The Byzness

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The Byzness, 25 November 2012
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Doctoral Students in SPBS Committees

SPBS Executive is exploring ways of involving the UK graduate Byzantinist community more closely in its activities. As a first step, we would like to invite any doctoral students at present registered in any UK University (you must be a paid-up member of SPBS) who would like to assist one of our Committees, to make themselves known to the Chair (by the end of December, 2012,  at the latest, please!!).  In the first instance, just send in your name, institution and e-mail address and I will get back to you with further details. We have at present four Committees: Development, Publications, Bulletin (which includes this Newsletter) and Membership. Those interested in taking part in the further development of the SPBS web-site and ‘social media’ would be particularly welcome. Please do contact the Chair ( if you have any enquiries about this new development! I look forward to hearing from you!


Belgrade Congress, 2016: Act NOW to get involved!

Date: 22-27 August, 2016

Main theme:  “Byzantium – A World of Changes” / “Byzance – un monde des changements”.

Plenary papers:

There will be 6 to 8 session units, each with one main speaker, one or two commentators and discussion. Papers will be published in advance on the website of the congress. The main speakers will present a summary of their papers (15-20 mins.) and commentators will speak for 15 mins., leaving 30 mins. for plenary discussion. The overall duration of a plenary session will be 60-70 min.

Speakers and commentators will be proposed by the Serbian Committee in cooperation with the Bureau and approved at the inter-congress meeting. The National Committees will be informed about the proposals before the meeting.

Round tables:

There will be up to 36 round tables with a maximum of 10 participants at each.

The papers, previously edited by convenors, will be published in advance on the website of the congress. At the Congress, convenors will provide a general statement on the goal of the RT and on the contents of the papers. Each participant will then each present a summary of his or her paper of not more than 10 mins. in length. There will then be general discussion. The overall duration of a RT will be not more than 2 hrs. Themes and convenors will be proposed by National Committees and then selected by organizers. It is preferred that the proposals should follow the main theme of the congress, but they may diverge from it as well. There are no prescribed guidelines regarding the age and experience of proposed convenors. A welcome profile might be that of two convenors for a RT: a mature and a younger scholar. The most important criteria for accepting a proposed RT theme will be in regard to its scholarly value and interest for the field of Byzantine Studies.

Free Communications and Posters:

The proposals of the themes with a summary of up to 300 words should be sent to the organizers who will decide on acceptance. Deadlines for this will be announced shortly.

What you need to do (UK-based members of SPBS only, please; foreign-based members should contact their own National Committees):

 1.      Send proposals for Round Tables (noting the format outlined above) to Tim Greenwood ( by 20th December, 2012 (at the latest). He will then pass them on to Belgrade by 31st December. These should include title of the proposed RT, name(s) of the convenor(s) and, if possible, some of the participants. Try to be international and note the ‘nod’ towards the idea of including younger scholars! Previous experience suggests that a short statement of the goal/scope of the RT and a short C.V. of each participant (especially publications) can lead to a better chance of acceptance. If you can also provide a French summary, so much the better!

2.      Send suggestions for Plenary Speakers (don’t be shy about nominating yourself!) to Rosemary Morris ( by December 31st, 2012. I will pass them on to Belgrade.

Please be realistic about your chances of acceptance. In practice, only ‘in-post post-doctoral academics’, stand any chance of being chosen as a Plenary Speaker.  A topic close to the theme of the Congress is vital!  Again a short summary of your proposed paper (or a proposed theme for a Plenary) and a CV would be useful. There is, of course, no guarantee that the Serbian Committee will take note of any UK suggestions, but SPBS Executive feels strongly that it should promote the talents of its members!

3.      Postgraduates and post-docs.

Please note that it appears that there will be a scrutiny system for Communications and Posters and thus not all will be selected. We will circulate the deadline for submissions as soon as we receive it from the Serbian Committee.


Rosemary Morris, MA, D.Phil (Oxon)


Just published: The Hypotyposis of the Monastery of the Theotokos Evergetis, Constantinople (11th-12th Centuries).
Authors: R.H. Jordan and Rosemary Morris
Read a sample chapter online at


Petition against reductions at the Dept of Byzantine Studies, St. Petersburg State

Please read the text and put — if you find it reasonable — your signature with a short commentary  (your position and titles and the reason for you to sign this document) on the site
The letter was written by the St.Petersburg Сlassical gymnasium (School # 610) which is trying to help us in this unequal and hopeless struggle.


To: President of the Russian Federation Mr. Putin
Minister of Education Mr. Livanov
Rector of St Petersburg State University Professor Kropachev

At the end of September the members of the Academic Council of St Petersburg State University were informed about the drastic reduction in state-funding for students at the Faculty of Philology. They said that in the following year a certain number of departments will be either closed for applicants or will not have state-funding for students. The admission to these departments will be organized every two or three years. In 2013 they are planning to close all state-funding in the following departments: Classics, Modern Greek, Department of Byzantine Studies, Foreign Literature Department, and a whole number of departments of Slavic Languages and Literature, and some departments of Scandinavian Studies. We do not have any information, who is responsible for this decision, or whether there is a chance to resume funding in 2014.

We are quite convinced that St Petersburg State University as well as the whole system of higher education in Russia needs to be reformed, and we don’t want to stand in the way of this process, but this irrational cut of departments and state-funding makes the situation in education even worse. The selection of “victims” is quite specific. The departments outlined above are quite popular – last year the average Unified State Exam (EGE) score to apply to these programs was really high, the number of state-funded places never exceeded 5-10. They are really involved in scholarly research and “produce” unique experts in their respective fields. They concentrate on studies of Ancient Languages and Ancient World Cultures. It is very odd that the departments put at risk are those whose contribution to linguistics and literary studies is highly appreciated by the World Academic Community. In our opinion, these schools should be the first and receive full governmental support. In fact due to these reforms St Petersburg Faculty of Philology may well turn into language courses.

We understand that the need for the experts on Classics is not really high in our society, but one shouldn’t forget that medical and law schools, schools of pedagogical sciences and grammar schools (gymnasia) in the Russian Federation can’t survive without qualified Latin professors. If one wants a qualified faculty it will require funding on a permanent basis over a long period of time. If one wants to have a world famous string quartet, for example, you can’t recommend the Conservatoire to accept only 4 students every other year. The situation with the professional scholarship is exactly the same. It is necessary to take a special care of young people who have talent and who are eager to contribute to national scholarship.

School Principal and Members of the School Council
St Petersburg Classical School # 610
[Your name]


With best wishes and hope, yours
Peter Shuvalov

Secretary of the Byzantine Centre
PhD, Associate Professor at Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies,
General Linguistics
Faculty of Philology
St. Petersburg State University


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Trade, Travel and Transmission in the Medieval Mediterranean Third Biennial
Conference of the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean Churchill College,
University of Cambridge (UK), 8-10 July 2013

Confirmed keynote speakers: Prof. David Abulafia (University of Cambridge)
and Prof. Carole Hillenbrand (University of Edinburgh)

Abstract deadline: 1st December 2012

The Society for the Medieval Mediterranean is proud to announce our
forthcoming third biennial conference, with the theme of ‘Trade, Travel and
Transmission’. This three-day inter-disciplinary conference will bring
scholars together to explore the interaction of the various peoples,
societies, faiths and cultures of the medieval Mediterranean, a region which
had been commonly represented as divided by significant religious and
cultural differences. The objective of the conference is to highlight the
extent to which the medieval Mediterranean was not just an area of conflict
but also a highly permeable frontier across which people, goods and ideas
crossed and influenced neighbouring cultures and societies. We invite
proposals for 20-minute papers in the fields of archaeology, art and
architecture, codicology, ethnography, history (including the histories of
science, medicine and cartography), languages, literature, music, philosophy
and religion. Submission on the following topics would be particularly

Activities of missionary orders
Artistic contacts and exchanges
Byzantine and Muslim navies
Captives and slaves
Cargoes, galleys and warships
Costume and vestments
Judaism and Jewish Mediterranean History Literary contacts and exchanges
Material Culture Minority Populations in the Christian and Islamic Worlds.
Mirrors for Princes
Music, sacred and secular
Port towns/city states
Relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Religious practices: saints, cults and heretics Scientific exchange,
including astronomy, medicine and mathematics Seafaring, seamanship and
shipbuilding Sufis & Sufi Orders in North Africa and the Levant Sultans,
kings and other rulers Trade and Pilgrimage Travel writing
Warfare: mercenaries and crusaders

Please send abstracts of no longer than 250 words, together with a short CV
(max. 2 sides of A4) to Dr Rebecca Bridgman (University of Cambridge,
Vice-President of the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean) at the
following e-mail: Submission must be received by
1st December.


Autograph/holograph and authorial manuscripts in Arabic script. International conference
(Liège, Université de Liège, Belgium). 10-12th October 2013
See call for papers here. Deadline: 31st January 2013


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Exhibition: Les Mots et Les Monnaies de la Grece ancienne a Byzance

24th November 2012-17 March 2013
Benaki Museum and the Martin Bodmer Foundation, Geneva
Find the exhibition flyer here.


Byzantine Music Lectures

Members of the Byzantine Studies community are cordially invited to attend a series of guest lectures on Byzantine Music on November 29, December 4, and December 6.

The speakers will be, respectively:

Prof. Alexander Lingas, City University, London and current Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Prof. Nicholas Maliaras, Chair, Department of Music, University of Athens

Prof. Peter Jeffery, Michael P. Grace II Professor of Medieval Studies, University of Notre Dame, and Scheide Professor of Music History Emeritus, Princeton University

Please contact Warren Woodfin with any questions.

Warren T. Woodfin
Kallinikeion Assistant Professor of Byzantine Studies
Art Department, 164 Klapper Hall
Queens College, City University of New York
65-30 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY 11367

Please find the event flyer here.


In the Shadow of Father and Son: John II Komnenos and his Reign
Centre for Hellenic Studies One Day Workshop, Kings College London
Saturday 12th January 2013
Registration is free but booking is required, to book and for more details please visit:
I will of course be going to this myself, if anyone would like to travel with me please email


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Dietrich Reinhart OSB Fellowship in Eastern Christian Manuscript Studies

 The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) announces the establishment of the Dietrich Reinhart OSB Fellowship in Eastern Christian Manuscript Studies, to be awarded annually for three years beginning with the Academic Year 2013-2014. The fellowship has been established through the generosity of Rebecca Haile and Jean Manas of New York, New York, in memory of Br. Dietrich Reinhart OSB (1949-2008). Br. Dietrich, 11th President of Saint John’s University, was a visionary leader who saw HMML as integral to the mission of Saint John’s Abbey and University, and enthusiastically promoted HMML’s work in the Middle East, Ethiopia, and India.
Awardees must be undertaking research on some aspect of Eastern Christian studies requiring use of the digital or microfilm manuscript collections at HMML. They must have already been awarded a doctoral degree in a relevant field and have demonstrated expertise in the languages and cultures of Eastern Christianity relevant for their projects.
The Fellowship may be held for a full academic year (September 1-April 30) or for one semester (September 1-December 20; January 4-April 30). The Fellowship provides accommodation in an apartment at the Collegeville Institute on the Saint John’s University campus; working space at HMML; access to library, recreational and cultural activities at Saint John’s University; round-trip transportation; and a stipend of up to $25,000 for a full academic year. Stipends will be adjusted for less than a full year in residence.
Awardees will be expected to devote full attention to their research projects while in residence. They will also be expected to participate in a weekly seminar for Collegeville Institute resident scholars, to present their research in a public lecture sponsored by HMML, and to be a resource for HMML staff and other researchers during their stay.
Applicants are asked to provide: 1) a cover letter with current contact information and an indication of availability for a full-year or one-semester residency; 2) a description of the project to be pursued, including an explanation of how access to HMML’s resources will be important for its success (1000-1500 words); 3) an updated curriculum vitae; 4) two letters of reference.
The cover letter, project description, and CV should be sent by the applicant to; letters should be sent by the referees directly to the same email address or in hard copy to Julie Dietman, HMML, Box 7300, Collegeville, MN 56321.
Applications for the Academic Year 2013-14 are due December 15, 2012. The decision and acceptance process will be completed by the end of February 2013.


Applications are invited for sums up to £2,500 from graduate students working in Theology, Anthropology, Ancient History and Ecclesiastical History for grants in support of their research. Applicants are required to submit a proposal of up to 500 words in support of their applications, explaining their need for a grant and how they would spend the money if a grant were awarded. Applications must be supported by a note from a university supervisor or academic adviser.
Applications should be sent to the College Secretary, High Street, All Souls College, Oxford OX1 4AL or
The closing date for applications is Monday 28 January 2013.


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