Dumbarton Oaks Publications

Summer sale: free downloadable 6-volume catalogue of Byzantine seals and 20% off paperback editions!

Dumbarton Oaks is happy to make the 6-volume catalogue of Byzantine lead seals in the collections of Dumbarton Oaks and the Fogg Museum of Art freely available for download from our website. The seals presented in these volumes—those including geographic names as well as those belonging to emperors and patriarchs—form one part of the largest collection of these objects in the world, which is currently being catalogued online.

This comes on the heels of other efforts to make Dumbarton Oaks’ publications more widely accessible. These include the recently released, freely downloadable catalogue of Byzantine coins and the launch of books.doaks.org, which makes available classic Dumbarton Oaks titles as affordable paperbacks. Use coupon code SUMMERSCHOOL20 and receive 20% off your full purchase through August 31!


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Två nya böcker och lite sommarunderhållning

Leonora Neville, historiker vid University of Wisconsin-Madison, hör till de verkligt produktiva bysantinologerna just nu. Knappt hann hennes utmärkta bok om Anna Komnena komma ut (2016), så kommer ännu en bok, nu en guide till bysantinsk historieskrivning.

Medan boken om Anna erbjuder en välbehövlig nyläsning av Alexiaden ur ett genusperspektiv, riktar sig guiden snarast till studenter och forskare som behöver uppdaterade bibliografier och översiktliga presentationer av bysantinska historiker. En mycket välkommen volym!

För den som känner ett behov att att friska upp sina baskunskaper om Bysans, eller helt enkelt vill inleda sommaren med en underhållande sammanfattning av dess långa historia, passar vi dessutom på att länka till den animerade crash course som Neville gjort för ed.ted.

En liten quiz till videon kan man dessutom finna här!



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Disputation i Uppsala

Förra veckan disputerade Irina Brändén på temat ”Bild och berättelser om Sankt Nikolaus: Några vitaikoner studerade mot bakgrund av text och liturgi”, vilken publiceras som Figura Nova Series 35 (Uppsala universitet 2018). På bilden syns, förutom disputanden till höger, ordförande Jan von Bonsdorf (Uppsala) och opponent Mia Åkerstam (Stockholm). Ett stort grattis till Irina!


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New issue of Scandinavian Journal of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies

In volume 3 (2017), the editor Vassilios Sabatakakis is happy to welcome a guest-editor, Dr AnnaLinden Weller, who has edited five articles from a conference that she organized at Uppsala University in 2016 within the frame of the ‘Text and Narrative in Byzantium’ research network (2015-2017). The articles are written by Baukje van den Berg, Stanislas Kuttner-Homs, Markéta Kulhánková, Jonas J. H. Christensen and Jakov Đorđević, provided with an introduction by AnnaLinden Weller. In addition, the journal includes two more articles: one by David Konstan, based on his 2016 lecture in memory of Professor Lennart Rydén, and one by Adam Goldwyn. Two reviews of recent books by Claudia Rapp and Olof Heilo are also included. Available open access online: http://journals.lub.lu.se/index.php/sjbmgs/index

If you would like printed copies of this or previous volumes for your library, please contact the editor.

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BBC radio drama on Zoe Porphyrogenita – available for another week!

Mosaïque de l'impératrice Zoé, Sainte-Sophie (Istanbul, Turquie)

Radio dramatist Robin Brooks plays with (and against) the prejudices of a Byzantium filled with intrigues, murder and drama, turning the events of Zoe’s life into a play that sometimes feels like a reality show. The narrative voice of Michael Psellos guides the listener through the shady corridors of the palace, while Zoe herself describes her claustrophobic upbringing within its golden walls. Don’t miss this opportunity to follow them into eleventh-century history, narrated in the manner of a Byzantine story and filled with playful references to both Gibbon and the Chronographia.


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In memoriam: Elisabeth Piltz (1938-2018)

Elisabeth Piltz died on January 23, 2018, in Uppsala. She was born on March 7, 1938, in Ödeborg, municipality of Färgelanda, Dalsland, where she will be buried on February 23.

Elisabeth Piltz studied art history and languages at the universities of Uppsala and Stockholm, and Byzantine studies in Paris (with André Grabar) and München (with Hans-Georg Beck). As an historian of Byzantine art, her first interest was Byzantine ceremonial clothing and insignia, both secular and ecclesiastical, a field to which she would make her greatest contribution. In 1976 she defended her thesis on Trois sakkoi byzantins. Analyse iconographique, followed up by Kamelaukion et mitra. Insignes byzantins impériaux et ecclésiastiques (1977). In 1994 she returned to the subject with Le costume officiel des dignitaires byzantins à l’époque Paléologue. Recently she revised a long essay, written already in 1970 (but never printed), and published it with the title Loros and sakkos. Studies in Byzantine imperial garment and ecclesiastical vestment (2013). She contributed to the article on “Insignien” in the Reallexikon zur byzantinischen Kunst, vol. 3 (1978). Articles in the field also include “Middle Byzantine court costume” in the Dumbarton Oaks publication on Byzantine court culture from 829 to 1204 (1996), “Costume comme communication théologique” and “Liturgische Gewänder im byzantinischen Ritus“, the latter two in Byzantinoslavica (2003 and 2009).

Elisabeth Piltz also explored other research areas. One such area was Nordic-Byzantine/Muslim relations and its impact on Nordic material culture. For the byzantinizing church paintings in Gotland and Södermanland, she participated in the international project Corpus de la peinture monumentale byzantine (two instalments, 1989 and 2008). Moreover, she organized an international conference in Uppsala in 1979, published as Les pays du Nord et Byzance (ed. by R. Zeitler, 1981). In 1986 she lead a course on the same subject, which also resulted in a publication (partly in Swedish): Bysans och Norden (ed. by E. Piltz, 1989). Yet another conference took place in 1996 in Uppsala on her initiative, and the papers were published in Byzantium and Islam in Scandinavia (ed. by E. Piltz, 1998). When Elisabeth Piltz began working on this subject in the seventies it was a largely neglected area in West-European scholarship. Today the field is more firmly established with large-scale projects such as e.g. “Dirhams for slaves” (http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/dirhamsforslaves/index.php/en).

Her research into the Scylitzes Matritensis was presented in Byzantium in the mirror: the message of Skylitzes Matritensis and Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (2005). A selection of her minor works were collected in From Constantine the Great to Kandinsky. Studies in Byzantine and post-Byzantine art and architecture (2007). In Det levande Bysans (1996) she gathered shorter essays in Swedish for a broader audience.

Elisabeth Piltz was one of the founders of the Swedish committee for  Byzantine studies as part of the Association internationale des études byzantines (AIEB).

Johan Heldt

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Förberedelser inför Istanbul 2021

Planeringen för nästa internationella kongress – The 24th International Congress of Byzantine Studies, som kommer att hållas i Istanbul 23-28 augusti 2021 – är redan i full gång. Kongressens tema är ”Byzantium – Bridge Between Worlds” / “Byzance – Pont entre des mondes”.

Nytt för i år är att förslag på round table-sessioner skickas in till AIEB via de nationella kommittéerna. Kontaktuppgifter till samtliga nationella kommittéer återfinns här. Deadline för förslag är 22 juni 2018. Ett ”Call for free communications” kommer att gå ut under 2019.

För mer information om kongressens organisation och anvisning för round tables, se här.

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