New Blog Series: Of Venice and the 24th Byzantine Congress

Bernard Mulholland, The man from MENSA – 1 of 600: Mensa research (2016).

The Istanbul Research Institute Blog has published the congress impressions of early career researchers working on Istanbul’s Byzantine past with a series of articles: Of Venice and the 24th Byzantine Congress. Six opinion pieces by early career researchers from Turkey are accompanied by one photo essay and a reflection on the shared extraordinary conditions of the eighteenth and the twenty-fourth congress.

Emir Alışık discusses how the opening speeches of the congress were influenced by the postponement and relocation of the congress, from its planned date and location of Istanbul 2021 to Venice-Padua 2022, the traces of Istanbul and Byzantium in Venice, and the coinciding of the congress with the 59th Venice Biennale. 

“Coming together in this particularly marginal region—amplified by both the function (slaughterhouse) and the social status (Jewish quarter)—for the Byzantine studies congress could also be considered suitable because of Byzantium’s somewhat outcast status in historiography.”

Pırıl Us-MacLennan describes her effort against all odds to find her way amidst languages, disciplines, and streets at the congress, which she calls the Olympics of Byzantine studies.

“As I headed to the inaugural session of the congress with a group of colleagues from my university in the relatively empty but soon-to-be buzzing streets of the labyrinth called Venice, I kept thinking how lucky we were to be a part of this congress with the financial support of our funding body.” 

Gizem Dörter takes the readers on a journey of exploration, from traces of Byzantium in Venice and current exhibitions in the city to the candle-lit mosaics of St. Mark’s Basilica. 

“With its magnificent architecture and details, St. Mark’s Basilica, located in the center of Venice, is one of the places that draws the attention of all tourists visiting Venice where long queues must be expected to enter the monument. Moreover, with the traces of Byzantine art and culture visible in its architecture, decoration and collections. St. Mark’s attracts all academics working in fields related to Byzantium.”

Elif Demirtiken observes that although the relocation of the congress from Istanbul to Venice compelled early career researchers from Turkey to cope with the problems that were amplified by the relocation, such as the pandemic anxiety, the economic crisis, and visa restrictions, the grants provided by various institutions and the efficiency of the organizing committee in Venice partially came to the rescue. 

“When Hagia Sophia was suddenly converted into a mosque overnight in 2020, the 24th International Congress of Byzantine Studies was suddenly taken from Istanbul. After a few months of back and forth discussions as to whether Cyprus or Italy should host the congress, it was decided that Venice-Padua would provide the backdrop.”

Canan Arıkan-Caba invites the readers to a journey that explores new trends in Byzantine studies while examining ways to make the Congress more green and democratic. 

“The 80-page congress program itself is a small reference source for gaining information about current research topics and learning about who is working on which topic. When I looked at the program where Byzantine studies met with different disciplines and perspectives, I wondered how many of these studies were able to find financial support.” 

H. Sercan Sağlam notes that in the more manageable post-vaccine pandemic era, for the first time Byzantine historians gathered at such a large organization. He remarks that they needed such intellectual exchange to drive the field’s progress while reminding the deep-rooted and expansive history of the discipline in Turkey.

“I guess, Byzantine researchers, who were separated from one another due to the Covid-19 pandemic, chose to avoid heated discussions, and focused on the joy of reunion and the value of being together.”

Contributing to the contemporary documentation of Byzantine material culture with his Byzantine Legacy project, David Hendrix displays the links between Venice, which was once called the “second Constantinople,” and Istanbul in his photo essay.

In the last article of the series, Brigitte Pitarakis describes the experience of the then students, now faculty members at Turkish universities, during whose attendance at the Eighteenth International Congress of Byzantine Studies in Moscow in 1991, the short-lived August coup took place just before the collapse of the USSR.

“Kyiv was our next stop. Upon our arrival, we learned that there had been a coup and that Mikhail Gorbachev had been taken hostage. The government official who opened the congress was one of the coup plotters. He was in prison by the time we left.”

All articles are accessible here:

New Information Resource: Studia Ceranea

Bernard Mulholland, Nazareth Quest (2022).

“Studia Ceranea” is an international, peer-reviewed, open access scholarly journal published by Lodz University Press (Poland), devoted to various aspects of the Mediterranean Area and South-East Europe within the chronological limits of the 1st through the 18th century AD. We welcome research articles as well as book reviews in all areas of Late Ancient, Byzantine and Slavic studies: philosophy, religion, archaeology, history, law, politics, literature, philology and art. We accept manuscripts written in English. The high standard of the journal is ensured by its current presence in the Web of Science Core Collection (Emerging Sources Citation Index) and the Scopus database. All volumes and more information available at: Contact with the Editorial Board:

New online resource: Digital Encyclopedia of Atticism

Bernard Mulholland, ‘Identification of Early Byzantine Constantinopolitan, Syrian, and Roman church plans in the Levant and some possible consequences’, Patristic Studies in the twenty-first century: proceedings of an international conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the International Association of Patristic Studies, ed. Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony, Theodore de Bruyn and Carol Harrison (Turnhout, 2015), 597-633.

The ERC project Purism in Antiquity: Theories of Language in Greek Atticist Lexica and their Legacy (PURA), based at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, is delighted to announce the opening of its Digital Encyclopedia of Atticism (DEA), accessible at
DEA collects our work on the lexicographic entries in the Atticist lexica and their linguistic history; the major scholars and works of the ancient and Byzantine Atticist debate; and the transmission of the lexica in the medieval and early modern periods. All contents are open access, peer-reviewed, and are published under a Creative Commons license.

At the moment, DEA contains 50 entries dealing with Greek words or linguistic phenomena discussed in Atticist lexica. Each entry is divided into an initial section that collects Greek texts in English translation, and a second section that contains a philological and linguistic commentary on the use of the lemma throughout the history of Greek (Ancient, Byzantine, and Modern Greek where appropriate). A search tool allows users to search the content of these entries. User guides provide assistance in navigating the various sections of the site.

In the future, DEA will open its sections Scholars & works, and Transmission: Manuscripts & Editions. Other instalments of lexicographic entries will be uploaded throughout the lifespan of the project.

DEA has been made possible by an ERC Consolidator grant (grant agreement no. 865817) and by collaboration with the Venice Centre for Digital and Public Humanities.
Contents have been created with the Cadmus program, developed by Daniele Fusi.
Our partners include the Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale “A. Zampolli” – CNR Pisa, a member of the Clarin-IT cluster, and Edizioni Ca’ Foscari – Venice University Press. We also acknowledge the invaluable collaboration of PURA’s Advisory board.

The PURA team hope that this resource will be useful to all those interested in the use of the Greek language, its evolution, and ancient theories about linguistic correctness. Much of our work may be of interest to scholars working on Byzantine literature, scholarship and linguistic history, so we encourage you to visit DEA.

Byzantina Symmeikta

Bernard Mulholland, The Early Byzantine Christian Church (Oxford, 2014).

Byzantina Symmeikta is a peer-reviewed open-access electronic journal published by the Byzantine Section of the Institute of Historical Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation. From 1966 to 2005 (vols. 1–17) the journal was published under the title Symmeikta. 
Byzantina Symmeikta accepts for publication articles of original research in all fields of Byzantine studies (history, literature, archaeology and art) as well as book reviews. Accepted languages are English, French, German, Greek and Italian. A rigorous publication process ensures that the journal adheres to the highest standards of scholarship. 
Ιn its electronic version Byzantina Symmeikta is an open-access journal. All articles become available online as soon as a new volume is published on the journal’s platform. A print edition appears about one year after the electronic publication. All volumes from 2008 onwards (vols. 18–) are also available in print.
In the first 15 years of its online presence (2008–2022) 155 research articles and more than 200 book reviews and shorter bibliographical notes have appeared in the journal. 

Open-access databases of the National Hellenic Research Foundation

Bernard Mulholland, Ratio analysis of financial KPI in the Higher Education sector: a case study (2018).

The Institute of Historical Research (IHR) of the National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF) provides open access to 16 databases concerning Byzantine History and especially Byzantine Greece:

Based on the scrutiny of a large body of primary and secondary sources by members of the Section of Byzantine Research of the IHR/NHRF and associated scholars, the databases provide various search possibilities in certain types of texts (historiography and hagiography) and in specific topics (e.g. gastronomy, bookbinding, imported ceramics, raw materials, natural resources and agricultural products, domestic and wild fauna, Greek merchants), as well as a catalogue of the Byzantine documents kept in the archives of the monastery of Saint John the Theologian in Patmos, notes found in manuscripts of the same monastery, the diplomatic transcriptions of Greek post-Byzantine documents kept in the archives of the monasteries of Mount Athos, a gazetteer of late Byzantine conflicts, a prosopographical index (for the Venetian colonies in Greece), a catalogue of western religious orders in Greece. Of special note is the “Kyrtou Plegmata” platform, which offers search possibilities in the trade and communication networks in and around Greece from Prehistory to the 19th c. 
The IHR/NHRF also provides open access to a number of e-books regarding Byzantine History:

Call for Papers: Armenian Society under Caliphal Rule (Online Workshop)

Bernard Mulholland, Ratio analysis of financial KPI in the Higher Education sector: a case study (2018).

The Emmy Noether Junior Research Group ‘Social Contexts of Rebellion in the Early Islamic Period’ (SCORE) at the University of Hamburg welcomes proposals for participation in the online workshop ‘Armenian Society under Caliphal Rule’, 7–8 December 2023. This workshop will consider the social history of Armenia in the period between the first Muslim invasions and the establishment of the Bagratuni kingdom, i.e. seventh to ninth centuries AD/ first to third centuries AH. Contributions will be warmly welcomed on any aspect of social history and its intersection with economic, environmental, cultural and religious history. Perspectives that draw upon the written word, visual culture, the built environment or any combination of the above will all be equally welcomed. Topics may include, but are by no means limited to, such themes as social hierarchies, government, church structures, labour relations, urbanism and ruralism, taxation, civic architecture, etc.

The workshop is envisaged as a compact and focused event running on two consecutive afternoons (Central European Time) only, thereby facilitating the participation of scholars in multiple time zones. The dates of the workshop are fixed as Thursday 7 and Friday 8 December 2023. Papers will be pre-circulated (though they need by no means be polished) two weeks in advance, i.e. by Friday 24 November 2023. To limit video-call fatigue, there will be a total of no more than ten papers, five on each day. Each speaker will be given a 45-minute presentation slot followed by a 15-minute break: presentations will run for 20–25 minutes; questions will then be opened by a dedicated respondent for around five minutes, after which discussion will be opened to the floor for the remaining time. The language of the workshop will be English.

Confirmed participants include Stephanie Forrest (Cambridge), Tim Greenwood (St Andrews), Nik Matheou (Edinburgh), Leone Pecorini Goodall (Edinburgh/St Andrews), Johannes Preiser-Kapeller (Vienna), and Aram Vardanyan (Yerevan). Around three months after the workshop, and pending the agreement of each presenter, revised papers will be submitted to a journal for consideration as a themed issue. Immediately following the workshop, it is possible that some presenters may be asked to shift the focus of their contribution slightly in order to maximize coverage across the full breadth of papers. If you would be interested in delivering a paper or acting as a dedicated respondent, please contact Alasdair Grant at by 31 May 2023. Audience registration will open in October, but expressions of interest are welcome any time. If you are enquiring about acting as a respondent, please indicate which topic areas you would be most interested in responding to.

If you are enquiring about delivering a paper, please send an abstract of around 250 words, accompanied by two or three sentences outlining the background to your interest in and study of the topic. You will be notified of the outcome of your proposal by 7 June, i.e. six months before the workshop. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the organizer.

New Scientifc Journal: Analekta Stagōn kai Meteōrōn – Analecta Stagorum et Meteororum

Bernard Mulholland, The man from MENSA – 1 of 600: Mensa research (2016).

Dear Scholars of Byzantium, 
My colleagues and I would like to bring to your attention the publication of the first issue of Analekta Stagōn kai Meteōrōn – Analecta Stagorum et Meteororum. It is a new biennial scientific journal dedicated to the history and heritage of the monastic community of Meteora, published by the Academy of the Metropolis of Stagoi and Meteora. Its first, celebratory issue aspires to open new horizons in the study of this preeminent cradle of Orthodox monasticism, through interdisciplinarity and different conceptions of monastic culture. It features research as diverse as the history of Thessaly under the Serbs, collections of Russian artefacts, the practice of monastic confinement during the Ottoman period, and the history of printing. 
As a closing note, I am sharing with you the link to our page:
On behalf of the editorial team, 
Nikolaos Vryzidis

New Website of the Centre for Medieval Arts and Rituals, University of Cyprus

Bernard Mulholland, Nazareth Quest (2022).

The Centre for Medieval Arts and Rituals of the University of Cyprus is pleased to announce the release of its brand-new website which will feature announcements about upcoming conferences and events in the field of medieval studies. CeMAR’s new website will also provide links and resources concerning the diverse and exciting ways in which medieval arts and rituals survive in our times.
You can also follow CeMAR’s H2020 twinning programme Network for Medieval Arts and Rituals (NetMAR), on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information:

Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae

Bernard Mulholland, Early Byzantine Ireland: a survey of the archaeological evidence (2021).

Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae (MMB) now offer a number of back volumes that are out of print or difficult to access as free pdfs on the newly revised web site. Following a decision by the editorial board, the necessary consents from legal heirs of the many contributors to the project are being collected and already now, a number of important studies and documents are available. In the case of facsimile editions, the offer concerns the meticulous manuscript descriptions and inventories (since images of the manuscripts themselves may be otherwise copyrighted, or can already now be studied on the increasing number of library websites offering digital facsimiles). In addition, a number of monographs and studies (MMB Subsidia), of transcriptions (MMB Transcripta), and the full edition of the OT lectionary (MMB Lectionaria) can be downloaded already now according to a Creative Commons non-commercial no-derivatives license.

Making and Consuming Drugs in the Italian and Byzantine Worlds (12th-15th c.)

Bernard Mulholland, The man from MENSA – 1 of the 600: Politics 1990-1995 (2016).

Wellcome Trust University Award (2019-2024), Principal Investigator: Dr Petros Bouras-Vallianatos, University of Edinburgh

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