Call for Participants Upcoming Events

Study day: A Study Day on Medieval Greek Liturgy and Liturgical Art (British Museum, 31st October 2014)

Fresco of Basil the Great in the cathedral of Ohrid.
Fresco of Basil the Great in the cathedral of Ohrid.

The Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies

and the British Museum present:

A Study Day on Medieval Greek Liturgy and Liturgical Art: an exploration of the interaction between art and experience in religious life


When:  Friday, October 31, 2014 from 930am until 445pm

Where:  Sackler Room B, British Museum

Programme:  There are six presentations of thirty minutes, each followed by a ten minute questions period, plus an introduction and a handling session of related objects by Museum Curator Chris Entwistle. The presenters are:


Professor Liz James (University of Sussex) – Introduction and Conclusion

Dr. Nadine Schibille (University of Sussex) – Liturgy in Space

Dr. Mary Cunningham (University of Nottingham) – Liturgical celebration of Mary, the Mother of God, in the Middle Byzantine period: the interaction between Church hymnography and devotional art

Arik Avdokhin (PhD Candidate, King’s College London) – Public Involvement in Early Byzantine (Para)Liturgical Practices: Participation in Hymns and Prayers in Churches and Elsewhere

Dr. Heather Hunter-Crawley (University of Bristol) – Mirroring Heaven – The Experience of Eucharistic Silverware in Early Byzantium

Dr. Cecily Hennessy (Christie’s Education) – Monumental decoration in relation to the liturgy

Professor Robin Cormack (University of Cambridge) – The 14th century icon of the Triumph of Orthodoxy and the broader question of how to discover the use of icons in the liturgy


Fees and Reservations:  Reservations are essential because there is limited space.  The fee is £15 for SPBS members and £20 for all others.  Reservations can be made on the following link:

Any questions can be directed to:

Upcoming Events

Talk: TORCH Book at Lunchtime Byzantine Matters, Professor Averil Cameron (Oxford)

image002TORCH Book at Lunchtime | Byzantine Matters, Professor Averil Cameron

Wednesday 21st May, 13:00 – 13:45, with lunch from 12:45 | Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building, Woodstock Road, Oxford

The themes raised by Professor Cameron’s book will be discussed by:

– Dr Jas Elsner (Humfrey Payne Senior Research Fellow in Classical Archaeology and Art)
– Dr Peter Frankopan (Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research)
– Dame Jinty Nelson (Emeritus Professor, King’s College London)

About the book:

For many of us, Byzantium remains “byzantine”–obscure, marginal, difficult. Despite the efforts of some recent historians, prejudices still deform popular and scholarly understanding of the Byzantine civilization, often reducing it to a poor relation of Rome and the rest of the classical world. In this book, renowned historian Averil Cameron presents an original and personal view of the challenges and questions facing historians of Byzantium today.

The book explores five major themes, all subjects of controversy. “Absence” asks why Byzantium is routinely passed over, ignored, or relegated to a sphere of its own. “Empire” reinserts Byzantium into modern debates about empire, and discusses the nature of its system and its remarkable longevity. “Hellenism” confronts the question of the “Greekness” of Byzantium, and of the place of Byzantium in modern Greek consciousness. “The Realms of Gold” asks what lessons can be drawn from Byzantine visual art, and “The Very Model of Orthodoxy” challenges existing views of Byzantine Christianity.

Throughout, the book addresses misconceptions about Byzantium, suggests why it is so important to integrate the civilization into wider histories, and lays out why Byzantium should be central to ongoing debates about the relationships between West and East, Christianity and Islam, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, and the ancient and medieval periods. The result is a forthright and compelling call to reconsider the place of Byzantium in Western history and imagination.

Averil Cameron is professor emeritus of late antique and Byzantine history at the University of Oxford and former warden of Keble College, Oxford. Her books include The Mediterranean World in Late AntiquityThe Byzantines, and The Later Roman Empire.
Part of the TORCH Book at Lunchtime series
Free and open to all. For more information please visit or find us on Facebook and Twitter.


Call for Papers

Call for Papers: Byzantine Maritime Technology and Trade

Proposed Colloquium Session for the 2015 AIA Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Jan. 8-11, 2015 Sponsored by: AIA Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology Interest Group and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University
Organizers: Rebecca Ingram and Michael Jones, Institute of Nautical Archaeology

Session Overview:

Maritime activity played a vital role in the political and economic success of the Byzantine Empire. Recent fieldwork, both on land and underwater, offers a tantalizing glimpse into the complexity of the Byzantine maritime world. The 58,000 m2 rescue excavation of the Theodosian Harbor in the heart of Istanbul, begun in 2004, is perhaps the most significant of these new discoveries, yielding the remains of 37 Byzantine shipwrecks and tens of thousands of artifacts related to maritime trade, shipbuilding technology, and daily life in Constantinople from the late 4th to the early 11th century. However, because the Yenikapı finds are from the hub of a vast maritime network, they cannot be understood in isolation. Along with the finds from Yenikapı, results from recent studies involving shipwrecks, surveys and excavations of harbor sites, and studies of long-distance trade goods are poised to make a significant contribution to our understanding of Byzantine trade, society, and culture. In order to examine this new data within the proper overall context of late antique and Byzantine archaeology, this colloquium session, co-sponsored by the AIA Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology Interest Group and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, will present new discoveries from a range of sites concerning maritime activity in this period. This session aims to bring together archaeologists who focus on topics such as ship construction, harbors, metrology, coastal settlement, and maritime trade goods in the Byzantine world. By seeking greater integration between research from terrestrial and nautical archaeological sites, this session will provide an appropriate venue for the dissemination of recent finds and will shed new light on our understanding of the Byzantine Empire and its neighbors.


If you are interested in participating in this colloquium session, please complete the attached form and return it to Rebecca Ingram ( or Michael Jones ( by Friday, March 21, 2014. You will receive an email by the end of March with additional information.


Post your profile on this blog!

Prague, St Vituss Cathedral, Peter ParlerWe’d like to get profiles of all researchers currently working on medieval art and architecture (defined in the broadest possible sense), so please send your details to! Our Research Profiles page is visited more than any other page on this blog, so this is a great opportunity to get some exposure, and also to find other people working on similar material.

Profiles should be no more than 5 lines, and begin with your name, institutional affiliation, and research project. You may also list other areas of research, together with a link (to your university or page) with further information.

Upcoming Events

Graduate Workshop: Cappadocia in Context

Cappadocia in Context
Immerse yourself in Byzantine & Post-Byzantine Cappadocia…

(Turkey) – The Goreme Valley of Cappadocia, Turkey 5

INFO:  Intensive Graduate Summer Workshop by Koç University RCAC
DATE: 16 JUNE – 04 JULY 2014

Do you want to explore the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine?  Within the region’s spectacular volcanic landscape are dozens of rock-cut settlements, including hundreds of painted, rock-cut churches, chapels, monasteries, houses, villages, towns, fortresses and underground cities.

The program will start in Istanbul, with lectures and field trips.  After three days in Istanbul, the group will travel to Cappadocia.  Through a program in Cappadocia that combines lectures, guided site visits, thematic explorations and seminar presentations, the workshop will explore ways to read the landscapes and its monuments, as well as ways to write a regional history based on the close analysis of sites and monuments.

Prof. Robert Ousterhout (University of Pennsylvania) and Dr. Tolga Uyar (PhD. University of Paris I), with the contribution of some esteemed faculty members from Koç University, will present Cappadocia through a combination of lectures, seminar discussions, site visits and field trips.  A camera, sturdy walking shoes and a taste of exploration are essential!

In order to maintain an intimate setting and provide maximum exposure opportunities, the program has a limited capacity of 14 students.

Scholarships and financial aid are available.
Application deadline 30 April 2014.
All instructions will be in English; reading skills in French highly recommended.
This program is only open to graduate level students in appropriate fields of study.

For more information see:

Upcoming Events

Conference: Naxos and the Byzantine Aegean

img_1667church_halkiNaxos and the Byzantine Aegean
Saturday 12th – Sunday 13th April 2014, Naxos Chora

The Norwegian Institute at Athens has carried out field work on Naxos at the 7th century Byzantine urban fortress of Kastro Apalirou in collaboration with The 2nd Ephoria of Byzantine Antiquities since 2010. The project has recently been widened to include the Universities of Edinburgh and Newcastle. A conference is being arranged to bring together scholars who have worked on Naxos and other Byzantine sites in the Aegean

The conference focus will be Byzantine research on Naxos, though some aspects of Late Antique settlement will be included. Research from other insular sites with relevance to Naxos will also be presented. The following research areas will be covered: Archaeology, History, Landscape History, Ecclesiastical History, and Iconographic and Architectural development.

The meeting will be held at the Ursuline School, Chora, Naxos Island, on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th April with an optional excursion on the 14th. A preliminary programme will be published shortly.


The following speakers have agreed to speak and will present papers on their work:
Vasso Penna, University of the Peloponnese
Ben Slot, University of Leiden
Haralambos Pennas, Athens
Thanassis Vionis, University of Cyprus
Natalia Poula- Papadimitriou, University of Thessaloniki
Vassilis Lambrinoudakis, University of Athens
Maria Xenaki, French School at Athens
Stavros Baltogiannis, Athens
Agathoniki Tsilipakou, Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki
Georgios Mastoropoulos, Athens and Naxos
Georgios Deligiannakis, Open University, Cyprus
Klimis Aslanidis, University of Patras
Ian Begg, Trent University
David Hill, University of Oslo
Knut Ødegård University of Oslo
Håkon Ingvaldsen, University of Oslo
James Crow, University of Edinburgh
Sam Turner University of Newcastle

We welcome other potential speakers who have relevant work to contact the organizers with an abstract of their proposed communication.

For academic program:
For organizational matters:
For matters concerning arrangements on Naxos:


New Publication: Nicolas Melvani, Late Byzantine Sculpture

byzantine-scupture-257x330This book provides a detailed description and interpretation of multiple aspects of sculpture from late Byzantine monuments. Although individual monuments of the late Byzantine period have been exhaustively published and analyzed, the role of their sculptural decoration is usually overlooked. Whereas architectural features and, especially, wall paintings are treated in full detail, sculpture is approached as a mere decorative art which complements the overall appearance of a building. However, careful examination of late Byzantine sculptures found in situ or through excavation, as well as research into museum collections, reveals that late Byzantine sculptors had reached a very high degree of artistic accomplishment and that their creations should be treated as works of art of the highest quality. Moreover, by interpreting each work, even those of a purely decorative nature, according to the space it occupied, by deciphering what is depicted (including religious themes and political symbols), as well as by taking into account the wider context within which sculpture was produced during the period under investigation, one can extract invaluable information concerning the artistic climate and the social circumstances which led to the development of late Byzantine sculpture.


Current Exhibition: Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections

heaven-earthWashington, National Gallery, West Building

Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections

October 6 2013- March 2 2014

In 330 Emperor Constantine the Great moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Italy some thousand miles to the east, near the site of the ancient Greek city of Byzantium on the Bosphorus Strait linking the Aegean and Black Seas. Renamed Constantinople (now Istanbul), the city became the largest and wealthiest in the Christian world. It remained the dominant power, especially in the eastern Mediterranean, for more than 1,000 years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. In the first-ever exhibition of Byzantine art at the Gallery, some 170 works of art, many never before lent to the United States, will be on view—among them mosaics, icons, manuscripts, jewelry, and ceramics. The works include newly discovered and unpublished objects and reveal the rich and multifaceted culture of Byzantium. Divided into five thematic sections, the exhibition explores the coexistence of paganism and Christianity, spiritual life in Byzantium, secular works of art used in the home, the intellectual life of Byzantine scholars, and the cross-influences that occurred between Byzantine and Western artists before the fall of Byzantium.

Heaven and EarthArt of Byzantium from Greek Collections presents life in Byzantium through approximately 170 works of art dating from the inception of the empire to its close. Drawn from collections throughout Greece, they include sculpture, mosaics, icons, frescoes, manuscripts, metalwork, jewelry, glass, embroideries, coins, and ceramics. The works are arranged in five sections: From the Ancient to the Byzantine WorldSpiritual Life,Pleasures of LifeIntellectual Life, and The Last Phase: Crosscurrents.

Organization: The exhibition was organized by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Athens, with the collaboration of the Benaki Museum, Athens, and in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Sponsors: The exhibition’s international tour is made possible by major funding from OPAP S.A.
Financial support is also provided by the A.G. Leventis Foundation.

Other Venues: J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, April 9–August 25, 2014


Job: Assistant Professor, University of Kansas

University of Kansas, Kress Foundation Department of Art History
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track. Early Medieval, Byzantine, or Islamic art

The Kress Foundation Department of Art History at the University of Kansas seeks a tenure- track Assistant Professor specializing in the history of the visual arts of the Middle Ages with strength in early Medieval, Byzantine, or Islamic art, to begin as early as August 18, 2014. Ph.D. with specialization in early Medieval, Byzantine, or Islamic art history is expected by the start date of the appointment.   The appointee will teach four courses per year, including undergraduate and graduate courses in Medieval art history, and participate in the two-semester introductory art history survey; advise undergraduate and graduate students; guide research of graduate students and supervise dissertations; maintain an active program of research disseminated through peer-review publications and public presentations; and provide service to the department and university, including membership on committees and participation in university governance. Candidates, who will contribute to the climate of diversity, including a diversity of scholarly approaches, are encouraged to apply.

For a complete announcement and to apply online, go to and click “Search Faculty Jobs,” then search openings by keyword.

A complete electronic application will include a letter of application, CV, a list of 3 references, copies of a publication and/or a writing sample.