Telling Byzantine History: Current Trends and New Directions

May 24, CEU

May 25, University of Vienna



Conference Program

Friday May 24, 2024


09:00: Arrival and Registration


09:45: Welcome from Aleksandar Anđelović and Lewis Read (University of Vienna)




Johannes Preiser-Kapeller | Austrian Academy of Sciences

Stones, Bones, Sherds, Trees, Pollen and Genes: Telling Byzantine History Without Written Sources


Session 1: Late Antique Texts in the Museum and the Classroom


Chair: Basema Hamarneh | University of Vienna


Ivan Mileković | Central European University

From Byzantium to Antiquity: Reevaluating the Place of Late Antique Material in Museum Collections

Annegret Weil Helmbold | University of Münster

Approaching Procopius through AI: A Teaching Experiment



Session 2: Perceiving Byzantium from the Margins


Chair: István Perczel | Central European University


Márk Besztercei | Eötvös Loránd University

Orthodox Rome and Heretic Constantinople: Patriarchs, Emperors, and Theological Legitimacy at the Lateran Council of 649


Pauline Vasselle | University of Nottingham

Byzantine Monastic History from a Rus’ Perspective from the Seventh to the Fifteenth Century


Olga Vlachou | Central European University

Disintegration or Prosperity? Unraveling the Economic, Administrative, and Educational Landscape of Byzantine Provinces in Greece (ca. 1150–1204)


Session 3: Byzantine Art and Architecture in Armenian Sources


Chair: Benedetta Contin | University of Vienna


Magdalena Krampe | Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg

The Armenian Church within the Thecla Basilica of Meriamlik


Armine Petrosyan | Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts and Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Archetype of Predator and Prey: Iconography and Symbolism of Bird Combat Scenes in the Mediaeval Art of Armenia, Byzantium, and Sasanian Iran


Session 4: Re-Reading Byzantine Narratives


Chair: Volker Menze | Central European University


Piril Us-MacLennan | Ghent University

Romance, Memoirs, Tales, or Anecdotes? A Literary and Stylistic Analysis of Nikephoros Bryennios’ Material for History

Daiki Sano | The University of Edinburgh

‘And Everything was Abandoned': Late Byzantine Policies in the Eyes of George Pachymeres

Radka Pallová | Princeton University

‘De res q(uon)d(am) Guderit liberti’: Empire and Archival Violence in the Ravenna Papyri


Saturday May 25, 2024


09:00: Arrival and Registration


09:45: Welcome from Dunja Milenković and Osman Yüksel Özdemir (Central European University)


Session 1: New Perspectives on Byzantine Studies from China


Chair: Nikolaos Zagklas | University of Vienna


Ziyao Zhu | King’s College London

Beyond Marxist Historiography: A Debate on Byzantium's Middle Class (μέσοι) in China

ZiRan Guo | National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Overview of the Study of Byzantine Spirituality and Eastern Orthodox Church in China


Session 2: Uses and Abuses of Byzantium in Nation Building


Chair: Konrad Petrovszky | Austrian Academy of Sciences


11:30–12:00 Osman Kocabal | Central European University

Perception of Byzantine History in the Late Ottoman Period: An Analysis of Celal Nuri Ileri’s Book: Rum ve Bizans

12:00–12:30 Zoran Jovanović | University of Belgrade

Byzantium as a Golden Age of Greek History: Nation-Building through Post-Byzantine Narratives


Session 3: Byzantium Art and Architecture amongst Rus and in Italy


Chair: Grace Stafford | University of Vienna


Giada Lattanzio | Masaryk University

A Byzantine Island? Historiographical Issues in (Art) Historical Studies on Early Medieval Sardinia (Sixth–Eleventh Century)

Evelina Kachynska | Polish Academy of Sciences

Mastaura Not Constantinople: Transferring Architectural Patterns from a Byzantine Province to Rus


Session 4: Byzantium During the Enlightenment and Post-Enlightenment


Chair: György Geréby | Central European University


Aliosha Bielenberg | University of California, Berkeley 

How Do You Read Homer? Ethics, Epistemology, and the Self in Homeric Scholarship

Lev Shadrin | University of Innsbruck 

The Use of Greek in Karl Benedikt Hase’s ‘Secret Diary’




Panagiotis Agapitos | Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz

Three-Dimensionalities: Towards a Narrative History of Byzantine Literature