In memoriam: Robert G. Ousterhout

It is with sorrow that we mark the passing of Robert G. Ousterhout (January 16, 1950–April 23, 2023).  Bob, as he was universally known, was an esteemed, prolific scholar, a generous mentor, an invaluable colleague, and a beloved friend.

Bob was a strong supporter of BSANA, serving multiple terms on the Governing Board, and was a constant presence at the annual conference, which he twice hosted. He had long associations with Dumbarton Oaks, where he was both a Junior and Senior Scholar, and was twice a symposiarch for the annual Symposium. He was also closely affiliated with ANAMED, serving on the first Advisory Board, and organizing the “Cappadocia in Context” summer program, where students learned in the field, from the master himself. He was an ally for imperiled monuments, serving as a consultant for many international entities, including UNESCO and the WMF.

Bob taught at the University of Oregon, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and the University of Pennsylvania until his retirement in 2017. He is the author, or co-author, of more than 20 books, as well as countless articles, reviews, op-eds, blog posts, and videos. His impact on the field of Byzantine Studies was recognized by the Medieval Academy of America in 2021, with the Haskins Medal.

Bob lived a big life. Whether (allegedly) organizing a water ballet in the Dumbarton Oaks pool while a Junior Fellow, hosting and feeding class after class of students at his home, organizing impromptu dance parties at conferences, or throwing baby showers, Bob celebrated life.  He was funny, insightful, and always generous with his time and influence. He will be missed.

We send our deepest condolences to his family.

For a complete listing of Bob’s publications, see his Emeritus Faculty page at the University of Pennsylvania.

For further remembrances:


Dumbarton Oaks

Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies

Penn History of Art

In memoriam: John W. Nesbitt, PhD

In memoriam: John W. Nesbitt, PhD

June 12, 1939 – February 11, 2023

With heavy hearts, the Dumbarton Oaks research and learning community is sad to announce the passing of John W. Nesbitt, PhD. John first came to Dumbarton Oaks as a junior fellow in 1968 and joined the regular staff in 1973, first as Research Fellow—later Research Associate—with responsibility for the collection of seals. Until his retirement in 2009, John worked to catalogue and publish the collection, resulting in the first six volumes in the Catalogue of Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and in the Fogg Museum of Art (volumes 1–3 with Nicolas Oikonomides, volumes 4–5 with Oikonomides and Eric McGeer). After retirement, John remained involved with Dumbarton Oaks, continuing to advise and mentor scholars interested in Byzantine seals, as he had for over three decades. His generosity and well-judged advice will be deeply missed.

To learn more about John, please visit his obituary.

Information in commemoration of Hans Belting

Information in commemoration of Hans Belting, via A. Kartsonis.

For the obituary of Hans Belting (1935-2023) by Michael Diers posted by


For the HANS BELTING LIBRARY at the the Center for Early Medieval Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, as well as for HANS BELTING’s  most complete bibliography to date: has also posted entries in the name of Hans Belting


In memoriam: Hans Belting

We share the news that Hans Belting passed away after a long illness.

A record of Dr. Belting’s life has been published online:

In Memorium: Dr. Marios Philippides

In Memorium: Dr. Marios Philippides

Via Teresa Ramsby, University of Massachusetts Amherst

I am writing to inform your organization of the sad news that Dr. Marios Philippides, Emeritus Professor of Classics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he taught for thirty-nine years, passed away on December 27, 2022. Professor Philippides was a highly accomplished scholar and a legendary teacher. His research, including the 2011 study, The Siege and the Fall of Constantinople in 1453: Historiography, Topography, and Military Studies, earned him distinction from many, international entities. His colleagues and legions of students will miss and fondly remember him for his commitment to the discipline, his research, his fascinating lectures, and his sense of humor. Professor Philippides served on the board and as Vice President of BSANA in the years 2000-2004.

Obituary: George Leonard Huxley 1932-2022

George Leonard Huxley 1932-2022
George Huxley, who died on 30 November 2022, was an influential figure in British Byzantine Studies. But twice in his career he held US positions and was significantly influential in both. A member of the Huxley family of intellectuals, he was born in Leicester and studied classics at Magdalen College Oxford; at that time he was mostly interested in Linear B and used to dash off to London to talk to Michael Ventris. After a prize fellowship at All Souls in 1956 he was appointed Assistant Director of the British School at Athens, where he worked on early Greek history. But after that in 1958-59 and 1961-62 he was visiting lecturer at Harvard, where he became interested in the history of science and in Anthemios of Tralles. He also taught Alice-Mary Talbot at Radcliffe; he was her tutor in her junior year.
In 1962 he became professor of Greek at Queen’s University Belfast, where he stayed until 1983. He taught mainstream classical set books but worked always on the edge, moving from his preclassical interests to develop postclassical concerns, with Digenes Akrites and Iconoclasm.  He brought Irish Hellenists together twice a year in Dundalk, as the Hibernian Hellenists, soon to have Byzantinist speakers. By 1974 he had decided that what Queen’s needed was Byzantine Studies and set up a course to teach it, which eventually grew into a full range of degrees, graduate students, research projects, colloquia, a text series and the Institute of Byzantine Studies. George began all this. And he inspired generations of Belfast Byzantinists.
After he retired from Queen’s, in1986 he became director of the Gennadius Library at the American School in Athens, building up the library, restoring to it lost books, and participating in successful fund-raising for its endowment. Using the library’s rich collections he gave Byzantine lectures and seminars on Greek lyric poetry and organised exhibitions on Morosini’s bombardment of the Acropolis and on Ireland and the Hellenic Tradition.
George loved Ireland, learning Irish and participating fully in the Civil Rights movement, almost as much as he loved Greece, where he continued to excavate with Nicholas Coldstream at the Minoan site at Kastri on the island of Kythera after he had moved to Belfast. After retirement from Belfast he settled in Oxfordshire with Davina, whom he had met at Knossos and married in 1957, but he taught at Maynooth and held an Honorary Professorship at Trinity. He was very active in the Royal Irish Academy and endowed student prizes in various Irish universities. In 2018, at age 86, “intensely upset about Brexit”, George was the oldest of 3000 people who were granted Irish citizenship. He was also an honorary citizen of Kythera. But his contribution to Byzantine Studies is perhaps more important than either his philhellenism or his devotion to Ireland. 
Davina died in 2020; George is survived by their three daughters Harriet, Sophie and Corinna. A funeral mass will be held on December 14th at 11am at St. Kenelm’s, Church Enstone, Oxfordshire.

Obituary: Ross Iain Thomas

Colleagues will be saddened to learn that Ross Iain Thomas passed away unexpectedly on 14 November 2022 following surgery.

Ross was a stalwart archaeologist specialising in ancient maritime networks and technologies, with a BA from Durham University and a PhD from the University of Southampton. A leading specialist in Roman Eastern Mediterranean and Red Sea port communities, he also published widely on the Hellenistic and Nubian worlds, having undertaken fieldwork on land in the UK, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan and the UAE, and under water in Israel and Egypt. He led fieldwork at several sites, including as Co-Director of the Red Sea Wrecks Survey (2010-2011) and Director of the British Museum Naukratis Fieldwork Project (2012-present).

Ross joined the Museum in 2011 as a Project Curator on the Naukratis Project, before becoming a Curator of Roman Collections in 2016. He was committed to public and professional service. Ross was a keen supporter of students, especially those from less privileged backgrounds, organising annual Museum placements. He also served on the boards of several grant-giving bodies and as a trustee of the Palestine Exploration Fund, the Roman Society and, most recently, the Brading Roman Villa, on the Isle of Wight, a site perched above the family home where he grew up, and which was an inspiration for his future career. He was hugely talented and widely respected.

He was just 44 years old and is survived by his two children, 7 and 4, his wife, parents and brother. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.

Further information on memorial arrangements and the family’s wishes concerning contact will be made available when possible.

A Just Giving page has been set up to support the family:

Professor Melek Delilbasi (1947-2022)

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing away of our  distinguished colleague Professor Melek Delilbaşı, president of the Turkish National Committee, on 26 September 2022. Her untimely death is a great loss for Turkish and international Byzantine studies.

Nevra Necipoglu
Secretary General, Turkish National Committee for Byzantine Studies

Athanasios Papageorgiou

It is with great sadness that the Byzantinist Society of Cyprus is announcing the death of Dr. Athanasios Papageorgiou, Director Emeritus of the Department of Antiquities and honorary member of our Society. Dr Papageorgiou was the Honorary President of the First Annual Conference on Byzantine and Medieval Studies (13-15 January 2017).

Athanasios Papageorgiou served his beloved homeland of Cyprus with virtue and passion. He was appointed Ephor of Ancient Monuments in 1962 at the Department of Antiquities of the newly established Republic of Cyprus. His previous Theological studies in Athens and graduate work in Paris, next to André Grabar και Paul Lemerle, equipped him with the scholarly breadth and skills in the study of Byzantine History and Art.

He worked with dedication and persistence to conserve and promote the monuments of Cyprus, while he focused with great care on the study of the Byzantine Heritage of the island. His contribution is vast and diverse; it cannot be assessed in one announcement. Indicatively, we mention the excavation of the basilicas at Agia Triada at Yialousa, Limeniotissa and Chrysopolitissa in Paphos, the basilica at the foothills of the Amathus acropolis. He also excavated the earlier phases of churches like Agios Spyridon in Tremethousha, Agios Heraklidios in Politiko, Agios Kyprianos in Menoiko and restored collapsed parts of buildings like the Virgin Apsinthiotissa on the Pentadaktylos. He led the conservation of Byzantine churches like the katholikon of the monastery of the Apostle Barnabas near Famagusta and the church of Agia Athanasia in Rizokarpaso and restored and uncovered the wall paintings in numerous other sites like at Agia Solomoni at Koma tou Yialou, Agios Antonios at Kelia and at Agia Paraskevi in Yeroskepou.

He played a chief role in the establishment of the Byzantine Museum of the Archbishop Makarios III Cultural Foundation in Nicosia and the Byzantine Museum of Paphos. After 1974, he made major contributions towards informing the international scientific and academic community about the destruction and looting of Cypriot Cultural Heritage, being the result of the Turkish invasion. He participated as an expert in numerous legal battles aiming at the return of stolen cultural treasures to Cyprus.

Athanasios Papageorgiou published over one hundred articles and studies on the history, the archaeology and the art of Cyprus. Among them, are his important monographs on the ICONS OF CYPRUS, the volume HOLY METROPOLIS OF PAPHOS, HISTORY AND ART, and his momentous work CHRISTIAN ART IN THE TURKISH-OCCUPIED PART OF CYPRUS. (

Without any doubt, his scientific and scholarly work can only be described as immense and irreplaceable. He stood out for his humility, his direct and uncompromising character and importantly his strict adherence to principles and ethical values which guided him throughout his life. Moreover, he was generous and always available to help his younger peers and students with prudent advice and the depth of his knowledge. Athanasios Papageorgiou will remain ever present through his work, his publications and more importantly through his deep love and sincere concern for his cherished Cyprus.

The Byzantinist Society of Cyprus expresses its sincere and deep condolences to his children, grandchildren, and all other members of Dr. Papageorgiou’s family.

Ilene Forsyth (1928–2022)

BSANA mourns the death of Ilene Forsyth, Professor Emerita in the Department of History of Art at the University of Michigan. A scholar of medieval art, Ilene trained a generation of Byzantinists, and helped organize the fourth Byzantine Studies Conference at the University of Michigan in 1978 by serving on the Program and Local Arrangements Committees. She also served on the BSC’s Committee on Dumbarton Oaks (1980–81).

The following announcement was posted by the International Center of Medieval Art last month:
It is with great sadness that the International Center of Medieval Art announces the death of Ilene Forsyth, a long-time member and supporter of the ICMA. Ilene endowed the ICMA’s Forsyth Lecture in memory of her husband, George H. Forsyth, Jr., and his cousin William H. Forsyth. She was a member of the ICMA from its foundation and served on the Board of Directors at various points, most recently from 2005 to 2008. A preeminent scholar of twelfth-century European sculpture and author of the landmark book The Throne of Wisdom: Wood Sculptures of the Madonna in Romanesque France (Princeton UP, 1972), Ilene was an inspiration and mentor for generations of medieval art historians. She was a member of the art history faculty at University of Michigan for thirty-five years (1962-97), where she generously endowed a professorship in western medieval art, graduate student fellowships, and other programs aimed at ensuring the future of the field.

© 2023 Byzantine Studies Association of North America, Inc. (BSANA) . All Rights Reserved.