The Byzness

Dear all,

The Oxford Byzantine Society would like to thank everyone who has already registered to attend the International Graduate Conference 2011 Between Constantines: representations and manifestations of an empire. With less than 3 weeks to go before the conference, the Organising Committee would like to invite everyone to register by Wednesday, 2 March. This will ensure that we have included you in our calculations for seating, handouts, refreshments, lunches and the wine receptions (at the end of both days).
All you need to do is fill out this very simple formAll Oxford senior members and students are also requested to register.

Please look at the poster and provisional schedule for further details.
Now on to the Byzness.
Prerona Prasad

President, Oxford Byzantine Society

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The Byzness: 13 February 2011
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Senior Research Fellow in Greek Palaeography
Lincoln College, Oxford

Lincoln College and the University of Oxford invite applications for the Dilts-Lyell Senior Research Fellowship in Greek Palaeography, tenable from 1 October 2011 for a period of three years. The Fellowship is supported by the Dilts Benefaction to Lincoln College and the JPR Lyell bequest to the University.

Further particulars and the application form can be found at:

The Department of Classics at Tel-Aviv University, Israel
The Department of Classics at Tel-Aviv University, Israel, invites applications for a tenure-track position in Classics, effective October 2011. The position is open to candidates who hold a Ph.D. or will have the degree by the time the position begins.

The position requires teaching in Hebrew (after at most three years of employment) and the proven ability to conduct independent research in Classical philology and the literature and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. Preference will be given to candidates specializing in the literature of the Hellenistic period or Greek literature of the Roman Empire. Teaching responsibilities include Greek and Latin language and literature at all levels.

Candidates should send their applications, including a CV and samples of publications or other written work, and also arrange for three letters of recommendation from senior scholars to be sent directly to:

Professor Eyal Zisser, Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel, by April 10th, 2011.

The position is open for candidates without any discrimination based on gender, nationality, religion or ethnic origins. The appointment will be based on the candidates’ qualifications and the need of the Department. Tel-Aviv University is not obligated to appoint any of the candidates who apply for the position.

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Institute of World Cultures

The Institute of World Cultures of the Moscow State University, the State Library for Foreign Literature and the Research Centre for the Eastern Christian Culture would like to announce the new International Symposium which is due to take place in Moscow on 27-29th September 2011 and is dedicated to the subject of:

Light and Fire in the Sacred Space

The deadline for applications is 1st March 2011. The Proceedings of the Symposium will be published in a separate volume containing the abstracts of papers given at the Symposium. You should make your submission (the abstract shall be of no more than three pages total length) by 1st May 2011 in Russian or in English. The papers also have to be presented in either of these languages.

Outline of the Symposium’s Research Programme:

The Symposium tackles the subject of light and fire and the role of these elements in making of sacred spaces, mostly in the Byzantine and Russian Medieval tradition. Nonetheless, other Christian phenomena will also be considered within their wide historical and geographical context. The Symposium is clearly of a multi-and -interdisciplinary character, thus, appealing to scholars with various research interests and academic backgrounds. The Symposium shall explore and focus on artistic aspects of light and fire, as well as look at the methodology of the subject in the modern art history. The Symposium is a next step of continuous research, dedicated to the making of sacred spaces as a separate form of artistic and spiritual creativity. Within the framework of this research project a number of international symposia were held and books dedicated to the subject were published, such as e.g. Hierotopy. Creation of Sacred Spaces in Byzantium and Russia, ed. A.Lidov, Moscow, 2006; Hierotopy. Comparative Studies of Sacred Spaces ed. A.Lidov, Moscow, 2009; New Jerusalems. Hierotopy and Iconography of Sacred Spaces, ed. A.Lidov, Moscow 2009; Spatial Icons: Textuaity and Performativity, ed. A.Lidov, Moscow, 2009 and a recent monograph ‘Hierotopy. Spatial Icons and Image-Paradigms in Byzantine Culture’ by Alexei Lidov (Moscow 2009).

From our perspective, the introduction and spread of the term hierotopy amongst the scholars and  the increasing possibility of the hierotopic approach as an auxiliary aid to research  have not only offered the opportunity to look afresh at many “customary” phenomena, but also substantially to expand the field of the historical studies. It is noteworthy that the whole aspects of creative process were left out from scholarship and were not studied or described at all exactly due to the absence of the hierotopic approach which evades positivist classification.  For instance, such considerable phenomenon as the dramaturgy of light has been left outside the scope of traditional fields of study. At the same time we know precisely from the written sources (e.g. Byzantine monastic ceremonials) how detailed was the system of church lighting, as it was dynamically changing during the church services. At certain points of the church service some relevant images (icons, frescoes) or venerated relics would be purposefully highlighted, thus, structuring the perception of the whole church space or logically ordering the interpretation of sequences of the most significant liturgical elements during the service. In these circumstances it is only fair to refer to dramaturgy or drama, as the dramatic-artistic aspect contained in this creative activity was in no extent lesser than the symbolical-ritual one.

Areas of discussion and research could include:

  1. Philosophical-theological concepts of light and fire.
  2. Light and fire in ritual and liturgical practice.
  3. Dramaturgy of light and fire as a mode of hierotopic creativity.
  4. Natural and artificial (created) light in architectural space.
  5. Holy fire archaeology. Objects lit by the fire.
  6. Iconography of light and fire in Christian art.
  7. Fire and light  in spatial icons.
  8. Performative aspects of light and fire.
  9. Light, fire and smoke in literary sources.
  10. Terminology of fire and light as historical source. Chair of the Symposium Committee:      Alexei Lidov

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a conference organized by the Friends of Mount Athos to be held at

Madingley Hall, Cambridge: 25–27 February 2011

The venue

This will be our fifth weekend conference at Madingley. We continue to return there because it is the perfect venue for a meeting such as ours. The house, which dates from the sixteenth century, stands in its own grounds amid beautiful country just 3 miles to the west of Cambridge. The surrounding park was landscaped by Lancelot (‘Capability’) Brown in 1756. In the 1860s Queen Victoria rented the house as a residence for the Prince of Wales when he was an undergraduate. It was bought by the University of Cambridge in 1948 and operates as a centre for continuing and adult education. The house has been extensively refurbished to provide en-suite facilities to all study bedrooms, well-equipped meeting rooms, and a new bar. All meals are taken in the great hall where the cuisine achieves a high standard. We are fortunate to have the use of the nearby parish church for our services during the weekend.

The theme of the conference

Athos is dedicated to the glory of the Mother of God. The entire peninsula is regarded as her garden and she is everywhere present in it. She is the archetype of monasticism, the paradigm of Christian holiness, the abbess of the whole Mountain, every monk’s guide to the Kingdom of Heaven. Not only is every monk deeply conscious of her presence and her protection; she has inspired some of the most sublime examples of art, music, poetry, and other writings. No theme could be more appropriate for a conference of the Friends of Mount Athos.

The programme

There will be a total of six presentations, each lasting about 40 minutes with time at the end for discussion. The speakers are all experts on their chosen themes, but all will be concerned to make their subject accessible to everyone in their audience.

On the first evening Metropolitan Nikolaos, himself an Athonite and a long-standing friend of the society, will speak about ‘The Place of the Mother of God in the Life of the Athonite Monk’.

On the Saturday morning, after a memorial service, the lectures will be devoted to iconography. First Aidan Hart, a celebrated iconographer, teacher, and former Athonite, will speak on the subject ‘Festal Icons of the Mother of God: Theology in Colour and Form’. Then Fr Lukas, a monk of the Xenophontos monastery on Athos and a practising iconographer (he painted last year’s FoMA Christmas card), will address the topic ‘Painting the Mother of God’.

After lunch there is free time for a rest or a walk or just catching up with friends.

Then Saturday evening will be devoted to music. Before vespers Dimitri Conomos, a distinguished musicologist and member of our Executive Committee, will speak (and maybe sing) on the topic ‘Mary in Athonite Poetry and Song’. After dinner Dimitrios Skrekas (whom you may remember singing in Cappadocian cave churches) will speak about ‘The Mother of God in Athonite Hymbody’.

On the Sunday morning, after a celebration of the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Kallistos, our President, will speak about ‘Athonite Writings on the Mother of God’.

The speakers

Metropolitan Nikolaos is a graduate of Harvard and MIT in science and engineering and of Holy Cross in theology with a doctorate in biomedical engineering and in Orthodox bioethics. Having finally established himself in the spiritual ‘university and hospital’ of Mount Athos, he experienced the cenobitic life and the hermit’s life and offered witness of the Athonite ethos in the heart of Athos, where he served at the Metochion of the Ascension of the Lord, a dependency of the monastery of Simonopetra. Since 2004 he has served as the Metropolitan of Mesogaia.

Aidan Hart, a Reader of the Orthodox Church, has been a full-time iconographer for over twenty-five years. He founded and is tutor for the Diploma in Icon and Wall Painting, run by The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts. A comprehensive book by him on the techniques of icon and wall painting is due to be published later this year.

Fr Lukas is from Larissa where he took his first steps as an icon painter. He was tonsured a monk of the monastery of Xenophontos in 1985 where he continued his training in iconography at the feet of older monk icon painters.

Dimitri Conomos is a Byzantine musicologist living in Oxford. He is a visiting professor at London University and is the author of many books and articles on early Christian, Byzantine, and Slavonic chant. He has also published two books on mythology and edited a volume on Orthodoxy and ecology.

Dimitrios Skrekas wrote a doctoral thesis at Oxford on Byzantine hymnographical texts of the eighth century and is a professional cantor. Since 2008 he has worked at the British Library as a cataloguer on the Greek Manuscript Digitization Project.

Metropolitan Kallistos holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Oxford where from 1966 to 2001 he was a Fellow of Pembroke College and Spalding Lecturer in Eastern Orthodox Studies. He is a monk of the monastery of St John the Theologian, Patmos, and an assistant bishop in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain. In 2007 he was raised to the rank of metropolitan. His publications include The Orthodox Church (2nd edn, 1993) and The Orthodox Way (2nd edn, 1995) and he is co-translator of the five-volume Philokalia.


I/we wish to attend the conference

□  Please reserve a single/shared room @ £240 / €300 / $360 per person

(£120 / €150 / $180 for students)

□  Please reserve …… non-residential place(s) @ £110 / €150 / $165 per person

Dietary requirements (if any) ………………………………………………………………

Name of member/guest …………………………………………………………………….

Address …………………………………………………………………………………….

………………………………………………  Tel. or e-mail ………………………………

Please send this slip with a £50 (€65 / $75) per person non-refundable deposit, payable to the Friends of Mount Athos, to Simon Jennings, Rawlinson & Hunter, Eighth Floor, 6 New Street Square, London EC4A 3AQ. He may be contacted by e-mail at

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CAPPADOCIA IN CONTEXT Koç University International Worksh

27 JUNE-12 JULY 2011

Director: Robert Ousterhout (University of Pennsylvania)
Asst. Director: Tolga Uyar (University of Paris I)
Lecturer: Scott Redford (RCAC, Koç University, Istanbul)

for more information:

Robert G. Ousterhout
Professor of Byzantine Art and Architecture
Chair of the Graduate Group in the History of Art
Chair of the Graduate Group in Art and
Archaeology of the Mediterranean World
Director of the Center for Ancient Studies
President of the Byzantine Studies Association of
North America

Department of the History of Art, 3405 Woodland Walk
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6208
Office telephone: 215-898-3249

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