Job: Director of Byzantine Studies, Dumbarton Oaks

Deadline: 15 January 2021

Dumbarton Oaks is a leading research center in Byzantine Studies, with a library that is a point of reference for the field, joined to world-renowned museum and archival collections.
The Director of Byzantine Studies will be someone deeply committed to the field and its future. As a dynamic leader, the Director of Byzantine Studies reports to the Director of Dumbarton Oaks and has two main areas of responsibility. He/She works with the Senior Fellows to develop the annual program of symposia, colloquia, lectures and innovative new projects. Equally important, the Director of Byzantine Studies is charged with greeting and forming a cohort of residential fellows and scholars, providing structure for presentations and discussions of their work as well as collegial informal gatherings. In the broader scholarly world, the Director of Byzantine Studies promotes the vitality of the field through outreach and regular communication with relevant Byzantine societies and academic programs in the United States and internationally, and fosters exchanges with closely connected fields.

For full particulars and details of application process, see the attached PDF.

Lecture: “The chatter, dialogue, and squabble of the Byzantine corridors of power”: Writing History in the Aftermath of Mantzikert (1071)

18 November 2020 at 2:00pm EST, via Zoom

This lecture honors John Nesbitt, a distinguished Byzantine historian and scholar in Byzantine sigillography who served as a research associate at Dumbarton Oaks from 1987 to 2009. Eric McGeer, his friend and former colleague, discusses their book Byzantium in the Time of Troubles: The Continuation of the Chronicle of John Skylitzes (1057–1079), published in January 2020.

The prelude to the battle of Mantzikert and its dire consequences sat uneasily in the minds of contemporaries. Who was to blame for the defeat of the army under Romanos IV Diogenes and the irrecuperable loss of Anatolia? Did the blame lie with the preceding emperors who had neglected the defense of the east; with the local commanders who through incompetence or cowardice had failed to deal with the incursions; or with Romanos Diogenes himself, whose terrible fate haunted Byzantine memory long after his cruel deposition and death? This lecture focuses on an important account of events leading up to the battle, the Continuation of the Chronicle of John Skylitzes, composed by a court official and historian sympathetic to Romanos Diogenes yet attuned to the political interests behind the competing versions of events.

Free and open to the public. Register here.

Call for Contributions: Soul and Body Diseases, Remedies and Healing in Jewish, Christian and Muslim literature

Abstract deadline: 1 February 2021

Chapter deadline: 31 December 2021

Topics devoted to historical science must, without a doubt, always take into account the realities of the present. In this sense, in the context of a global pandemic, a re-evaluation of the sources and a look through the respective lenses of the vast historical literature associated with the world’s three largest monotheistic religions are justified in order to answer the following questions: What did previous generations and individuals learn about illnesses? What did people of different religious or confessional backgrounds believe about diseases of the soul and the body? And what psychological and/or social effects did their convictions have in terms of remedies?

For full information, see the PDF linked below:

Soul and Body Diseases, Remedies and Healing in Jewish, Christian and Muslim literature

SPBS Autumn Lecture 2020

NB: This lecture is open to all. It will be preceded by the Society’s Annual General Meeting at 16:30, held via Zoom and open to all members of the Society. If you also wish to attend the AGM, please email the Secretary, Dr Tim Greenwood ( and he will supply the necessary link.

SPBS AGM & Autumn Lecture

29 October 2020

The Society’s Annual General Meeting, postponed from Sunday 29 March 2020, will be held on Thursday 29 October 2020 at 4.30pm via Zoom. The agenda remains the same as that advertised in the 2020 Bulletin (vol.46) at p.132. All wishing to attend are invited to contact the Secretary, Dr Tim Greenwood, by email ( and he will supply the necessary link.

The Society’s Autumn Lecture will also take place on Thursday 29 October at 5.15pm, again via Zoom. Professor Emeritus Henry Maguire (Johns Hopkins University) will be speaking to the title ‘String theory: order and disruption in Byzantine interlace’.

All welcome – again if you want to attend, please contact the Secretary, Dr Tim Greenwood, by email ( and he will supply the necessary link.

Seminar Series: Byzantium at Ankara

Starts 15 October. Also by Zoom.

Byzantium at Ankara is happy to announce its new Seminar Series scheduled for the Fall Semester 2020/21.

The series will open on Thursday 15 October 2020 (h. 18.00 Istanbul Time) with a talk by Dr. Philipp Niewöhner (Georg August Universität Göttingen) entitled “The grave of Saint Nicholas.”

The full roster of speakers (including Prof. Judith Herrin, Dr. Ioanna Christoforaki and Dr. Tolga B. Uyar among the others) can be found at


For registration and info please write to

People and Power in Byzantium Virtual Colloquium

Hosted by Dumbarton Oaks

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

Research on the social and economic history of Byzantium has tended to focus on the upper levels of society, where the evidence is abundant and relatively easily accessible. It has traditionally been dominated by attention to the large structures of church and state, represented through the key figures of patriarch and emperor, and how they implemented their economic and ideological interests. This has resulted in a top-down view of Byzantine society. In recent years, however, greater attention has been paid to the study of group formation, especially with a view to vertical mobility through patronage networks. This colloquium aims to foreground these recent advances in scholarship.

The colloquium brings together eight specialists who investigate the formation of groups based on shared purpose, whether social, economic, or religious. Of particular interest is the interplay between external pressures and internal motivation in the perception and representation of groups, on the one hand, and in the formation of groups and networks, on the other. This often involves searching out previously unknown or underappreciated sources, or subjecting better-known sources to new analytical questions.

By elucidating these phenomena in different periods of Byzantine history and in different geographical and social settings, this colloquium raises important issues of scope regarding the methodology and interpretive models for the study of Byzantine society.

Free and open to the public. Register at: