The Byzness 18/09/16

= = = = =



The Byzness, 18th September 2016


= = = = =


= = = = =




Late Antique Archaeology Conference: Environment and Society in the First Millennium A.D. , 8th October, 2016, The Society of Antiquaries, London

Convenors: John Haldon (Princeton), Adam Izdebski (Krakow), Luke Lavan (CNRS Paris)


The time is ripe to place environmental issues at the heart of debates about Late Antiquity.

This conference takes a Mediterranean-wide approach, setting climate or pollen data into the wider historical context of the 1st millennium A.D., greening our narrative of Late Antiquity.


For a full timetable and poster please click here.


All are welcome.  Admission 25 GBP; Students / OAPs 12 GBP.

To register write to  before 5th October.




Announcement of the 42th Annual BSANA Byzantine Studies Conference, October 6-9th 2016, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Please find the poster attached here.


Registration closes on 22nd September. For more information: htttp://




Lecture by Dr Elena Papastravou: The Virgin Singing the Magnificat, the Virgin Carrying the Divine Word: Symbolism and Signs between Byzantine and Western Art, 2nd November, 2016, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm, Research Forum Seminar Room, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN


The message received by the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation led to the conception of the divine Word, the union of God with humans. The dogmatic importance of Salvation related to this event is expressed by the singing of the Magnificat (Luke 1: 44-55) in sequence with the Annunciation and the Visitation. This paper explores similarities and divergences between Latin and Greek artistic traditions, focusing on representations of the Virgin Mary carrying the divine Word in Byzantine and Western art. First, I shall show how different signs (objects or poses) in Magnificat narratives from the Early Christian period were appropriated by later iconographies of the Annunciation. Second, I will analyse different iconographical types deriving from both the Magnificat and Annunciation scenes: the Virgin praying, the Virgin of the Annunciation (l’Annunciata), and the pregnant Virgin (Maria gravida).


Open to all and free admission.





Call for papers: Byzantium and Islam: in memory of Alessandro Angelucci, Issue XXV

Deadline: 1st December 2016


The interaction between Byzantium and Islam is a fascinating topic, and yet it remains a little-studied one. While on the one hand we have several original sources, both Byzantine and Arabic, which describe heated exchanges between the two sides, on the other hand we have timid attempts of establishing, if not friendly relations, at least a peaceful coexistence. The first phase of expansion undertaken by the followers of Muhammed succeeded in conquering a large part of the Eastern Mediterranean at the expense of the Byzantine Empire and embodied the idea of Jihad, i.e. Holy War. The Byzantines did not delay their response, but they did not substantiate their fight against the Muslim expansion with fanatical religiosity as was the case some centuries later in Europe. Despite the first centuries of almost continuous warfare, the relations between the two great monotheistic religions began to appease enough to permit the first diplomatic relations. With the coming of nomadic populations and the consequent fall of the Abbasid dynasty, these relations again changed and subsequently led to the arrival of armed pilgrims, known as Crusaders,  that greatly destabilized the political situation of the Middle East, creating issues we can witness to this day. The successive rise of the Ottoman Turks and their quick conquest of the deceasing Byzantine Empire, inhibited any possible cooperative relations, but this did not prevent other ideas, such as in the famous case of Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus. With the final conquest of Constantinople the interaction between Byzantium and Islam ceased to exist, at least from the political point of view, but continued in the religious sphere.


This issue of Porphyra proposes to investigate the many aspects the named topic presents. The fields of research can range from art history to religion, from history to sociology, from a study of politics to international relations. A profound examination of the idea of Jihad and Holy war is desirable in order to better understand the different positions regarding this question. Studies on the particularities of the relations between Constantinople and Baghdad, possibly referencing the De Administrando Imperio, are welcomed, as well as on the commercial relations between them. The journal is particularly interested in articles examining the populations living on the frontiers between the two empires, as made famous by the story of Digenis. Papers can also focus on political questions, as well as on the various administrative and legislative differences between the two super-powers. These are only some of the possible approaches regarding this topic and Porphyra will consider other themes of research.


Papers may be submitted in English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and Modern Greek. Contributions must be complete upon submission – a proposal is no longer sufficient for a contribution. Editorial rules must be followed precisely; otherwise the contribution will be rejected. To be accepted the article in full must comply with general scientific standards of research and publication, and be formatted according to Porphyra editorial rules (found on the website). Every article must be accompanied with a short English abstract (250-300 words max) and 10-15 keywords. It is also possible to submit monograph reviews (1500 words max).


Proposal and reviews must be sent to:





Call for papers for the Comparative Re-conquests Sessions at the Leeds Medieval Congress 2017, organised by Historians of Medieval Iberia


Please see the call for papers here.

The deadline for abstracts is 29 September 2016.





Call for Papers for the First Conference of Byzantine and Medieval Studies, 13-14th January, 2017, Nicosia, Cyprus

The Byzantinist Society of Cyprus (ΒΕΚ: Βυζαντινολογική Εταιρεία Κύπρου) invites papers to be presented at the First Conference of Byzantine and Medieval Studies, to be held in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Friday, 13 and Saturday, 14 of January 2017.


Honorary President: Athanasios Papageorghiou, Director Emeritus, Dept. of Antiquities

Keynote Speaker: Ioli Kalavrezou, Professor, Harvard University


Scholars, researchers and students are encouraged to present their ongoing research, work-in-progress or fieldwork report on any aspect of the history, archaeology, art, architecture, literature, philosophy and religion of Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean during the Byzantine, Medieval and Ottoman periods.


The languages of the conference will be Greek, English, French and German.

For more details:

The deadline for submission of paper proposals is: 1st October, 2017.

To submit an abstract email: .





Opportunities for Scholars at Dumbarton Oaks


Fellowships are awarded to Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian scholars on the basis of demonstrated scholarly ability and preparation of the candidate, including knowledge of the requisite languages, interest and value of the study or project, and the project’s relevance to the resources of Dumbarton Oaks. We place great value on the collegial engagement of fellows with one another and with the staff.


Application and instructions are available online. The application deadline is November 1.


Fellowships are awarded to scholars who hold a PhD or appropriate final degree, or who have established themselves in their field and wish to pursue their own research.


Junior Fellowships are awarded to degree candidates who at the time of application have fulfilled all preliminary requirements for a PhD or appropriate final degree, and plan to work on a dissertation or final project while at Dumbarton Oaks, under the direction of a faculty member from their own university.


Summer Fellowships are awarded to scholars at any level beyond the first year of graduate (post-baccalaureate) study.


Additional Research Opportunities

Project Grants support scholarly projects by applicants holding a PhD or the equivalent. Support is generally for archaeological research, preservation of historic gardens, and the recovery, recording, and analysis of materials that would otherwise be lost.


Short-Term Predoctoral Residencies support advanced graduate students preparing for their PhD general exams, writing doctoral dissertations, or expecting relevant final degrees. Each residency provides up to four weeks of lodging and weekday lunches. Applications must be submitted at least sixty days before the preferred residency dates.


One-Month Research Awards support scholars with a PhD or other relevant final degree who are working on research projects that require use of Dumbarton Oaks’ books, objects, or other materials in the collections of the library or museum.


More information is available on our website.




Mirela Ivanova

DPhil Candidate, History
President, Oxford University Byzantine Society

This entry was posted in Byzness. Bookmark the permalink.