Political Rituals and Urban Communities in Cilician Armenia

Ruins of Cilician Armenian kings' residence city of Sis in present-day Kozan, Turkey. Photo: Hrair Hawk Khatcherian

Date: Feb 27, 2024 Time: 12:00 PM–1:30 PM Location: Zoom

Gohar Grigoryan, University of Fribourg, explores the outdoor rituals of Cilician Armenia from the perspective of the urban communities who viewed them.

Gohar Grigoryan | University of Fribourg

Outdoor rituals were among those rare occasions when medieval rulers and ruling aristocracies could be seen in person and inspected publicly. As in many medieval societies, so also in the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia (1198–1375), these public ceremonies were almost always performed in front of urban communities. While the political and propagandistic concerns of these aesthetic enactments come as little surprise, the present lecture will address the question from the point of view of those city inhabitants who were to contemplate—and in some cases, to partake in—the carefully organized and well-pondered rituals of the men of power.

This lecture will take place live on Zoom, followed by a question and answer period. Zoom link.


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An East of Byzantium lecture. EAST OF BYZANTIUM is a partnership between the Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard 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.