The Byzness

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The Byzness, October 9, 2011


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Michaelmas Dinner
Worcester College, Thursday October 27, 2011

Michaelmas is here, and therefore so is the OBS dinner, an opportunity for all working on Late Antiquity and Byzantium to come together for food, wine, and general merriment. This year’s dinner will be held at Worcester College on Thursday 27 October, beginning at 7.15pm (so be sure to arrive 5-10 minutes early). Three courses and wine will be provided for the bargain price of £10. Places are limited, so please contact to avoid disappointment. We need all names by Thursday 20 October.


Annual Graduate Conference, “Reality and Illusion: seeing through the ‘Byzantine mirage'”
Oxford History Faculty, February 17-18, 2012

Byzantium is famed as a place where the seemingly insubstantial could hold great weight: where the operation of wills and natures was a matter of life and death, where images could save or damn, where the pomp of court held an empire together and great processions heralded the invisible presence of the saints. Is this reputation justified, or just another Byzantine myth? And how were the boundaries between the real and the illusory understood?

We’re interested in papers which explore functions of reality and illusion in all fields of Late Antique and Byzantine history, from art and architecture, through theology, statecraft and diplomacy, to modern historiography. Papers on reality and allusion, reality and delusion, or indeed reality and collusion also welcome.

Call for Papers: Please send an abstract and short summary of your academic history to by 11:59 PM, Saturday, November 26, 2011.

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KCL Late Antique & Byzantine Studies Seminars
Seminars will be held at 5.30 on alternate Tuesdays at the Strand Campus, King’s College London, in Room B6 of the North Wing (Classics Department).

Tuesday 18 October 2011
Rembrandt Duits (Warburg): A Byzantine icon in Florence: the Bargello

Tuesday 1 November 2011
Mihailo Popovic (Vienna): New insights into the history of Balkan fairs in the historical region of Macedonia (13th-16th centuries)

Tuesday 22 November 2011
Marek Jankowiak (Oxford): From Orthodoxy to heresy: why was Monotheletism

Tuesday 6 December 2011
Ioannis Stouraitis (Vienna): Byzantine conceptions of warfare in the time of the Crusades: Holy war?


Cambridge Late Antiquity Network Seminars 2011-12
Michaelmas Term 2011: All seminars will take place Tuesdays at 2.30 at the CRASSH building, 17 Mill Lane.

11 October: Mark Whittow (Corpus Christi, Oxford)
Byzantium and the Feudal Revolution

25 October: Claire Sotinel (Université Paris-Est, Créteil Val de Marne)
The defence of Rome in Gothic Italy: Pope Symmachus and the Sylloge of Cambridge

8 November: Marios Costambeys (Liverpool)
Anglo-Saxons, Rome, and the coronation of Charlemagne

22 November: Alex Woolf (St. Andrews)
Barbarians and pseudo-Barbarians in Late Antiquity

Lent and Easter Terms 2012: CRASSH is moving!  All seminars will be held Tuesdays at 5pm in the Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, on the Sidgwick Site.

24 January: Charles West (Sheffield)
Kings, Franks, and Pseudo-Isidore: Problems of lordship in late ninth-century Frankia

7 February: Luke Lavan (Kent)
The Late Antique City: Models of Change

21 February: Roger Collins (Edinburgh)
Oh, let us never, never doubt: The Churches of Early Medieval Spain before,  during, and after the Arab Conquest

1 May: Simon Corcoran (UCL)
Roman Law for Dummies: the Summa Perusina and legal learning in early medieval Italy

15 May: Stephen Mitchell (Exeter)
Towards a History of Asia Minor in Late Antiquity


From New Rome to Romford: Aspects of Cultural Relations between Britain and Byzantium ca. 600-900
KCL, Anatomy Museum, King’s Building, The Strand, 5:30 Thursday November 3, 2011

Annual autumn lecture; additional information available here.


Call for papers
International Conference: Cultural Exchanges between Byzantium, East and West in the Late Byzantine World (12th-16th centuries)
University of Haifa – Israel, 16-17 May 2012

The four hundred years that elapsed between the 12th and 16th centuries were politically turbulent for the Byzantine Empire.  Endless internal strives on the throne ended with disastrous consequences for the Empire, starting with the conquest of Constantinople in 1204 by the Crusaders and the splitting up of its former territories between Latin Western powers. The Reconquista of Constantinople in 1261 by the Byzantines left the Empire but with a shadow of its former territorial space. The constant domestic struggles that weakened its stability unwillingly eased the Serbian expansionism and induced in late 1372 or early 1373 the Byzantine Emperors into vassalage status under the Ottomans. Eventually the final blow, i.e. the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 saw the fall into Ottoman rule of a shrunken empire, already almost collapsed from within.

In sharp contrast to the long political crepuscule, despite the long felt distrust towards foreigners of all kinds, cross cultural exchanges continued to thrive between adversaries in such fields as literature, music, arts, architecture and technologies. These interactions galvanized the cultural melting pot which shaped the eternal heritage of the Christian West, of all the Eastern Mediterranean, Eastern Europe as well as the countries around the Black Sea, in both Christian and Moslem worlds. Furthermore, despite the Ottoman conquest of the Byzantine Empire, the Byzantine tradition impacted to a great extent urban, architectonic and technological facets of its conquerors’ own culture.

The aim of this conference is to highlight the various cross cultural aspects and the vehicles for their distribution according to the topics below.
•    Constantinople a hub of cross cultural exchanges
•    Cultural mobility within Eastern Mediterranean
•    Trade and transportation as vehicles for cultural and technological exchanges and knowledge
•    Art and Architecture in Byzantium and beyond
•    Dialogue between Byzantium the Islamic and Ottoman worlds
•    Byzantine cultural and political heritage in the West (Italy and Sicily)
•    Byzantium and Eastern Europe: cultural, religious and political inheritance
•    Byzantium and Georgia: Cultural and artistic ties
•    Christian communities in the former Byzantine territories in the Near East: synthesis of cultures
•    Cross-cultural, economic and political  exchanges between East and West in the former Byzantine territories in the Adriatic, Ionian, Levant and Egypt
•    Profane and religious literature in late Byzantium
•    Chronicles and the writing of history
•    Byzantine inheritance in music

Please submit abstracts  with a short C.V. to the organizing committee by 15 December 2011
   Jeannine Horowitz,
   Ruthy Gertwagen,
   Emma Maayan-Fanar,


2012 Center for Ancient Studies Symposium: MASONS AT WORK
Architecture and Construction in the Pre-Modern World at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), 30 March-1 April 2012

The symposium aims to assemble specialists in various fields to examine building practices in the pre-modern world, with an emphasis on aspects of construction and structure in ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, medieval, and early-to-middle period Islamic architecture. While some technologies and built forms may be shared across pre-modern cultures (such as vault construction or the use of centering), other may be specific to a single period or region (such as the use of concrete or structural ribs in vaulting). In addition to a panel of invited speakers, we are soliciting 20-minute papers that examine the problems pre-modern masons commonly encountered – and the solutions they developed – in the process of design and construction. Evidence may be drawn from a variety of sources, including written evidence and the archaeological record, but for the purpose of the symposium we encourage studies based on the analysis of standing buildings.

Keynote Address: Lynne Lancaster (Ohio University)
Commentator: Kostis Kourelis (Franklin and Marshall University)
Organizing committee: Lothar Haselberger, Renata Holod, Robert Ousterhout

Call for papers: Those wishing to speak at the symposium should submit by email a letter to the organizing committee, including name, title, institutional affiliation, paper title, plus a summary of 200 words or fewer. Graduate students should include a note of support from their adviser. Deadline: 30 November 2011; the final program will be announced by the end of November. Submit proposals to with “Masons at Work” in the subject line.

Note: There is no registration fee; receptions and meals are provided to all speakers. However, speakers must arrange their own transportation and hotel accommodation. Philadelphia has a major international airport and is easily accessible by train. A conference hotel rate will be available at the Club Quarters in downtown Philadelphia, a short bus ride or walk from the campus. Those wishing to attend but not speak should register in advance to guarantee space is available. More information will be available in the second circular.


Bibles: reading Scripture, from Medieval to Early Modern
Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Liverpool, 15th October 2011.

The registration deadline is approaching for this year’s one-day Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature Conference.

Where: The School of History, University of Liverpool
When: 15th October 2011, doors open at 9:45am, with first session starting at 10:30am
How much: Registration (including lunch and refreshments) is £40 (£30 to members of the Society)
Programme: go to
The Society is also making available graduate bursaries to assist attendance.
For more information, contact the Executive Officer, Dr David Rundle, on

IVe Rencontres des doctorants en études byzantines
The 4th meeting of doctoral students in Byzantine studies will happen on October 21 and 22. This takes place each year at INHA (Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art). Full announcement and program available here.
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Scholarships at Copenhagen

The University of Copenhagen recently announced 8 new PhD scholarships in the faculty of humanities. Full details, including about how to apply, available at its website. Of special interest for Byzantinists may include the ones on ”The Ancient World and its later reception” and “Transnational and Migration Studies”.


Grants with the “Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca et Byzantina (CAGB)”

The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBAW) has advertised three research grants for the “Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca et Byzantina (CAGB)” project; the announcements are available online (and in German) at


ISAW Now Accepting Visiting Research Scholar Applications for Fall 2012
Each year the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, makes about 7-10 appointments of visiting research scholars. We are now accepting applications for fellowships beginning in fall 2012. ISAW’s scope embraces the history, archaeology, and culture of the entire Old World from late prehistoric times to the eighth century AD, including Asia and Africa. Projects of a theoretical or comparative nature relevant to this domain are also welcome. Academic visitors at ISAW should be individuals of scholarly distinction or promise in any relevant field of ancient studies who will benefit from the stimulation of working in an environment with colleagues in other disciplines. Applicants with a history of interdisciplinary exchange are particularly welcome. They are expected to be in residence at the Institute during the academic terms for which they are appointed and to take part in the intellectual life of the community.
For details about the categories of fellows, financial support, and the application, please visit The deadline for applications is December 10, 2011. New York University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Scholarships for studying modern Greek in Greece
Full announcement and information available here.
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Junior Professorship in Ancient History

The University of Mannheim in Germany has just advertised a “Junior Professorship” for Ancient History, specialising in the transition of the Ancient to the Medieval world. This is a full-time post available for a maximum of 6 years. For conditions of this type of job you can contact Kai (/vide infra/) informally. The vacancy is described in detail on , and the deadline is Nov 18th, 2011.


For more information go to the ASCSA website:
Two Positions
Term: Early September 2012 to June 1, 2013.
Compensation: Stipend of $35,000, plus round-trip coach airfare to Athens, board at Loring Hall for the Whitehead Professor (one-half senior rate for spouse, and one-half student rate for dependents) and School housing. Hotel and transportation on all fall trips and transportation on all winter Attica excursions. Residence permit and limited amount of office supplies.

Qualifications: A senior scholar with a significant record of publication and teaching in a North American institution; Managing Committee Member or faculty/staff from a Cooperating Institution. Preference will be given to those who have not received recent support from the School. Candidates who have held the Whitehead Professorship may apply if the previous term was at least five years prior.

Mission: Advancing research on a project, which utilizes the facilities of the School and enriches the academic program of the School. Whitehead Professors are encouraged to present a seminar during the winter term on the subject of their expertise and to contribute to the academic program in other significant ways, such as mentoring or advising students at the School.

Two Positions
Term: Summer 2013.
Compensation: Stipend commensurate with rank: ranging from $7,365 to $9,064, pending available funding, plus travel and expenses, as defined in the attached policy.
Qualifications: Former membership in the School. At least two years’ teaching in a post-secondary educational institution. Qualified applicants in all areas of classics, including history, art history, languages, and archaeology, are encouraged to apply. Some knowledge of modern Greek. Stamina, good health and a sense of humor.
Duties: To plan the itinerary, in consultation with the staff in Athens, at least six months prior to the session. To collaborate with the Committee on the Summer Sessions in the selection of participants. To correspond with participants concerning travel, equipment, academic requirements, etc. To supervise all aspects of the program in Greece, including teaching, coordinating with on-site expert lecturers, keeping a detailed log of the sessions, and submitting a report to the Director.

POSITION IN ATHENS (Pending Funding)
Term: A full-time (12 months) position beginning July 1, 2012 for three years, with the possibility of renewal for a final fourth year.
Compensation: Salary commensurate with experience; benefits include room and board at the School.
Qualifications: Candidates must have earned the PhD from a North American university no more than three years prior to the application, must have spent a minimum of a year as a Member of the ASCSA, should have an active agenda for research and publication, should have knowledge of Greece and Modern Greek, and should have some teaching experience.
• To help the Director in the administration of School business and to stand in for the Director when needed. Reports to the Director of the School.
• To assist with the academic program under the direction of the Mellon Professor by lecturing, leading short trips or offering mini-seminars/workshops on area(s) of expertise.
• To serve as a contact and resource person for all members of the School and to live in Loring Hall.
• To help with the planning of the Summer Session by suggesting itineraries, speakers, and generally offering support to the Summer Session Directors, but not making actual arrangements.
• To be a visible presence in the Athenian social and academic scene by attending functions as an official of the School.
• Pursue research on a project.

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, ethnic origin, or disability when considering admission to any form of membership or application for employment.

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