Shenoute of Atripe and the Uses of Poverty

In this reader's view, the great strength of this work is the integration of Shenoute into the late Roman world, and scholars and students of the rural economy or poverty in the ancient world would do well to pick up this book. The wealth of information López has provided about Shenoute's place in the economy of fifth-century Panopolis is valuable in itself, but his convincing interpretation concerning the connection between Shenoute's self-presentation and his support of the poor also adds an important new angle for the interpretation of the fifth-century monastic economy.

Ariel G. López. Shenoute of Atripe and the Uses of Poverty: Rural Patronage, Religious Conflict and Monasticism in Late Antique Egypt. Transformation of the classical heritage, 50. Berkeley; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press, 2013.

From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Elizabeth Platte, Kalamazoo College


Byzantines, Latins, and Turks in the Eastern Mediterranean World after 1150

And taken both independently and as a whole, the fourteen excellent chapters in this collection demonstrate both the Mediterranean character of late medieval Anatolia and its environs, and also the ways in which it was an arena for conflict and competition among external regions that might be seen as non-Mediterranean.

Jonathan Harris, Catherine Holmes, Eugenia Russell, eds. Byzantines, Latins, and Turks in the Eastern Mediterranean World after 1150. Oxford studies in Byzantium. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Brian A. Catlos, University of Colorado at Boulder


Pouvoirs et Religion à Byzance

Pouvoirs et Religion à Byzance, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, April 25, 2014


Vue de Byzance, la légende noire des derniers Mérovingiens
Isabelle Brousselle (Lille III, UMR 8164 HALMA-IPEL)
La christianisation de la figure d’Alexandre le Grand à Byzance
Corinne Jouanno (Caen, UMR 6273 CRAHAM)
Constantinople dans les éloges impériaux : nouvelle Rome, nouvelle Jérusalem
Matthieu Parlier (Lyon II, UMR 5648 CIHAM)
Higoumènes de Patmos, réseaux et pouvoirs
Lucile Hermay (Paris IV, UMR 8167 Orient & Méditerrannée)
La survie d’une île monastère : la diplomatie des moines de Patmos
Marie-Myriam Carytsiotis (Aix-Marseille, UMR 7298 LA3M)
Maxime Planude et Andronic II : leurs relations d’après les lettres de Planude
Jean Schneider (Lyon II, UMR 5189 HiSoMA)
L’exercice de l’autorité au Mont Athos aux XIVe et XVe siècles
Christophe Giros (Lyon II, UMR 8167 Orient & Méditerrannée)

Walter Isaacson to Give 2014 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities

Walter Isaacson will present the 43rd Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities on Monday, May 12, 2014 at 7:30 PM at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, speaking on the subject of "The Intersection of the Humanities and the Sciences."

In his lecture, Isaacson, acclaimed author, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization, and biographer of Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin, will touch on the careers of Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs, Ada Lovelace and others who fused humanistic thought with scientific discovery. The annual Jefferson Lecture, sponsored by NEH, is the most prestigious honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.


Language as Culture in the Eastern Mediterranean (330–2013)

Language as Culture in the Eastern Mediterranean (330–2013), 15th Annual Postgraduate Colloquium, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham, May 24, 2014

Keynote Address: Dr. Maria Georgopoulou (The Gennadius Library, ASCSA)

The colloquium will bring postgraduate students together to discuss the significance of language in the eastern Mediterranean from Late Antiquity to the Modern Age. Beginning with the observation that all studies are routinely possessed by language, it is important to understand the relationship between language and culture. A major goal is to examine the role of culture in linguistic meaning, language use and, conversely, the role of linguistic form and culture in social action and in cultural practices. Language is a key to understanding the social, symbolic and expressive lives of members of society.

Studies of ritual and performance, of patronage and status often draw on linguistic evidence to talk about various forms of cultural production: attesting to the crucial and hitherto unacknowledged role of language in the creation of cultural subjectivities. Language as a term should not be limited to literary forms, as verbal products, but may be extended to encompass a broader range of visual narratives, including, potentially, painting, architecture and other kinds of material culture. We are interested in the production, interpretation and reproduction of social meanings, as expressed and accrued through language and in exploring the relation to culture and society.

Graeco-Arabica: Present State and Future Prospects of an Emerging Field

Graeco-Arabica: Present State and Future Prospects of an Emerging Field, Yale University, April 25–27, 2014

The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations presents “Graeco-Arabica Present” State and Future Prospects of an Emerging Field,” an international conference in commemoration of the centennial of the birth of Franz Rosenthal.


  • Graeco-Syriaca with Adam McCollum (Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Saint John's University) and Hidemi Takahashi (The University of Tokyo)
  • Secular Graeco-Arabica with Hans Hinrich Biesterfeldt (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) and Gerhard Endress (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
  • Christian Graeco-Arabica with Andre Binggeli (CNRS-Institut de recherche et d'histoire des textes) and Alexander Treiger (Dalhousie University)
  • Graeco-Arabica in Intellectual History (Reception) with Sabine Schmidtke (Freie Universität Berlin and IAS, Princeton) & Reza Pourjavady (Freie Universität Berlin) and Peter E. Pormann (The University of Manchester)
  • Graeco-Arabica and Intellectual History (Method, Scope, and Import) with Kevin van Bladel (The Ohio State University) and Dimitri Gutas (Yale University)

Red Sea VII Conference

Red Sea VII Conference: The Red Sea and the Gulf: Two Maritime Alternative Routes in the Development of Global Economy, from Late Prehistory to Modern Times, University of Naples “L’Orientale”, May 26–30, 2015

The University of Naples “L’Orientale” will host the Red Sea VII conference, the latest in the successful series of conferences previously held at the British Museum, University of Southampton, University of Exeter (UK) and University of Tabuk (KSA).

The committee proposes for the first time a comparison, on a scientific level, between two sea corridors and their shores, the Red Sea and the Gulf, which are similar geographically and environmentally, complementary to each other as well as competitors in their economic and cultural interaction with the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, both in the past and in the present. The conference will be an opportunity to meet and exchange information among scholars from worldwide institutions interested in the western Indian Ocean, and also an opportunity to share new ideas and to promote innovative projects based on international collaborations.

We are inviting speakers from around the world with an interest in the Red Sea and the Gulf to present on a wide range of subjects relating to the main topic of the conference. These include:

  • Recent and ongoing research
  • The Red Sea and the Gulf in the Global Economy
  • Naval technologies and maritime knowledge in the Red Sea and the Gulf
  • Campania, the Mediterranean and the Red Sea
  • People, ideas, technologies and religions between the Red Sea and the Gulf
  • Africa, Arabia, Persia: linguistic transitions
  • Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Maritime Trade to the East

The last day of the conference will be devoted to two workshops:

  • Legal regulations in the Red Sea and in the closed seas from past to present
  • Ports and Harbors of Bronze Age Egypt

Greek Font Society

The Greek Font Society was founded in 1992 by the late Michael S. Macrakis (1924-2001) as a non-profit organization with the expressed aim of contributing to the research of Greek typography. The GFS has designed a growing list of Greek polytonic fonts which include various historical revivals and new designs with respect to typographic tradition.

Fonts are available for download on the GFS website.

Rapt in Byzantine Gold

The mosaic body and clothing of the apostle Andrew in a magnificent, late-11th or early-12th century wall decoration is an elegant network of outlines. The life-size striding figure's marvelous animation is driven by linear whorls at his bodily joints. Almost like origami, the weightless, paper-thin figure traverses a shimmering golden field.

Christopher Knight, art critic for the Los Angeles Times, reviews Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collection on view at the Getty Villa through August 25, 2014. 

Ways of Seeing Byzantium

Held in conjunction with the exhibition Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections, on view from October 6, 2013, through March 2, 2014, at the National Gallery of Art, this symposium takes its name and perspective from art critic and novelist John Peter Berger’s 1972 book Ways of Seeing. Noted scholars Glenn Peers, Bissera Pentcheva, William Tronzo, and Alicia Walker seek to place the Heaven and Earth exhibition objects in context by answering questions generated by Berger’s book: What world did these objects constitute in Byzantium and how did they form it? What values did they embody or create? How were they used and understood? Conversely what world do these objects constitute for us now? How do we understand them? And most important, then and now, are these works considered art?

An introduction. William Tronzo, Visiting Faculty, University of California, San Diego.

The Byzantine Icon in the Expanded Field. Bissera Pentcheva, Associate Professor of Art and Art History, Stanford University.

The Lod Mosaic

In 1996 during the construction of a highway between Lod and Tel Aviv, a series of mosaic floors were uncovered. The mosaics were first excavated in 1996 by the Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Miriam Avissar. In 2009, a gift from Shelby White and the Leon Levy Foundation enabled the IAA to conserve the mosaic and establish the Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Archaeological Center.

Have a look at the Lod Mosaic website for great in-situ and conservation photos.

The Medieval Globe

The Medieval Globe, a new biannual academic journal, explores the modes of communication, materials of exchange, and myriad interconnections among regions, communities, and individuals in an era central to human history.

The Medieval Globe (TMG) is a peer-reviewed journal to be launched in 2014 with a special issue on the Black Death as a global pandemic.  It will be published biannually in both print and digital formats. Thematic issues will alternate with volumes of selected articles submitted for consideration on a rolling basis.  Future thematic issues might address such topics as: pilgrimage, diasporas, race and racializing technologies, maritime cultures and ports-of-call, piracy and crime, knowledge networks, markets and consumerism, entertainment, spoils and spolia, global localities, comparative cosmographies, sites of translation and acculturation, slavery and social mobility.

Between, Among, and Across: Transhistories of the Visual

Between, Among, and Across: Transhistories of the Visual, Elon University (North Carolina), February 27–28, 2015

As we expand the study of art history across regions and periods in an increasingly less Eurocentric and Enlightenment-based model, we strive for better ways to reconsider chronological and geographic approaches to writing and teaching the histories of visual objects—even those that might be European or made in the context of the Enlightenment. We seek papers that are transhistorical, transchronological, and/or transnational. We anticipate presentations that address these concerns creatively, rigorously, contingently, and/or in a questioning frame of mind.

Egypt and Mediterranean Countries Through Ages

Egypt and Mediterranean Countries Through Ages, Cairo University, October 15–18, 2014

The Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University, is organizing the first International Conference "Egypt and Mediterranean Countries Through Ages" (EMCTA). The Conference provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and work on Egypt and Mediterranean Countries amongst professionals, researchers, archaeologists, conservators in Egypt, Mediterranean countries, and other countries in the world that have mutual civilization influences with Egypt and Mediterranean Countries.

Topics may include:

Archaeology through ages in Egypt and Mediterranean countries

  • Archaeology and environment
  • History and civilization
  • Architecture
  • Arts
  • Paintings and technologies
  • Ancient languages
  • Mutual civilization influences between Mediterranean countries and outside world
  • Archaeology
    • Through the end of the Greco-Roman period
    • Byzantine period
    • Medieval and Islamic periods
    • Modern period
  • Papyri, inscriptions and numismatics in Egypt and the Mediterranean countries


  • Documentation techniques for archaeological materials and sites
  • Analysis and investigations used for organic, inorganic and composite materials
  • Environmental impacts on archaeological materials and sites
  • Restoration and conservation techniques used in archaeological and heritage materials of either organic or inorganic origin
  • Architectural conservation of archaeological and heritage buildings
  • Preventive conservation in museums and archaeological sites

Special topics

  • Basic sciences and their role in the archaeological field's service
  • The use of new technology in archaeology and conservation
  • Ancient sciences in Egypt and Mediterranean countries

The language of the conference will be in either English or Arabic. Arabic presentations will be translated into English.

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

Professorship of History Of Art, University of Cambridge

Professorship of History Of Art, University of Cambridge

The Department of History of Art is seeking to appoint to a Professorship of History of Art. The Professorship has been recently established to strengthen academic leadership in the Department to sustain its leading position nationally and internationally. Applications are welcome from all fields, including western and non-western art, global art, new media and film.

Candidates will have an outstanding research record of international stature in History of Art and the vision, leadership, experience and enthusiasm to build on current strengths in maintaining and developing a leading research presence. They will hold a PhD or equivalent postgraduate qualification.

Seven Objects from the Sevso Treasure Repatriated by Hungary

During a press conference on March 26, 2014, the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, announced that the Hungarian government had repatriated seven pieces from the Sevso Treasure. The objects acquired by Hungary are the Hunting (Sevso) Plate, Geometric Plate, Geometric Ewers A and B, the Basin, the Casket, the Dionysiac Ewer, and the copper cauldron in which the treasure was said to have been found. Read the press release.

The modern history of the treasure is summarized at Trafficking Culture. Read The Guardian coverage.

British Channel 4’s Time Team covered the treasure. Team Special 39: The Mystery of the Roman Treasure first aired December 26, 2008. 

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

Moving Women, Moving Objects (300–1500)

Moving Women, Moving Objects (300–1500), ICMA Sponsored Session, 103rd CAA Annual Conference, New York, February 11–14, 2015

Session chairs: Tracy Chapman Hamilton (Sweet Briar College) and Mariah Proctor-Tiffany (California State University)

As we examine medieval works of art like manuscripts, reliquaries, and jewels, today anchored and spotlighted in their museum vitrines, it is easy to imagine these sumptuous objects at rest in the hands of their original owners. But, in truth, they were in constant motion, and women were especially responsible for the movement of these works of art. This panel seeks to enrich the discussion of women and their relationships with their objects that, in the area of non-book arts, remains relatively unexplored. Luscious objects were gifts that traveled lesser and greater distances, some imported in brides’ nuptial coffers and many more commissioned and used to unite women separated by their politically advantageous marriages. Sisters and mothers, grandmothers and aunts, daughters and cousins, as well as friends and allies, all exchanged works of art with shared stories and iconographies. These pieces were the tokens that served as tribute, the centerpieces of rituals and ceremonies, the precious keepsakes enjoyed in intimate places, and the markers of architectural spaces often also founded or endowed by these women.

Theories of feminism, anthropology, sociology, and geography, among others, can all aid in the interpretation of the movement of works of art by women. New technologies such as GIS mapping and digital modeling enable us to visualize the international trajectories of works of art, as well as the movement and placement of them within architectural space.

Proposals for this panel could include papers concerning women living between 300–1500. While proposals discussing European examples are anticipated, those analyzing any culture are encouraged. Papers might discuss women moving their objects in ritual space; the international, cross-cultural fertilization of the arts resulting from women’s gifts; the mapping of women’s identity through placement of objects; or class and women’s movement of their objects.

The Dover Fund, Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies

The Dover Fund, set up in honour of Sir Kenneth Dover, is administered by the Hellenic Society. Its purposes are:

  • to further the study of the history of the Greek language in any period from the Bronze Age to the 15th century AD, and
  • to further the edition and exegesis of Greek texts, including papyri and inscriptions, from any period within those same limits.

Grants from this Fund will be made for such purposes as visits to libraries, museums and sites. For instance, support may be offered to graduate students or young scholars outside the London area to enable them to take advantage of the excellent facilities of the Joint Library of the Hellenic and Roman Societies and the Institute of Classical Studies Library. The purpose of such support is to assist with travel, accommodation and subsistence costs, normally for up to a week. The sums awarded will vary according to the needs of the applicant, but most grants will be in the range £50–£400; larger grants may be made from time to time at the discretion of the committee.

Departmental Lecturer in the History of Art, University of Oxford

Departmental Lecturer in the History of Art, University of Oxford

Applications are invited for a two-year, fixed-term Lecturership in the History of Art, tenable from 1 October 2014.

Applications are invited from those with active research interests in any field of art history. Candidates should have a serious interest in the theory and methods of art history, which will constitute a major focus of much of the required teaching, on courses such as: ‘Introduction to the History of Art’; ‘Approaches to the History of Art’; ‘European Art, 1400-1800: Meaning and Interpretation’. The Lecturer will be required to give tutorials, lectures and classes at both undergraduate and graduate level, to engage in examining and administrative work, and to engage in independent research in art history. The appointment will be associated with a Stipendiary Lecturership at St Peter’s College and the appointee will provide undergraduate teaching in the History of Art at St Peter's College and Worcester College.

Doctoral Researcher, Institute for Early Christian and Byzantine Studies, KU Leuven

Doctoral Researcher, The Transmission of Knowledge in the Macedonian Renaissance Through the Florilegium of the Coislin Anthology, Institute for Early Christian and Byzantine Studies, KU Leuven

The Institute for Early Christian and Byzantine Studies is an internationally renowned research center which is staffed by two full professors and seven post- and pre-doctoral researchers as well as some associate members. It is home to the Series Graeca of the Corpus Christianorum, which publishes critical editions of Greek patristic and Byzantine texts. For our new project on "Knowledge Transfer in the Macedonian Renaissance" we are inviting applications from MA students and scholars from non-EEA countries to carry out doctoral research on the Byzantine Coislin Anthology.

The successful applicant will enroll in the doctoral study program of Greek Studies (KU Leuven Doctoral School for Humanities) and prepare within a period of four years a doctoral dissertation in Classical Studies, which ties in with the project on "Knowledge Transfer in the Macedonian Renaissance". The thesis involves a critical edition of books Delta and Epsilon of the Coislin Anthology, which can be published in the Series Graeca of the Corpus Christianorum.


  • MA in Classics at a non-EEA university
  • Excellent knowledge of Greek philology
  • Fluent in English
  • Willing to reside in the wider Leuven area for the duration of the appointment

Encyclopedia of Religious History

The editors of the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Religious History, Andrew Holt (Florida State College) and Florian Curta (University of Florida), have issued a call for contributors.

The Encyclopedia of Religious History is a three-volume, multi-disciplinary encyclopedia that considers pivotal events in religious history. Contributors are needed for short essays covering over 700 entries. Entries cover the span of human history and consider many religious traditions.

Entry lengths range: 750 or 1500 words; 3000 words for major topics. Each entry should include a brief bibliography (3–4 items) of key scholarly works on the topics.

Expressions of interest and questions about the project should be sent to Andrew Holt.

Source: BSANA listserv

Die große Arithmetik aus dem Codex Vind. phil. gr. 65

Stefan Deschauer. Die große Arithmetik aus dem Codex Vind. phil. gr. 65. Eine anonyme Algorismusschrift aus der Endzeit des Byzantinischen Reiches. Vienna,Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften: 2014.

From Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

The anonymous Cod. Vind. phil. gr. 65 is one of the numerous Greek manuscripts bought by Augerius von Busbeck, a Habsburgian ambassador, in Constantinople in the middle of the 16th century. Since then, the codex has been kept in the Hofbibliothek of Vienna (today Österreichische Nationalbibliothek). Although it constitutes one of the most important mathematical manuscripts from the later Byzantine period, the two first chapters were transcribed by J. L. Heiberg only in the year 1899. In 1963 an expert edition of the so-called Aufgabensammlung (collection of problems), the smaller part of the manuscript, followed by H. Hunger and K. Vogel. A reliable edition of the greater part written by another scribe in the year 1436 and containing arithmetics, algebra, and geometry, is still lacking.

The author presents hereby an edition of the extensive arithmetical text – called “first book” by the scribe – with complete reproduction of the numerous diagrams, philological analyses and indexes, conveniently selected partial translations, and a comprehensive mathematical and historical comment understandable also for readers without profound mathematical background.

As template for the manuscript an unknown trattato d’abbaco has to be supposed because the Italian influences dominate. However, the scribe introduces the decimal position system with the Greek alphabetic numerals completed by a special sign (ɥ) for the empty position (0). In addition decimal fractions and calculation appear here for the first time in Europe, an achievement from the Islamic culture.


Postdoctoral Collaborators in Byzantine History, Archaeology and History of Art, Academy of Athens

Postdoctoral Collaborators in Byzantine History, Archaeology and History of Art, Academy of Athens

The Academy of Athens is searching for three postdocs to work on the research project, “Towards an institutional and social history of Byzantine Asia Minor on the evidence of seals and other sources (7th – 13th centuries).”



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.