SPBS-OEBG Joint Lecture 2024 – Hybrid Event!

Peeping under the palimpsest: reclaiming the urban topography of Byzantine Constantinople

Prof. Jim Crow (University of Edinburgh)
Respondent: Dr Galina Fingarova (Universität Wien)

Event Details:
In person
May 13th 2024 at 5:30PM
Location: Meadows Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG

The subject of this talk is the sub-surface archaeology of Constantinople. A recent publication on late antique and medieval urbanism titled ‘Cities as Palimpsests?’ draws attention to the multi-layered nature of ancient cities and the nuanced perspectives which are offered for the study of evolving urbanism. But how far is this engaging metaphor relevant for understanding the city beneath our feet and as a contribution to comprehending past lifeways? By reviewing past and contemporary approaches and methodologies I aim to consider the contribution of previous observations and excavations for the topography and infrastructure of the city, with particular attention to the Byzantine remains enclosed within the circuit wall of the Topkapi Saray, the city’s first hill.

To register please click here

The Byzantine Presence between Black Sea and Baltic

Political, ecclesiastical, and cultural trends in late medieval northern East-Central Europe

Dates: 30–31 May 2024

Venue: National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania (Vilnius): https://www.valdovurumai.lt/en

Organiser: The Lithuanian Institute of History (Vilnius)

Partners: National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania; Vilnius University Faculty of History; The Polish Institute in Vilnius

Format: Hybrid.

Conference language: English


Speakers include: Darius Baronas, Oleksandr Fylypchuk, Sebastian Kolditz, Giedrė Mickūnaitė, Ekaterini Mitsiou, Aleksandr Osipian, Jonathan Shepard, Sergejus Temčinas, Constantin Zuckerman

This international conference aims to bridge a major gap in the study of relations between late medieval Byzantium and its neighbours in northern East-Central Europe (present-day Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine). What was Byzantium’s political and cultural impact – or otherwise – on these territories? And what interests, interest-groups and beliefs were in play in the interactions between Byzantium’s leadership and principal elements and the subject populations, elites and overlords of the region?

The conference forms part of “Byzantium and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: the interface between the secular and the ecclesiastical spheres in the 14th–15th centuries”, a project funded by the Research Council of Lithuania (Contract No. S-MIP-22-15).


For further information and to register, please contact: Darius Baronas darius.baronas@istorija.lt


Online Lecture: Recycled Cities: Sardis and the Fortifications of Early Byzantine Anatolia

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is pleased to announce the final lecture in our 2023–2024 lecture series.

Thursday, March 28, 2024 | 12:00 PM EDT | Zoom
Recycled Cities: Sardis and the Fortifications of Early Byzantine Anatolia
Jordan Pickett, University of Georgia

The largest standing architecture at the ruined city of Sardis is not its famous Temple of Artemis, the fourth largest Ionic temple of antiquity, but is instead the massive but little-published fortification that sits on its Acropolis. This paper delivers preliminary results from new study of the Byzantine fortifications on the Acropolis at Sardis, part of the larger Harvard-Cornell Exploration of Sardis ongoing since 1958. Composed entirely of thousands of architectural blocks and sculpture recycled from older Iron Age and Roman monuments of Sardis, our understanding of the Acropolis fortifications hinges on three questions considered here. How has the Acropolis, composed of extraordinarily friable loose conglomerate subject to erosion and earthquake, changed since Antiquity? When were the Acropolis fortifications constructed? Possibilities range from c. 550 during the reign of Justinian to as late as c. 850. And, how and by whom were the Acropolis fortifications constructed? Set at a remarkably steep elevation, the labor for transport and construction with reused materials was extraordinary. No minor monument of the “Dark Ages”, the fortifications on the Acropolis at Sardis stand as a remarkably well-preserved complex of defensive architecture that sheds light on the priorities and capacities of communities in Byzantine Anatolia.

Jordan Pickett is Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Georgia and co-PI, with Benjamin Anderson (Cornell University), for Acropolis investigation for the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, Turkey, under the direction of Nick Cahill (University of Wisconsin).

Advance registration required at https://maryjahariscenter.org/events/recycled_cities

Contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

Opportunity for Graduate Students & ECRs: Inscriptions in a Digital Environment: An Introduction to EpiDoc for Byzantinists

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture and the Byzantine Studies Association of North America are pleased to offer a three-part EpiDoc workshop for graduate students and early career researchers in collaboration with Martina Filosa of the University of Cologne.

Inscriptions in a Digital Environment: An Introduction to EpiDoc for Byzantinists, workshop by Martina Filosa (University of Cologne), Zoom, April 5, 12, and 26, 2024, 11:00 AM–3:00 PM EDT with a break from 12:30–1:00 PM

In this online workshop, participants will explore the use of EpiDoc, the established standard for digitally encoding ancient inscriptions, papyri, and other primary and documentary texts in TEI XML for online publication and interchange. The workshop will also introduce the participants to the EFES (EpiDoc Front-End Services) platform for viewing and publishing EpiDoc editions. The workshop will include asynchronous tutorials, real-time sessions, and guided hands-on exercises. Participants will have the opportunity to work with their own epigraphic material, broadly understood.

Registration closes Friday, March 22.

Who is eligible?

  • Graduate students and early career researchers (PhD received after April 2016) in the field of Byzantine studies.
  • All participants must be BSANA members. BSANA membership is free for graduate students and early-career contingent scholars who have earned their PhD within the last eight years and who do not hold a permanent or tenure-track appointment. If you are not already a BSANA member, please complete the BSANA Membership Form before registering for the workshop. Your membership status will be confirmed before your space in the workshop is confirmed.

For a full description of the workshop and to register your interest, please visit https://maryjahariscenter.org/events/inscriptions-in-a-digital-environment.

Contact Brandie Ratliff, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture, with any questions.

Call for Sessions: Mary Jaharis Center Sponsored Panel, 50th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference

As part of its ongoing commitment to Byzantine studies, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for Mary Jaharis Center sponsored sessions at the 50th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference to be held in New York City, October 24–27, 2024. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.

Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website. The deadline for submission is April 3, 2024.

If the proposed session is accepted, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse a maximum of 5 session participants (presenters and chair) up to $800 maximum for scholars based in North America and up to $1400 maximum for those coming from outside North America. Funding is through reimbursement only; advance funding cannot be provided.

For further details and submission instructions, please visit https://maryjahariscenter.org/sponsored-sessions/50th-bsc

Contact Brandie Ratliff, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture, with any questions.

Dumbarton Oaks Collections Virtual Tour


We would like to invite you to  a virtual handling session of some of Dumbarton Oaks’ collections of Byzantine bronze and ivory, delivered by Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, curator of the Byzantine Collections.

Monday 25 March at 18:00 UK time. Please register in advance here.




Justice in Byzantium – 13th to 15th April 2024

In 2024, the Symposium will take place in Canterbury at the University of Kent, for the first time.  The chosen theme is ‘Justice in Byzantium’. This theme will facilitate inter-disciplinary discussion of research and ideas embracing Byzantine history, society, culture, and law. Sessions will be arranged around the themes of ‘Social Justice’; ‘Unwritten Rules’; ‘Criminal Justice’; ‘Revenge’; ‘Civil Law & Justice’; and ‘Divine Justice’.
The main sessions of the conference will be held in the Templeman Lecture Theatre, with a reception and dinner in the Darwin Conference Suite, Darwin College.
Confirmed speakers include Daphne Penna, Dennis Stathakopoulos, Carlos Machado, Arietta Papaconstantinou, Rosemary Morris, Anna Kelley, Lorena Atzeri, Mike Humphreys, Catherine Holmes, Robert Wisniewski, Peter Sarris, Matthijs Wibier, Simon Corcoran, Caroline Humfress, Maroula Perisanidi, Dan Reynolds and Shaun Tougher.
Please keep checking the website periodically: further information will be added in due course, and continuously updated. The complete programme can be found here: Conference Programme.
To register please click here.

Call for Papers | Doctoral Seminar: Projecting Poetry

The TORCH Network Poetry in the Medieval World (University of Oxford) is delighted to introduce “Projecting Poetry”, an initiative designed to promote cross-disciplinary discussion, foster collaboration, and provide a platform for DPhil/PhD students engaged in research across various fields and working on medieval poetry. The goal is to create an opportunity to present ongoing research to a diverse audience of fellow students and seniors.

We invite submissions from DPhil/PhD students at an early stage of their programmes, conducting research in any field and working on poetry in any area and culture of the medieval world (chronological boundaries may be discussed with organisers); any methodological approach is welcome. We especially encourage submissions that aim to explore potential intersections between academic disciplines.

Submission Guidelines

  • Abstract: Please submit a 250-word abstract in English (PDF form) to ugo.mondini@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk, including the (working) research title, name, affiliation, and contact information.
  • Submission Deadline: Abstracts can be submitted any time during the academic year.
  • Extended Descriptions: If accepted, speakers should present a document in English (max. 1,500 words) and a title fifteen days before the seminar, with a more extensive description of their interests, research goals and, if they wish, of the challenges they face. This document will be shared with the seminar participants; therefore, it should be accessible to non-specialists.

Event Structure

  • Sessions will be organised online for non-Oxford students and in hybrid format during term time for Oxford participants.
  • Each speaker will have 20 minutes to present their research; a discussion follows. The event will be conducted in English.

Contact Information

For further information and inquiries, please get in touch with Ugo Mondini at ugo.mondini@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.

Non-presenting seminar participants

If you want to take part in the seminars, both in person and online, please send an email to Ugo Mondini at ugo.mondini@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk with your name, affiliation, research interests, and contact information.

Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture: Online Lecture: Byzantium as Europe’s Black Mirror

Online Lecture: Byzantium as Europe’s Black Mirror

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is pleased to announce the 2023–2024 edition of its annual lecture with the Harvard University Standing Committee on Medieval Studies.

Friday, February 16, 2024 | 12:00 PM EST | Zoom
Byzantium as Europe’s Black Mirror
Anthony Kaldellis, University of Chicago

In the course of its long self-fashioning, “the West” (later “Europe”) set itself off as a superior alternative to a number of imagined Others, including the infidel world of Islam, the primitive nature of the New World, and even its own regressive past, the Middle Ages. This lecture will explore the unique role that Byzantium played in this process. While it too was identified as the antithesis of an idealized Europe, this was done in a specific way with lasting consequences down to the present. Byzantium was constructed not to be fully an Other, but rather to function as an inversion of the Christian, Roman, and Hellenic ideals that Europe itself aspired to embody even as it appropriated those patrimonies from the eastern empire. It became Europe’s twin evil brother, its internal “Black Mirror.” Once we understand this dynamic, we can chart a new path forward for both scholarly and popular perceptions of the eastern empire that are no longer beholden to western anxieties.

Anthony Kaldellis is a Professor of Classics at the University of Chicago.

Advance registration required at https://maryjahariscenter.org/events/byzantium-as-europes-black-mirror

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Harvard University Standing Committee on Medieval Studies.

Contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

30th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA 2024) – CALL FOR PAPERS FOR SESSION #559




The peoples and cultures of the Mediterranean are often compared on the basis of their geographical origin, whether Eastern or Western. Especially for the period between the 5th and 10th centuries, this comparison is mainly based on political distinctions and often ignores material aspects. But are identities around the mare nostrum really based on political boundaries, or should we seek regional specificities using different interpretative media? In particular, the distinction between the Western and Eastern Mediterranean appears to be particularly marked in the scholarly debate and attempts to bring together evidence from these “two worlds” are rare and not systematic.

The questions that arise then are: can we still speak of a single Mediterranean during Late Antiquity and Early Medieval times? Are East and West following completely different trajectories? Is it possible to compare their respective historical processes and material cultures? Or can some common features be identified, despite regional particularisms? Is trade global or does it mutate according to political factors affecting local identities? To this sense, different forms of resilience and adaptation and the potential development of one or more transitional cultures are fundamental interpretative keys.

In this Call for Papers, we invite scholars and archaeologists to bridge the scholarly division between East and West and present research focusing on material evidence from the 5th until the 10th century AD from all around the Mediterranean.

Organised by:

Nicolò PINI (Université Libre de Bruxelles, CReA-Patrimoine, FNRS), Alessandro CARABIA (University of Birmingham), Julie MARCHAND (Royal Museums of Art and History, CRaA-Patrimoine, Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Papers must be submitted by February 8th: https://submissions.e-a-a.org/eaa2024/