lower Danube area in late antiquity. He worked at the Institute of Archaeology and State Hermitage (a total of circa twenty archaeological seasons in Moldavia, Olbia and Crimea). As associate professor at St. Petersburg State University, in the Russian Academy of Arts, and St. Petersburg Classical Gymnasium he teaches courses and seminars dealing with Roman, Mediaeval and Byzantine history, early Slavs and other barbarians.
Capronʼs meticulous descriptions, cautious conclusions, masterly reconstructions, and methodologically superb treatment of P.Louvre Hag. are a fine paradigm for others to follow.
Laurent Capron. Codex Hagiographiques du Louvre sur Papyrus (P.Louvre Hag). Papyrologica Parisina 2. Paris: Presses de lʼuniversité Paris-Sorbonne, 2013.
Voice, Signature, Mask: The Byzantine Author, lecture by Stratis Papaioannou (Brown University and 2014–2015 Whitehead Professor, ASCSA), delivered October 9, 2014
Byzantine literature remains relatively exotic for modern readers, unlike its predecessor, Classical literature, or commensurate aspects of Byzantine culture, such as visual art.This lecture ventures a comprehensive view of Byzantine literature by examining notions and practices of authorship. Though neither classical nor medieval Greek have a single word that corresponds exactly to our “authorship,” Byzantine rhetoric and manuscript book culture reveal an intricate web of meanings for what an author is. Vacillating between authenticity and creative impersonation, Byzantine authors signal modernity.
It is…a significant contribution to Late Antique and early Islamic studies alike.
Petra M. Sijpesteijn. Shaping a Muslim State: The World of a Mid-Eighth-Century Egyptian Official. Oxford Studies in Byzantium. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
From Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, volume 77, no. 3 (October 2014). Review by Matthew S. Gordon, Miami University
Managing Emotion: Passion, Emotions, Affects, and Imaginings in Byzantium, Dumbarton Oaks, December 12–13, 2014
Byzantinists were early into the field of the study of emotion with Henry Maguire’s groundbreaking article on sorrow, published in 1977. But since then classicists and western medievalists have developed new ways of understanding how emotional communities work and where the ancients’ concepts of emotion differ from our own. It is time perhaps to celebrate Maguire’s work, but also to look at what is distinctive about Byzantine emotion. We encourage speakers to focus on a single emotion and to use it as a vantage point to investigate central aspects of the Byzantine worldview. We want to look at emotions as both cognitive and relational processes. Our focus is not only the construction of emotions with respect to perception and cognition; we are also interested in how emotions were communicated and exchanged across broad (multi)linguistic, political and social boundaries. We expect to receive comment from classics, western medieval studies, philosophy, and psychology. The comparative stance will help us disclose what is peculiar to the Byzantine “emotional constellation.” Priorities are twofold: to arrive at an understanding of what the Byzantines thought of as emotions and to comprehend how theory shaped their appraisal of reality.
Edward G. Mathews Jr., trans. and ed. On This Day: The Armenian Church Synaxarion-January. Brigham Young University - Eastern Christian Texts. University of Chicago Press, 2014.
From University of Chicago Press
The Armenian Church Synaxarion is a collection of saints’ lives according to the day of the year on which each saint is celebrated. Part of the great and varied Armenian liturgical tradition from the turn of the first millennium, the first Armenian Church Synaxarion represented the logical culmination of a long and steady development of what is today called the cult of the saints. This volume, the first Armenian-English edition, is the first of a twelve-volume series—one for each month of the year—and is ideal for personal devotional use or as a valuable resource for anyone interested in religious saints.
Multilingualism Conference, Yale University, December 7–9, 2014
Over the past 20 years there has been a great deal of new work done on multi-lingualism, on material findings, and on the interaction between text and image in antiquity. These findings have had significant implications for the way we think about dynamic interactions between and within cultures in antiquity. The planned conference will explore new research on the transfer of culture in antiquity with respect to language, image, daily practice, religious ritual, and material culture.
Hagiography and Counter-Culture in the Latin West, Byzantium, Sasanid Iran, and the Islamic Middle East, Princeton University, December 6, 2014
If you order that I wash my feet, then bring me this ticket: Encountering Saint Kollouthos at Antinoë
AnneMarie Liujendijk (Princeton University)
Res gestas martyrum digerere: North African Hagiography until the time of Augustine
Eric Rebillard (Cornell University)
Social Assimilation and Religious Distinction in East Syrian Hagiography: The Problem of Christianization in Late Sasanian Iran
Richard Payne (University of Chicago)
“The Christ-Hating Apostate”: A Study of a Type and Anti-Type in the Christian Hagiography of the Early Islamic Period
Christian Sahner (Princeton University)
All Roads Lead to Rome: Saints leaving—and returning to—the city
Maya Maskarinec (University of California – Los Angeles)
Jamie Kreiner (University of Georgia)
Mutual Intelligibility across Late Antique Hagiographies, Christian and Muslim
Sean Anthony (University of Oregon)
The Shi‘ī Origins of Sunnī Polemic: Al-Dāraquṭnī’s 4th/10th Century Image of the Sahaba and the Imāms
Nancy Khalek (Brown University)
Ivan Drpić. "The Patron's “I”: Art, Selfhood, and the Later Byzantine Dedicatory Epigram." Speculum, volume 89, no. 04 (October 2014): 895-935.
Western medievalists have long questioned the notion that in the Middle Ages, as Jacob Burckhardt famously asserted in Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien (1860), “[m]an was conscious of himself only as a member of a race, people, party, family, or corporation—only through some general category.” The sweeping teleological narrative of the rebirth of the autonomous self-conscious individual in the Renaissance, after its protracted medieval slumber, has been challenged by more nuanced accounts of the various ways in which personal identity and selfhood were constituted and expressed during the Middle Ages. In recent years, following Alexander Kazhdan's seminal, if contested, work on what he saw as a new sense of the individual in the Byzantine culture of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Byzantinists have joined the debate and begun to explore the issues of identity, subjectivity, and individuality. Thus Byzantine selves and their formations and representations have been examined in several contexts, including autobiography, rhetoric and letter writing, and the liturgy. This essay seeks to contribute to this project by looking at the largely neglected evidence of Byzantine dedicatory epigrams and the devotional artifacts they accompany.
Both the show and the two-volume catalogue are intelligently conceived and marshal a coherent and engaging view of art culled from thirty-four different collections in Greece. There are some truly remarkable pieces in Heaven and Earth. Works such as the luminous Archangel Michael icon and the deeply moving double-sided Man of Sorrows will give viewers a sense of the wonder that the medieval visitors... felt when seeing Byzantine art in its full brilliance.
Anne McClanan’s (Portland State Univeristy) review of the exhibition, Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections, appears in caa.reviews (22 October 2014). It focuses on the installation of the exhibition at the Getty Villa. The review is currently available without a login (click the Sign In link to see full review).