The Byzness 08/05/2017

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The Byzness, 7th May 2017


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Greek manuscripts at the Wellcome Library: a symposium and concert


On Thursday 25 May 2017 the Wellcome Library will host a one-day symposium on its Greek manuscripts, aiming to explore hitherto unknown or very little studied medical texts. Topics will include the diagnosis and therapy of diseases, and the ownership of manuscripts by physicians. Other papers will reflect on the interrelationship between medicine and astronomy, poetry and divinatory texts. There will also be an opportunity to view a selection of the Library’s Greek manuscripts.


The symposium will be followed by a concert of Byzantine hymns on medicine. These are unique medical texts which are preserved in one of the manuscripts of the collection and will be performed for the first time in the United Kingdom. Participants will be able to explore the connections between music, memory and medicine in 13th-century Byzantium through a live performance.




Venue: Mendel 1, Wellcome Trust Gibbs building, 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE


10:20–10:40: Registration


10:40: Opening: Elma Brenner (Wellcome Library, London)


10:50: Introduction: Petros Bouras-Vallianatos (King’s College London)


11:00: History of the collection: Vivian Nutton (First Moscow State Medical University)


11:30–12:30: Session I: Greek Medical Texts

Chair: Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim (Goldsmiths, University of London)


Orly Lewis (Hebrew University of Jerusalem):

‘The medical theory of the Anonymous of Paris’


Caroline Petit (University of Warwick):

‘Galenic diagnostic and prognostic in the Wellcome Library’s Greek manuscripts’


12:30–13:30: Lunch break


13:30–14:30: Session II: Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Medical Texts

Chair: Dimitrios Skrekas (University of Oxford)


Barbara Zipser (Royal Holloway, University of London):

‘MS. MSL. 14 as a therapeutic handbook’


Marjolijne Janssen (Independent Researcher):

‘The language of MS. 4103’


14:30–15:00: Coffee/Tea


15:00–16:30: Session III: Byzantine Poetry, Astronomy and Divination

Chair: Peregrine Horden (Royal Holloway, University of London)


Marc Lauxtermann (University of Oxford):

‘The poetry in Wellcome Library, MS. 498’


Anne Tihon (Université Catholique de Louvain):

‘Jewish astronomy in Byzantium: texts and manuscripts’


Georgi Parpulov (British Museum, London):

‘An illustrated copy of the Oracles of Leo the Wise’


16:30–17:00: Showcase of selected Greek manuscripts, Library Viewing Room


17:00–18:00: Reception, Henry’s Space


Concert: Singing Byzantine Medicine


Venue: Reading Room, Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE


18:00: Petros Bouras-Vallianatos (King’s College London):

‘The medical context’


18:05: Dimitrios Skrekas (University of Oxford):

‘The musical context’


18:10: Concert: Byzantine hymns chanted by Dimitrios Skrekas, Athanasios Charalampopoulos and choir


Stichera and canon on the examination of blood and urines attributed to Nikephoros Vlemmydes


18:45: Interactive discussion with the audience, including brief provocations by Helen King (Open University/University of Warwick) and Dionysios Stathakopoulos (King’s College London)


The event is free to attend. To register, please contact Petros Bouras-Vallianatos ( ) by Monday 22 May.




“Ancient and modern Encyclopedism”, 17-18 May 2017, Aula Magna, Palazzo Ateneo, Bari


For a full programme click here.



Call for Participants for Summer School in Oriental Languages, 6-15 July, Venice

For a list of all languages taught and how to apply click here.





“St. Ambrose of Milan: (Re-)Constructing Community”. An Interdisciplinary and International Conference. April 6-8, 2018, Saint Ambrose University, Davenport (IA)


Hosted by the Academy for the Study of Saint Ambrose of Milan (ASSAM), at St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa In coordination with the Dies Academicus (Classe di Studi Ambrosiani), “Progetti e prospettive di ricerca su sant’Ambrogio a livello internazionale,” at the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, March 20-21, 2018.


Ambrose of Milan built community, not only in the literal sense (e.g., through construction of churches) but also by crafting or re-crafting the sense of community in the Late Ancient Roman Empire, especially in the West.  This international conference on the campus of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, will address the many ways and means by which Ambrose constructed community.  How did Ambrose form a community, mold a particular sense of community, or reshape the understanding of an established community?  How did he redefine what it meant to be Roman?  Christian?  Rich or Poor? How did he connect the Powerful and the People, the Sage and the Simple?  Humans and the rest of creation?  How did his sense of community engage the (so-called) pagan, the Jew, the heterodox, the barbarian?  To answer such questions, the broadest approaches are needed.  Disciplines may include, but are not limited to, Art and Archaeology, Communication, History, Law, Medicine, Music, Philosophy, Poetry and Literature, Politics, Science, and Theology. Papers may also address the communities that Ambrose ‘inherited’ or how later generations used Ambrose for their own community building efforts.  Interdisciplinary topics are encouraged (though not required).


Papers are to be 20 minutes to allow time for questions.  Time will be allotted during and after the session for dialogue.  Graduate student papers welcome.


Abstracts, 200-300 words in length, should meet the deadline of October 1, 2017.  Please include your name, degree, affiliation, email, and mailing address.  To upload your abstract, visit the Conference Paper Abstract link via ASSAM’s website:


ASSAM is pleased to be able to offer a limited number of travel subsidies, especially for those with limited or no institutional support.  Our intention is to encourage participation by a new generation of scholars and by scholars from around the world.  An application for funds will be found with the Conference Registration link.




Robert Grant and Ethan Gannaway


Again, please visit our website


Neighbours or Strangers? Conflict, Negotiation, and Collaboration in Multicultural Communities Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages VII, University of Tampere, 23. – 25.8.2018


Questions of toleration, aggression and even hatred based on ethnic diversity have been accentuated in recent times, but multiculturalism in its various forms is far from being confined to the modern world only. The seventh international Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages conference will focus on forms of interaction and methods of negotiation in multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual contexts.


The conference aims at concentrating on social and cultural interaction within and between multi-ethnic and multilingual communities, groups and individuals, minority (minorities) and majority. Cooperation, toleration, and coexistence was an everyday necessity in Ancient and medieval societies. On occasion, however, these would turn into the opposite: suspicion, conflict, and violence, enhanced by power struggles and prejudices. All these had a central influence on social dynamics, negotiations of collective or individual identity, definitions of ethnicity, and shaping of legal rules. What was the function of multicultural and multilingual interaction in various contexts: did it create and increase conflicts, or was it rather a prerequisite for survival and prosperity?


Our focus lies on society and the history of everyday life. We welcome papers, which have a sensitive approach to social differences: gender, status, and ethnicity. Actors, experiences, and various levels of negotiations are of main interest. We aim at a broad coverage not only chronologically but also geographically and disciplinarily (all branches of Classical, Byzantine and Medieval Studies). Most preferable are contributions that have themselves a comparative and/or interdisciplinary viewpoint or focusing on a longue durée perspective.




If interested, please submit an abstract of 300 words (setting out thesis and conclusions) for a twenty-minute paper together with your contact details (with academic affiliation, address and e-mail) by e-mail attachment to the conference secretary, The deadline for abstracts is October 31st 2017, and the notification of paper acceptance will be made in January 2018.


Conference papers may be presented in English, or in French, German or Italian, if supplied with an English translation or summary. The sessions will be formed on the basis of thematic coherence, combining papers on Antiquity and the Middle Ages in each session. The registration fee is 120 € (doctoral students: 50 €). For further information, please visit  or contact the organizers by sending an e-mail to . The registration opens in March 2018.





Auslobung des Juliana-Anicia-Prize 2017

Dear colleagues,


celebrating its 25th anniversary the academic society Spätantike und Byzantinische Kunstgeschichte (SABK e. V.) is pleased to award this years Juliana-Anicia-Prize, endowed with 1500,- Euro. Since 2002 this award has been granted to outstanding dissertations from the field of Late Antique Archaeology and Byzantine Art. For any further details please see the attachment.


Best regards Markus Löx and Alexis Oepen


For more information click here.





Call for Candidates for the Oxford-Warsaw ‘Cult of Saints’ Project

A full description is found here.




Up to 5 post-doctoral fellowships in Berlin 2017/8 – Research Programme: Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe


For a full call for applications click here.



Mirela Ivanova

DPhil Candidate in History
President, Oxford University Byzantine Society

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