Category: Lectures

“Fair Greece, Sad Relic”: How Did Byzantium Reform Classical Greek Art?

Robin Cormack, professor emeritus of art history, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. When Lord Byron went to Greece in 1810, it was the art and culture of antiquity that attracted him. The appreciation of the art of Christian Greece is very modern. Sometimes this Byzantine art is seen as a “decline” from classical art and sometimes as a new and progressive art form. In this lecture recorded on February 27, 2014, at the National Gallery of Art, Robin Cormack considers ways of looking at Byzantine art on the basis of the Gallery’s exhibition Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections. This program was coordinated with and supported by Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Cappadocia: From Above and Below

Cappadocia: From Above and Below, lecture by Robert Ousterhout (University of Pennsylvania)

Following the lecture, there will be a viewing Sacred Spaces: The Photography of Ahmet Ertug, which captures the grandeur of Byzantine churches including the carved churches of Cappadocia and Hagia Sophia.

Lecture co-sponsored by the Hellenic University Club of Philadelphia and the Modern Greek Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Yale Monastic Archaeology Project and Current Challenges to Archaeology in Egypt

Yale Monastic Archaeology Project and Current Challenges to Archaeology in Egypt, lecture by Stephen Davis (Yale University)

Professor Davis will depict the state of excavations at Shenoute's White Monastery and others in the region, giving special attention to the challenges of doing archaeology amid political turmoil.

Cultural Transition in the Medieval Balkans: The ‘Re-Byzantinization’ of Greece, 8th–11th c.

Cultural Transition in the Medieval Balkans: The 'Re-Byzantinization' of Greece, 8th–11th c., lecture by Nikos Tsivikis (Institute of Mediterranean Studies, Crete)

The Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium overcame the profound crisis that followed the 6th and 7th century invasions entering a period of territorial expansion and fundamental re-structuring of its economic, social, and cultural life that lasted from the 8th to the 11th century. A little studied facet of the Byzantine reconquest of this time regards the state’s effort to integrate and “re-Byzantinize” provinces that the empire had lost for centuries and which were settled by people of foreign cultural identity, in particular heterodox Christians and Muslims in the East and Pagan Slavs in the Balkans. Focusing on southern Greece, this talk investigates certain aspects of the Byzantine reconquest program by utilizing archaeological evidence coming from excavations and field surveys. Through the study of specific cities, cemeteries, church buildings, and fortifications, it explores the ways archaeology can nuance our understanding of the cultural transformation that took place in these provinces.

Heaven and Earth: Tales of Byzantium from Greece

Heaven and Earth: Tales of Byzantium from Greece, with Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki (Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports) and Anastasia Drandaki (Benaki Museum)

Join Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki, Director General of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage at the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, and Anastasia Drandaki, curator of the Byzantine and post-Byzantine collections at the Benaki Museum, for a closer look at the masterpieces on view in the exhibition Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections.

Learn about the rich artistic and cultural heritage of the Byzantine Empire in Greece in Maria's presentation "Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Sites, Monuments, and Museums in Greece" highlighting art and architecture as well as recently discovered objects from archaeological excavations. Anastasia gives a behind-the-scenes look at the works of art on view in the exhibition, including stunning mosaics, icons, jewelry, and metalwork, which reveal a brilliant empire, from its pagan origins to its emergence as a spiritual Christian society.

Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki is General Director of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage at the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports in Athens, a post she has held since 2011. She has served as director of the Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities in West Crete and director of the Archaeological Museum and Ephorate of Herakleion, Crete. Her research interests include Crete during the Minoan and Geometric periods, with an emphasis on the regions of Khania and Rethymnon, where she has conducted numerous archaeological excavations. Dr. Andreakaki-Vlazaki is president of the National Advisory Committee of the Hague Convention, concerning the protection of cultural property, and is a member of the Hellenic National Committee of UNESCO, the Special Advisory Committee of the Parthenon Marbles, and the National Committee for the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Anastasia Drandaki is curator of the Byzantine and post-Byzantine collections at the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece, and a 2013-2014 member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. She has curated or co-curated exhibitions on diverse aspects of Byzantine art and culture including The Origins of El Greco for the Onassis Cultural Center in New York (2009-2010) and Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections (2013-2014). Her primary research interests are late antique and medieval metalwork, icons, and the collections and history of Saint Catherine's Monastery at Sinai. Her books include Greek Icons: 14th-18th Century, the Rena Andreadis Collection (Milan 2002) and Late Antique Metalware: The Production of Copper Alloy Vessels in the Fourth to Eighth Century, the Benaki Museum Collection and Related Material (Athens 2014).

The event is free, but a ticket is required.

The Lady of Kaukana: A Unique Burial from Byzantine Sicily

The Lady of Kaukana: A Unique Burial from Byzantine Sicily, lecture by Carrie L. Weaver (University of Pittsburgh)

Excavations at Punta Secca, Sicily (ancient Kaukana) in 2008 uncovered a substantially built tomb of ca. AD 625/630 inside a private house, and accompanying evidence for libations and funerary feasting in honor of the deceased. Inside the tomb were the skeletal remains of an adult female aged approximately 20–25 years and a child aged approximately 3 to 5 years. DNA analysis showed the child to be female and the adult and child to have been consanguineous, while archaeological and epigraphic evidence demonstrates that they were Christians. Since tombs do not normally occur in houses during this time period, the hypothesis is advanced that a rare neurological condition possessed by the adult female, and its concomitant medical side effects (e.g.., seizures), might have prompted special veneration of her as a holy woman.

Carrie L. Weaver, PhD, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh, is a classical archaeologist specializing in the analysis of human bones and burials. She has excavated in Pompeii, Sicily and Turkey, and analyzed human remains from Rome, Sicily, Turkey and the UK. She is currently completing her first book, The Bioarchaeology of Classical Kamarina: Life and Death in Greek Sicily, ca 5th to 3rd Century BCE.

Archaeological Institute of American Lecture. Sponsored by University of Pittsburgh, Departments of Classics and History of Art and Architecture.

Byzantine Matters, Averil Cameron at the Oxford Literary Festival

Byzantine Matters (Princeton University Press, Forthcoming 2014), Averil Cameron at the Oxford Literary Festival

Historian Professor Averil Cameron says there are many misconceptions about Byzantium and argues that it is important to integrate the civilization into wider histories. She explains why Byzantium should be central to debates about the relationships between West and East, Christianity and Islam, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy and the ancient and medieval periods. Prejudices, says, Cameron still deform both popular and scholarly understanding of the Byzantine civilization.


Excavations at Amorium, a Byzantine Provincial Capital in Asia Minor

Excavations at Amorium, a Byzantine Provincial Capital in Asia Minor, and the Rise and Collapse of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor (800–1050 C.E.), lecture by Nikos Tsivikis (Institute for Mediterranean Studies (FORTH), Greece)

The Byzantine city of Amorium (near the modern city of Afyon Karahisar in Turkey) was the provincial capital of the thema of Anatolikonsince the 8th century C.E. and one of the most important medieval cities in all of Asia Minor. For centuries it figured in the forefront of the wars against the Arabs initially and the Seldjuk Turks thereafter for the control of the East, and as a frontier city it was destined to play a dramatic role in these events. The excavations at the Middle Byzantine thematic capital of Amorion in central Asia Minor have been lucky enough to locate archaeological evidence of one of the most important 'destruction layers' currently under investigation, connected with the sack of the city in the summer of 838 C.E. by the Arabs, led by the Abbasid caliph al-Mu‛tasim. Recent systematic work at the site has given us the opportunity to locate a second phase of the city’s dramatic history, which corresponds to large scale historical events. Almost two centuries after the Arab sack the city had again come to prosper, then in the middle of the 11th century it was abruptly and under less known conditions abandoned in the wake of the coming of the new masters of Asia Minor, the Seljuk Turks. The lecture will offer a comprehensive overview of the life and death of a major Byzantine city, and raise the questions of how we understand the collapse of Byzantine rule in Asia Minor.

“Anna Christidou Memorial Lecture” - The After Lives of Byzantine Art

"Anna Christidou Memorial Lecture" - The After Lives of Byzantine Art, lecture by Antony Eastmond (The Courtauld)

Antony Eastmond read History at Oxford, before coming to The Courtauld where he took his MA in Byzantine art and PhD in art in medieval Georgia. After two years as British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at The Courtauld, in 1995 he moved to Warwick University as Research Fellow. In 2001 he was appointed Reader in the History of Art and Chair of Department at Warwick. He returned to The Courtauld as Reader in the History of Byzantine Art in 2004.

Fictional biographies? Thomas, Manuel and Theophobos, Three Characters of the Second Iconoclasm

Fictional biographies? Thomas, Manuel and Theophobos, Three Characters of the Second Iconoclasm, lecture by Juan Signes (University of Valladolid)

The paper will deal with the biographies of Thomas the Slav, the patrician Manuel the Armenian and the Persian Theophobos, who played a very important role during the reign of Michael II of Amorion (820 - 827) and his son Theophilos (829 - 842, but already since 821 in co-reign with his father). Modern scholars have tended to reject most of the narrative of their lives as preserved in the two main histories of the period, Genesios and the so-called Continuation of Theophanes (both written during the reign of Constantine VII in the middle of the 10th century), for they considered that it was fanciful and rather a literary (sub-)product, and must therefore be neglected in every accurate rendering of the facts. I will try to prove that, contrary to the prevailing opinion, the apparently fictional elements in these biographies must not to be rejected in toto as invention, but provide the clue for a correct understanding of the underlying events. The conclusions will be reached by reference to the original sources in Greek (with English translation) and will have a bearing on the assessment of the historical métier at the time of the Macedonian emperors in Byzantium.

Juan Signes (Valencia 1964) is Professor for Greek at the University of Valladolid (Spain) since 1996. He studied Classical Philology at the University of Salamanca (1982-1987) and Byzantine Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin (1987-1989), and wrote his PhD on Byzantine Historiography at the Complutense Unversity (Madrid) under the Supervision of Prof. Antonio Bravo. He has researched on the Homeric Question, Isocrates and Greek oratory, Byzantine Literature (Procopius, middle Byzantine Historians, Psellos), Byzantine Law (the Eisagoge of Photius), Iconoclasm, Greek Grammatical Tradition, Georgios Gemistos Pletho and Spanish Hellenism during the Renaissance, among other topics. He has stayed as researcher in some of the leading centres in the field of Byzantine Studies (Vienna, Birmingham, Paris, Washington). A book of his on the emperor Theophilos (829-842) is currently in press in Ashgate.

Medieval Architecture in Eastern Turkey

Medieval Architecture in Eastern Turkey, lecture by Scott Redford (Koç University)

For more than a century, scholars have recognized the debt that medieval Islamic architecture in Anatolia owes to the region’s earlier, Christian traditions: Byzantine, Georgian, Armenian, and Syriac. More recently, scholars noted a complicated pattern of reciprocal borrowing and imitation, especially between medieval Islamic architecture (often referred to as “Seljuk,” the name of its most famous dynasty) and Armenian traditions.

This talk takes as its starting point the richly eclectic architecture of eastern Turkey, as seen in the exhibition In Focus: Ara Güler’s Anatolia, and relates it to its major protagonists, the photographer Ara Güler and the ambassador, Raymond Hare.

Scott Redford is a professor in the Department of Archaeology and Art History and director of the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations at Koç University, Istanbul. He researches the art, archaeology, and architecture of medieval Anatolia and the eastern Mediterranean. His most recent book, about the Seljuk inscriptions of the Sinop citadel, came out earlier this year.

Between East and West: Artistic Crossroads in the Medieval Mediterranean

Between East and West: Artistic Crossroads in the Medieval Mediterranean, lecture by Justine Andrews (University of New Mexico)

During the Middle Ages, the regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea were sites of interaction and exchange between many cultures and artistic traditions. Justine Andrews, associate professor of art history at the University of New Mexico, examines the relationships between Byzantium and its eastern and western neighbors, and the effects of trade, political alliances, and the Crusades on painting and architecture—highlighting the arts of Cyprus.

The event is free, but tickets are required.

The lecture complements the exhibition Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Illumination at the Cultural Crossroads on view March 25 through June 22, 2014 at the Getty Center.

Collecting and Displaying Byzantine Art in the Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern Periods

Collecting and Displaying Byzantine Art in the Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern Periods, lecture by Robert S. Nelson (Yale University)

In the Middle Ages, Byzantine objects served purposes that ranged from utilitarian to devotional. Renaissance collectors displayed Byzantine works to suggest their high artistic value, but the full appreciation of the artifacts in the exhibition Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections depends upon the Modernist revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries. Art historian Robert S. Nelson of Yale University discusses how Byzantine collections evolved during these periods.

The event is free, but tickets are required.

The lecture is the keynote for the symposium, Heaven and Earth: Perspectives on Greece's Byzantium, May 2–3, 2014.

Byzantine Money: The Politics and Aesthetics of a World Currency

Ilse and Leo Mildenberg Memorial Lecture by Eurydice Georganteli, Harvard University Fellow in the History of Art and Architecture

When the Roman Empire’s capital moved from Rome to Constantinople in 330 CE, Europe’s political and economic center shifted. The coinage produced in the new imperial capital, and in cities across what was to become the Byzantine Empire, defined the society, politics, economic practices, and art of medieval Europe and beyond. This lecture, drawn from Harvard’s outstanding collections of coins and seals, explores Byzantine money as one of the most enduring world currencies.

The Concept of Antiquity in Byzantine Sculpture

Lecture by Aristotelis Mentzos, Professor of Byzantine Archaeology, Department of History and Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, with response by Yiannis Theoharis, Archaeologist, Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens

The lecture will be delivered in Greek in the Auditorium of the Argolid Chamber of Commerce, Korinthou Street, Argos.

The event is organized by the Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University, in cooperation with the Municipalities of Nafplion, Argos – Mycenae, Ermionida and Epidaurus.

How Can Research Address the Big Issues of Our Time?

Join Melvyn Bragg, host of BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time, as he discusses with Professor Mary Beard, Lord Peter Hennessy, and British Academy President Lord Stern what we mean by prosperity, in its broadest sense and how the humanities and social sciences contribute to it.

This British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences event coincides with the launch of Prospering Wisely, a new publication showing the powerful contribution the humanities and social sciences make in shaping our standard of living and quality of life.

Admission to this event is Free but you are required to register on the British Academy website in order to book online.

Elites, Monks, and the Making of Christian Counterculture in the 370s

Lecture by Edward Watts, Alkiviadis Vassiliadis Chair and Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego

The generation of Romans who came of age after the tetrarchic and Constantinian administrative reforms entered a world in which governmental positions were far more numerous and lucrative than ever before. The Roman educational system opened the doors to these opportunities and socialized students to take best advantage of them by developing social networks. In the 360s, 370s, and early 380s, however, we begin to see a movement in which educated elites turn against both their education and the careers for which it prepared them. Intriguingly, part of what makes their rejection of elite social norms and aspirations possible are the networks of friends their education helped them to develop.

The lecture will be held in The Texas Union - Chicano Culture Room.

Three Reports from Heaven - Literary Treasures among the Coptic Texts from Qasr Ibrim

This free Egypt Exploration Society public lecture by Mr. Joost Hagen presents three texts, all of which have to do with messages from heaven.

- A sermon on repentance, or possibly an encomium on Saint John Chrysostom, in which the already deceased archbishop of Constantinople is met by the Egyptian abbot Shenoute, during one of the latter's visits to heaven when he was still alive, and in which God's mercy and the function of human repentance are discussed.

- The first Coptic version, apparently surviving in two copies, of the Letter from Heaven on Sunday Observance, known in most languages of the Christian East and West, in which God lectures Christians about the importance of going to church, hearing the Scriptures and receiving Communion.

- The first-known non-Slavonic version of the Second Book of Enoch, formerly known as Slavonic Enoch, in which the Old Testament patriarch Enoch is given a tour of heaven and is told about the secrets of creation, which he then recounts to his children before being taken up to heaven for good.

An analysis of these three texts found during EES excavations, together with a brief overview of all excavated Coptic literary material from Qasr Ibrim (Biblical, liturgical, homiletic), will contribute to a discussion of the importance of Coptic literature in medieval Christian Nubia, and Qasr Ibrim in particular.

Mr. Hagen is currently completing a doctoral dissertation about the Coptic manuscript texts from Qasr Ibrim in Leiden. He holds a doctoral research position in Leiden and a part-time position in the project DDGLC at the Egyptological Institute in Leipzig.


The Gold of Icons

The Gold of Icons, lecture by Robert Nelson (Yale University), Bard Graduate Center, November 13 at 6pm

Robert Nelson will be speak at the Seminar in Comparative Medieval Material Culture (China, Islam, Europe).

How can the gold of icons be understood – symbolically, coloristically, mystically, as a mark of primitivism?  Nelson’s lecture will suggest that it is first a visual technology created for and by the conditions of viewing of devotional panels in Byzantium. The gold ground is not background, but an integral agent in the functioning of the image.  The light of icons, the light brought to icons, the light reflected off icons, and the Light that icons depicted, these are the subjects of this paper, and gold is their medium.

Robert Nelson is Robert Lehman Professor History of Art at Yale University. He received his B.A. from Rice University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.  Prior to his current position, Nelson was Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago.  Nelson studies and teaches medieval art, mainly in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the history and methods of art history. He was the co-curator of Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2006-2007. His book, Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950, 2004 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004), asks how the cathedral of Constantinople, once ignored or despised, came to be regarded as one of the great monuments of world architecture.  Nelson’s other book-length publications include Later Byzantine Painting: Art, Agency, and Appreciation (Burlington: Ashgate, 2007); Theodore Hagiopetrites: A Late Byzantine Scribe and Illuminator (Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1991); and The Iconography of Preface and Miniature in the Byzantine Gospel Book (New York: New York University Press, 1980).  His current projects involve the history of the Greek lectionary, the reuse of Byzantine art in Venice, the social lives of illuminated Greek manuscripts in Byzantium and their reception in Renaissance Italy, and the collecting of Byzantine art in twentieth-century Europe and America.

RSVP is required.

An Island Settlement in Late Antiquity

An Island Settlement in Late Antiquity: Boğsak off the Coast of Isauria, public lecture by Dr Günder Varınlıoğlu (Koç University)

King's College London, Council Room K2.29 Strand Campus. Tuesday, November 26 at 7:30pm

Boğsak Island, located in the ancient province of Isauria on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, stands out from the surrounding coastlands and islands with its well-preserved settlement dating from late antiquity. Uninhabited until the fourth century CE, a sizeable Christian settlement with complex infrastructure and architecture was created on the small island’s (ca. 7 ha) rough terrain, which did not possess safe natural harbors, fresh water, arable land, or useful natural resources. The Boğsak Archaeological Survey, underway since 2010, studies the structure of the settlement, the uses of surviving buildings and inhabited spaces, and the position of Boğsak Island in the settlement network on Isaurian coastlands and islands. This paper presents an overview of the fieldwork project and discusses the formation of this insular settlement in the context of the exploitation of marginal landscapes in late antiquity.

This lecture is part of the lecture series BIZANS - New Perspectives from Turkey in Byzantine Studies.

Space and History

image of an apse of a churchSpace and history. A longue durée approach to Constantinople and the provinces, public lecture by Dr Buket Bayri (Bilgi and Yeditepe Universities)

King's College London, K0.31 (Small Committee Room) Strand Campus. Tuesday, October 22 at 7:30pm

This paper is about identity: the transformation of the Byzantine identity between the 13th and the 15th centuries in Anatolia and in the Balkans; the perception of Byzantium in contemporary popular Turkish cinema and literature; and finally about how one can contribute to the field as a Turkish scholar of Byzantine Studies. In contrast to what the seminar title implies, the research on the first two topics is based on narrative sources in favour of history informed by politics. The third part of the paper, from which the paper takes its title, is mainly an attempt, a suggestion of an approach. Concentrating on Constantinople and its relations with the provinces, but taking it out of the hands of the nations, the peoples and the civilizations, and instead personifying the City and emphasizing geography, perhaps it raises new questions and suggests new perceptions.

This lecture is part of the lecture series BIZANS - New Perspectives from Turkey in Byzantine Studies.

Ephesus during the Byzantine and Ottoman Periods

Ephesus during the Byzantine and Ottoman Periods, public lecture by Dr Yaman Dalanay (Oxford University)

King's College London, K0.31 (Small Committee Room) Strand Campus. Tuesday, November 12 at 7:30pm

The ancient city of Ephesus, located on the western coast of Asia Minor was one of the most important cities of the ancient world. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Temple of Artemis was located here. During the Roman period Ephesus experienced a golden age in terms of urban monumentality. It is widely accepted that the Persian and Arab raids of the seventh century stroke a deadly blow to this ancient city from which it never recovered.

This paper examines the urban evolution of Ephesus from the Middle Byzantine into the Ottoman period. It challenges the generally accepted scenario of decline after the seventh century. On the contrary this paper contends that there is sufficient archaeological and textual evidence to indicate that not only did Ephesus continue to be an important settlement after the seventh century, but also that the harbour continued to operate until the seventeenth century. It will be argued that during the period under consideration Ephesus underwent a “subdivision” by which it came to consist of three closely related but physically separated centres in the same area and that this subdivision was further corroborated by ethnicity and religion.

This lecture is part of the lecture series BIZANS - New Perspectives from Turkey in Byzantine Studies.

Early Christian Mosaics from Aghia Kyriaki

image of mosaic from Aghia KyriakiGreek Archaeological Committee UK, 2013 Lecture. Early Christian Mosaics from Aghia Kyriaki (Central Greece): New Evidence of A Flourishing Centre, public lecture by Dr George Kakavas,  Deputy Director of the National Archaeological Museum and  Director of the Numismatic Museum, Athens, Greece

King's College London, Great Hall King's Building Strand Campus. Thursday, November 14 at 7:00pm

In the winter of 2009, a rescue excavation was carried out in an olive grove adjacent to the church of Aghia Kyriaki on the coast of Livanates in the prefecture of Phthiotis, Central Greece, after a small part of a mosaic floor had accidently been exposed. The aim of the excavation was to investigate the extent of the find, as well as the identity of the building to which it belonged.

Remains of a religious building were unearthed, as well as parts of multi-coloured Early Christian mosaic floors of high quality, with floral and faunal decoration. Of particular interest is the discovery of a three-line, partly damaged, dedicatory inscription, and a stone socket, which was possibly used for affixing a marble screen. A large number of roof tiles were recovered from the destruction layer, as well as window glass fragments, part of a lamp, fragments of white marble columns, as well as a stone base channeled for a lead clamp.

Along with the excavation, a geophysical survey of the immediate environs was conducted in order to ascertain the extent and layout of the building complex.

This lecture aims at presenting and commenting on the most significant finds, and at setting them in time and context as well as relating them to other known contemporary monuments of the region.

2013 Brixworth Lecture

poster for Brixworth and Byzantium Brixworth and Byzantium, public lecture by Leslie Brubaker, Professor of Byzantine Art (The University of Birmingham)

All Saints' Church, Brixworth, UK. Saturday, 2 November at 5:00pm

A detailed archaeological survey of All Saints' Church in Brixworth, published in 2013, has established that this spectacular church was built in the late eighth or early ninth century, and recognises firmly the European context in which it was built. At this time Western Europe was dominated by Charlemagne's Frankish kingdom. To the east, however, lay the Byzantine Empire, centred on the imperial city of Constantinople. At the turn of the ninth century, Byzantium was ruled by a woman, the Empress Irene (797–802), who overturned the iconoclast policies of her predecessors, restoring the veneration of icons to the eastern church. Eastern attitudes towards images were known and discussed in the west since at least the time of Bede (d. 735). Prof. Brubaker's lecture provides an opportunity to reflect on how an Anglo-Saxon church like Brixworth would have been decorated c. 800, and what its priests and worshippers would have thought about far-away Byzantine attitudes to depictions of Christ and his Saints.

Of Arabs and Greeks: The Origins of Islamic Calligraphy

Leaf from a Qur’anic manuscript, Arabian Peninsula, late 7th centuryLecture by Dr Alain George, Senior Lecturer, Islamic Art, University of Edinburgh, to be held at Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK. November 9, 2013 at 2 pm

Dr George’s lecture forms part of a study afternoon hosted by Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in conjunction with their new exhibition Qalam: the art of beautiful writing, open from 2 November 2013 until 26 January 2014.

In collaboration with the Islamic Manuscript Association and the Islamic Art and Material Culture Subject Specialist Network.

Byzanz in Main Lecture Series, Winter 2013–2014 Program

Ivory showing Saint Mark PreachingA great winter program featuring Prof. Dr. Richard Posamentir (Tübingen), Prof. Dr. Mischa Meier / Prof. Dr. Steffen Patzoldt (Tübingen), Prof. Dr. Jan Bremmer (Groningen), Prof. Dr. Karl Pinggéra (Marburg), Dr. Gudrun Bühl (Washington), Prof. Dr. Filippo Carlà / Matthias Schneider (Mainz), Prof. Dr. Günter Prinzing (Mainz), Prof. Dr. Johannes Hahn (Münster), Dr. Martin Dennert (Freiburg), and Dr. Vasileios Tsakiris (Erfurt)



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.