Lecture: The English monks on Greek and Latin and on the Church Union debates

The Byzantine Studies Lectures of the Institute of Historical Research (National Hellenic Research Foundation) continue on March 28 with a hybrid lecture on:

The English monks on Greek and Latin and on the Church Union debates (First half of the thirteenth century)
by Eleonora Kountoura-Galake, National Hellenic Research Foundation.

18:00 EET, National Hellenic Research Foundation, 48, V. Constantinou Av. 11635, Athens.

To join via Zoom please follow the link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88500052364?pwd=ZURtOEE4RzZDRW5hVjJSSE1SMjF3UT09

The series program for the spring semester of 2022-23 can also be viewed online: http://www.eie.gr/nhrf/institutes/ihr/index-en_IHR_news.html

Piece by Piece: Mosaic Artifacts in Byzantium and the Ancient Americas

Piece by Piece: Mosaic Artifacts in Byzantium and the Ancient Americas
WHERE: Dumbarton Oaks | Oak Room
WHEN: May 18  –  19, 2023
This workshop and museum colloquium will bring together art historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, curators, conservators, and scientists to consider the production, use, and meaning of mosaic artifacts in Byzantium and the ancient Americas.
Across premodern cultures, the mosaic artform enjoyed tremendous prestige. In the medieval Mediterranean, no other pictorial medium could rival mosaic’s opulence and visual splendor or claim to entail the same level of technical expertise. Durable and infinitely reparable, mosaics intimated a sense of both history and timelessness. Similarly, in the ancient Americas, the mosaic medium embodied status, wealth, and authority. A range of socially and ritually significant objects, from weapons and jewelry to figurines, were adorned with exquisitely crafted mosaic inlays, featuring such rich materials as turquoise, lapis lazuli, serpentine, and mother-of-pearl. Tellingly, both Byzantine micromosaic icons and ancient American portable mosaic objects would captivate the imaginations of discerning antiquarians and collectors in early modern Europe. To these later audiences, mosaic epitomized cultures that were, from the European vantage point, geographically and temporally “far away.”
The Dumbarton Oaks Museum has unique holdings of artworks in the mosaic medium, including two Byzantine micromosaic icons (BZ.1947.24 and BZ.1954.2), a Wari mosaic mirror (PC.B.432) and figurine (PC.B.437), and a Maya mosaic mask (PC.B.557). The collection therefore presents a rare resource for reexamining mosaic artifacts from a cross-cultural perspective and exploring new ways of thinking more expansively about the mosaic medium and its histories, both local and global. In addition to this cross-cultural frame, this workshop and colloquium will serve as an opportunity to devote specific attention to Byzantine micromosaic icons, exceptionally rare (only thirty-six are known to survive today), and yet understudied, outstanding works of medieval art. The occasion of this workshop and colloquium offers us a far-reaching opportunity to return to the proverbial square one and reassess everything we think we know about Byzantine micromosaic icons: when they were created, where, how, by whom, for whom, and why.
Event details
The two-day event will consist of three parts: a colloquium, with a series of papers, and two study sessions. The first study session, led by conservators, will present new technical research on the micromosaic icons of the Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia and St. John Chrysostom at Dumbarton Oaks, placing the Byzantine objects in dialogue with the Wari and Maya mosaic artifacts, also in the DO collection. The second session, which will be dedicated to Byzantine micromosaic icons specifically, will involve a structured group discussion about the current state of scholarship and imperatives for future research. The colloquium will be open to the public. The two study sessions will be open to colloquium participants and a small number of selected scholarly guests.
  • Ivan Drpić, Associate Professor of History of Art, University of Pennsylvania
  • John Lansdowne, Post-Doctoral Fellow and Assistant to the Director for Academic Programs, I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies
  • Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, Curator, Byzantine Collection, Dumbarton Oaks

For more information, see the event’s web page:

Advanced Summer Course: ‘Byzantine Epigraphy in Situ’

Advanced Summer Course: ‘Byzantine Epigraphy in Situ’

Centre of Excellence ‘Heritage BG’ Nessebăr,

Bulgaria, 12-15 September 2023

Organised and convened by Emmanuel Moutafov, Ida Toth and Andreas Rhoby


The Advanced Summer Course ‘Byzantine Epigraphy in situ’ offers a training programme to doctoral and early-career scholars, who wish to gain experience in using epigraphic material for research. The aim of the course is to advance the knowledge of medieval and early modern Greek inscriptional culture and its contributions to the overall heritage of Byzantium and the Balkans. The course will provide a unique opportunity to read, examine, and interpret inscriptions in situ, that is, in their architectural, iconographic, liturgical, art-historical, social and cultural contexts.

For more information, see the website: https://phd-edu.nasledstvo.bg/


Porphyra XXIX Call for Papers

Porphyra Call for Papers: Issue XXIX

“What’s New in Byzantine Studies?”

Deadline: 15th July 2023

Porphyra, the international academic journal of Byzantine studies, is finally back online and, looking forward to its 20th anniversary, is calling for papers. This year’s issue will be entirely dedicated to reviews and bibliographic reports and the editorial board is thus asking scholars to send their contributions with regards to the latest publications within the field of Byzantine studies (including history, literature, philology, art history, archaeology, paleography, codicology, history of music, etc.) and its related subjects.
Reviews or simple bibliographic reports may cover, but are not limited to, recent monographies, collective works, scholarly editions of unedited material relevant to the Byzantine world, congress proceedings, catalogues of exhibitions as well as particularly relevant articles or essays.

The length of the contributions should be between 850 and 2500 words, the accepted languages are Italian, English and French and the authors are required to follow the editorial rules of the journal, which are found in our website.

The authors should send their papers in .doc and .pdf format by the 15th July 2023 to the following e-mail addresses: redazione@porphyra.it and lorenzomaria.ciolfi@gmail.com.

Byzantinist Society of Cyprus: Fourth International Conference on Byzantine and Medieval Studies

We invite you to the Fourth International Conference on Byzantine and Medieval Studies, organized by the Byzantinist Society of Cyprus (Βυζαντινολογική Εταιρεία Κύπρου), in the Nicosia Multipurpose Municipal Center (Πολυδύναμο Δημοτικό Κέντρο Λευκωσίας), between the 17th and 19th of March 2023.

Academics, researchers, and post-graduate students will present their ongoing research, work-in-progress or fieldwork reports on aspects of
the history, archaeology, art, architecture, literature, philosophy and religion of Cyprus and the broader Mediterranean region, during the Byzantine, Medieval and Ottoman periods.

The Conference is dedicated to the memory of the Society’s founding member Dr Athanasios Papageorghiou. His work – an invaluable legacy for
Cypriot and Byzantine studies – will be presented by Dr Chalarambos Bakirtzis, on Friday, 17 March, at 18:15.

The Conference keynote speaker is Professor Emeritus Asher Ovadiah – Tel Aviv University. The keynote lecture, titled: The images of the Early
Byzantine church and its architectural elements in the mirror of patristic literary sources, will be on Friday, 17 March, at 18:30.

The Honorary President of the Conference is Professor Emeritus Costas N. Constantinides – University of Ioannina. His lecture, titled: Ελληνική
παιδεία: από τη σύγκρουση στη συμφιλίωση και την αρμονική συνύπαρξη με τη χριστιανική θρησκεία, will be on Saturday, 18 March, at 10:15.

Byzantinist Society of Cyprus Executive Committee

Museum of Russian Icons receives $75,000 grant from Mass Cultural Council

Museum of Russian Icons receives $75,000 grant from Mass Cultural Council, part of historic $51M investment in the cultural sector.

CLINTON, MA––The Museum of Russian Icons has received a grant of $75,000 from the Mass Cultural Council (MCC), a state agency. The unrestricted funds are the maximum allowed through the Council’s Cultural Sector Pandemic Recovery Grants for Organizations Program.

“Covid brought with it many unforeseen challenges, particularly for smaller museums like ours.  This significant grant will help us continue our recovery,” said Simon Morsink, Executive Director of the Museum of Russian Icons. “We are grateful to the Mass Cultural Council and the many advocates who fight so hard to secure critical funding for the cultural sector.”

The Recovery Grant Program is part of MCC’s historic $51 million public investment into the Commonwealth’s creative and cultural sector to organizations impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the largest grant announcement the Mass Cultural Council has ever made.

“This historic investment of state Covid relief funds will support 1000s of cultural organizations and creative individuals living and working in Massachusetts,” commented State Senator John J. Cronin. “This new funding reinforces our commitment to assisting artists and cultural groups that suffered from closures during the pandemic. The money will go a long way to helping the Commonwealth’s creative and cultural sectors rebound.”

In December 2021 a $4 billion pandemic recovery package was approved by the Legislature and signed into law. This Act, Ch. 102 of 2021, directed Mass Cultural Council to develop and administer grant programs to assist cultural organizations and artists recover from the pandemic and operate more efficiently moving forward. Mass Cultural Council received $60.1 million in surplus state revenue funds to support this effort. These unrestricted funds will provide critical support to offset significant losses incurred from necessary suspension of the Museum of Russian Icon’s activities during the height of the pandemic.

“The Museum of Russian Icons is a critical part of Clinton’s cultural fabric, and I’m proud to be an advocate for its efforts,” said State Senator Meghan Kilcoyne.

This grant signifies that the Museum of Russian Icons provides meaningful public value through its programs and services. Located in Clinton, Massachusetts, the Museum houses and exhibits one of the Western world’s largest collections of icons—sacred paintings used for veneration in the Orthodox Christian tradition–along with religious artifacts, and Slavic folk arts. It illustrates the evolution over six centuries of the icon from its early Egyptian and Byzantine origins to the establishment of its own tradition. Founded in 2006 as a nonprofit educational institution by Massachusetts art collector and industrialist Gordon B. Lankton, the Museum’s exhibitions, lectures, workshops, symposia, concerts, and guided tours offer a unique cultural experience.

he Recovery Grants offer unrestricted grants, ranging from $5,000 to $75,000 to Massachusetts cultural organizations, collectives, and businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cultural Council received 1,359 applications to the program, of which 1,218 were approved.


Mass Cultural Council has an annual budget of $15.7 million, including an appropriation of nearly $14 million from the state of Massachusetts and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. The agency also runs the Mass Cultural Facilities Fund in partnership with Mass Development. Mass Cultural Council funds reach every community in the Commonwealth. Its mission is to promote excellence, education, access and diversity in the arts, humanities and sciences, to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the vitality of our communities and economy.


Icons & Retablos: Images of Devotion, March 2—August 27, 2023

Created in collaboration with New Mexico State University, this bilingual exhibition explores the beauty and spirituality of Orthodox icons and Mexican retablos, devotional works of art which convey artistically similar themes utilizing different materials, styles, and iconographies.


The Museum of Russian Icons preserves and exhibits one of the world’s largest collections of Orthodox Christian icons, bronze crosses, and Slavic folk arts. Spanning over six centuries, the collection showcases the development of the Russian icon from its Egyptian and Byzantine roots and explores the spread of Orthodoxy across cultures.

The Museum serves as a leading center for research and scholarship through the Center for Icon Studies and other institutional collaborations. It is the only Museum in the US dedicated to Russian icons, and the largest collection of icons outside of Russia.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10am-4pm. Closed Monday–Wednesday.

Admission: Adults $12, seniors (59+) $10, Students $5, Children (13-17) $5, Children under 13 Free.

Follow the Museum of Russian Icons on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Visit the website, www.museumofrussianicons.org, home of the online collection (including research papers on individual icons), a virtual tour of the Museum, the Journal of Icon Studies, and the British Museum’s Catalogue of Byzantine and Greek Icons.

The Museum of Russian Icons vehemently condemns the military aggression on the sovereign country of Ukraine. We stand with the courageous citizens of Ukraine and Russia who oppose this senseless act of war.

Lecture: Chôra and the Creation of Sacred Space in Byzantine Architecture

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is pleased to announce the final lecture in its 2022–2023 lecture series.

Thursday, March 30, 2023 | 12:00 PM EDT | Zoom
Chôra and the Creation of Sacred Space in Byzantine Architecture
Jelena Bogdanović, Vanderbilt University
Can we talk about Byzantine architecture beyond buildings? What is at stake?
This presentation engages with the scholarly opportunities for theoretical considerations of sacred architecture in light of Byzantine intellectual and creative practices. Primarily focusing on principles of architectural design, sacred space is highlighted here not as an abstract category nor as a specific sacred place or location but rather as a combination of the two. As such, sacred space points to a historical and evocative locale and associated events; yet it remains inseparable from its essential qualities. By revisiting the architectural design of Byzantine churches, this talk will demonstrate the meaningful relations between created sacred space and the faithful, between physical objects in space, and the significance of non-material aspects of built structures in communicating the vitality of architectural form as a kind of participatory icon of space. Especially important is the philosophically and architecturally suggestive concept of chôra (χώρα) and its cognate hypodochē (υποδοχή), originally introduced by Plato in his instrumental text Timaeus. This presentation will analyze the relevance of chôra and hypodochē for understanding the modes of creation of sacred space and religious architecture in the late antique and Byzantine Mediterranean.

Jelena Bogdanović (Ph.D. Princeton University) is an Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture and Classical and Mediterranean Studies at Vanderbilt University. She studies cross-cultural and religious themes in the architecture of the Balkans and Mediterranean.

Advance registration required at https://maryjahariscenter.org/events/chora-and-the-creation-of-sacred-space

Contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

Tufts Part-time Lecturer for Geospatial Humanities

Tufts Part-time Lecturer for Geospatial Humanities

Tufts University has an opening for a part-time lecturer to teach an exciting new course: Introduction to Geospatial Humanities this fall 2023. The course is offered through Tufts Department of Classical Studies. Please feel free to forward.

The position description, application instructions, and contact information are available here: https://apply.interfolio.com/122286

East of Byzantium Lecture: Divine King or Sacrilegious Upstart?

East of Byzantium is pleased to announce the next lecture in its 2022–2023 lecture series.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 | 12:00 PM EDT | Zoom
Divine King or Sacrilegious Upstart? The Portrait of Emperor Yǝkunno Amlak in Gännätä Maryam
Jacopo Gnisci | University College London

In the third quarter of the thirteenth century Yǝkunno Amlak led a rebellion against the Zagwes – a line of Christian rulers who had been in control of most of the Empire of Ethiopia since at least the first half of the twelfth century. He initiated a line that would rule the country until the twentieth century: the Solomonic dynasty. Apart from these general facts, we know relatively little about the life of the first emperor of this dynasty. In this paper I hope to further our understanding of Yǝkunno Amlak’s reign and visual strategies by focusing on his only known contemporary portrait in the church of Gännätä Maryam. By analysing this image in its wider setting, I aim to shed some light on its socio-political background and reflect on the reactions it might have triggered.

Jacopo Gnisci is a Lecturer in the Art and Visual Cultures of the Global South at University College London and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Africa, Oceania, and the America at the British Museum. He is the co-Principal Investigator of the projects Demarginalizing medieval Africa: Images, texts, and identity in early Solomonic Ethiopia (1270-1527) (AHRC Grant Ref. no. AH/V002910/1; DFG Projektnummer 448410109) and Material Migrations: Mamluk Metalwork across Afro-Eurasia (Gerda Henkel Stiftung).

Advance registration required. Register: https://eastofbyzantium.org/upcoming-events/

Contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

An East of Byzantium lecture. EAST OF BYZANTIUM is a partnership between the Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard University and the Mary Jaharis Center that explores the cultures of the eastern frontier of the Byzantine empire in the late antique and medieval periods.

CFP Deadline Extension: CLARE DGA Graduate Student Conference

The University of Calgary’s Classic and Religion Departmental Graduate Association is hosting its graduate student conference this May 4-5. We want to announce an extension for abstract submissions from our original deadline of February 28th to the new deadline of March 20th. Accepted presenters can now expect to hear back from us on whether they have been selected on March 31st  

[Below] you will find our Call for Papers with this updated information. Abstracts, along with any questions, should be directed to our organizational email, classicreligiondga@ucalgary.ca


Brandon Sonmor (he/him)

CLARE DGA President


Call for Papers:

Emotions Under Duress: Responses to Disaster and How People Feel
Classics and Religion Graduate Student Conference

University of Calgary
May 4th -5th

The University of Calgary’s Classics and Religion Departmental Graduate Association is holding
its Graduate student conference on May 4-5, in a hybrid fashion, with presenters in person and
on Zoom at the Nickle Galleries.

The theme of our conference is the examination of human emotion in the midst of catastrophe,
either public or private. Cicero, in his work, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, briefly ponders
the vocabulary of emotional language, attempting to translate the Greek term, pathos, which
Aristotle used to describe the different emotional states of humans. More interesting than the
term he settles on for emotions of the mind, perturbatio, is the fact that he first considers morbos,
‘diseases,’ as an appropriately literal translation. As we emerge from the isolation of the recent
pandemic, the time seems apt to investigate our relationship to the mental and physical morbi
that humanity have faced in the past and continue to face today. In the humanities, from history,
literature, philosophy, religion, and everything in between, such responses to disaster are crucial
pieces in furthering the knowledge of our respective fields. Our goal is thus to explore people’s
existence in and around such crises, through an interdisciplinary lens, across different times and
cultures, to reveal a reflection of our own current experiences that allows us to better understand
our own present emotional conditions.
Possible topics may include but are not limited to:
– Literary, visual, and historical responses to catastrophe
– Literary, visual, and historical explorations of the emotional response to private/public
– Theoretical and/or philosophical discussions on emotion and disaster
– Studies of art history and architecture in and around eras of historical
disasters/catastrophes and/or immense social change.
– The study of different oppressed and underrepresented minorities and marginalized
peoples throughout history
– The study of mental health as it pertains to different cultures, religions, and times
– And much more!
We welcome submissions from Graduate students in disciplines across the sphere of the
‘humanities,’ including approaches that are based in history, literature, and theory (although not
exclusive to these fields and approaches). Please submit your abstracts, no greater than 300
words in length, to classicreligiondga@ucalgary.ca in a PDF or Word document by March 20 th ,
2023. Accepted submitters can expect to be notified by March 31st, 2023. Paper presentations at
the time of the conference should not exceed 20 minutes.
Any questions should be directed to the conference organizers at

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