Spring Symposium

The 47th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies



Whose Mediterranean is it anyway? Cross-cultural interaction between Byzantium and the West 1204-1669

The Open University, Milton Keynes


Call for Papers

The Early Modern Mediterranean basin was an area where many different rich cultural traditions came in contact with each other, were often forced to co-exist, and frequently learned to reap the benefits of co-operation. Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Muslims, Jews, and their interactions all contributed significantly to the cultural development of modern Europe.

The aim of this conference is to address, explore, re-examine and re-interpret one specific aspect of this cross-cultural interaction in the Mediterranean – that between the Byzantine East and the (mainly Italian) West. The investigation of this interaction has become increasingly popular in the past few decades, not least due to the relevance it has for cultural exchanges in our present-day society.

The starting point is provided by the fall of Constantinople to the troops of the fourth Crusade in 1204. In the aftermath of the fall, a number of Byzantine territories came under a prolonged Latin occupation, an occupation that forced Greeks and Latins to adapt their life socially and religiously according to the new status-quo. Venetian Crete developed one of the most fertile ‘bi-cultural’ societies, which evolved over 458 years. Its fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1669 marked the end of an era and was hence chosen as the end point for the conference.

Papers that explore any aspect of this Byzantine-Western interaction in the Mediterranean from either a visual, historical, textual, theological, social or cultural angle will be considered for the Communications Sessions of the Symposium.

If you wish to participate, please send your title and an abstract of no more than 300 words to Dr Angeliki Lymberopoulou (a.lymberopoulou(at)open.ac.uk) by 10th December 2014