Back to Byzantium: Translation, Legitimacy, and Worlding on the Byzantine Frontier

Date: Feb 2, 2021 Time: 3:00 PM–4:30 PM Location: Zoom

Sergio La Porta discusses the translation of the martyrology of St. Step‘anos Ulnec‘i and its place in the larger Mediterranean world.

Sergio La Porta | California State University, Fresno

In the eleventh century, a monk named Grigor from the monastery of St. Step‘anos Ulnec‘i, located in the area between the Sarus and Pyramus Rivers, later known as Zeitun, was disconcerted that he was unable to find a life of the saint or an account of his and his companions’ martyrology in the monastery. Grigor traveled to two Greek monasteries on the Black Mountain and eventually to Constantinople in search of a copy of the vita of St. Step‘anos. With the help of a priest in the imperial capital, Grigor succeeded to find and translate the martyrology of St. Step‘anos and bring it back to his monastic community. This talk will explore the cultural and political significance of Grigor’s search for the martyrology and of his translation of the text which centrally positioned the monastery of St. Step‘anos within larger Mediterranean networks and legitimized its status as a local pilgrimage site. 

This lecture will take place live on ZOOM, followed by a question and answer period. Please register to receive the Zoom link. An email with the relevant Zoom information will be sent 1–2 hours ahead of the lecture. Registration closes at 10:00 AM (EST) on February 2, 2021.

An East of Byzantium lecture. EAST OF BYZANTIUM is a partnership between the Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Chair of Armenian Art at Tufts University and the Mary Jaharis Center that explores the cultures of the eastern frontier of the Byzantine empire in the late antique and medieval periods.

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