The Byzness 30/04/17

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The Byzness, 30th April 2017


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Conference: ‘Sensing divinity: incense, religion and the ancient sensorium’, Rome, 23-24 June 2017 – registration now open

An international, interdisciplinary conference

23-24 June 2017, British School at Rome and the École française de Rome


Organisers: Mark Bradley (University of Nottingham), Béatrice Caseau (Université Paris Sorbonne – Paris IV), Adeline Grand-Clément (Toulouse Jean-Jaurès/IUF), Anne-Caroline Rendu-Loisel (Toulouse Jean Jaurès), Alexandre Vincent (University of Poitiers)


23th June (BSR, Sainsbury Lecture Theatre)


9.00. Welcome and reception/ coffee.

9.30. Introduction: Mark Bradley (University of Nottingham) and Adeline Grand-Clément (Toulouse Jean-Jaurès/IUF)


Panel 1: Tracking incense in the ancient Mediterranean

Chair: Lorenzo Verderame (La Sapienza)


10.00. Jo Day (University College, Dublin), ‘Burning botanicals: incense in the Aegean Bronze Age’

10.30. Elisabeth Dodinet (CNRS Toulouse), ‘L’encens… un singulier pluriel: Les identifications produites par les analyses organiques en Méditerranée et au Levant de l’âge du Bronze’


11.00. Coffee break


11.30. Julie Masquelier (Université Paris Sorbonne – Paris IV), ‘L’encens en Égypte ancienne : identification, approvisionnement et place dans le culte’

12.00. Kiersten Neumann (University of Chicago), ‘From raw to ritualized: following the trail of incense of the Assyrian Temple’

12.30. Federico De Romanis (University of Rome, Tor Vergata), ‘Tus. L’incenso sudarabico nell’Occidente romano’


13.00-14.00. Lunch


Panel 2: Frankincense and the ancient imagination

Chair: Béatrice Caseau (Université Paris Sorbonne – Paris IV)


14.00. Giuseppe Squillace (University of Calabria), ‘Incense and myrrh trees in Theophrastus’ botanical works: research method and sources of information’

14.30. Véronique Mehl (University of Bretagne Sud), ‘L’encens et le divin : le matériel et l’immatériel en Grèce ancienne’

15.00 Thea Lawrence (University of Nottingham), ‘Incense, perfume, incest and (im)pietas: myrrh, religion and gender in the Roman world’


15.30. Tea


16.00-17.00. Incense demonstrations (BSR cortile)

17.00. Free time


18.15-19.15. Keynote lecture, Esther Eidinow (University of Nottingham) ‘Sensing divinity?’


19.15-20.00. Prosecco.

20.00-22.00. Conference dinner (BSR).



24th June (EFR)


Panel 3: Incense and ritual

Chair: Alexandre Vincent (University of Poitiers)


9.30. Aynur Michèle Sara Karatas (University of Bristol), ‘Incense offering to Greek deities: analysis of epigraphic material providing evidence for incense offering in cultic context’

10.00. Stefano Caneva (University of Padova), ‘Incense in the Hellenistic ruler cult’


10.30. Coffee Break


11.00. Valérie Huet (University of Bretagne Occidentale), ‘L’encens dans les rites romains: à propos de quelques images du monde romain’

11.30. Marie-Odile Charles-Laforge (University of Artois), ‘Rites et offrandes dans la religion domestique des Romains: quels témoignages sur l’utilisation de l’encens’

12.00. Béatrice Caseau (Université Paris Sorbonne – Paris IV), ‘Early Christian rejection of incense sacrifice’


13.00-14.00 Lunch.


Panel 4: Incense and multisensoriality

Chair: Anne-Caroline Rendu-Loisel (Toulouse Jean Jaurès)


14.00. Britta Ager (Vassar College), ‘Beyond burning: wearing, eating, compounding, and worshipping incense in the Magical Papyri’

14.30. Sarah Bond (University of Iowa), “Incense for nightfall”: incense, dreams and domestic religion in Imperial Rome’

15.00. Emma-Jayne Graham (The Open University), ‘The tactility of religious scent’


15.30. Tea Break


16.00. Francesco Buè (University of Urbino, ‘Carlo Bo’) ‘« Tura … sonant et odorant aëra fumis». Influenze dell’incenso sull’immaginario sonoro antico’

16.30. Élodie Dupey García (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), ‘Immaterial offerings in Pre-Columbian rituals: aroma and music for the Nahua divinities’


17.00. Concluding remarks


This conference has been funded with generous support from the University of Nottingham, the École française de Rome, the British School at Rome, the Institut Universitaire de France, Labex RESMED and the IDEX of the University of Toulouse.


To register click here:




Call for Participants for the Interdisciplinary Seminars of the Delphi Academy of European Studies


The Delphi Academy of European Studies focuses on the diachronic and synchronic study of European history and culture and the ways in which Europe today responds to the multifaceted challenges of political, economic, and cultural globalization.

The Academy offers two-week interdisciplinary Seminars at the Centre’s facilities in Delphi, supported by the Region of Central Greece. The Seminars, which are taught in English by world renowned academics, are open mainly to graduate students/PhD candidates but also to qualified senior undergraduates. The Instructors adopt interdisciplinary approaches to their subjects, with a view to addressing the research interests of students in the Humanities as well as the social sciences. The Seminars are accompanied by a workshop and/or invited lectures on current political and cultural developments in Europe.


The curriculum and academic function of the Delphi Academy of European Studies is overseen by an international Committee consisting of the following Professors:

Homi Bhabha (Harvard; Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center; )

Georges Dertilis, (École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris; Directeur d’études; )

Peter Frankopan (Oxford; Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford; Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research; )

Michelle Lamont (Harvard; Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies; Professor of Sociology and African and African-American Studies at Harvard University; Director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs; )

Spiros Pollalis (Harvard; Professor of Design, Technology, and Management at the Harvard Design School; )

Panagiotis Roilos (Harvard; George Seferis Professor of Modern Greek Studies and Professor of Comparative Literature; founder of the Academy and chair of the committee; ).


This year the Academy’s Seminars will focus on the multifaceted (political, economic, geopolitical, humanitarian) crisis in Europe. The Seminars will be offered in the second half of June (June 19-29).


The 2017 Seminar Instructors are:

Peter E. Gordon (Amabel B. James Professor of History, Faculty Affiliate Department of Philosophy, Harvard University; )

Stephanos Pesmazoglou (Professor of Political Ideology and Public Policies, Department of Political Science and History, Panteion University, Athens; )

Jacques Rupnik (Director of Research at CERI and Professor at Sciences Po in Paris and visiting professor at the College of Europe in Bruges; )


The seminar Post-secularism in an Era of Crisis with Professor Peter E. Gordon will investigate the troubled status of the “secular” in modern democratic states that now confront an unprecedented degree of cultural and religious heterogeneity. Such conditions call for new concepts and frameworks so as to permit a maximum of inclusion and help to sustain procedures of democratic deliberation. This interdisciplinary seminar will interrogate Jürgen Habermas’s notion of the “post-secular,” along with other contemporary contributions and challenges to the secular-democratic ideal.


The interdisciplinary seminar Europe in Crisis: Populism, Xenophobia, and the Future of Democracy with Professor Stephanos Pesmazoglou will focus on the following topics: terminological elucidations of easily used and abused ideas and ideologies; historical co-ordinates of recurrent crises in Europe; specificities of the latest nearly decade long European and global crisis; European North-South cleavages and their representations; Brexit, Trumpism and their impact on European integration; the refugee crisis; the resurgence of xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism. They will be approached in connection with various conceptions of  “democracy” and their responses to the current crisis.


The seminar European Responses to the Migrant Crisis: Political Divides and Contrasting Narratives with Professor Jacques Rupnik will focus on the dividing lines within the EU (East-West) with regard to the migration crisis, and on the ways in which these differences may be contained or overcome.

Upon completion of the Seminar Program, certificates indicating the titles of the Seminars and the names of the Instructors will be awarded to the students.

Students at the Academy are expected to pay tuition fees of 350 euros. Tuition covers lodging, meals (lunch and dinner), and attendance of the Seminars.


Applicants to the Academy should submit the following documents:

1) CV (no more than 3 pages).

2) Research statement no more than 200 words.

3) Two letters of recommendation (one from the applicant’s PhD/academic advisor, in the case of graduate students). The letters should include information about the applicant’s coursework and academic performance in areas related to the topics of the seminars.

4) Proof of English language competence.


Applications should be submitted not later than May 10 and sent to the European Cultural Centre of Delphi (Mrs. Athena Gotsi, )

Decisions will be communicated to the applicants by May 20.



​​Call for Papers: Workshop on Syriac Texts

AHRC-funded project ‘The Syriac Galen Palimpsest: Galen’s On Simple Drugs and the Recovery of Lost Texts through Sophisticated Imaging Techniques’ (University of Manchester) and ERC-funded project ‘Transmission of Classical Scientific and Philosophical Literature from Greek into Syriac and Arabic’ (Austrian Academy of Sciences) co-organize a workshop on automated methods of lemmatization, morphological analysis and other types of annotations and mark-ups of Syriac texts.


Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in digital editions, creation of corpora of Syriac texts and, more broadly, computer-assisted analysis of Syriac. However, the basic tools indispensable for any such initiative are for the most part not available. In that respect the field of Syriac Studies is currently at a considerable disadvantage in comparison with the Greek, Arabic or Hebrew Studies, to name just a few related fields. This underdevelopment has severe repercussions not only for electronic editions but also for such areas as Syriac linguistics and lexicography.


Whereas a pioneering conference on Syriac and the Digital Humanities (Rutgers University, 2015) clearly demonstrated the general scholarly demand for provision of electronic infrastructure for Syriac, the workshop is going to bring together scholars either developing electronic tools and corpus software for Syriac or using already available tools for their projects.


We hope that the workshop will promote exchange of ideas and foster collaboration among scholars.



Invited Speakers:


George Kiraz (Beth Mardutho; Rutgers University)


Bastien Kindt (Université catholique de Louvain)


Wido van Peursen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)


Organizing committee:


Peter E. Pormann


Grigory Kessel


Naïma Afif


Abstracts should be submitted by May 7 by e-mail to Grigory Kessel ( )





Two fully-funded PhD places at KCL: Latin verse in English manuscript verse miscellanies, c. 1550-1700

Two funded PhD studentships are available at King’s College London to work on the project ‘Latin verse in English manuscript verse miscellanies, c. 1550-1700’, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant. Students from any relevant disciplinary background may apply (e.g. classics, English literature, comparative literature, early modern history) though excellent Latin is essential, and all candidates should have a record of academic excellence within their field. Relevant knowledge or experience in one or more of the following areas is an advantage, but not essential: neo-Latin literature (especially poetry); Latin epigram, lyric or elegy; early modern English history; early modern English literature (especially poetry); early modern manuscript transcription and editing; XML/TEI. Training in the use of relevant software and in early modern palaeography and transcription will be provided as part of the programme, and students will have the opportunity to join a taught MA course on neo-Latin poetry in their first term. The selected students will share office space at KCL with a larger research team, consisting of the director of the project (Dr Victoria Moul) and two post-doctoral researchers.


The project will involve an initial phase of technical training and orientation, followed by around twelve months focused on the transcription and translation of unstudied neo-Latin verse from manuscript sources. The latter 18-24 months will be devoted to the analysis of transcribed material and the writing of a thesis. Selected students will be free to develop their own doctoral project within the larger remit of the project: such projects could have, for instance, a generic, thematic or historical focus – e.g. focusing in particular on lyric or elegiac poems; on poems on a particular historical event (such as the Armada or execution of Charles I); on the manuscript transcription of poems by a particular author (such as Theodore de Bèze or John Owen) or on a specific literary relationship, such as the imitation of a particular classical poet. Dr Victoria Moul, is an experienced PhD supervisor and the students will join a thriving community of six PhD and post-doctoral researchers in the field at King’s, offering a unique research environment within the UK.


The anticipated start date is September 2017, though January 2018 is also possible. Funding includes UK/EU fees of £4,600 per annum plus a maintenance stipend of £15,863 per annum over three years.


Applicants should send a CV and transcript with a cover letter explaining their interest in and suitability for the project by 5pm on Monday 15th May 2017 directly to Dr Moul ( ). They should arrange for two referees to send their references directly to Dr Moul by the same date. Interviews of shortlisted candidates will be held at KCL (Strand campus) on Thursday 1st June. Successful candidates should if at all possible be available to attend the London Palaeography Summer School, involving 2 or 3 days of classes between 12th and 16th June. Should you have any questions about these studentships, please feel free to write to Dr Moul ( ) directly.

Please feel free to forward this notice.





Dumbarton Oaks Coins and Seals Curatorial Position

For full details click here.



Mirela Ivanova

DPhil Candidate in History
President, Oxford University Byzantine Society

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