The Byzness

= = = = =
The Byzness: 16 January 2011

= = = = =


Oriens Meets Occidens
St Andrews University

On the 25th and 26th March 2011 an interdisciplinary Postgraduate conference will be held at the University of St Andrews, which will bring together students from different academic disciplines to explore the links that existed between East and West from the Middle Ages right up until the present day. It aims to provide participants with a wider understanding of the numerous facets of the contact between Oriens and Occidens and of how these
have shaped the relationship between them throughout the centuries.

Topics to be discussed include, but by no means are limited to:
– literature
– philosophy
– political concepts
– religion
– commerce
– warfare
– science
– art

The conference will be opened by the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, Prof. Louise Richardson. The keynote will be delivered by Prof. Hugh Kennedy (SOAS).

Please send an abstract of your 20 min. paper (max. 300 words) to the organiser, Berenike Walburg, at The deadline for abstract submission is the
22nd February 2011. If you have any question or queries please do not hesitate to contact the organiser.

Please see the conference website for further information and updates.


Interpretation of the Text in the Culture of Christian East:  Translation, Commentary, Poetic Treatment

State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg


The State Hermitage Christian East Committee is happy to announce

Call for Papers for the conference «Interpretation of the Text in the Culture  of Christian East: Translation, Commentary, Poetic Treatment.

The conference will take place in Saint Petersburg, Russia, 14- 15 September, 2011.

Scholars are invited to submit proposals for papers to explore the  various aspects of literary text’s existence and interpretation developed in the culture of Christian East area.

The deadline for submitting proposals to this conference is March, 2011.

You can e-mail the abstract of your paper to .

Working languages are Russian, English.

Papers will be published in the next volume of State Hermitage’s  Series Christian East

= = = = =





21-23 October 2011 – University of Amsterdam (NL)

First circular of announcement

Dear all,

We are delighted to announce the First Amsterdam Meeting on Byzantine and Ottoman Archaeology that will be held at the University of Amsterdam on 21-23 October 2011.

The theme of the conference is Fact and Fiction in the Eastern Mediterranean. Are we on the right track?The conference’s programme can be found here.

Please note that there is no registration fee for attending this conference. Those who wish to attend and participate in the round table discussion on Sunday (23 October), rather than present their own work, are very welcome to attend. (Please contact the organizers; see below for details.)

All our guests are welcome to join us for a private viewing of the small exhibition Life Among Ruins: The Eastern Mediterranean in Word and Image, followed by a reception on Friday (21 October).

Guests will also be able to register for other events of the conference, such as our guided tour of Amsterdam and dinner on Saturday evening (22 October), and the excursions to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and to a Delftware factory in Delft on Sunday (23 October). Participation fees for these events for non-speakers will be announced later this year.

We hope to be able to offer some financial support for graduate students who wish to attend the conference. Details will be announced soon.

Please forward this announcement to colleagues and students who might be interested in this conference.

For further information, please contact the organizers. We look forward to welcoming you to Amsterdam in October.


Dr. Joanita Vroom & Dr. Fotini Kondyli

University of Amsterdam

Faculty of Humanities | Amsterdam Archaeological Centre

Turfdraagsterpad 9

1012 XT Amsterdam | The Netherlands

= = = = =


Announcement from the Oxford Centre for Medieval History

Dear Medievalists,


We are writing to you about the next stages of activities related to the ‘Global Middle Ages Initiative’.  Many of you attended an enjoyable and stimulating workshop on ‘Law and Justice at the Frontier’ in Michaelmas Term.  Our next source-based workshop will take place in Week 3 this term, and will be followed by other events later this term and next.


Our first workshop this term will take place in the Rees Davies Room in the History Faculty on TUESDAY of WEEK 3, February 1, starting at 2pm and lasting until 3.30 or 4 pm. The topic, ‘RESIDENT MINORITIES’, will focus on the social make-up of medieval societies, including examples of transnationalism – for example, where identities can be seen to have crossed ‘state’ boundaries – and multiculturalism, where different identities visibly co-existed within one society. Both of these terms have been most commonly applied to modern contexts, but we believe that there is room for reassessment from a medieval perspective. There is no script for the workshop, but the sources chosen will illuminate issues ranging from the processes of negotiation that characterise ‘multiple’ communities to the competition for cultural authority among different groups living in shared space. Sources will include a seventh-century papyrus from Palestine, the diary of a Japanese monk in China in the early ninth century, some ‘Anglo-Scandinavian’ stone sculpture from tenth-century England, and a text relating to the Latin Quarter in Constantinople in the twelfth century. The workshop will be led by Lesley Abrams (History), Robert Hoyland (Oriental Studies), Hilde de Weerdt (Chinese Studies) and John Lansdowne (Archaeology).


As was the case last time, we will structure the workshop around these sources, on the principle that although taken from different parts of the medieval world they nonetheless speak to a common theme. The sources themselves will be available by the start of 1st Week on the ‘Oxford Centre for Medieval History’ website, so that participants can scrutinise them in advance []. Those offering sources will be providing a few words of introduction during the workshop itself. Most of the time, however, will be spent in informal and comparative discussion.


Meanwhile, we will contact you nearer the time with more details about a second workshop to be held THIS term on the afternoon of THURSDAY of WEEK 5 in Corpus Christi College (Rainolds Room) from 2pm onwards. This round-table discussion workshop will take as its departure point a recent comparative study of six late medieval and early modern societies from different Eurasian contexts by Victor Lieberman. Excerpts from that study will be posted on the website in advance of the workshop in addition to more details about the workshop itself.


We plan to host a third source-based workshop in TRINITY TERM, on the subject of ‘Informal Power’ – that is to say, non-bureaucratic modes of influence and authority operating in societies where more formal, written, standardised, and/or institutional structures also exist. We welcome offers of sources for that occasion (to be sent to and we would be delighted to entertain ideas for more workshops. We would like to reiterate our enthusiasm for sources and themes from across the whole medieval world and from all periods of medieval history.


With best wishes,


Lesley Abrams, Catherine Holmes, and John Watts


= = = = =

This entry was posted in Byzness. Bookmark the permalink.