The Byzness

The Byzness, June 24, 2012


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Four Byzantine Novels – landmark publication

Liverpool University Press is delighted to announce the publication of the first title in our Translated Texts for Byzantinists series: Four Byzantine Novels (Theodore Prodromos, Rhodanthe and Dosikles; Eumathios Makrembolites, Hysmine and Hysminias; Constantine Manasses, Aristandros and Kallithea; Niketas Eugenianos, Drosilla and Charikles; Translated with commentary by Professor Elizabeth Jeffreys , University of Oxford. ISBN: 9781846318252 Price: £75.00)

Constantinople in the mid-twelfth century saw the composition of the first sustained fictional narratives in the European world – novels – since late antiquity. Four members of the Byzantine intelligentsia produced for the entertainment of their colleagues, their aristocratic patrons, and not least themselves, pastiches in verse and prose of the romantic tales of Achilles Tatius and Heliodorus. These novels are perhaps the most attractive, as well as the most unexpected, literary products of the Byzantine millennium. More than one of the four novels translated here was well known in Renaissance Europe, but all have been largely neglected by later generations of readers and scholars as insipid and derivative eroticism. This is regrettable since they antedate by several decades the works of Chrétien de Troyes, the French father of the European novel. This Byzantine phase in the history of the genre, though not part of its central development, deserves exploration. Building on recent work which has begun to rehabilitate these texts, this book marks the first English translation of all four texts in one volume, placing them and their writers in their literary and historical contexts and opening up their world to all those interested in the novel and in European medieval literature.

Order online here or directly from the Press.
Find further details about this series at


Dates for Birmingham Symposium 2013

46th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, University of Birmingham, 23-25th March, 2013
Theme: Byzantine Greece: Microcosm of Empire?
Symposiarch: Dr Archie Dunn


House of St. Gregory and St. Macrina

You might like to know that it is still not too late to apply to the House of St Gregory and St Macrina (1 Canterbury Road) for residence next yea. Quite a number of Byz graduate students have lived there in the past and also this year – it offers comfortable, warm rooms plus catering facilities at reasonable rates, and a friendly environment. E-mail the Warden, Rebecca White, for information (

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The Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies (CEMS) at Central European University (CEU), Budapest, Hungary invites applications to its short-term post-doctoral fellowship scheme for the academic year 2012/13, in the framework of an ongoing project on “The Southern Caucasus and its Neighbours, c.300–1600.” The scheme targets young international researchers of any discipline of the humanities and social sciences working within the historical, geographical, and chronological framework of the project (loosely defined). Successful applicants are expected to pursue their own research and to contribute to academic life at CEU, especially at the Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies; they will be encouraged to share their expertise with CEU’s vibrant graduate student community. They may choose to become affiliated with the newly established CEU Institute for Advanced Study (CEU-IAS) during their stay at CEU. The program targets researchers with a focus on Caucasian, Late Antique, Byzantine, Islamic, Ottoman, and/or Medieval studies, who have obtained their doctorate during the last seven years. An interdisciplinary research project will be an advantage.

Working language: English; excellent command of English is a requirement of participating in the project.

Deadline: 25 July 2012


Post-doctoral Research Fellowships at the University of Sydney

The University of Sydney is currently taking applications for its post-doctoral Research Fellowship scheme.  The Fellowships support research excellence in full-time research undertaken in any Department or School at the University. They are intended to support early career researchers.

On offer is a starting salary of AUS $83,998 per annum (as at 1 January 2013) and a total research support grant of AUS $25,000. The duration of the Fellowship is three years. To be eligible you must have a PhD awarded no earlier than 1 January 2007. To find out more about the scheme, including eligibility and the application process, go to:

There are no subject-specific fellowships, but I encourage strong applicants in Classics and Ancient History to consider applying.  The first step, as indicated in the link above, is to identify a potential sponsor or mentor among University of Sydney academics. The academic staff of the Department of Classics and Ancient History may be found here:

The Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University has a very strong tradition of research excellence. The Department is also a founding member of Sydney University’s new research Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia.  This currently is home to three post-doctoral fellows:

General enquiries about the Fellowships may be directed to:

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20-21 July 2012, Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia. Registration closes 29 June.

Full programme and abstracts now available on the web site.

Our understanding of Byzantium’s external and internal interactions has shifted significantly as a result of recent scholarship. The significance of this state to a millennium of developments throughout Eurasia has been examined; more importantly, the nature of contacts between Byzantium and its Eurasian neighbours has been reconceived. Models for understanding Byzantium’s interactions with its neighbours have moved from imperial centre and periphery, to ‘commonwealth’, to ‘overlapping circles’, to parallel and mutual developments in political and cultural identity. The Byzantine millennium now seems more connected, by commerce, diplomacy and common cultural heritage, than before. Artefacts and ideologies were acquired, appropriated or mediated amongst Byzantium and its neighbours in the Latin West, southeastern and central Europe, Iran and Dar al-Islam; even prolonged conflict did not preclude exchanges and indeed sometimes sprang from shared developments. At the same time, what we think of as the distinctively Byzantine milieu of Constantinople also interacted with regional cultures that at various times formed part of its empire. Coptic and Syriac cultures in Late Antiquity, Latin and Arabic regions in later periods, displayed both ambivalence and engagement with the culture of Constantinople and with its imperial and ecclesiastical leaders. As with Byzantium’s external connections, ‘centre and periphery’ models of internal interactions are giving way to more dynamic models seeing metropolis and regions as parts of broader, common developments. The conference aims to explore these developments.

Keynote Speaker: Professor Jonathan Shepard, University of Cambridge, former Lecturer in History at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of Selwyn College and of Peterhouse; his major publications include inter alia: Jonathan Shepard and Simon Franklin, ‘The Emergence of Rus, 750-1200’ (1996), Jonathan Shepard and Simon Franklin (eds), ‘Byzantine Diplomacy’ (1992), Jonathan Shepard, ‘Byzantium’s Overlapping Circles’, Proceedings of the 21st International Congress of Byzantine Studies (2006), Jonathan Shepard (ed.), ‘The Expansion of Orthodox Europe: Byzantium, the Balkans and Russia’ (2007), Jonathan Shepard (ed.), ‘The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire c. 500-1492’ (2008).

The Biennial General Meeting of the Association will be held during the conference.

Conference Organisers: Andrew Gillett, Danijel Dzino, Ken Parry

This conference is sponsored by the Macquarie University Ancient Cultures Research Centre.


to be held in Durham, College of St. Hild and St. Bede, from the 23rd to the 25th of July 2012.

This international conference aims to bring together scholars working on Byzantine literature from many different angles in order to investigate explicit theories and actual practices of authorship in the Middle Byzantine period. The papers will explore the construction of new literary identities in a period characterised by significant social changes. The aim is to understand how a culture obsessed with tradition faced and conceptualised its own ideological shifts. Speakers will look at the ‘implicit poetics’ embedded in texts describing the production and consumption of literary works. It is hoped that the conference will provide a fresh look on the dynamics of cultural production in Middle Byzantine society.

Luisa Andriollo (Université Paris IV – Sorbonne); Floris Bernard (Ghent University); Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis (Princeton University); Eric Cullhed (Uppsala University); Barbara Graziosi (Durham University); Ulrike Kenens (Leuven University); Derek Krueger (University of North Carolina Greensboro); Przemyslaw Marciniak (University of Silesia); Margaret Mullett (Dumbarton Oaks); Leonora Neville (University of Wisconsin – Madison); Ingela Nilsson (Uppsala University); Stratis Papaioannou (Brown University); Aglae Pizzone (Durham University); Alexander Riehle (University of Vienna); Foteini Spingou (University of Oxford); Raimondo Tocci (Democritus University of Thrace); Ida Toth (University of Oxford).

Deadline for registration is the 5th of July. Registration form, schedule as well as the full programme, complete with paper abstracts, can be found on the conference website:

For any further query please contact Dr. Aglae Pizzone (


Egypt in the Seventh Century Colloquium
Wednesday and Thursday 11th-12th July Churchill College, Cambridge

Speakers will include Jean Gascou, Constantin Zuckerman, James Howard-Johnston, Petra Sijpesteijn, Nick Gonis, Tim Power, Maged Mikhail, Ruey Lin Chang, Johannes Den Heijer, and others.

Numbers are restricted and so registration in advance is essential.

If you would like to attend, please email


The tusk and the Book: the Salerno/Amalfi Ivories in their Mediterranean Contexts
International Conference, 29 June – 1 July 2012, Florence

Pamphlet available for download in two parts.


II Taller Internacional de Paleografía Musical: Notación Aquitana
Leciñena (Zaragoza), del 29 de junio al 2 de julio de 2012. Dirigido por D. David Andrés Fernández, Profesor Contratado Investigador, Universidad de Zaragoza.

Full announcement available on the conference’s website.

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École française d’Athènes : bourses de recherches doctorales 2013

The list is available for you to download here.


Postdoc- and PhD-positions in Oslo (Norway)

There are now two positions available in the project of Prof. Hugo Lundhaug (University of Oslo, Faculty of Theology) “New Contexts for Old Texts: Unorthodox Texts and Monastic Manuscript Culture in Fourth- and Fifth-Century Egypt” (NEWCONT):

Three-year postdoc-position:

Three-year PhD fellowship:

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