The Byzness, 22/11/2020

The Byzness, 22nd November 2020



 1.                 NEWS AND EVENTS

International Byzantine Greek Summer School, July-August 2021

After last summer’s cancellation due to Covid-19, we are happy to announce that the International Byzantine Greek Summer School will return in 2021. 

The 2021 teaching dates will be 12-23 July (Beginners) and 26 July – 6 August (Intermediate  and Advanced), and all courses are likely to be hosted online by Trinity College Dublin. Delivery, fee and application details will be confirmed in February 2021.

To register your interest please contact the course administrator, Seán McCrum. For basic course information see (mutatis mutandis for online delivery).

Séminaire sur Constantinople dans l’Antiquité tardive

Voici le lien permanent, au moins jusqu’au 15 décembre, pour le Séminaire sur Constantinople [le programme :] qui se tiendra tous les mardis de 17h à 18h30 :

Stage d’initiation au manuscrit médiéval IRHT 2021

En raison de la situation sanitaire actuelle, le stage annuel d’initiation au manuscrit médiéval organisé par l’IRHT a été reporté à la semaine du 8 au 12 mars 2021.

Organisé dans les nouveaux locaux de l’IRHT, sur le Campus Condorcet, ce stage propose comme les années précédentes un parcours spécifique sur les “manuscrits grecs et orientaux“, destiné tout particulièrement aux étudiants hellénistes, syriacisants, coptisants et arabisants. Vous trouverez toutes les informations utiles en consultant la page de présentation du stage sur le site de l’IRHT :

Une deuxième session de candidatures a été exceptionnellement rouverte jusqu’au 15 décembre 2020. Le formulaire de candidature ci-joint est à renvoyer avant cette date à l’adresse suivante :

New NoB Digital Project: Mapping Eastern Europe

North of Byzantium has launched a new open-access digital project – Mapping Eastern Europe – intended to promote study, research, and teaching about the history, art, and culture of Eastern Europe between the 13th and 17th centuries among students, teachers, scholars, and the wider public.

Mapping Eastern Europe gathers a multitude of specialists – early career and senior scholars who have either already published or are currently researching new topics – to supply original online content in English in the form of historical overview, art historical case studies, short notices about ongoing projects, and reviews of recent books and exhibitions. 

This platform aims to stimulate new research and outreach focused on the networked regions of the Balkan Peninsula, the Carpathian Mountains, and further north into early modern Russia, which developed at the crossroads of the Latin, Greek, Slavic, and Islamic traditions during the late Middle Ages and early modern periods. 

Mapping Eastern Europe is made possible through generous support from the “Rapid Response Magic Project of the Princeton University Humanities Council”.

If you have suggestions for future contributions you or other colleagues might be interested in submitting, please be in touch at:

 Talk by Dr Lea Niccolai (Cambridge) on Eunapius’ Lives of Philosophers and Sophists

“We are returning this coming Tuesday with another exciting talk by Dr Lea Niccolai (Cambridge): 24 November 5.15 pm (via Zoom).

Wisdom for the Many, Wisdom for the Few: Re-Reading Eunapius’ Lives of Philosophers and Sophists

In this paper I look at Eunapius of Sardis’ Lives of the Philosophers and Sophistis (ca. 405 CE) as at a case study illuminating late antique perceptions of the impact of Christianisation on the role of philosophers in society.

The first part of the paper will prepare the ground by considering a set of prominent third- and fourth-century thinkers who deliberately sought to activate the opposition between Christianity and traditional Greco-Roman religion (e.g., Porphyry of Tyre, Eusebius of Cesarea, Emperor Julian, and Gregory of Nazianzus). I show how they all acknowledged and explored the tension between Christian claims to universalism and the Platonic drive to esotericism and elitism.

In the second part of the paper, I show that Eunapius’ work is a product of this universalism vs. elitism debate and actively contributes to it. Eunapius’ heroes, aristocratic free speakers who withdraw from crowds and refuse to divulge philosophical tenets, are not only a witness to the worsening of the social status of the pagan holy man following Julian’s downfall, but are prescriptive figures: they are constructed so as to encourage a politics of non-compromise with the many. Crucially, this politics was not meant by Eunapius to signal the detachment of pagan philosophy from public engagement, but, on the contrary, it strove to advertise the pagan holy men’s suitability for leadership. If any act of divulgation entails a loss of philosophical identity, it follows that only those intellectuals who, like the pagan Neoplatonists (and unlike the Christian theologians) choose not to preach, are worthy of being deemed philosophers; as such, they are also the only ones to whom Roman leaders should turn when seeking advice.”

Zoom Link:…

Meeting ID: 937 9146 4544

Passcode: 338700

GACUK Autumn 2020 Lecture. Thursday 3 December 2020 (5pm UK time)

The Greek Archaeological Committee UK is very pleased to invite you to its  60th lecture entitled “Excavating the Cradle of an Imperial Dynasty: The  Material Culture and Prosopography of Byzantine Amorion” by Dr Olga  Karagiorgou and Dr Nikos Tsivikis. 

Under normal circumstances this lecture would have been given on 9th November in King’s College London’s Great Hall. It would also have been a  very special event intended to celebrate, upon her planned retirement, the  contribution of our Founder, Matti Egon, to Anglo-Greek cultural  understanding and appreciation, especially in the field of Archaeology.  Instead, we are now mourning her passing on 14th October and, because of  the pandemic, we cannot assemble at the Great Hall. 

The lecture, dedicated now to the memory of Matti Egon, will therefore be  given online through the ZOOM platform courtesy of the British School at  Athens, on Thursday 3rd December, starting at 5pm UK time, 7pm Greek  time. In order to participate in the event, it is necessary to register in  advance through the following link:

Dr Olga Karagiorgou read History and Archaeology at Athens University  before gaining a MPhil and a DPhil at Christ Church, Oxford. She was the  Greek Archaeological Committee UK’s first ever scholar! She was also a  British Academy, A.S. Onassis Foundation and Dumbarton Oaks  (Washington, D.C.) postgraduate scholar. She was awarded post-doctoral  Fellowships by the Hellenic Scholarships Foundation and the Alexander von  Humboldt Stiftung. She taught at Oxford and at the Hellenic Open  University and worked for the King’s College London Project on the  “Prosopography of the Byzantine World-PBW”. She has participated in  excavations in Greece, Syria and Turkey and has attended numerous  conferences with papers related to her research on Late Antique  Archaeology and Byzantine Prosopography and Sigillography. She has  received the ARISTEIA II Award of the National Strategic Reference  Framework 2007-2013 for her Research Project entitled TAKTIKON and is  Secretary General of the Greek Committee for South Eastern European  Studies. She is currently Associate Researcher at the Research Centre for  Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art of the Academy of Athens.

Apologists and Empire: conference programme

Please find here the programme for the virtual conference, ‘Apologists and Empire’, which will be held from the 16th – 18th of December. Two keynote speakers have also been: Prof. Laura Nasrallah (speaking on the 17th of December) and Prof. Tim Whitmarsh (speaking on the 18th of December).

Attendance is free for all; if you would like to attend, please email Ben Kolbeck ( or use the contact function on the conference website, and joining instructions will be circulated in due course. More information, including paper abstracts and the programme as a downloadable PDF, can be found at

In consideration of the challenges of multiple timezones, and respecting the dangers of ‘online meeting fatigue’, the papers have been scheduled over three half-day sessions, in the early-to-late afternoon UTC (though please note the standalone morning panel on Thursday the 17th). We hope to see many of you there – and please feel free to drop in and out as alternative commitments dictate.

Apologists and EmpireEarly Christian Literature in its Imperial Context

Wednesday 16th of December, 2020 (Day 1/3)

14:00–14:50 UTC                                   Introduction

Ben Kolbeck & James Corke-Webster (King’s College London)

Introduction: Apologists and Empire

Eleni Bozia (University of Florida, speaker local time 09:20 [UTC –5]).

Christian Apologists and Lucian of Samosata: Re-examining Religious Awareness and Literary Convergences

                                                             -10 minute break-

15:00–16:00 UTC                          Tertullian of Carthage

Susan Dunning (University of Oxford)

The Subversion of the Imperial Saeculum in Christian Apologetics of the Second and Third Centuries CE

Benjamin Haupt (Concordia Seminary, speaker local time 09:30 [UTC –6])

Tertullian’s Apologetic Use of a Sophisticated Latin Literary Identity

                                                           -30 minute break-

16:30–17:30 UTC                         Clement of Alexandria

Jane Heath (Durham University)

Clement of Alexandria and the Shaping of Christian Literary Practice

Ed Creedy (King’s College London)

All the World’s His Stage: The Divine Protagonist of Clement of Alexandria. Performance Soteriology and the Theatrum Mundi in the Protrepticus.

                                                          -10 minute break-

17:40–18:40 UTC                     Christian Martyr Literature

Justin Yule (University of Toronto, speaker local time 12:40 [UTC –5])

Visions of Bodily Wonders: the Martyrium of Polycarp and the Sacred Tales of Aelius Aristides

David J. DeVore (Cal. Poly. Pomona, speaker local time 10:10 [UTC –8])

Apologetic Across Mediterranean Courts: The Martyrdoms of Hegesippus Between Jerusalem, Corinth, and Rome

                                                      -Finish: 18:40 UTC-

Thursday 17th of December, 2020 (Day 2/3)

10:00–11:00 UTC                          Athenagoras of Athens*

David Evans (Macquarie University, speaker local time 21:00 [UTC +11])

Citizenship and Philanthropy in Athenagoras’ Legatio

Stuart R. Thomson (University of Oxford)

Philosopher-Kings and Roman Emperors: Greco-Roman Fissures in Justin Martyr & Athenagoras

                                                          -3 hours: no papers-

14:00–15:00 UTC                                 Justin of Rome

Ben Kolbeck (King’s College London)

Read it in Rome: Justin’s Appeals to Roman Legal Documents

James Corke-Webster (King’s College London)

The Apologists on Trials

                                                            -15 minute break-

15:15–16:15 UTC                              Keynote Address 1

Laura Nasrallah (Yale Divinity School, speaker local time [10:15 UTC –5])

Making Justice: Defixiones, Imperial Rescripts, and Christian Apologists

                                                  -Finish: 16:15 UTC / 11:15 EST-

* Thursday’s Athenagoras panel will be a standalone morning session; the rest of the programme will pick up in the afternoon UTC.

Friday 18th of December 2020 (Day 3/3)

14:15–15:15 UTC                           Keynote Address 2

Tim Whitmarsh (University of Cambridge)

The Apologists and the ‘Personal Voice’

                                                         -15 minute break-

15:30–16:30 UTC                       Fourth-Century Apology

Daniel Lemeni (West University of Timisoara, speaker local time 17:30 [UTC +2])

Philosophers, Monks and the anti-Pagan Apologetic Character of the Life of Anthony: Rethinking a Problematic Cultural Model

Adam Kemezis (University of Alberta, speaker local time 09:00 [UTC –7])

Eusebius as Reader of Philostratus and Hierocles: Apologetics, Interpretation and Authority

                                                          -30 minute break-

17:00–17:30 UTC                        Concluding Discussion

All Attendees

Concluding Discussion

-Finish: 17:30 UTC-

Communicating Objects. Material, Literary and Iconographic Instances of Objects in a Human Universe in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. 

(Department of Ancient History, Archaeology and History of Art, University of Bucharest & International Society for Cultural History)

The conference will be held online, on November 27-29, 2020. The program and abstracts are available at the following link:

A limited number of slots for audience is available through registration at the following email address (please provide your full name and host institution):  

Marek Jankowiak (Oxford University), On Kyros of Alexandria, seventh-century popes and the Arab conquest of EgyptWarsaw late antique seminar, 26 November, 4:45 (Warsaw Time)
On Thursday, 26 November, 4.45 p.m. (Warsaw time), at Ewa Wipszycka’s Warsaw late antique seminar, Marek Jankowiak (Oxford University), will present a paper On Kyros of Alexandria, seventh-century popes and the Arab conquest of Egypt. We are meeting on  Zoom at the usual link:


The letter that patriarch Kyros of Alexandria sent in 638 to his colleague Sergios of Constantinople, and in which he enthusiastically endorsed the “Ekthesis” of Heraclius, contains a chronological contradiction. I will try to show that the problem can only be removed by amending the chronology of the bishops of Rome proposed by Louis Duchesne in 1886. I will argue that Duchesne made two mistakes that affect all the dates of the popes between 619 and 649. The consequences are manifold; I will focus only on those that pertain to the disgrace and trial of Kyros – a key event for the understanding of the last years of Byzantine Egypt. I will reassess the famous papyrus P.Lond. I 113.10 and will try to show that, far from proving Kyros’ presence in Alexandria in 639/40, it in fact supports the traditions on the “Kyros tribute” paid to the Arabs in the years before the final conquest in 641.

Forthcoming seminars
3.12: Andrzej B. Kutiak (Technische Universität München), The preliminary analysis of patterns and functions of the urban settlement at the ‘Marea’ peninsula
10.12: Joanna Wegner (UW), Looking (not only) to heaven: the Aphrodito clergy in the 6th c.
17.12: Marta Szada (Nicolaus Copernicus University), The Gothic language and the Homoian identity in the post-Roman successor kingdoms

 2.                 CALLS FOR PAPERS

23rd International Graduate Conference of the Oxford University Byzantine Society, ‘Self-Representation in Late Antiquity and Byzantium’. Provisional dates: 26-28 February 2021 (Online). Deadline for abstracts: 30 November 2020

 A reminder that the deadline for abstract submission for the OUBS 23rd International Graduate Conference is the 30 November 2020. Below are the call for papers and information on how to submit an abstract.

Self-representation is a process by which historical actors – individuals, communities and institutions – fashioned and presented a complex image of themselves through various media.

Referring to Byzantine portraits, Spatharakis claimed that this “form of representation cannot be divorced from its purpose and the requirements of the society in which the given visual language gains currency”. Equally, self-representation provides an original way to interpret the past, because this artificial and reflected image cannot be divorced from the cultural, social, economic, religious and political context of its time. As a methodological tool, it has received increasing attention in the field of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, following the interest it has created in neighbouring fields such as Western Medieval or Early Modern studies.

The present call for papers aims to explore the cultural outputs of the Late Antique and Byzantine world – e.g. architecture, material culture, literary works – which conventionally or unconventionally can be understood as acts of self-representation. The Late Antique and Byzantine world was filled with voices and images trying to present and represent an idea of self. Some of the most famous examples of this are the lavish mosaics sponsored by imperial and aristocratic patrons, whose splendour still dazzles their observers and gives an idea of the kind of self-fashioning that they embody. Urban elites, such as churchmen, bureaucrats and intellectuals, constructed idealised personae through their literary works and the careful compilation of letter collections, while those of the provinces displayed their power through images on seals and inscriptions. In monastic typika, the founders presented themselves as pious benefactors, while donor epigraphy in rural churches secured the local influence of wealthier peasants. However, self-representation is not only a matter of introspection but also of dialogue with the “other”: such is the case of spolia, used to reincorporate a supposed classical past in one’s self-portrayal, or to create an image of continuity by conquerors. We see this clearly in the conscious use of Byzantine motifs in Islamicate architecture, the fiction of Digenes Akritas, and the religious polemics of Late Byzantium which pitted Muslim, Jews and Christians against one other. Through depicting what they were not, historical actors were (consciously or unconsciously) shaping their own identity.

This conference seeks to join the ongoing dialogue on self-representation in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies by providing a forum for postgraduate and early-career scholars to reflect on this theme in a variety of cultural media. In doing so, we hope to facilitate the interaction and engagement of historians, philologists, archaeologists, art historians, theologians and specialists in material culture. To that end, we encourage submissions from all graduate students and young researchers, encompassing, but not limited to, the following themes:

●       Literary works: self-portrayal in epistolographical collections; autobiographies; fictional personae in poetical and prose compositions; typika portraying an image of a founder or donor;

●       Manuscripts: from the commission of the material object itself, to the self-portraits jotted down in the margins by its owners or readers;

●       Portrayal of oneself in terms of gender and sexuality;

●       Epigraphy: material sponsored by both authorities and private citizens; self-representation on funerary artefacts, graffiti, inscriptions;

●       Numismatics: representation of power and authority in the world of Late Antiquity and Byzantium at large;

●       Sigillography: elite self-representation and its importance among the Byzantine upper classes;

●       Artistic Production: portrayals in mosaics and icons. Private and public forms of representation;

●       Gift-Giving: Elite items (e.g. cloths, manuscripts, jewellery) intended for use in diplomatic exchange which were designed to promote a specific image of an emperor and the empire;

●       Political Ideology: imperial or ecclesiastical messaging through literary works and monumental architecture;

●       Religion: different theological or philosophical stances, dogmatic truths or polemics as means of self-promotion or self-portrayal;

●       Dialogue with “the other”: Byzantium’s influence in neighbouring cultures as a consequence of its self-representation;

●       Reception: how the field of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies is influenced by the modern-day reception of the self-representation of historical actors;

●       Reception: how the field of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies is influenced by historical Western conceptions of the Late Antique and Byzantine world;

●       Comparative perspectives of the above elsewhere, in opposition or concordance with practices in Byzantium.

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words, along with a short academic biography in the third person, to the Oxford University Byzantine Society at by Monday, 30th November 2020. Papers should be 20 minutes in length and may be delivered in English or French. As with previous conferences, there will be a publication of selected papers, chosen and reviewed by specialists from the University of Oxford in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies. Speakers wishing to have their papers considered for publication should try to be as close to the theme as possible in their abstract and paper. Nevertheless, all submissions are warmly invited.

Shifting Frontiers XIV: Scale and the Study of Late Antiquity June 3-5, 2021, The Ohio State University, Columbus OH*

*This event will take place virtually via Zoom

For the Fourteenth Meeting of the Society for Late Antiquity, we invite papers that investigate scale, which can be defined as a graduated range of values or measurements, whether, for example, of time, space, social organization, cosmology, or agency. Participants are encouraged to explore scale either as a methodological framework used by modern historians to interpret the past and/or as a type of late Roman analytic category, developed and employed by late ancient persons for their own heuristic purposes. Questions papers might ask include: To what extent does the world of Late Antiquity look different if we approach its events, institutions, and processes (whether political, economic, social, or religious) from a micro scale rather than a macro scale, and vice versa? How can we better understand the late Roman Empire through the examination of macro- and micro-scalar environmental phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions and mutating plague DNA, which were only partially (if at all) perceptible to the late Romans themselves? Alternatively, what graduated categories of measurement and values did late ancient thinkers deploy in their philosophical, scientific (including astrological), and religious works to make sense of metaphysical, ethical, or even physical quandaries? And what did scale mean to individuals on an everyday level, for agriculturalists or merchants whose livelihoods were embedded within multi-scalar economic, environmental, legal, social, and religious networks? Other papers might consider the fractal replication of structures and relationships across the Empire, for example in conciliar operations (Senate, local curia, church councils), patterns of deference across the social scale, or in the provincial extensions of imperial authority.

Comparativists are encouraged to consider how problems of scale inflect transhistorical arguments that encompass both late antiquity and other periods of history.

Featured Keynote Speakers:

C. Michael Chin, Department of Classics, UC Davis

Ann Marie Yasin, Department of Art History and Classics, University of Southern California

Special Directions for Virtual Format

The program committee recognizes that online conferencing opens opportunities for scholarly presentations and discussions that deviate from the traditional model of “present a paper and then take questions.” The past few months have been a time of experimentation for all of us. Rather than define (and thereby limit) those alternative modes in advance, we encourage you to propose them to us, and so our task will be to decide not only which papers will be included, but which formats too. Options include thematically linked papers that are posted before the conference so that attendees can read them before their authors hold a panel discussion at the conference; or scholars who wish to pre-post textual, visual, video, or audio material and then take only five minutes to present their argument, leaving more time for discussion. Each submission will still need to have a regular abstract, but please indicate whether you would like to experiment with an alternative mode of presentation.

In order to be considered for participation in this conference, please visit our website, where you will find directions and the required application form (with required 500 word abstract). The deadline for submission is December 4, 2020.

Medievalisms on the Screen: The representation of the Middle Ages in Audio-visual Media in the 21st century. Online PhD Conference. Deadline: 1 February 2021

The technological advancements in audio-visual production taken place in the first two decades of the 21st century have accentuated the multiple representations of the Middle Ages in popular media. The explosion of the videogame 

industry, the refinement in digital technologies for the recreation of past spaces, and the popularization of streaming services like YouTube and Netflix have all allowed for an increase in the venues for representation of the medieval past. Be it the crusaders of Assassin’s Creed (2007) or the Scandinavian world of Vikings (2013-2020); from the fantasy universe of Game of Thrones (2011-2019) or bands like Rhapsody of Fire, to the hack-n-slash hell of Dante’s Inferno (2011), it is a non-academic version of the past which is more familiar to the general public. 

The way in which media affects our perceptions of the past have real-world ramifications. A specific distorted version of the Middle Ages has served as fuel for acts of violence and the rise of authoritarian, xenophobic and racist political agendas. Interestingly, this is a process that has gotten outside of traditional “medieval” scenarios into more global arena: the 2015 Indian film Padmaavati exacerbated Hindu-Muslim relations in some regions of the sub-continent, further highlighting the relation between media and politics regarding the representation of the past. 

Contributions might include, but are not limited to:

·         Global middle ages in popular media· 

·         Media and national identity 

·         Accuracy vs. authenticity 

·         Gender relations in medieval productions

·         Magic and the supernatural 

·         Political histories and their (sub)conscious implications 

·         Middle-ages and fantasy 

·         Rock music and the middle ages 

·         Screenwriting, cinematography and representation 

·         Gameplay mechanics, coding and procedural rhetoric

·         History popularization and education 

·         LARPERS and the middle ages 

·         Museums, memory and cultural institutions 

The purpose of this PhD interdisciplinary conference is to explore the characteristics and implications of calling an audio-visual product “medieval” in the 21st century. From products that purposely undermine their own historicity like A Knight’s Tale (2001), to those that rely on “accuracy” as part of their advertisement as in the case of videogames; from “European-based” productions like Dark Souls, to Netflix’s Kingdom (2019) set in Korea or Team Ninja’s Nioh (2017) set in Japan, we invite contributions from every area of knowledge relevant to this discussion. 

The conference will take place online on April 29th-May 1st 2021.Paper proposals, no longer than 400 words in length for a paper between 25 to 30 minutes, should be sent to the organizers: no later than February 1st, 2021. The full slate of selected papers will be announced within two weeks after the submission deadline.

Call for papers: Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine engraved  gems in the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea area. 13-14 May 2021. Deadline: 1 January 2021

We are glad to inform you that an international video conference on engraved gems in the Archaic, Classical,  Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea area will take place on May 13-14,  2021 on An engraved gem, frequently referred to as an intaglio or cameo, is a small and usually semi precious gemstone that has been carved, in the ancient Greek and Roman tradition normally with images or  inscriptions only on one face. The engraving of gemstones was a major luxury art form in the ancient eastern  Mediterranean. Near Eastern glyptic art covers the field of small carved stones, including cylinder seals and  inscriptions in archaeological contexts. Though in the Graeco-Roman Mediterranean they were keenly  

collected in classical antiquity, most carved gems originally functioned as seals, often mounted in a ring.  Engraved gems were found in relatively large quantities in the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea area,  where they were in use and produced frequently between the Bronze Age and Medieval periods. So far the  study of these multifunctional objects has been overlooked in the eastern Mediterranean whereas there is still  a huge amount of unpublished material from excavations and museums in an area from Albania down to  Egypt, including Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. Ancient engraved gems can be categorized based on different  criteria, including their gemological and mineralogical material, genres of material, decoration, production, use  and distribution.  

In this online conference we only focus on Greek, Roman and Byzantine engraved gems from the eastern  Mediterranean and Black Sea area between c. early sixth century B.C. and early seventh century A.D., and  attempt to set out a comprehensive model for the study of engraved gems, including their definition,  typology, chronology, contexts, function, regional characteristics and distribution patterns in the whole  eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea geographies. It is also our intention to create a complete bibliography of  previous publications on engraved gems.  

We warmly invite contributions by scholars and graduate students from a variety of disciplines related to  these objects. Intended to bring together scholars of Greek, Roman and Byzantine archaeology to discuss a  range of issues concerning these instruments’ characteristics, this electronic conference should be an excellent  opportunity to increase our knowledge about this material. The following theme groups are the main  questions of this online conference which are prescriptive:  

– Engraved gems from archaeological field projects, museums and private collections,  – Ancient Greek and Latin textual sources on engraved gems,  

– Evolution of engraved gems in the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea area during the Archaic, Classical,  Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods,  

– Similar instrumenta in the ancient Near East and their relations to ancient Graeco-Roman gems,  – What ancient Greeks and Romans thought about afterlife? Engraved gems in funerary and votive contexts,  – Domestic and commercial use of engraved gems,  

– Magical gems,  

– Related instrumenta to engraved gems in the regards of their function,  

– Decoration, iconography and epigraphy at engraved gems in Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods,  – Major production centers of engraved gems in the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea,  – Signatures at engraved gems,  

– Byzantine engraved gems in religious contexts,  

– Miscellanea. 

On these themes and questions, all disciplines, approaches and methods susceptible to bring some progress  to our current knowledge are of course welcome: classical archaeology, Byzantine archaeology, gemology,  mineralogy, archaeometry, petrography, history of art, ancient history, sigillography, glyptics and cultural  anthropology etc. Gemological, mineralogical and archaeometric papers related to engraved gem research are  most welcome. English is the official language of the e-conference. Your lecture will be recorded during the  conference and this record will be displayed in Youtube after. The e-conference is free of charge.  

We would be delighted, if you could consider contributing to our e-conference and contact us with the  required information below before January 1, 2021. Our e-mail addresses are: or  

We would be thankful, if you send us your abstract and required information only in word doc. For all your  queries concerning the e-conference our phone number is: +90.539.511 74 08. The organizers seek to widen  participation at this e-conference, and would like to encourage colleagues from all parts of the world to  attend. The conference committee kindly requests that you alert any persons within your research community  who would be interested in participating at this e-conference, either by forwarding our e-mail through  Facebook or other similar social media, or by printing this circular or our poster and displaying it in your  institution. We hope that you will be able to join us on Zoom, and look forward to seeing you in May!  


Postdoctoral Fellowships in Byzantine Studies (2021-2022)

The Byzantine Studies Research Center of Bogazici University in Istanbul invites applications for postdoctoral fellowships in the fields of Byzantine history, art history, and archaeology for the 2021-2022 academic year.

·  Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Byzantine Studies
Application deadline: 22 December 2020

·  Andrew W. Mellon Short-Term Postdoctoral Research Grant in Byzantine Studies for Scholars Holding Academic Positions in TurkeyApplication deadline: 15 January 2021

For further information please visit

University of Notre Dame Byzantine Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship. Deadline: 1 February 2021

Following substantial investment in the area of Byzantine Studies at the University of Notre Dame, including the acquisition of the Milton V. Anastos Library of Byzantine Civilization and generous support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame is delighted to invite applicants for a nine-month Postdoctoral Fellowship in Byzantine Studies. This fellowship is designed for junior scholars with a completed doctorate whose research deals with some aspect of the Byzantine world. The fellow is expected to pursue promising research towards scholarly publication and/or the development of new subject areas. This Fellowship is open to qualified applicants in all fields and sub-disciplines of Byzantine Studies, such as history (including its auxiliary disciplines), archaeology, art history, literature, theology, and liturgical studies, as well as the study of Byzantium’s interactions with neighboring cultures. The fellowship holder will pursue research in residence at the University of Notre Dame’s famed Medieval Institute during the academic year (the position begins mid-August).

The intent of this Fellowship is to enable its holder to do innovative research drawing on the rich resources held in the Milton V. Anastos Collection, the Medieval Institute, and the Hesburgh Library more broadly. This may include the completion of book manuscripts and articles, work on text editions, or the development of new trajectories of research in one of the aforementioned fields. The Fellowship carries no teaching responsibilities, but the fellow will have the opportunity to participate in the multidisciplinary activities of Notre Dame faculty related to Byzantium, Eastern Christianity, and the history of the Levant. The Fellow will be provided with a private workspace in the Medieval Institute, enjoy full library and computer privileges, and have access to all the Institute’s research tools.

In addition, towards the conclusion of the fellowship period the fellow’s work will be at the center of a workshop organized within the framework of the Byzantine Studies Seminar. Senior scholars, chosen in cooperation with the Medieval Institute, will be invited for this event treating the fellow’s subject matter. The senior scholars will discuss draft versions of the fellow’s book manuscript or articles or discuss the further development of ongoing research projects.

EligibilityByzantine Studies fellows must hold a Ph.D. from an internationally recognized institution. The Ph.D. must be in hand by the beginning of the fellowship term. 

Stipend: $36,000, plus benefits 

Start Date: Approximately August 16, 2021 | End Date: Approximately May 15, 2022 

Application procedure: Applicants should submit a letter of application (cover letter), a project proposal of no more than 2500 words, a current C.V., and three confidential letters of recommendation. Submit  applications via Interfolio at Deadline: 1 February 2021

Further details regarding materials are  available at

Doctoral scholarships in the GSSP programme. Deadline: 15 January 2021

Scholarships for international doctoral candidates are announced at The Graduate School of the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC) at the University of Hamburg within the Graduate School Scholarship Programme (GSSP) of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

The full scholarships (1200 EUR/month plus allowances) are awarded for three years, starting on 1 October 2021. An extension to a fourth year is possible in well-grounded cases.

We are looking for highly qualified and very motivated English-speaking international candidates (non-German citizens) holding a Master, Diploma or equivalent degree in any discipline concerned with the study of manuscript cultures and written artefacts, regardless of region.

About the CSMC as a research environment:

The CSMC is a unique research centre for the historical, comparative and scientific study of manuscript cultures and written artefacts from Asia, Africa, and Europe, building on decades of manuscript studies at the University of Hamburg.

In 2019, the Cluster of Excellence “Understanding Written Artefacts” has taken up its work, involving researchers from more than 30 disciplines at two faculties, seeking to establish a uni-fied, comparative and comprehensive approach for studying how the production of written artefacts has shaped human societies and cultures, and how these in turn have adapted written artefacts to their needs. Aims include the identification of recurring patterns and documenting the diversity of manuscript cultures and written artefacts, especially in Asia and Africa, to preserve them as cultural heritage.

Application deadline and further information:

Applications for GSSP doctoral scholarships are to be submitted by 15 January 2021 to the Coordinator of the Graduate School Dr Merryl Rebello, by e-mail:

The full text of the call and further information on the documents to be submitted can be found here:

Medieval Greek Summer Session at the Gennadius Library, Summer 2021. Deadline: 15 January 2021

The Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens announces the summer session focused on the teaching of Medieval Greek, from June 28 to July 28, 2021.

Founded in 1881, the American School is the most significant resource in Greece for American scholars in the fields of ancient and post-classical studies. One of the two major research libraries of the School, the Gennadius Library, which houses over 146,000 volumes and archives, is devoted to post-classical Hellenic civilization.

The Library invites applications for a month-long Summer Session for Medieval Greek at the Intermediate to Advanced Level. The objective is to familiarize students who have a sound foundation in Classical Greek with Medieval Greek language and philology by exposing them to primary sources, different kinds of literary genres, paleography and epigraphy, drawing on the resources of the Gennadius Library. The two Professors leading the session are Professor  Alexander Alexakis, University of Ioannina, and Professor Stratis Papaioannou, Brown University/University of Crete.

The month-long full-time program will include daily translation of Byzantine texts; introduction to Greek paleography and Byzantine book culture; use of the collections of the Gennadius Library; visits to area museums and libraries including the Byzantine, Benaki, and Epigraphical Museums; and visits outside Athens including Corinth, Mistra, Thessaloniki, and Hosios Loukas. Individual tutorials and assignments for each student will be determined by specific needs and field of study. The language of instruction is English. Participants should plan to arrive on June 29 and depart on July 29.


The program is offered at the intermediate to advanced level for up to twelve students enrolled in graduate programs in any field of late antique, post-antique, Byzantine or medieval studies at any university worldwide; preference may be given to students who have limited access to instruction in Byzantine Greek at their home institutions. A minimum of two years of college-level or post-doctoral Classical Greek (or the equivalent) is required. If there are available slots, faculty or postdoctoral scholars affiliated with any university worldwide may also be considered. A diagnostic test (available electronically) may be administered to finalists before the final selection of students is made.

Academic Credit

The American School is not a degree-granting institution. No grades are given for its programs, nor are transcripts provided. Upon request, an optional final exam at the end of the program may be provided and the directors will write a letter to the participant’s home institution, recommending that credit be granted, provided that the student has satisfactorily participated in the program and passed the final exam.

Costs and Scholarships

Twelve Leventis Foundation scholarships cover the costs of tuition, School fees, housing, required travel within Greece, and museum and site fees. International airfare to and from  Greece, meals, and incidental expenses are the participant’s responsibility.


Submit online application, curriculum vitae, two letters of recommendation (one from the  academic advisor and one from a Greek language teacher). Direct link to application:

Applicants are required to submit scans of academic transcripts as part of the online application.

Web site: or


The selection results will be announced March 15.

ANAMED Regular and Join Fellowships, 2021-2022. Deadline: 15 December 2020

Koç University invites applications for a limited number of PhD, Post-Doctoral, and Senior Fellowships at Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED). A few Post-Doctoral or Senior applications for regular fellowships that qualify for collaborative fellowships involving Koç University faculty, centers, or facilities will be preferred. Additionally, several joint fellowships with specific application criteria may be available.

Given the ongoing and currently worsening pandemic situation around the world, ANAMED may have to make changes in currently advertised fellowship conditions. Applicants are asked to be patient and understanding of these circumstances and to plan accordingly.

Opportunities may include a combination of the following benefits: monthly stipend calculated by Koç University each year to cover most local expenses not covered by the fellowship, accommodation at ANAMED’s residential facility in the center of Beyoğlu-Istanbul, a meal allowance for five meals per week, transportation to and from Turkey, a modest research budget, health insurance, residence permit, museum-access card, and full access to the ANAMED Library and to lectures, symposia, and other activities at ANAMED and on the main Koç University campus.

All ANAMED fellows are expected to devote themselves full time to their research projects, to be active members of Koç University’s academic community, and, for full-year fellowships, to give three talks on their work during the course of the year. Applications from scholars of all nationalities are encouraged, yet fellows must be proficient in English, the language of instruction at Koç University.

Established in 2005, ANAMED’s mission is to promote and produce cutting-edge scholarship contributing to critical knowledge on Anatolia and its civilizations. Applications focusing on the archaeology, art history, heritage, and history of Anatolia from the Neolithic through the Ottoman eras are welcome from scholars of these allied disciplines, including those that focus on the management, conservation, and presentation of the past. Located in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, ANAMED is near many research institutions, archives, and other scholarly facilities and thus serves as a convenient and comfortable locus for intensive study.


Online application:

For more information please visit:

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Up to 5 Postdoc Fellowships in Berlin for the Academic Year 2021/2022. Deadline: 6 January 2021

The research program EUROPE IN THE MIDDLE EAST—THE MIDDLE EAST IN EUROPE (EUME) will be continued. Applications are encouraged for up to 5 Postdoctoral Fellowships for the academic year 2021/2022 in Berlin. The deadline for applications is January 6, 2021.

Please find the call for applications via the following link:

The fellowships are addressed to scholars who are interested in the methodological perspective of dealing with regions or cultures not as closed entities or polarities, but by looking at processes of transfer, exchange and interaction in the sense of entangled or shared histories and cultures.

EUROPE IN THE MIDDLE EAST—THE MIDDLE EAST IN EUROPE (EUME) has been initiated in 2006 as a joint research program of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. It builds upon the previous work of the Working Group Modernity and Islam (1996-2006). Since 2011, EUME is continued as a program at the Forum Transregionale Studien. For more information on EUME, please visit their website and their EUME Facebook page.   


(Location: Berlin / Closing Date: January 6, 2020)

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien invites scholars to apply for up to five postdoctoral fellowships for the academic year 2021/2022 for the research program


EUME seeks to rethink key concepts and premises that link and divide Europe and the Middle East. The program draws on the international expertise of a growing network of scholars in and outside of Germany and is embedded in university and extra-university research institutions in and outside of Berlin. EUME supports historical-critical philology, rigorous engagement with the literatures of the Middle East and their histories, the social history and life of cities and the study of Middle Eastern political and philosophical thought as central fields of research not only for area or cultural studies, but also for European intellectual history and other academic disciplines. The program explores modernity as a historical space and conceptual frame. EUME is interested in questions relating to ongoing transformation processes in Europe and the Middle East, in re-imaginations of the past and present that contribute to free, pluralistic and just societies.

The program puts forward three programmatic ideas:
1) supporting research that demonstrates the rich and complex historical legacies and entanglements between Europe and the Middle East; 2) re-examining genealogical notions of mythical ‘beginnings’, ‘origins’, and ‘purity’ in relation to culture and society; and 3) rethinking key concepts of a shared modernity and future in light of contemporary cultural, social, and political divisions and entanglements that supersede identity discourses as well as national, cultural or regional canons and epistemologies that were established in the nineteenth century.

EUME supports and rests upon interconnected research fields and themes:

directed by Friederike Pannewick (Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies/Department for Arabic Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg) and Samah Selim (Rutgers University) reassesses literary entanglements and processes of translation and canonization between Europe and the Middle East.

directed by Ulrike Freitag and Nora Lafi (both Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin) contributes to the debates on civil society, deliberation, opinion formation, citizenship, migration and mobilization from the experience of cultural and religious differences in cities around the Mediterranean and beyond.

directed by Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva) tries to rethink key concepts of modernity in the context of experiences, interpretations, and critiques from the Middle East in order to contribute to a more inclusive language of culture, politics and community.

are research themes that emerged during the last years and are represented by the work of several EUME Fellows and members of the Collegium (e.g. Cilja Harders, Friederike Pannewick, Rachid Ouaissa).

These research fields and themes mark the open framework for the fellowship program that constitutes EUME. Since 1997, more than 300 scholars from and of the Middle East have been EUME Fellows, who, by their scholarly projects, engagement, and their inquiries into the order of knowledge, society and politics, shape the academic program of EUME. 


The fellowships are intended primarily for scholars in the humanities and social sciences who want to carry out their research projects in connection with the Berlin program. Applicants should be at the postdoctoral level and should have obtained their doctorate within the last seven years. Fellows gain the opportunity to pursue research projects of their own choice within the framework of EUME. Successful applicants will be fellows of EUME at the Forum Transregionale Studien, and associate members of one of the university or non-university research institutes listed below or connected to the Forum Transregionale Studien.

The fellowships start on 1 October 2021 and will end on 31 July 2022. Postdoctoral fellows will receive a monthly stipend of 2,500 € plus supplements depending on their personal situation. Organisational support regarding visa, insurance, housing, etc. will be provided. Fellows are obliged to work in Berlin and to help shape the seminars and working discussions related to their research field. The working language of EUME is English.

Scholars are also invited to apply with their own funding, and should, if this may be an option, contact us.


We kindly ask you to submit your application via the secure online application platform of the Forum Transregionale Studien by 6 January 2021, 23.59h CET:

Please note that applications by email will not be considered.

As part of your application, you will be asked to prepare and upload the following:
— a curriculum vitae (including a list of publications);
— a project description (no longer than 5 pages), stating what the scholar will work on in Berlin if granted a fellowship, and
— the names of two university faculty members who can serve as referees (no letters of recommendation required).

In case of questions, please consult the FAQ or send an email to


EUROPE IN THE MIDDLE EAST—THE MIDDLE EAST IN EUROPE (EUME) has been initiated in 2006 as a joint research program of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. It builds upon the previous work of the Working Group Modernity and Islam (1996-2006). Since 2011 EUME is continued at the Forum Transregionale Studien.

In scholarly terms EUME is directed by a Collegium that currently consists of Ulrike Freitag (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin), Cilja Harders (Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin), Kader Konuk (Institut für Turkistik, Universität Duisburg-Essen), Nora Lafi (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin), Rachid Ouaissa (Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg), Friederike Pannewick (Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg), Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva), Samah Selim (Rutgers University), and Stefan Weber (Museum for Islamic Art, Berlin).

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien (Forum) is a research institution that promotes the internationalization of research in the humanities and social sciences. It is dedicated to a research agenda that systematically links disciplinary approaches and the expertise of area studies by focusing on entanglements and interactions across national, cultural or regional borders. The Forum invites scholars from all over the world for fellowships and develops transregional communication formats. It provides scope for collaboration among researchers with different regional and disciplinary perspectives and appoints researchers from all over the world as Fellows. In cooperation with universities and research institutions in Berlin and Germany, the Forum carries out research programs and initiatives that examine emerging topics from diverse regions of the world in a comparative as well as integrative manner. The Forum is a registered society, its members are universities and research institutions in Germany. It cooperates with the Max Weber Stiftung – Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland in the field of communication, and is funded by the Land Berlin.

The Forum currently supports the following research programs and initiatives: EUROPE IN THE MIDDLE EAST—THE MIDDLE EAST IN EUROPE (EUME), PRISMA UKRAÏNA: Research Network Eastern Europe, RE:CONSTITUTION: Exchange and Analysis on Democracy and the Rule of Law in Europe. The Forum is a founding member of the ACADEMY IN EXILE and of the consortium of MECAM: Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb, and connected to its former programs ZUKUNFTSPHILOLOGIE: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship and 4A LAB: Art Histories, Archaeologies, Anthropologies, Aesthetics.

For more information on the Forum Transregionale Studien, its programs, initiatives and communication, please visit:

TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research

For more information on EUME and for detailed information on the research fields and themes, please visit:

For information on the research institutions participating in EUME, please visit:

– Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, FU Berlin

– Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science, FU Berlin

– Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient

– Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies, FU Berlin

– Institute of Islamic Studies, FU Berlin

– Museum for Islamic Art

– Seminar for Semitic and Arabic Studies, FU Berlin

– Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg

– Institut für Turkistik, Universität Duisburg-Essen

German for Students of Classical Studies at Cologne 2021. Deadline: 31 January 2021

The Department for Classical Studies of the University of Cologne is now accepting applications for the 2021 “German for Students of Classical Studies” summer course. The course will take place in Cologne from June 7 to July 16, 2021 (Corona permitting). It is specially designed to meet the lingustic needs of students of Classics who wish to expand their  knowledge of written and spoken academic German.

The program includes a language class, reading tutorials, field trips to archaeological sites in the Rhineland and the opportunity to take part in the academic life of the Classics department of the  University of Cologne.

In the event that travel is still restricted in the summer of 2021 or that an in person-class seems unsafe, we will try to offer a virtual alternative.

The deadline for applications is January 31, 2021.

All the relevant information, including a flyer for download, can be found here:

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to send an e-mail to:

Judith McKenzie Student Essay Prizes. Deadline: 23.59 on 11 January 2021

Manar al-Athar is pleased to announce the launch of the Judith McKenzie Student Essay Prizes, named after its founder and first Director. 

The Essay Prizes will be awarded yearly to outstanding essays on a site, building, inscription, mosaic, wider theme, and so on, featured on the Manar al-Athar website. They will consist of £200 for the winner and £100 for the second best. The winning essays will be published on the Manar al-Athar website.

Essay instructions

·         Essays should be built around 7 to 10 images from the Manar website. 

·         Essay length should be between 750 and 1,000 words.

·         Essays should be submitted in English.

·         You should write for a general audience. This means that you should avoid things like technical terminology or detailed discussion of what scholars have said about a particular point.

·         Deadline: 23.59 on 11 January 2021. 

·         Winners will be announced at the end of January 2021.


The competition is open to anybody who is studying for a degree in the academic year 2020-2021, to students at any institution, in any country, and in any discipline.

Submission of essays

·         Essays should be sent to

·         Entries should be submitted as either a Word document or a PDF.

·         You should include the name of an academic at your institution who will be able to confirm that you are a student in 2020-2021.

Please note that the Prize Committee will not be able to provide feedback on submissions.


Please send any enquiries to Please allow five working days for a response.

About Manar al-Athar

The Manar al-Athar photo-archive (, based in the Faculty of Classics at the University of Oxford, provides high-resolution, searchable images for teaching, research, publication, and heritage work. These images of archaeological sites, buildings and artworks, cover the areas of the former Roman Empire which later came under Islamic rule (such as Syro-Palestine/the Levant, Egypt and North Africa), and adjoining regions (such as Armenia and Georgia). The chronological range is from Alexander the Great (i.e. from about 300 BC) through the Islamic period.

The photo-archive is open-access so that it can be freely used by anyone anywhere in the world. Photographs can be freely downloaded as original high-resolution images (tif images) without water marks, making them immediately available in a format suitable for publication or research, simply by acknowledging the source. Material is labelled in both English and Arabic to facilitate regional use, with the main instructions also available in other languages. Manar al-Athar means ‘Guide to Archaeology’ in Arabic.

Manar al-Athar currently has c. 80 000 photographs online.  Strengths include Late Antiquity (AD 250–750), the period of transition from paganism to Christianity and, in turn, to Islam, especially religious buildings (temples, churches, synagogues, mosques) and monumental art (including floor mosaics); early Islamic art (paintings, mosaics, relief sculpture); Roman and early Islamic (Umayyad) architecture; Petra and Nabataean sites; and iconoclasm.

Funding opportunity: Stein-Arnold Exploration Fund. Deadline: 1 December 2020

The British Academy has launched a call for its Stein-Arnold Exploration Fund which encourages researchon the antiquities or historical geography or early history or arts of those parts of Asia which come within the sphere of the ancient civilizations of India, China, and Iran, including Central Asia, or of one or more of these and so that special consideration shall be paid, if possible, to research of this character bearing upon the territories comprised in the present Kingdom of Afghanistan including the region of ancient Bactria and in the north-western frontier region of India’.
Applications are invited from early career and established scholars to engage in research that should be ‘so far as possible by means of exploratory work’. Awards are offered to support aspects of research including travel and research assistance. Grants are not available to fund attendance at conferences or seminars.

Eligibility: Applicants must be British or Hungarian subjects of postdoctoral status or comparable experience. Applications are not accepted from postgraduate students.
Duration: Awards are tenable for 24 months.
Funding: up to £2,500.

Deadline for submission of applications: 5pm Wednesday 13 January 2021 (internal Research Services deadline: 6 January 2021)
Results expected: 31 March 2021
Earliest Start Date for Research: 1 April 2021

If you’re interested in submitting an application, please get in touch with Bianca Schlawin ( later than December 1.

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