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Lectures and seminars

Grinfield Lectures on the Septuagint 2013-14



Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Cambridge

‘Japheth in the Tents of Shem:

Greek Bible translations in Medieval Judaism’

(First series)


Hilary Term 2014 (6th Week)

Monday 24 Feb.:   ‘New light on an old question’

                              Venue: Examination Schools at 5.00 pm         
                               Members of the public are welcome to attend
Tuesday 25 Feb.:   ‘Aquila fragments from the Genizah’

                               Venue: Seminar in Jewish Studies in the Greco-                                                                          Roman Period, Oriental Institute, 2.30 – 4.00 pm

Thursday 27 Feb.: ‘The Successors of Aquila’

                               Venue: Ioannou Centre, 5.00pm – 6.00 pm





The Material Text in Pre-Modern and Early Modern Europe

Date: 10:00 am – 5:45 pm Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Venue: 38 West 86th Street, New York

Contact: academicevents@bgc.bard.edu


Texts have long been written, painted, drawn, and carved onto objects, buildings, and bodies. Though specialists in the material culture of certain traditions (particularly Islam) have long recognized the visual powers of inscribed text, scholars who focus on pre-modern European and Mediterranean cultures only recently have begun to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of such inscriptions. However, as these texts gain attention as images in their own right, the danger of privileging the decorative qualities of the text over the text itself also increases. By analyzing the visual and material properties of texts as well as their content, we may better understand some of the “original” modes and processes of textual reception and more clearly define the full range of readers that took meaning from inscriptions. This symposium will consider inscribed texts from antiquity to the modern period with the aim of articulating shared problems or issues related to materiality, legibility, and literacy and forging connections between readership in different cultures and contexts. In three thematic sessions, papers will consider the problematic of the “speaking object,” from Greek vases to early modern dinnerware, visual and conceptual reactions to pages and books, and the material and visual properties of inscriptions in the ancient and medieval Mediterranean.

For the Programme and how to participate or watch online, please see here [http://www.bgc.bard.edu/news/upcoming-events/symposium-material.html].


2013 Brixworth Lecture


Professor Leslie Brubaker (Professor of Byzantine Art, the University of Birmingham)

The 31st Brixworth Lecture will be held at All Saints’ Church, Brixworth on Saturday 2 November at 5:00pm. All are welcome.

A detailed archaeological survey of All Saints’ Church in Brixworth, published in 2013, has established that this spectacular church was built in the late eighth or early ninth century, and recognises firmly the European context in which it was built. At this time Western Europe was dominated by Charlemagne’s Frankish kingdom. To the east, however, lay the Byzantine Empire, centred on the imperial city of Constantinople. At the turn of the ninth century, Byzantium was ruled by a woman, the Empress Irene (797–802), who overturned the iconoclast policies of her predecessors, restoring the veneration of icons to the eastern church. Eastern attitudes towards images were known and discussed in the west since at least the time of Bede (d. 735). Prof. Brubaker’s lecture provides an opportunity to reflect on how an Anglo-Saxon church like Brixworth would have been decorated c. 800, and what its priests and worshippers would have thought about far-away Byzantine attitudes to depictions of Christ and his Saints.

Contact: Jo Story [js73@le.ac.uk]

Contact phone: 0116 252 2803



On The Origin of the Work of Art: Tradition, Inspiration and Invention in the post-iconoclastic era

Prof. Charles Barber

5 PM, Wednesday 26 June 2013

The Ioannou Centre For Classical & Byzantine Studies

66 St Giles, Oxford



Mountain Valleys and Settlement in Medieval Cyprus: the Troodos Massif in the Byzantine Period

The SPBS and the Friends of the British School at Athens will present an illustrated lecture by Dr Tassos Papacostas ‘Mountain Valleys and Settlement in Medieval Cyprus: the Troodos Massif in the Byzantine Period’ at 6.00 pm on Tuesday 21st May 2013. The venue will be Room G 22/26, Ground Floor, South Block, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU (nearest tube: Russell Square).

Entry is free to  but please confirm attendance to mss714@bham.ac.uk


SPBS/Hellenic Centre Lecture: A Princess, Two Books and an Icon: Another Byzantine Puzzle?

The SPBS and the Hellenic Centre will present an illustrated lecture by Professor Elizabeth Jeffreys ‘A Princess, Two Books and an Icon: Another Byzantine Puzzle?’ at 7.00 pm on Wednesday 19th June 2013, followed by an informal reception. The venue will be the Great Hall, Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London W1U 5AS. Entry is free for SPBS members but please confirm attendance to the Hellenic Centre 020 7563 9835 or email press@helleniccentre.org


Andy Hilkens (University of Ghent):

‘A Late Antique Inheritance: The Anonymous Chronicle to the

Year 1234 and its use of the Book of Jubilees’

Monday 20 May 2013 (Week 5) at 5pm

Faculty Room, Oriental Institute, Pusey Lane

An unlikely, yet crucial, witness for the study of the late-antique afterlife of the Jewish pseudepigraphical Book of Jubilees (second century BC) is the Anonymous Syriac Chronicle to the Year 1234. This chronicle not only preserves extensive fairly literal excerpts from this work, but also adaptations of some of its traditions, which probably reached the Chronicler via one or more Syriac chronographic sources. The paper will investigate the origin of these adaptations, leading to the Greek chronicles of Hippolytus of Rome (170/180–235 AD) and Annianus of Alexandria (fl. Fifth century AD), and the Syriac chronicle of the enigmatic Andronicus (perhaps of the sixth century AD).


Wednesday 29 May 2013 at 5pm

The Buttery, Wolfson College, Oxford


Oded Irshai (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem):

“Blood in the Streets: Jewish-Christian Violence

in Early Fifth-Century Alexandria”



Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar

Wednesdays at 5 pm in Trinity Term 2013

in the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66, St Giles’

(Please note the different arrangements for Week 5)

8 May (Week 3)

Vujadin Ivanisevic (Archaeological Institute, Belgrade):

Caricin Grad – Justiniana Prima? New research on the topography of an early Byzantine metropolis

15 May (Week 4)

Thomas F. Mathews (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU):

Cult of Images in the Era Before Iconoclasm

22 May (Week 5)

Zbigniew Fiema (University of Helsinki):

The Earthquake of 363 in Petra: Some New Considerations

To be held in the Al-Jaber Auditorium, Corpus Christi College

29 May (Week 6)

Holger Klein (Columbia University, New York):

Sensing the Sacred: Relics and the Rhetoric of Enshrinement

5 June (Week 7)

Elizabeth Jeffreys (Exeter College):

Why write fiction in Byzantium?

OCBR Special Lecture

12 June (Week 8)

Ortwin Dally (German Archaeological Institute, Rome):

Pagan statues in late antiquity – a case study: the baths of the empress Faustina at Miletus

Conveners: Marc Lauxtermann and Mark Whittow

Late Antique and Byzantine Archaeology and Art Seminar

Thursdays in Trinity Term 2013, 11am–12:30pm

St John’s College, New Seminar Room

25 April (Week 1)

Dr Philipp Niewöhner (Brasenose):

The processional ivory at Trier, Empress Irene and the church of St Euphemia at the Hippodrome

2 May (Week 2)

Professor Michael Decker (Florida):

Egyptian wine in the Late Antique economy

9 May (Week 3)

Javier Martinez (Lincoln) and Dr Isaac Sastre de Diego (Mérida):

The results of the 2012 excavations at Casa Herrera, Mérida, Spain

16 May (Week 4)

Dr Nikos Kontogiannis (23rd Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, Chalkida):

The Chalcis Treasure re-examined: contextualising minor objects from the medieval Aegean

23 May (Week 5)

Professor Robert Hohlfelder (Boulder):

The fortunes of Caesarea Maritima’s harbours in Late Antiquity: riches to ruins

30 May (Week 6)

Fabian Stroth (Heidelberg):

Monogram capitals in Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

6 June (Week 7)

Professor Ross Burns (Sydney):

What future for Syria’s past?

13 June (Week 8)

Dr Andrea Zerbini (London):

Quantifying the village economy:  reflections on the extent and capabilities of cash crop production in the Limestone Massif of northern Syria (IV–VII c.)

Conveners: Dr Marlia Mango (St. John’s) and Dr Philipp Niewöhner (Brasenose)

After Rome Seminar: Aspects of the History and

Archaeology of the Fifth to Seventh Centuries

Thursdays at 5pm in the Danson Room, Trinity College

25 April (Week 1)

Erica Buchberger (History Faculty, and University College):

Romans, barbarians and Burgundians in early Burgundian law

2 May (Week 2)

Morgan Dirodi (History Faculty, and St Cross College):

Building comparisons: the christianization of the sacred topography of Jerusalem and Jerash

9 May (Week 3)

Ariane Bodin (Paris-Ouest Nanterre):

Augustine’s Letter 46 and the equivocal relationship of Christians with paganism and pagans

16 May (Week 4)

Jairus Banaji (SOAS):

The Sasanian aristocracy in the seventh century

23 May (Week 5)

Elizabeth Buchanan (History Faculty, and Christ Church):

Life, law and the case of the missing carats: loans in the late-antique Mediterranean

30 May (Week 6)

Ilya Yakubovich (Philipps-Universität Marburg):

Early Slavs through post-Roman eyes: when linguistics can help the historian

6 June (Week 7)

Judith McKenzie and team (Classics and Oriental Studies, Oxford):

Introducing the “Manar al-Athar” open-access photo-archive of monuments and art of the Near East (300 BC to the present)

13 June (Week 8)

Louise Blanke (University of Copenhagen):

Changing cityscapes: daily life and the use of space in late-antique Jerash

Conveners: James Howard-Johnston and Bryan Ward-Perkins



Seminar for the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies

Mary, the Mother of God, in middle Byzantine hagiography: new narratives in an ancient tradition?

MARY CUNNINGHAM (Nottingham and Birmingham))

7 Mar at 5:15pm  The Whitting Room, room 436 Arts building


GEM Forum

We are pleased to announce a new series of talks given by postgraduates at the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies as part of the GEM Forum. The GEM Forum is aimed at showcasing postgraduate research at the Centre and at creating events of discussion with interest to students of the wide range of topics studied at the Centre.

The GEM Forum takes place at 5.15 in the Whitting Room (436 Arts building) at the following dates:

Wednesday 6 March

Gemma Norman: ‘Something borrowed’. Material Values and the Ottoman Military.

Thursday 14 March

Greek film: ‘A Touch of Spice’ with an introductory talk by Yannis Tzortzis

Thursday 21 March

Evangelia Ifantidi: Headshaping in Greece – Populations who practised Headshaping in the Byzantine world and the case of the Greek peninsula

For more information, contact asa184@bham.ac.uk or see www.gembirmingham.org

King’s College London – Hellenic Centre

Holy Haulage: Shipping Hagia Sophia to Palestine

Tuesday 12 March 17.30 – 19.30

K0.31, King’s Building, Strand Campus

A Byzantine Studies seminar with Konstantin Klein (University of Bamberg)

Please note – this seminar replaces the originally scheduled seminar Byzantine Book Production in East and West after the Fall of Constantinople

Production in pieces: Making Mosaics from Antiquity to the Present

Saturday 23  March 10.00 – 18.00

Anatomy Lecture Theatre, 6th Floor, King’s Building

Workshops in collaboration with MoL and V&A

Part of the Applied Arts workshop series.

Byzantine Tiles of Nicomedia: Works in Public and Private Collections

Tuesday 26 March 17.30 – 19.30

K0.31, King’s Building, Strand Campus

A Byzantine Studies seminar with Sharon Gerstel (UCLA)

For the whole programme, see http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/chs/events/index.aspx

Oxford Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar

Wednesday 6 March (Week 8) at 5 pm in the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles’

Philipp Niewoehner (Brasenose)

The Porphyry Tetrarchs at Venice, the Last Obelisk of Antiquity, and the first Monument of Theodosius I at Constantinople

For the whole programme, see http://www.ocla.ox.ac.uk/sect_byz_eve.shtml


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