Call for Papers: Religion and War from Antiquity to Early Modernity: Historical Varieties of a Recurring Nexus

King’s College London, 24-26 June 2019

Deadline: 15 December 2018

The conference, hosted by the Departments of Classics and War Studies, and the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War at King’s College London, will mark the launch of a new international research network Religion and War through the Ages dedicated to exploring the nexus between religion and war as a recurring cross-cultural phenomenon attested in a great variety of historical societies from antiquity to the present and presenting a particularly poignant modern challenge.

What role do religious ideas play in human conflicts? Citing direct divine command or posing as guardians of divine interests, actively seeking divine approval or drawing courage from imagined divine support, armies from ancient times to the present and across diverse regions and cultures, have gone to battle with one another. The conference will investigate specific historical cases and contexts that illustrate the influence of religion on war, from motivation to rules of conduct. Major themes include: the demands of different sets of religious beliefs that in the past provided a cause for war; the conditions under which religious considerations became a dominant force among the reasons for and against war; the role religion played in escalating war or putting limits on violence and how that influence was felt; finally, how religion, in turn, was affected by the conduct of war in past societies.

With wide geographic coverage encompassing the Mediterranean basin, Near East, North Africa, and Europe, and taking Classical Antiquity as a starting point, but looking as far back as the second millennium BCE and forward to the Westphalian settlement of 1648, this conference will be a comparative and cross-cultural exploration of the persistent question about the role of religion in motivating, guiding, and explaining the causes and conduct of war.

Confirmed speakers include: Ian Morris (Stanford), Anthony Spalinger (Auckland), Penny Roberts (Warwick), Amir Gilan (Tel Aviv), Ioannis Stouraitis (Edinburgh), Amira Benison (Cambridge).

Proposals from young researchers and established scholars in all fields of history (from Near Eastern Studies, Classics, Medieval and Byzantine to Early Modern) are now invited for papers of 20 minutes exploring historical cases that fit within the geographic and chronological framework outlined above and explore the influence of religion on war, from motivation and moral justification to rules of conduct. Proposals, of up to 350 words, along with a very brief CV, should be sent to Irene Polinskaya ( by 15 December 2018. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 January 2019. A selection of papers will be considered for publication in peer-reviewed conference proceedings.

Inquiries may be sent to Irene Polinskaya, Alan James ( and Hans van Wees (

Job: Lecturer in Late Antique Archaeology

University of Edinburgh

Deadline: 7 January 2019

We seek to appoint a specialist in Late Antique Archaeology, broadly understood in terms of period and with a geographical focus on the later Roman Empire, early Byzantium, and the post-Roman Western Mediterranean. The successful candidate will have a track record of internationally excellent publications, proportionate to career stage, and will continue to publish and research at the highest level in this and related disciplines. They will be expected to make a significant contribution to the teaching of late antique archaeology at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as to doctoral supervision and will be expected to collaborate with other Roman archaeologists and other late antique and Byzantine specialists.

For full details, see

Call for Papers: Armenia & Byzantium: Perspectives on Cultural and Political Relations

Graduate and Early Career Workshop, University of Oxford, 22–23 March 2019

Deadline: 15 December 2018

The ‘Armenia & Byzantium: Perspectives on Cultural and Political Relations’ is a two-day workshop which intends to bring together early career researchers working in the fields of Armenian and Byzantine studies and to give them the opportunity to discuss their research with senior specialists in their field. This workshop will continue the successful collaboration between Oxford and Vienna, which began last year in the University of Vienna with the workshop ‘Armenia & Byzantium without Borders’ convened by Dr Emilio Bonfiglio and Professor Claudia Rapp within the framework of ‘Moving Byzantium: Mobility, Microstructure and Personal Agency’ project.

We are pleased to invite advanced PhD candidates and early career researchers working in the fields of Late Antique, Armenian, Byzantine, and Middle Eastern Studies to submit proposals for 20-minute papers connected with the main topics of Armenian-Byzantine relations with a focus on aspects of political and cultural interactions throughout the Middle Ages. We are particularly interested in new research which explores the participation of the Armenians in the Byzantine world and the Byzantine policies which had a direct influence on the Armenians. Each paper presented at the workshop will be accompanied by a senior scholar’s 10-minute response, followed by a general discussion. The workshop will be inaugurated with the lecture of our keynote speaker, Prof. Christina Maranci (Tufts University).

Limited travel grants will be available to assist those who would otherwise be unable to attend. Paper proposals should be sent by 15th December 2018 to David Zakarian. Applications should include: a) university affiliation; b) graduate level; c) title of the paper; d) abstract (max 250 words); e) CV.

Scientific Committee: Dr. David Zakarian (Oxford), Prof. Theo M. van Lint (Oxford), Dr Emilio Bonfiglio (Vienna), and Prof. Claudia Rapp (Vienna)

Summer School: Byzantine Centres of Magnificence

Oxford University Summer School for Adults, 13-20 July 2019

Apart from Constantinople, the political and cultural capital of the Byzantine empire for over a thousand years, there were other wealthy cities and towns as well as monastic communities in the empire which produced exquisite cultural and artistic products. Using contemporary texts and visual aids, the course will trace the development of Constantinople and certain other Byzantine centres and examine the cultural, artistic and everyday life in those centres from the fourth to the fifteenth century.

The course will be taught by Dr Aphrodite Papayianni, who teaches at the University of London and OUDCE.

Full information regarding the course can be found at:

Call for Papers: Conquest and Construction: Architecture and Landscapes in the Medieval Mediterranean

Architecture Space and Society Research Centre, Birkbeck (University of London), 1 March 2019

Deadline: 3 December 2018

Much recent scholarship on the medieval Mediterranean focuses on shifting borders and cultural identities. Conquest is one of the causes of such shifts. This one-day symposium will examine how the consequences of conquests were manifested in conquered cities and landscapes, asking how conquerors responded to their new environments and how conquered communities were built and re-built.

Papers might touch on any of the following in relation to conquest, conquerors or conquered territories in the Mediterranean world, in the period 500 – 1500.

– Architecture
– Space, landscape, urbanism, topographies
– Architectural sculpture and decoration
– Sacred and liturgical spaces
– Destruction of architecture and urbanism
– Spoliation and re-use of building materials
– Cross-cultural exchanges through buildings, cities and landscapes
– Conquerors as builders and patrons of architecture
– Castles and defensive architecture
– Written descriptions of conquered landscapes

Papers are welcome on all areas of the Mediterranean world (including the Islamic, Byzantine and Latin areas, Jewish communities, the crusades and border zones).

Please send proposals for 20-minute papers to Clare Vernon (, by Monday 3 December 2018, including a paper title, an abstract (max 300 words) and contact details.

Call for papers: Seventh Century Syrian Numismatic Round Table

‘The Hive’, Worcester, 6-7 April 2019

The Round Table aims to bring together numismatists, historians and archaeologist with an interest in Late Antiquity/Early Islam in Syria/Palestine and the surrounding area. We hold small informal conferences at roughly two-yearly intervals which usually include at least twelve papers with ample time allowed for discussion. The central focus is the Syrian Arab-Byzantine coinage, but papers can cover Byzantine or Post-Reform Umayyad coinage, or deal with aspects of the history or archaeology of Syria/Palestine. We also normally include one or two papers on related topics (e.g. seals, weights etc.) or adjacent localities (e.g. Egypt or the Sasanian Empire). Papers sometimes present completed pieces of research, but more often they deal with ‘work in progress’.

If you are interested in presenting a paper (or would just like more information about the conference) please contact Tony Goodwin on Presentations should normally last no more than 40 minutes, but much shorter papers are equally acceptable. A short abstract will be circulated before the conference and the papers will be published in full in the conference proceedings. The Hive conference centre in Worcester was the very successful venue for our last but one conference in 2013.

Conference: Drugs in the Medieval World (ca. 1050-ca.1400)

King’s College London, Strand Campus, London, 7-8 December 2018

Deadline: 2 December 2018

From the mid-eleventh century onwards the Mediterranean world was a hotbed of transcultural interactions to an even greater degree than had been the case in the past. The field of pharmacology is particularly significant in this historical context in both social and cultural terms, because it involved practical matters, such as the administration of drugs, thus impacting on the everyday life of a large number of people of all social classes. Yet we lack comparative studies in this field or studies on the interrelationship between the different Mediterranean traditions, including the Byzantine, Islamic and Latin Western traditions, as well as on the role of minority ethno-religious groups, such as the Jews, in the process of knowledge exchange. This conference seeks to promote discussion and research on the evidence for interaction between different cultures and regions in the medieval Mediterranean in an attempt to create a much more detailed and critical narrative.

For full programme and registration (by 2 December), please see the event’s webpage.

Call for papers: Contested Heritage: adaptation, restoration and innovation in the Late Antique and Byzantine world

2019 Oxford University Byzantine Society Graduate Conference, History Faculty, Oxford, 22-23 February 2019

Deadline: 23 November 2018

Byzantines considered themselves the legitimate heirs of the ancient world, a title they passionately defended against emerging empires east and west that also claimed hereditary rights to the Graeco-Roman past. From the fostering of cultural, scientific, and literary revivals and the commissioning of projects that used a well-established artistic and architectural vocabulary to the collection, conservation and display of consecrated ancient artefacts, anachronism was a powerful political and cultural tool, frequently used to build analogies with either past prosperity or a divine eternity. In addition, the use of deliberate archaism in literary forms and language served as both a demonstration of classical learning and elite status. Especially in Constantinople, ceremonial practices not only invited the participants to experience past events as if they were present, but also processed through consecrated landmarks from different historical periods – merging perception of space and time in a single, collective experience. Nevertheless, literary sources, such as the Parastaseis Syntomoi Chronikai, reveal that Byzantines sometimes had only a limited understanding of their own history and urban heritage. They compensate with interpretations, based on oral tradition and observation that often endowed ancient architectural remains and statues with a contemporary relevance. Subsequently this interpretation of the past was actively reshaped to fit contemporary worldviews. Lastly, extensive reuse of ancient material dominates our perception of Byzantium. Innovative aspects of its cultural output therefore often lie unnoticed and are deserving of greater scholarly attention.

Including contributions on political, social, literary, architectural and artistic history, and covering geographical areas throughout the central and eastern Mediterranean and beyond, this conference aims to provide a kaleidoscopic view of how cultural heritage was constructed, perceived and maintained in Late Antiquity and Byzantium. To that end, we encourage submissions from all graduate students and young researchers, encompassing, but not limited to, the following themes:

• Literary works: stylistic imitation, adaptation and innovation in form and function of narrative sources and other literary production, as well as incorporation of older texts, historiographical traditions and archaiologia.
• Manuscripts: scribal habits, palimpsests, marginal comments, illustrations and other decorative elements.
• Architecture and urbanism: repurposing, adaptation and restoration of buildings and sites, architectural innovation and symbolism, monumentality, genius loci, use of spolia.
• Religious objects: translation of relics, liturgical equipment, and vestments.
• Ceremonial practice: religious processions, triumphs, adventus.
• New aesthetics, especially in the reuse of old material.
• Sculpture: interpretation and repurposing of ancient statues.
• Epigraphy: textual content, form and style, use and location.
• Mosaics: departures from classical and late antique mosaics, reuse of materials and reinterpretation of existing compositions.
• Numismatics: reuse, adaption, or creation of imagery or types.
• Comparative perspectives of the above elsewhere, in opposition or concordance with practices in Byzantium.
• The past as a framework for political, legal and economic discourse.
• Contemporary reaction to innovation, both overt and when disguised as restoration.

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words, along with a short academic biography in the third person, to the Oxford University Byzantine Society at by Friday, 23rd November 2018. Papers should be 20 minutes in length and may be delivered in English or French.

As with previous conferences, there will be a publication of selected papers, chosen and reviewed by specialists from the University of Oxford in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies. Speakers wishing to have their papers considered for publication should try to be as close to the theme as possible in their abstract and paper. Nevertheless, all submissions are warmly invited.

Conference: Reception, Appropriation, and Innovation: Byzantium between the Christian and Islamic Worlds

2nd Annual Edinburgh International Graduate Byzantine Conference

University of Edinburgh, 30 November-1 December 2018

Registration is now open for the second Edinburgh International Graduate Byzantine Conference, ‘Reception, Appropriation, and Innovation: Byzantium between the Christian and Islamic Worlds’. Please register online at online now:

A full programme may be downloaded from

Conference: Late Antique Archaeology: Imperial Archaeologies

Birkbeck, University of London, 1 December 2018

This meeting with examine the latest developments in the archaeology of emperors, kings, and their courts in late antiquity, from palaces and iconography to churches and mausolea. We review fieldwork in Constantinople or imperial capitals within the Empire, but also compare royal courts of adjacent kingdoms in both East & West.

All welcome. Admission 20 GBP. Students 10GBP (free to Kent and Birkbeck students). For full programme and booking, see the Eventbrite page.