Spring Symposium

The 47th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies
The Emperor in the Byzantine World

Cardiff University, 25-27 April, 2014

In Byzantine Studies it is a strange fact that there exists no equivalent to Fergus Millar’s The Emperor in the Roman World, despite the centrality of the ruler in the Byzantine world. This oddity is compounded by the recent publication of a plethora of books devoted to Byzantine empresses. This Symposium (the first Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies to be held in Wales) seeks to address this oddity, placing the Byzantine emperor centre stage as both ruler and man. The Symposium will consist of five main sessions, of three papers each, addressing the following themes: Dynasty; Imperial Literature; The Imperial Court; Imperial Duties; and The Material Emperor. In addition there will be a series of communications, as well as a public lecture on Byzantium and Wales.

Call for Communications

Academics, research students, and other members of the scholarly community are invited to offer communications (short ten-minute papers). Abstracts (of no more than 250 words) of proposed communications should be sent to TougherSF(at)cardiff.ac.uk by 13 January 2014 at the latest.


Delegates are offered early registration at the following rates:

  • Full: £85
  • Members of the SPBS: £75
  • Students/Unwaged: £40
  • After 1 April, 2014, rates rise to £95, £85, and £45 respectively
  • The fees for one-day participation are £40 (full fee), £35 (Members of the SPBS), and £25 (Students/Unwaged)
  • After 1 April, 2014, the fees for one-day participation are £45, £40, and £25 respectively

The fees cover buffet lunches, refreshments, and a reception

There will a conference dinner on the Saturday night in Aberdare Hall, to be paid for separately

Booking and Paying

Please download and complete the registration form, then return as instructed on the form.


A wide range of accommodation is available in Cardiff. The closest hotels to the main conference venues (Cardiff University’s John Percival Building and Julian Hodge Building) are the Park Plaza (Greyfriar’s Road), the Thistle (Park Place) and the Hilton (Kingsway). A budget option is the Ibis Budget Hotel (Tyndall Street), though it is further away from the venues. There are many B&Bs on Cathedral Road, a walk across Bute Park from the conference locations. Further guidance for delegates will be provided.


Dr Shaun Tougher



Speaker & Topics 

Dynasty: Imperial Families

Mark Humphries (Swansea University): Family, Dynasty, and the Construction of Legitimacy: The Roman Background

Mike Humphreys (University of Cambridge): The Dynasty of Heraclius

Mark Masterson (Victoria University of Wellington): Basil II and the Macedonian Dynasty

Imperial Literature: The Emperor as Subject and Author

John Vanderspoel (University of Calgary): Imperial Panegyric

Athanasios Markopoulos (University of Athens): Imperial Advice Literature – Constantine VII

Savvas Kyriakidis (University of Johannesburg): The Emperor in Historiography – The History of John Kantakouzenos

The Imperial Court: The Emperor’s Men

Meaghan McEvoy (Goethe University, Frankfurt): The Court of Theodosius II and its Consequences

Jonathan Shepard (Oxford): Emperors and Administrators in the Middle Empire

Jonathan Harris (Royal Holloway, University of London): Who was who at the Court of Constantine XI (1449-1453)

Imperial Duties: The Emperor as Ruler

Bernard Stolte (University of Groningen): The Emperor and Law

Michael Grünbart (University of Münster): The Emperor and the Patriarch

Frank Trombley (Cardiff University): The Emperor and War

The Material Emperor: Imperial Art and Architecture

Alicia Walker (Bryn Mawr College): The Emperor in Art

Eurydice Georganteli (University of Birmingham): The Emperor and Coinage

Lynn Jones (Florida State University): Emperor and Palace

Public Lecture

Mark Redknap (National Museum Cardiff): Byzantium and Wales


Download the full programme