The Byzness, 1st November 2020




Baptême et baptistères : regards croisés sur l’initiation chrétienne entre Antiquité Tardive et Moyen Âge (Zoom Meeting). 12-13 November 2020, 16:00-20:00 (Central European Time, UTC+1)

Programme joint

L’initiation chrétienne a été depuis longtemps un objet de recherche historique. On trouve d’un côté des travaux sur les diverses traditions théologiques, exégétiques et liturgiques pour la reconstruction de la pratique rituelle, d’un autre côté des recherches sur les typologies architecturales des baptistères, et sur leur décor qui ont été mises en relation plus ou moins efficacement avec la pratique liturgique révélée par les sources écrites.

Lors de cette rencontre dédiée au baptême et aux baptistères, nous espérons mettre en lumière la spatialisation des rituels baptismaux et leur évolution depuis l’Antiquité Tardive et le Moyen Age, en comparant les différentes régions de l’ancien monde romain et de ses voisins. En confrontant textes et archéologie, nous souhaitons poser la question de savoir si les pratiques baptismales sont le moment d’affirmation d’identités chrétiennes régionales ou confessionnelles.

Organisation : Béatrice Caseau (IUF/Sorbonne Université/UMR 8167 Orient & Méditerranée et LABEX RESMED), Lucia Orlandi (Labex RESMED/Sorbonne Université/UMR 8167 Orient & Méditerranée), Vincent Michel (Université de Poitiers/ HeRMA EA 3811, associé UMR 8167 Orient & Méditerranée)

Inscriptions : Tout public intéressé à assister aux séances est invité à écrire à lucia.orlandi@sorbonne-universite.fr avant le 5 novembre 2020.

Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online

Announcing the launch of the Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online website, accessible here on October 20th, 2020. Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online is a free and open-access online platform of digital resources to aid the teaching of Islamic art, architecture, and visual culture. It is sponsored by the Digital Islamic Studies Curriculum (DISC) at the University of Michigan through the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Khamseen currently offers a collection of short-form video presentations on a range of topics in the scholarly discipline of Islamic art history. These presentations are intended to support educators, particularly those who face limited access to institutional and archival resources, and to bring new voices, perspectives, methodologies, artworks, and objects into classrooms. Besides catering to undergraduate and graduate students, the materials provided here are also intended to help educate and inspire interested audiences outside of academia. Through this platform, we seek to take the study of Islamic art out to the world, reaching a truly international level of engagement and learning thanks to the possibilities of integrated digital technologies. 

If you are interested in contributing to Khamseen, please submit your idea here.

Dumbarton Oaks Fall Announcements

Dumbarton Oaks Research Fellowships and Project Grants

A number of opportunities are available to support research and learning internationally in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. Apply for 2021–2022 fellowships and project grants by November 1.

“Rethinking Byzantine Masculinities: Gender, Sexuality, Emotions, Devotion” Zoom Webinar


Registrations are open and provided in the link above

When: October 30, 2020 at 2:00pm EDT

“People and Power in Byzantium” Virtual Colloquium


Registrations are open and provided in the link above

When: November 5-6, 2020 from 9:00am-1:00pm EST

“The chatter, dialogue, and squabble of the Byzantine corridors of power”: Writing History in the Aftermath of Mantzikert (1071), Public Lecture by Eric McGeer, Honoring John Nesbitt


Registrations are open and provided in the link above

When: November 18, 2020 at 2:00pm EST

2021 Byzantine Coins and Seals Summer Program


Application Deadline: February 15, 2021

Pandemics and History: the Plague Concept, Disease, and the End of AntiquityWarsaw late antique seminar, 29 October, 16:46 (Warsaw Time)

On 29 October, 4.45 p.m. (Warsaw time), at Ewa Wipszycka’s Warsaw late antique seminar, Merle Eisenberg  (University of Maryland), will present a paper Pandemics and History: the Plague Concept, Disease, and the End of Antiquity. We are meeting on  Zoom at the usual link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83501284547?pwd=aWt5a1Jla2ZmbUgzN1lyL0c4N1lsUT09


Pandemics are increasingly used to explain great historical transformations. Current narratives argue that cholera helped develop modern attitudes to public health. According to others, the Justinianic Plague (c. 541-750 C.E.) led to the fall of Rome. Yet, pandemics alone do not cause societies to collapse nor do they inevitably lead to drastic change. As the current pandemic has made all too clear, the impact of a pandemic is a result of a dynamic interaction between human societies and the environments they occupy.

This talk will explore three themes about the Justinianic Plague. First, it will situate the study of the Justinianic Plague in the broader history of pandemics over the course of the last century. Second, it will reveal how the idea that the Justinianic Plague must lead to significant mortality holds sway over our imagination: an idea I call the plague concept. And, finally, it will sketch out the empirical evidence we do have for the Justinianic Plague to reveal its varied impact. This model recognizes that there were different effects across the Mediterranean world in particular outbreaks as a way to create a picture of how communities and states learned to live with the plague.

The discovery of the cathedral at Faras in the 1960s marks the birth of modern studies on medieval Christian Nubia. Since this moment, the building, its interior and surroundings have been object of countless studies dealing with its particular aspects. Particular attention was paid to the cathedral’s complex architecture, its magnificent wall paintings, and innumerable wall inscriptions. Architecture was comprehensive published by Włodzimierz Godlewski in 2006 and the crowning of the studies on the murals is the recent catalogue by Stefan Jakobielski. These two works, alongside many other smaller or bigger contributions, greatly improve our understanding of the cathedral complex, yet, with their focus on some special features, they rarely refer to its functioning as a whole in its different dimensions.

The present paper will deal with various aspects of the whole complex in an attempt to comprehend it through the Nubians’ own eyes. My main purpose is to try to see what the faithful attending the liturgical services saw and how they perceived what they saw. I will thus endeavour to analyse the most conspicuous features of the cathedral (architecture, wall paintings, and inscriptions) entangled in their mutually defining image-text-context relationship. The theoretical background for my study is provided by Pierre Nora’s groundbreaking concept of ‘lieux de mémoire’. The concept, although fervently criticised and already quite exploited, seems a perfect framework for studying such a building as the cathedral of Faras. In this way, I hope to unravel (some of) the manifold and multidimensional meanings hidden behind (some of) its features and to demonstrate (some) mechanisms of memoria Nubiana in working.

Forthcoming seminars

5.11: Aleksander Paradziński (UW), Magnus of Carrhae, Ammianus Marcellinus and Sulpicius Alexander – the phenomenon of ‘soldier historians’ of the Later Roman Empire

12.11: Paweł Nowakowski (UW), ‘Why lies it idle, this beautiful stone?’, or a short introduction to a new project in early Byzantine epigraphy

19.11: Jerzy Szafranowski (UW), How to distinguish monks from clerics in sixth-century Gau

Robert Wiśniewski is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Ewa Wipszycka Late Antique Seminar (4.45 p.m. Warsaw time)
Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 835 0128 4547
Passcode: 791010

PG ECR Late Antiquity Network: Erasure workshop & Keynotes

The Postgraduate and Early Career Late Antiquity Network is proud to announce a workshop on ‘Erasure in Late Antiquity’, hosted (virtually) by the Classics Department at Trinity College Dublin on the afternoons of Thursday 12th and Friday 13th November.  

Our presenters will be exploring a wide range of topics along the theme of including religious, ideological, epigraphic, and iconographic erasures. Please find the complete programme below.  The workshop will run as a closed event with precirculated papers. If you would like to participate, please email Dr. Rebecca Usherwood (usherwor@tcd.ie).  

We are also pleased to host two public keynotes: 

Professor Mark Humphries will be speaking on ‘Erasure and Spectacle in Late Antiquity’ at 17:00 on Thursday 12th Novemberhttps://www.eventbrite.ie/e/127465662227

Professor Irene van Renswoude will be speaking on ‘Erasure: an effective form of censorship? Editing contested content in late antique and early medieval manuscripts’ at 15:30 on Friday 13th November: : https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/127454382489

Everyone is welcome to register for these keynotes by using the Eventbrite links.  

All events will run virtually via Zoom at Dublin time (GMT).

Thursday 12th                 


               12:00    Meet & Greet

Panel I (Moderator: Rebecca Usherwood)

12:30    Mali Skotheim, Spolia and epigraphical erasure at the Church of Mary at Ephesus

               13:00    Anna Sitz, Epigraphic Erasures: ‘Grammatoclasm’ in Late Antiquity

               13:30    Mathilde Sauquet – A word is worth a thousand images: the iconophilic floor mosaic of the Church of the Virgin in Madaba, Jordan

               14:00    Break

Panel II (Moderator: Becca Grose)

14:30    Nicola Ernst, Erasing Babylas: Julian’s Funeral Law and Destruction of the Memory of St Babylas.

               15:00    Miriam Hay, Erasing difference on Christian sarcophagi: integrating Roman and Jewish pasts

               15:30    Atiyeh Taghiei, Anachronistic Erasures: Burial practices and Religious Identity in Early Islamic Iran 

               16:00    Break   


17:00    Mark Humphries, Erasure and Spectacle in Late Antiquity

Friday 13th                      

Panel III (Moderator: Guy Walker)

11:30    Ben Kybett, Fighting Pagan Erasure: Claudian at the Court of Honorius

               12:00    David Rockwell, Justinian’s Legal Erasures

               12:30    Nadine Vierman, ‘Erasing an Emperor – Or: How to Make a Tyrant. The Fate of Phocas (602–610)

               13:00    Break

Panel IV (Moderator: Kay Boers)

13:30    Kelly Holob, Something Less than Human: Defacing and Restoring Criminal Bodies in the Roman Empire

               14:00    Ryan Denson, Defining the Mechanisms of Death: The (Attempted) Conceptual Erasure of Ghosts in Late Antiquity

               14:30    Becca Grose, Reading between the lines in late-antique Gallic commemorations: Avitus Ep. 5* and NRICG. 174

               15:00    Break

2nd Keynote     

15:30    Irene van Renswoude, Erasure: an effective form of censorship? Editing contested content in late antique and early medieval manuscripts.

               16:30    Roundtable

Centro argentino de Estudios bizantinos. Zoom Meeting, 4 December 2020, 15:30 (Argentina) 20:30 (Europe)

La Comisión Directiva del Centro argentino de Estudios bizantinos (CAEBiz) tiene el agrado de invitar a usted a participar del encuentro virtual programado para el viernes 4 de diciembre a las 15:30 (Argentina = 20:30 Europa), el cual se desarrollará en dos instancias:

1. Instancia abierta: dos ponencias seguidas de debate:

 * Gianmario Cattaneo (Università di Torino): “It was a Greek letter he wrote to me”: Towards a New Edition of  Cardinal Bessarion’s Greek Correspondence.

 * Paloma Cortez (Universidad de Buenos Aires): Intertextualidad y géneros literarios en la novela comnena Drosila y Caricles de Nicetas Eugeniano.

 2. Instancia cerrada (para los miembros del CAEBiz):

 + Presentación de la página web del Centro.

+ Posibilidades de visualización de nuestra producción.

+ Proyectos.

 El acceso a ambas instancias se hará mediante la plataforma Zoom:

 ID 846 8910 3442

Código de acceso: 886156



Collecting Orthodoxy in the West: A History and a Look Towards the Future. Call for Papers extended to 9 November 2020. 

For more information, please visit: https://www.museumofrussianicons.org/conference/

Call for submissions: 1st Online Edinburgh Byzantine Book Festival. Deadline: 13 December 2020


The Edinburgh Byzantine Book Festival is the first of its kind as a way to learn about recently published books on any area of Late Antique and Byzantine studies (AD ca.300–ca.1500), including literature, history, archaeology, and material culture. Authors’ presentations will be introduced by fellow scholars (15 minutes), who will also facilitate audience questions as chairs (15 minutes). Entries should include books published in 2019 and 2020, and forthcoming books with an estimated publication date no later than June 2021. There is no restriction as regards the original language of the book, but all presentations will be in English. 

If you are an author of a monograph (including translations and commentaries of primary sources) on Late Antique and Byzantine studies, please complete the form below (Word or PDF document) and send it to Dr Petros Bouras-Vallianatos (petros.bouras-vallianatos@ed.ac.uk) by 13 December 2020.

 CFP 7th Black Sea Antiquities Congress. The Black Sea: Hub of Peoples and Cultures (8th century BC – 5th/6th century AD) (Thessaloniki – 27 September – 1 October 2021). The International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki. Deadline: 30 November 2020

The Organising Committee of the 7th International Congress on Black Sea Antiquities extend an invitation to all interested scholars to participate in the forthcoming Congress, either by contributing a paper or by attending as a discussant in the proceedings. The official languages of the Congress are English, French and German. Its specific subject is the Black Sea: Hub of People and Culture (8th century BC–5th/6th century AD). 

The Congress will be held at the International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki (it has a successful MA programme in Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean Studies, with students from a range of countries).

The Proceedings of the Congress will be published by Archaeopress, Oxford. Those of the previous congress (Constanta 2017) will be out by the end of 2020 (from the same publisher).

The Congress is composed provisionally of four working sessions (see below), beginning on September 27th, 2021 (participants to arrive on September 26th). Once we have all proposals in hand, we may revise the format slightly to account for numbers and balance.

Since there will be no parallel sessions, the number of oral presentations will be limited to 8-10 papers (each of 15 minutes’ duration) per session. This means that not all submissions will be accepted for oral presentation but, to allow maximum participation, we are planning large poster sessions parallel to the oral proceedings, and scholars are strongly encouraged to offer their papers as posters. Posters are not secondary or second class: they will be published just like the oral presentations without distinction. The sessions have broad titles in order to encourage the submission of papers presenting current approaches and trends in scholarship. The main criteria for the selection of contributions will be originality and quality of research. Results from recent or current projects, innovation in methodology, and the exploration of lesser known areas will be given a high priority. We wish to cover as large a geographical and chronological range as possible. We reserve the right to assign any accepted paper to a poster session. Participants will be notified well in advance of the Congress date. A Congress web-site has been set up:  https://web.ihu.edu.gr/icbsa21/.

Abstracts no longer than 300 words should be submitted by November 30th, 2020 at the latest (this deadline is strict), though earlier submission is welcome. No submission without an abstract will be given consideration. All accepted abstracts will be made available in print during the Congress and on a web-site before the Congress. 

Please note that abstracts must be placed in the appropriate part of the participation form.

Planned Sessions:

= Opening Session and Opening Lectures

– Session 1. Scythian, Taurians, Sarmatians, Dacians, Thracians, Colchians, the local populations of the southern Black Sea etc.

– Session 2.  Relations of Greece, Rome and Anatolia with local peoples of the Black Sea: cultural, political, commercial.

– Session 3. Macedonia and the Black Sea.

– Session 4. New Excavations and Projects.

= Closing Session

During the opening reception there will be a book presentation ceremony.

The Participation Fee

The fee will be 100 Euros for participants and 50 Euros for spouses/accompanying persons. The fees are payable at the registration desk upon arrival. This will include: (1) lunches (2) tea/coffee breaks; (3) welcome cocktail reception; (4) farewell cocktails and canapés; (5) Congress folder; (6) all printed material (programme, summaries, etc.); (7) city map; (8) a one-day city excursion on September 29th (see below).


Mid-Congress Excursion, September 29th 

Guided tour of Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, early lunch, and afternoon in Vergina or Dion.

Post-Congress Excursion, October 2nd-3rd 

Two days: Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (including visits to Amphipolis, Abdera, Maroneia, etc.).

Detailed information, together with pricing, will be given in the Second Circular.


 A list of recommended hotels with a conference discount will be given in the Second Circular, which will be sent in spring 2021 to all returning the participation form.

Participation Form

The form can be found here. Please complete it and return it by the deadline of November 30th, 2020 (earlier would be most welcome) to Gocha R. Tsetskhladze, by e-mail attachment and in word.doc: g.tsetskhladze63@gmail.com.

CfP – Occhialì – Rivista sul Mediterraneo islamico

“Occhialì -Rivista sul Mediterraneo islamico” is a semi-annual scientific journal concerned with the  publication  of  studies,  researches and  reflections  on  Islam  and  the Mediterranean. Active since 2017, it has promoted over time a broad discussion on transversal themes from   different   perspectives:   historical,   linguistic,   political, economic, juridical, sociological, psychological or pedagogical, trying to represent the heterogeneity that characterizes its area of interest.

For  issue  7/2020,  it  has  been  decided not to limit  the  contributions  to  a  specific theme, but to open it to the proposals of scholars, so as to leave an open space and cast light on emerging horizons of study and research. Therefore, essays, analyses and translations concerning the  Islamic Mediterranean are  all  acceptable:  from  religious forms to histories, from institutions to languages, social movements, changes, cultural representations, migratory flows, in ancient times as well as today.

The  articles,  written  in  English,  French,  Italian  or  Spanish,  must  be  sent  by 15 December 2020 to laboratorio.occhiali@gmail.comin a format compatible with the procedure of blind review: a file will have to include the author’s name and surname, email address, a short biographical note, title and abstract (150 words in English), 3-5 keywords; the other file will have to include the contribution without any reference to the author or to their known works that might point back to them. The articles, formatted according to the norms indicated on http://phi.unical.it/wp34/occhiali/norme-redazionali/ shall not exceed 30,000 characters including spaces and excluding the bibliography.


Medieval literature across languagesa multi-lingual summer school. Online Summer School, 17–28 May 2021. Application Deadline: 15 December 2020 

Second Revised Call


This online summer school seeks to provide PhD students with a first immersion into the study of medieval literature across languages. Language training, with the aim of inviting PhD students to become acquainted with new medieval languages, will here be combined with lectures on case studies, addressing various methodological issues and approaches. The summer school focuses on five medieval languages: Georgian, Arabic, Greek, Latin, and French

Note: The programme has been changed to a completely online format to address the ongoing barriers to travel. All instruction will take place online between 14:00-17:00 (CEST, Danish local time).

The online summer school will be organized around language teaching and tutoring, lectures and presentations, and an introduction to TEI encoding. Substantial work will be required of students in advance of the summer school (learning of new alphabets, initial reading and encoding exercises).

Language Teaching

Beginning each day at 14:00 (CEST) language teaching will be followed by language tutoring, in which PhD students assist each other as tutors and will themselves receive help from others.

Lectures and Presentations

On alternating days, invited speakers will deliver lectures on a range of topics related to the study of medieval literatures across languages; on other days, students will be expected to deliver short presentations on their findings.

TEI Encoding

Students will receive an introduction to encoding texts using a TEI compliant architecture of XML tagging. Prior to the summer school, students will be provided with preliminary orientation materials; during the summer school, they will receive hands-on experience encoding a short section of the Barlaam and Josaphat text in their chosen target language.


Applications should be sent before 15 December 2020 to hogel@sdu.dk.

We encourage applications from PhD students from any field in medieval studies. Applicants are asked to specify one language they wish to study, and at least one language they can offer tutoring in (please indicate level of proficiency).

Lectures and seminars will be held in English. Your application should include an abstract of your current research and a statement addressing the contributions you can make to the summer school and what you hope to gain from participating (together no more than a single A4 page, single spaced). You must also name one referee who will be willing to write in support of your application. Referees of short-listed applicants will be contacted directly by the organizers of the summer school.

There is no cost for attending the Summer School.

ASCSA Fellowships for Research and Study at the Gennadius Library 2021-2022


The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is pleased to announce the academic programs and fellowships for the 2021-2022 academic year at the Gennadius Library. Opened in 1926 with 26,000 volumes from diplomat and bibliophile Joannes Gennadius, the Gennadius Library now holds a richly diverse collection of over 146,000 books and rare bindings, archives, manuscripts, and works of art illuminating the Hellenic tradition and neighboring cultures. The Library has become an internationally renowned center for the study of Greek history, literature, and art, especially from the Byzantine period to modern times.

COTSEN TRAVELING FELLOWSHIP FOR RESEARCH IN GREECE: Short-term travel award of $2,000 for senior scholars and graduate students, for work at the Gennadius Library. Open to all nationalities. At least one month of residency required. School fees are waived for a maximum of two months.

Fellowships 2021-2022 Religion and Urbanity, Max-Weber-Kolleg, Erfurt

The research group “Religion and Urbanity. Mutual Transformations” at the Max-Weber-Kolleg of the University of Erfurt will again award scholarships in 2021/22. The Max Weber College accepts applications until January 8, 2021.

The DFG-funded research group is headed by the historian Prof. Dr. Susanne Rau and the religious studies scholar Prof. Dr. Jörg Rüpke. It is concerned with the question of how religion and urbanity – cities and urban lifestyles – have shaped each other in the course of history. This will first be examined using individual cities or networks of cities from antiquity to the European modern period and contemporary India, and compared across continents and epochs. Is it possible to think one without the other?

The scholarships now being offered will be awarded for a period of three to six months to researchers working in the humanities, especially in (religious) history or in the fields of sociology and urban studies with a focus on historical and religious developments. For further information on scholarship requirements and modalities please refer to the Call for applications. Organisational questions can also be directed to Dr. Elisa Iori.


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