Call for Papers: Securing Power in the Sixth-Century Roman Empire

Online Workshop, University of Cambridge, 7 December 2021

Imperial power in the sixth-century Roman empire could be fragile. ‘Every emperor had to perform a delicate balancing act to remain in power’ by responding to and accommodating the shifting demands of public opinion and various interest groups: senators, bureaucrats, bishops, soldiers and generals, urban factions, and more (Greatrex 2020; Meier 2016; Kaldellis 2015; Bell 2013; Pfeilschifter 2013). Each of these groups have individually assumed increasingly important roles in political narratives of the period, but comparatively little attention has been paid to how those in power – emperors, patriarchs, governors, magistrates, and others – were subjected to pressures and attempted to build power bases across these interest groups.

In particular, modern scholarship has established a boundary between “secular” and “ecclesiastical” politics which sixth-century century political actors neither experienced nor refrained from crossing as they tried to secure or challenge power. The purpose of this workshop is to close these artificial divides and to explore how power was contested and secured “without limits”, in order to take better account of the interconnectedness of the sixth-century world, the flexible array of political pressures to which those in power were subjected, and the sometimes unexpected consequences of responding to these pressures. The goal of this approach is to produce a more holistic, comprehensive understanding of sixth-century power struggles.

We invite PhD candidates and early career researchers to read the full call for papers and a list of suggested topics in the PDF attached below.

CfP – Securing Power in the Sixth-Century Roman Empire

The deadline for submitting abstracts is 31 August 2021 and the workshop will take place online on 7 December 2021. We envisage the publication of a volume based on the papers delivered at the conference, dependent upon a peer-review process.

First OEBG-SPBS Joint Lecture

25 May 2021, at 17:00 (UK)/18:00 (Austria) via Zoom

The SPBS is delighted to announce a new online joint Annual Lecture series in cooperation with the Austrian Association for Byzantine Studies.
The first lecture will be taking place on 25 May 2021 at 5pm UK time (6pm Austrian time) by Zoom.

Dr Nikolaos Zagklas (University of Vienna) will be speaking to the title:
The Power of Rhetoric in the Byzantine Classroom and Beyond: Fluid Relations and Intersections between Prose and Poetry

The Respondent will be Dr Foteini Spingou (University of Edinburgh)

All Welcome – please sign up at https://www.byzneo.univie.ac.at/veranstaltungen/first-oebg-spbs-lecture/

For full details, see the poster below:

OEBG-SPBS Lecture 2021

SPBS Virtual Visit to Dumbarton Oaks

5pm (UK time) 29 April 2021

SPBS would like to invite all its members and supporters to come and visit the Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Collection in Washington DC in the company of one of its curators, Dr Elizabeth Williams. Elizabeth will be introducing highlights from the collection under the title ‘Worldly Adornments: A Virtual Object Session with Textiles and Jewelry at Dumbarton Oaks’. There will be opportunities to ask questions during and after the talk. The event will be run through Zoom. If you would like to attend, please contact the SBPS Secretary, Dr Tim Greenwood, by email [twg3@st-andrews.ac.uk] and he will supply further instructions for joining the first ever SPBS Virtual Visit.

DO visit poster

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 (twg3@st-andrews.ac.uk) and he will supply the necessary link.