Scholarship: Byzantium and the Euro-Mediterranean Cultures of War. Exchange, Differentiation and Reception

Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany

Deadline: 24 May 2019

Within the Research Training Group 2304 “Byzantium and the Euro-Mediterranean Cultures of War. Exchange, Differentiation and Reception”, which is financed by the DFG (German Research Foundation), there is at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, 1 position for doctoral research associate (pay scale TV-L13, 2/3 FTE) in Ancient History to be filled by 1 October 2019 for a contract period of three years.

Participating in this Research Training Group are the disciplines of Ancient History, Ancient Church History/Theology, Byzantine Studies, Medieval History, Eastern European History, Early Modern Church History, Classical Archaeology, Christian Archaeology and Byzantine Art History, Early and Prehistorical Archaeology (with a focus on Medieval Archaeology) and Musicology.

The goal of the Research Training Group is to examine the Euro-Mediterranean Cultures of War from a transcultural perspective, from the Roman Imperial Period to the Early Modern Period. With cultures of war are understood to be the forms and practices of war as well as the norms, interpretations, attributions of meaning and reflections referring to war. The mutual processes of exchange, differentiation or reception will be explored via four thematic areas:

1. Strategies of justification and legitimation
2. Conceptualizations of persons and groups
3. Rituals and worship
4. Knowledge and infrastructure

A thorough description of the research program and the emphases of the participating disciplines is available on the homepage.

Ancient History is connected to the research programme of the Research Training Group through the Late Antique-Early Byzantine period. In addition, it has to offer a variety of aspects of the imperial period connected to later developments. For example, representational modes of imperial victoriousness can be examined with a focus on numismatics from 1st – 5th/6th centuries. Also, talking about soldiers and their lives in various textual genres could be an exciting and fruitful PhD thesis topic. The exploration of the integration of divine will in the campaign and war pragmatics could be another field of research fitting in well with the Research Training Group programme, such as the meaning of signs, the sacrifices before the battle or Christian prayer.

These and other possible topics are listed on the Research Training Group’s homepage. Applications covering different subjects that fit within the overall programme will also be considered that examine the practices, norms, interpretations or attributions of war, war-related objects, actions or actors. Supervisor and point of contact: Prof. Dr. Marietta Horster.

Upon acceptance, the graduate students are to participate in a structured doctoral program at the JGU Mainz, for which residence in Mainz is required. The Research Training Group offers intensive specialized and interdisciplinary exchange, cross-disciplinary doctoral supervision by two professors from amongst the participating scholars, praxis-oriented courses directed at public engagement (including through museums), a comprehensive range of key qualifications (e.g. from the sphere of Digital Humanities) and diverse opportunities for international networking.

Requirements for the application include a degree (Magister, M.A. or the equivalent) completed with above-average marks in Ancient History or related fields as well as openness to interdisciplinary work.

The following application materials are to be submitted electronically in a single .pdf (in German or English):

• A letter of application (one page)
• An outline of the planned dissertation project (two pages)
• A curriculum vitae with list of publications (if applicable), degree diplomas, certificates of scholarly activities
• Master’s Thesis (or equivalent)

The Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz is keen on increasing the proportion of women within the sphere of scholarship and therefore especially welcomes applications from female researchers. Disabled persons will be given preference if equally qualified.

The application deadline ends by 24 May 2019.

The application materials along with two letters of recommendation from university-level instructors, who should submit their letters separately, are to be addressed to the Spokesperson of the Research Training Group, Prof. Dr. Johannes Pahlitzsch, (address:; subject-line: grk2304_Last Name).