The Byzness 08/10/2018

The Byzness, 7th October 2018





“The Byzantine Commonwealth 50 years on: empires and their afterlife”, University of Oxford Late Antique and Byzantine Studies Seminar, Michaelmas Term 2018, Ioannou Centre for Classical & Byzantine Studies, Oxford. 

Wednesdays, 17.00, Lecture Theatre

The seminar forms a continuation of the theme “The Byzantine Commonwealth 50 years on: empires and their afterlife”, which was the subject of a two-day conference at Worcester College, Oxford on 27-28 September 2018, celebrating the centenary of the birth of Sir Dimitri Obolensky, one of the outstanding Byzantine historians of the 20th century. Both conference and seminar series aim to return to some of the lines of enquiry and themes that Obolensky explored in his writings, the singularity of Byzantium and the empire’s place in the Eurasian world, and its interaction with other societies, cultures and powers.

Week 1

(10 Oct)

Professor Elizabeth Jeffreys

Byzantine literature in the Slavic world: serendipity or intention?

Week 2

(17 Oct)

Dr Catherine Holmes

Centres, peripheries and networks: an impossible triangle to square in Byzantium?

Week 3

(24 Oct)

Professor Jaś Elsner

Looking east: Christian art outside the world of Christian hegemony

Week 4

(31 Oct)

Dr James Howard-Johnston

The typology of nomad empires

Week 5

(7 Nov)

Professor Marc Lauxtermann

Story-telling east and west

Week 6

(14 Nov)

Dr Phil Booth

Byzantium and the Miaphysite commonwealth

Week 7

(21 Nov)

Dr Ida Toth

Antiquity and identity in Byzantine, Italian and Ottoman cultures

Week 8

(28 Nov)

Professor Dame Averil Cameron

Empire and commonwealth today

Each seminar will be followed by a wine reception.



 “Ideological and cultural reception of Byzantium by other cultures (7th-15th centuries)”, 39th Symposium of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Archaeology and Art, ChAE, 31 May – 2 June 2019, Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens.

Deadline: 5 March 2019

 The 39th Symposium of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Archaeology and Art of the Christian Archaeological Society will be held in Athens on 31 May to 2 June 2019.

The one-day special topic of the 39th Symposium of the ChAE Ideological and Cultural Reception of Byzantium by other cultures (7th-15th centuries) is the continuation of the special topic of the 38th Symposium Seeking the place of the “other” in Byzantium which explored the impact of other religious and ethnic groups on the material culture and the artistic production of Byzantium. The special topic of the 39th Symposium will attempt to complete the picture by investigating the image of Byzantium and its ideological and cultural reception by others, especially by its neighbors, Slavs, Russians, Georgians, Armenians, Seljuk and Ottoman Turks, Arabs, Normans, Scandinavians, Venetians, Genoese, Franks and other Crusaders etc.

Thanks to its military, diplomatic, and cultural supremacy, the Byzantine empire was diachronically a model for imitation and a reference point for foreign peoples. The great impact of this ecumenical uniqueness that characterized the period of the empire’s apogee (843-1071), was gradually reduced when the European states of the West shifted their attention toward the East (1071-1204), but this change was not entirely perceived by the ruling dynasty, state officials, economic elites and intellectuals during the difficult circumstances of the last period (1204-1453).

The purpose of the Symposium’s special topic, as a continuation of last year’s discussions, is to investigate the cultural and politico-economic image of the Byzantine empire its coreligionists, on heterodox peoples and followers of other religions with whom Byzantium came into contact from the 7th century to the Fall of 1453. More specifically, during the Symposium we will examine evidence of material culture and artistic expressions of these peoples with reference to Byzantium. The aim is to evaluate the image other peoples had of the Byzantine state, the Byzantine economy, Byzantine technology, Byzantine society, and the expression of Byzantine culture and civilization.

Apart from major papers, which the Organizing Committee will assign to specialists in the field, thematically relevant communications of 15 minutes’ duration will be presented on the same day.

Themes to be addressed during the Symposium may include:

  • The reception of Byzantium by others, especially by neighboring cultures and its function as a model. The imaginary Byzantium from the point of view of others and especially of neighbors (presentation by period and region with reference to appropriate written sources and works, e.g. terms for offices and dignities, legislation, liturgy, coins, seals, hagiography etc.).
  • Patrons (social strata, rulers, aristocrats, laymen, clergymen), appearance/attire, epigraphic evidence.
  • Byzantine echoes in the typology and form of monuments in other, especially neighboring lands (urban planning, secular architecture, church architecture, funerary architecture, architectural sculpture).
  • Byzantine traces in the artistic expression of other and especially neighboring lands (iconographic and decorative subjects, modes of painting, painters/ateliers and commissions).
  • Byzantine models in material culture, in works of everyday life and luxury items, technological achievements of other and especially neighboring lands (pottery, tools, metalwork-vessels-jewelry-weaponry, etc.).

The language of the Symposium is Greek.

Speakers from abroad may deliver their papers in English or French.

It is reminded that papers should be original and constitute a substantial contribution to scholarship. They must not exceed 15 minutes in length. The subjects of communications should fall within the framework of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Archaeology and Art. The Administrative Board has decided not to consider papers dealing with monuments that postdate 1830. Each participant can deliver only one paper, even if this is in collaboration with other speaker(s). Please indicate upon submission, whether proposed paper is intended for the special topic of the Symposium.

Due to the large number of papers submitted for the annual ChAE Symposium, the organizers encourage all those planning to present work involving excavations, restoration projects, and the conservation of art works and monuments to make use of the alternative method of presenting their contributions in the form of posters. Participants will assume the responsibility for creating and printing their posters (60×85 cm. [A1]), whereas their display in a specially-designed space will be the responsibility of the Organizing Committee. Posters should be submitted to the Organizing Committee on the morning preceding the opening of the Symposium. During the Symposium participants with posters will be allotted time to present their contribution to the audience. Please indicate upon submission whether proposed paper concerns a communication in poster form.

As in previous Symposia, the summaries of contributions will be published. The resulting publication has the character of a preliminary presentation. Those interested are requested to send by e-mail together with their application the summary of their contribution (major paper, communication, poster presentation) without footnotes or bibliography, in accordance with the following specifications (line drawings may be included):

  • The speaker’s name (last name, first name), his title and affiliation, and title of their contribution in upper case letters should come first.
  • The summary should include no fewer than 250 and in no case more than 400 words
  • A short abstract of about 100 words.
  • In cases where 1 or 2 drawings are included, the text should not be shorter than 350 words in length. The drawings should be submitted as TIFF files.
  • Suggested font: Times New Roman, size 12, line spacing 1.5.
  • At the end of the summary, speakers are requested to provide their e-mail and postal address, as well as a contact telephone number.

The Board of the Christian Archaeological Society and the Organizing Committee of the 39th Symposium of the ChAE reserves the right to propose changes or reject abstracts which:

  • do not deal with the fields of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine archaeology and art,
  • do not meet the standards of originality and contribution to scholarship,
  • include personal attacks,
  • are submitted afterthe deadline.

Applications along with abstracts should be sent by e-mail to

Applications accompanied by summaries will be accepted until Tuesday, 5 March 2019.



2-year Postdoc Position (F/M) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna

Deadline: 5 November 2018

Within the framework of the ERC Project Neoplatonism and Abrahamic Traditions. A Comparative Analysis of the Middle East, Byzantium and the Latin West (9th-16th Centuries), there is a 2-year postdoc opportunity hosted by the Institute for Medieval Research at the Austrian Academy

of Sciences in Vienna. The successful candidate will work on the reception of Proclus’ Elements of Theology in Byzantium. The deadline is 5 November.

Please refer here for more information.

For further inquiries contact Dr Dragos Calma.

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