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13:00 - 13:30 ANTONOVA, Clemena
13:45 - 14:15 CROSTINI, Barbara
14:30 - 15:00 EFTHYMIADIS, Stephanos
15:15 - 15:45 FETHERSTONE, Jeffrey Michael
16:00 - 16:30 GAUL, Niels
16:45 - 17:15 NANETTI, Andrea
  Thursday, June 7, 2007

JOB SEARCH - Teaching Position in Byzantine Studies

Monument building, Senate room


13:00 - 13:30 ANTONOVA, Clemena

The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh

Byzantine Style and Civilization - the Middle Period

In his book Byzantine Style and Civilization (1975), Steven Runciman sets out “to describe the conceptions that lie behind the art” of the Byzantine Empire. In my presentation, I will use the same approach, which allies itself with Cultural History, and I will concentrate specifically on the Middle Byzantine period (end of 9th - end of 11th c.). The question that will run throughout my talk will be: how Middle Byzantine art expresses, and is informed by, larger cultural conceptions current at the time?
Firstly, the period has been referred to as “the Macedonian Renaissance”, which poses the still unsolved “Renaissance problem” in respect to Byzantine art and culture. Secondly, some of the characteristics of the art of the period (the small size of churches, for example) have been interpreted in the context of developments in spirituality rather than as signs of economic decline as is frequently done. Thirdly, art is seen as expressing in visual terms notions deriving from the Byzantine theology of the image (in particular, the notion of presence).
The presentation aims to give an idea of a possible approach to the field of Byzantine Studies, which, to paraphrase Huizinga, seeks “to grasp the meaning of [Byzantine art] by seeing it in connection with the entire life of [its] times”.

13:45 - 14:15 CROSTINI, Barbara

Fellow, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Center, Trinity College, Dublin

Monastic Preaching and Animal Moralizations: The Physiologos for Greek and Latin Monks

This paper compares an image from a Greek manuscript of the moralized Physiologos produced at the monastery of St John Stoudios with a letter from Peter Damian to the monks of Montecassino which takes the same animal moralizations as its main inspiration. Greek manuscript and Latin text are exactly contemporary. Can a closer relation be established between them?

14:30 - 15:00 EFTHYMIADIS, Stephanos

Department of Philology, University of Ioannina

Writing and Rewriting in Byzantium (5th-14th centuries)

The dictum of modern literary theorists that “every writing is a rewriting and each writer is a re-writer” seems fully applicable to the body of Byzantine literature in its various aspects: authors, language, and genres. For the taste of a modern reader, the Byzantine period can boast only a limited number of works which display originality, be they, for example, the hymns of Romanos the Melodist or the works of Michael Psellos. Whether consciously or unconsciously, whether systematically or unsystematically, the interplay between the hypertext and its hypotexts affected the bulk of the literary expression of the Byzantines, especially as regards genres like hymnography and hagiography. The phenomenon of metaphrasis, i.e., the stylistic reworking of an older text, left a deep mark on distinctive periods of Byzantine writing (9th-10th c. and 13th-14th c.) and, as a literary fashion, embraced even historiography and imperial panegyric. It deserves a discussion not only from the technical, but also from the cultural viewpoint. In this lecture I aim to explore a variety of authors from the 5th through the 14th century who worked on the basis of a model text but who re-adapted it creatively for their proper time, linguistic consideration or their own literary identity.

15:15 - 15:45 FETHERSTONE, Jeffrey Michael

Centre d’Histoire et Civilisation de Byzance, College de France

Court Ceremonial in Byzantium

The text commonly known as the De Cerimoniis is our most important source for the ritual of the now vanished Great Palace of Constantinople. This compilation comprises material dating from the sixth to the tenth centuries, and care must be taken to determine to which period any particular detail belongs. From the tenth-century chapters it is clear that the everyday life of the court had shifted from the old Constantinian palace beside the Hippodrome to the complex around the Chrysotriklinos on the lower terrace beside the Sea of Marmara. However, the preservation and occasional ceremonial use of the old palace as a sort of museum gives an insight into the antiquarian world-view of the Byzantine élite during the Macedonian dynasty.

16:00 - 16:30 GAUL, Niels

Dilts-Lyell Research Fellow in Greek Palaeography

Miraculous Legitimacy - Civic Discourse and Performances in Late Byzantium

Traditionally, Byzantine ideology and politics had focused on the empire’s ‘Queen City’, Constantinople, that, in her radiant wealth and beauty, eclipsed its ‘subject cities’. The dramatic Fall of Constantinople in 1204, if not in theory, de facto compelled the Byzantines to adjust their world-view. The ‘archipelago of cities’ (R. Kaster) which had virtually disappeared after late antiquity, suddenly re-emerged bringing to the fore a hitherto concealed eld of Byzantine political discourse: civic discourse.
Against this historical background, my presentation offers a close reading of social performances occurring outside Constantinople, which seemingly succeeded in establishing civic concord (homonoia) in critical situations. It focuses on two case studies involving miraculous healings which were not transmitted in one of the numerous contemporary miracle collections, but preserved and published in ‘of cial’ (Constantinopolitan) historiographical accounts. The rst example, set in the city of Magnesia in Asia Minor in 1302, is taken from the Histories of George Pachymeres (1242-c.1310); the second, describing the entry of Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos to Thessalonike in 1328, from the ‘Memoirs’ of the (ex-emperor) John Kantakouzenos (c.1295-1383). Both episodes are scrutinised with regard to their political implications, suggesting how the powerful shrewdly exploited the performance of miracles towards their own means and thereby managed to sway civic opinion and politics in times of trouble and turmoil.

16:45 - 17:15 NANETTI, Andrea

University of Bologna

Theseus and the Fourth Crusade

The historiographical reflection on the Fourth Crusade (1198-1204), and on the role that it had in the determination of the Eastern Mediterranean geopolitics of the following centuries, has a history without solution of continuity since 1204 to nowadays. But taken all in all, in spite of the always new and different historical courses of re-appropriation of the past, followed by historians of various times and disparate schools, it seems that the social realities of Greek-Latin-Turkish government institutions, developed in already Byzantine territories from the Thirteenth century onwards - although well known - have never become part of Medieval and Modern European cultural awareness. This lecture presents an historical investigation of this cultural choice. The method of the lecture is the analysis of the sources (provided in photocopies), the evidence of the geography expounded in maps, and the glance at the European imaginary about the duchy of Athens.

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