Seminar Series: Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar

Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar – Summer 2021

Mondays 12.30-14.00 BST, via Zoom

To register, please contact the organiser at

Monday 26th April
Katherine Krauss (Somerville College, Oxford), Rereading the ‘Canon’ in Latin Late Antiquity: Exemplarity and Allusion in Macrobius’ Saturnalia

Monday 3rd May
Alessandro Carabia (University of Birmingham), Defining the ‘Byzantine Variable’ in Early Byzantine Italy: The Case of Liguria (500-700 CE)

Monday 10th May
Cristina Cocola (Universiteit Gent & Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven), Feeling Repentance in Byzantium: A Study on the Literary Sources of Katanyktic Poetry

Monday 17th May
Ben Kybett (Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge), Themistius and the Muses: Religion, Rhetoric, and Classical Statuary in Fourth-Century Constantinople

Monday 24th May
Grace Stafford (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz), Between the Living and the Dead: Use, Reuse, and Imitation of Painted Portraits in Late Antiquity

Monday 31st May
Josh Hitt (St. Hilda’s College, Oxford), Ageing, Rejuvenation and Patronage in Twelfth-Century Byzantium

Monday 7th June
Constanța Burlacu (Merton College, Oxford), Monastic Presence and Book Circulation in the Lands North of the Danube (15th-16th Centuries)

Monday 14th June
Kyriakos Fragkoulis (University of Birmingham), (Re)contextualising a Late Antique City through the Ceramic Record: The Case of Dion in Macedonia (Pieria, Greece)

New Journal: Journal of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies (JLAIBS)

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new journal, Journal of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies (JLAIBS),, published by Edinburgh University Press. The JLAIBS as a hotspot for interdisciplinary dialogue aims to disseminate new approaches and methodologies that intend to transform our understanding of broader Late Antique and Medieval phenomena, such as knowledge transfer and cultural exchanges, by looking beyond single linguistic traditions or political boundaries. It provides a forum for high-quality articles on the interactions and cross-cultural exchange between different traditions and of the so-called Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world. Thematically, the journal also welcomes submissions dealing individually with Late Antique, Byzantine and Islamic literature, history, archaeology, and material culture from the fourth to the fifteenth century.

Articles should be written in English and can be up to 15,000 words in total length (i.e. including all footnotes, bibliography and any appendices). Submissions to Journal of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies should be formatted in accordance with the full JLAIBS style guidelines (, and sent as Word and PDF files to:


Dr Petros Bouras-Vallianatos (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Marie Legendre (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Yannis Stouraitis (University of Edinburgh)

Editorial board:

Prof. Peter Adamson (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
Prof. Gianfranco Agosti (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Assoc. Prof. Corisande Fenwick (University College London)
Prof. Robert Hoyland (New York University)
Prof. Marc Lauxtermann (University of Oxford)
Prof. Maria Mavroudi (University of California, Berkeley)
Prof. Annliese Nef (Université Paris 1 Panthéon)
Prof. Dr Johannes Pahlitzsch (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)
Assoc. Prof. Arietta Papaconstantinou (University of Reading)
Assoc. Prof. Maria Parani (University of Cyprus)
Prof. Samuel Rubenson (Lund University)
Assoc. Prof. Kostis Smyrlis (National Hellenic Research Foundation/Athens)
Assoc. Prof. Jack Tannous (Princeton University)
Assoc. Prof. Alicia Walker (Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania)

Update: SPBS Spring Lecture postponed

The SPBS is sorry to announce that its Spring Lecture – ‘The fortifications of Byzantine and Crusader Cyprus’, by Dr James Petre – will be postponed indefinitely owing to ongoing measures against the spread of COVID-19. The lecture was due to take place on 31 March in Senate House, London. We intend to reschedule the event at a later date when public gatherings become more practicable. In the meantime, please stay well!

The 53rd Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies

University of Birmingham, 28-30 March 2020

Nature and the environment underpinned Byzantine life but have been little studied. How the Byzantines responded to, interacted with and understood the landscape, however, enables crucial new insights into East Roman perceptions of the world. Modern interest in the environment and eco-history makes this theme pertinent and timely. Current research on climate change and how it affected the East Mediterranean creates new paradigms for our understanding of Byzantine interactions with the environment. The 53rd Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies draws together Byzantine literary and visual responses to nature and the environment as well as showcasing the most recent scientific research on historical climate change and environmental management in Byzantium.

This symposium was planned by Dr Ruth Macrides (University of Birmingham) and will be dedicated to her memory. The first two sessions of the symposium will consist of tributes to Ruth’s life and career by her former students and colleagues.

The Symposium will be followed, on Monday afternoon (30 March), by the second in what is planned as a regular series of professional development workshops targeted at Byzantine postgraduate students and sponsored by the SPBS. The workshop, Climate, environment and history, is intended to help early career academics in the humanities familiarize themselves with some of the key aspects of studying the way past human societies have interacted with their physical and climatic environments. Presenters will explain key methodological and interpretational issues and discuss how to avoid misunderstanding or misusing palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic research results.

Information about registration, accommodation and communications will be released in November 2019.