Courses & Workshops/Apr 25, 2017

Byzantine Issues in Medieval Armenian Literature

Byzantine Issues in Medieval Armenian Literature lead image

From Cities to Countryside: ‘Byzantine Issues’ in Medieval  Armenian Literature, Forum Moving Byzantium VI, Emilio Bonfiglio (University of Vienna/Austrian Academy of Sciences), University of Vienna, May 2, 2017, 6:00–7:30 pm

The Wittgenstein Project Team invites you to our sixth group discussion meeting. “Forum Moving Byzantium VI” will take place on Tuesday 2.5.2017, from 18:00 to 19:30, at the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies (Postgasse 7, 1010 Vienna, 1. Stiege, 3. Stock, Seminarraum).

We will discuss the topic “From Cities to Countryside: ‘Byzantine Issues’ in Medieval  Armenian Literature.” The presenter will be Dr. Emilio Bonfiglio, Member of the Wittgenstein Project Team. After a brief introduction in English, group discussion will follow both in English and in German.

Armenian early literature began and developed in the fifth century with the translation of the Bible and patristic literature from Greek and Syriac, followed by the creation of the first original works of Armenian historiography. Especially in the field of original homiletics, Armenian authors have often been considered as passively reproducing Greek themes for Armenian audiences. The readings for Forum VI are designed to propose alternative interpretations concerning the meaning and function of literary transfer between Byzantium and Armenia.

We will ask a series of questions:

  • Are Armenians merely reproducing Byzantine themes in Armenian language?
  • What is the perception and the impact of urban Byzantine life in rural Armenia?
  • How did travel between Byzantium and Armenia affect both the material and cultural life of the Armenians?
  • Can political frontiers be overcome by cultural transfer?

Emilio Bonfiglio holds a MA in Classics (Palermo) and a MPhil. in Eastern Christian Studies and a D.Phil. in Oriental Studies (Oxford, 2011). He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Geneva (2011-2013) and a British Academy postdoctoral fellow at Oxford (2013-2016). Since October 2016, he is working in Vienna as scientific researcher in the Wittgenstein-Prize Project “Moving Byzantium” on the theme “Multilingualism in Late Antique and Early Medieval Armenia”, focusing on the impact exerted by the plurality of languages in use in Armenia on the political and religious dialogue with Byzantium.

RSVP required.