Days of Justinian I

Days of Justinian I, 2nd International Scientific Symposium, Skopje, September 26–27, 2014

Special Thematic Strand for 2014: Samuel’s State and Byzantium: History, Legend, Tradition, Heritage

The International scientific symposium “Days of Justinian I” is an annual interdisciplinary scholarly forum aimed at the presentation of the latest research followed by discussions on various aspects of Byzantine and Medieval Studies, that include the treatment and interpretation of cultural, historical and spiritual heritage in contemporary Europe. The Symposium is dedicated to Emperor Justinian I with the aim to address a broad range of issues related to Byzantium and the European Middle Ages, comprising the exploration of the cultural and historical legacy as an integrative component of the diversities and commonalities of Unified Europe.

This year the International Symposium “Days of Justinian I” chose a special thematic strand “Samuel’s State and Byzantium: History, Legend, Tradition, and Heritage”. Namely, the year 2014 commemorates the millennium of the legendary conflict between Emperor Basil II and Tsar Samuel over the Balkans that ended with the tragic death of Samuel in October 1014, after the defeat at the battle of Belasica. The conflict itself is an illustrative example of how the legends and myths were created and constructed, both in Medieval and Modern times, incorporating many aspects of historical and cultural tradition and heritage. The specificity of this conflict is its enduring impact on the Medieval and Modern Balkans, consequently indicating the need to present a more thorough and broader picture in order to understand the contested interpretation and different perspectives and to offer a clearer picture of how the medieval past was used in modern history, politics and culture. The legendary conflict between Basil II and Samuel is a universal phenomenon, thus embracing broader discussions and geographical areas in exploring various aspects of religion, ideology, identity, heritage, political and cultural memory and myth-making reflected in the historical and cultural legacy.

Papers are welcomed on various topics that may include, but are not limited to, the following areas of discussion:

  • Basil II versus Samuel: Real or imaginary conflict over the Balkans?
  • The Legend of Basil II and Samuel and the “Macedonian question”
  • Interpreting the legends in medieval and modern Europe
  • (De)Constructing the narratives and myths in medieval and modern Europe
  • Continuity and discontinuity in political ideology between medieval Bulgaria and Samuel's state
  • Ethnicity and identity in the Middle Ages: Defining the “others” in Europe
  • Popular religion, "native" churches, and medieval heresy
  • The Ohrid Archbishopric and religious tradition: medieval and modern perceptions of religion and ideology
  • The representation of Byzantium in art, literature, music and material culture: medieval and modern concepts and approaches
  • Byzantine and the Middle Ages in European history and culture: Bridging the East and West
  • Preserving the cultural heritage: Interpretation, restoration and protection
  • Cultural legacy as a factor of interaction and dialogue between different cultures in Europe


First Deadline for submitting the abstract of the papers: 1 July, 2014

Second Deadline for submitting the abstract of the papers: 1 September, 2014

Notification of acceptance for early applicants: 5 July, 2014

Notification of acceptance for other applicants: 5 September, 2014

Deadline for submitting the full papers for publication: 15 February, 2015

Please send the application form to the address:;

Working languages: Macedonian, Italian and English.

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 in Calls for Papers



for Byzantine Arts and Culture

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

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