Lecture: Uffe Holmsgaard Eriksen, "Spatializing Biblical Narratives in Byzantium"

Lecture organised by the Novel Saints project.

Gent, Wednesday 16 August 2017, 3pm

Faculteit Letteren & Wijsbegeerte

Blandijnberg 2 

9000 Gent

room 120.043 (second floor)

All are welcome!


In my presentation, I suggest the idea that Christianity went through a “spatial turn” in the early Byzantine period, and that this spatial turn was closely connected with material and spiritual journeys into the landscape of the biblical narratives. Furthermore, I argue that the spatialization of biblical narrative can be seen as a kind of narrative metalepsis, which in short is whenever the world of a story merges with the world in which it is told. I will present some examples of this metaleptic spatialization from the catechetical lectures of Theodore of Mopsuestia (4-5th centuries), the hymns of Romanos the Melodist (6th century), and the liturgical commentary by Germanos of Constantinople (8th century).

About the speaker:

Uffe Holmsgaard Eriksen has an MA and PhD in Theology from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. He wrote his dissertation on the dramatic narratives in the hymns of Romanos the Melodist (Drama in the kontakia of Romanos the Melodist. A narratological analysis of four kontakia, unpublished diss., Aarhus University 2013). Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher at Uppsala University, Sweden. His project on the use of metalepsis in early Byzantine liturgical texts is part of a larger project entitled “Text and Narrative in Byzantium” directed by Professor Ingela Nilsson ( Dr Eriksen’s project is sponsored by the Carlsberg Foundation (


Lecture: Anna Gialdini, "Negotiating Greekness in Early Modern Italian Book Production"

Lecture organised by the Database of Byzantine Book Epigrams.

Gent, Wednesday 16 August 2017, 11am

Faculteit Letteren & Wijsbegeerte

Blandijnberg 2 

9000 Gent

room 120.043 (second floor)

All are welcome! 


In the mid-fifteenth century, as Italian book collectors began being exposed to Byzantine codices, the bindings of the latter started being imitated in Florence and Venice. The resulting bindings were often hybrid, since they mixed Western and Byzantine techniques, but also distinctly and deliberately "Greek-looking"; they were called "alla greca" and were sought-after for the messages they conveyed: an association with Greek culture; a refined taste for beautifully-bound books; and the appropriation of the Byzantine legacy.

My paper today looks at some aspects of the production and consumption of "alla greca" bookbindings in early modern Italy, and namely the ethnicity of bookbinders and patrons, bookmaking techniques, and collecting practices, and what they tell us about the intellectual milieux in which the books themselves circulated.

About the speaker:

Anna Gialdini has a BA and MA in Classics from the University of Milan and a Diploma in Archival Studies from the State Archive of Milan. She has recently submitted her PhD thesis on Greek-style Bookbindings in Renaissance Venice, which constitutes an analysis of these objects from a structural and cultural perspective. Her research, which has been supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Fondazione Fedrigoni – Istocarta, and the Bibliographical Society of America, also deals with archival bindings, the social history of bookbinders, cross-cultural contact in the early modern Mediterranean, and the materiality of the book in professional contexts. After a short-term fellowship at the Huntington Library, she is now collaborating with the Public Library and Groeningemuseum in Bruges for an exhibition on Colard Mansion and the printing of incunables in the city. 


Call for papers: Second Byzantine Colloquium of the University of Buenos Aires


“Between Lust and Chastity: the Byzantines on Love and Sex”

Buenos Aires, 28–29 August 2017

submission deadline: 31 May 2017

Rivers of ink have flown since A. Kazhdan’s seminal contribution, “Byzantine Hagiography and Sex in the Fifth to Twelfth Century” (1990), including V. Burrus’ The Sex Lives of Saints (2004). Nevertheless, to the best of our knowledge no study to date covers in a comprehensive way divine and human love, the codification of the relation between sexes, the interaction between an avowed morality and the real practice of sexuality. This colloquium aims to put together a number of works tackling these and similar issues

A historical, anthropological or sociological perspective still has a fair job to do in this area. The UBA research team, with its focus on narratology, will pay special attention to love as a dynamic principle in Byzantine storytelling, either hagiographical, historical, or of other kind. Indeed, the centrality of love, which can take myriad forms (as a topos, as a target towards which a given plot aims, as a powerful tool towards meaningful characterization, as a social expectation horizon, etc.) should be evaluated in the framework of the evolution of narrative forms. We believe that a dynamic analysis of erotic motifs can be so productive for diachronic narrativity as the spatiality, temporality, or the studies of narrators and narratees.

At the same time, any other point of view is welcome: from a presentation on the Song of Songs, to a study of Byzantine marriage; from the love poetry in the Anthology to the apparent desacralization of erotism studied by H.-G. Beck in his Byzantinisches Erotikon; from the ever-lasting reading of the Greek novels to the erotic connotations – or not – of virginity and mystical experience. More metaphorical subjects such as the “love of learning” are also welcome.

Please send your abstract, no later than 31 May 2017, to  or . Any query or comment will also be more than welcome.

Job opening (postdoc)

Uppsala University

Temporary position (3-6 months)

Starting 1 September 2017


Application deadline 31 March 2017

Lecture: Sulamith Brodbeck, "L'art byzantin en Sicile à la fin du XIe siÚcle : le monastÚre grec San Filippo de Fragalà"

Brussel, 13 March

Op mandaag 13 maart 2017 (12u.15) geeft Sulamith Brodbeck (UniversitĂ© de Paris 1 PanthĂ©on-Sorbonne) een presentatie met als titel « L’art byzantin en Sicile Ă  la fin du XIe siĂšcle : le monastĂšre grec San Filippo de Fragalà ».

Deze lezing wordt georganiseerd in het kader van het masterseminarie in middeleeuwse kunstgeschiedenis en gesteund door de SociĂ©tĂ© d’archĂ©ologie classique et byzantine van de ULB.

U bent van harte welkom. Voor meer info, contacteer .

Lecture: Denis Walter, "An Introduction to Byzantine Philosophy with a Focus on Psellos' Notions of Intellect"

Leuven, 7 March


Hoger Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte, Room N

Kardinaal Mercierplein 2, 3000 Leuven

All are welcome!




International Itinerant Paleographic School

Bari / Florence, 14-20 May 2017

Rome / Naples, 21-28 May 2017



Job opening (postdoc)

Postdoctoral full‐time research position at the project Byzantine Poetry in the ‘Long’ Twelfth Century (1081‐1204).‐abteilungen/byzanzforschung/language‐text‐script/diplomatik‐ texteditionen/byzantine‐poetry‐1081‐1204/

Duration: 12 months, with a possible renewal for an additional 13 months

Begin: 1 September 1st

Location: Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Medieval Research, Division of Byzantine Research, Vienna, Austria‐abteilungen/byzanzforschung/

Duties: The position involves independent research, i.e. the production of one substantial article on (one of) the abovementioned subjects in a peer‐reviewed journal and the completion of a first draft of the edition of a long hitherto unedited or inadequately edited poem of the period.

Job opening (PhD)

The Project Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus (, hosted by the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften in Munich, is offering a three-year position for a doctoral student (Latinist or Arabist) starting in October 2017.

Closing date: 31 May 2017

Call for papers: 16de Dag van de Byzantinistiek

Luik, 2 June 2017

Er is ruimte voor een aantal korte presentaties (ca. 20 min.) van lopend onderzoek door jonge onderzoekers. Kandidaat-sprekers kunnen tot 18 april voorstellen (titel en korte toelichting) sturen naar de voorzitter () en de secretaris (). Presentaties mogen in het Nederlands, Frans of Engels gehouden worden.

Call for papers: Transmitting Science in the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Leuven, 11 May 2017


Every year, LECTIO (Leuven Centre for the Study of the Transmission of Texts and Ideas in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance) awards the LECTIO Chair to a renowned scholar specialized in one of the disciplines studied by LECTIO researchers. Holder of the 2017 LECTIO Chair is prof. Outi Merisalo (University of JyvĂ€skylĂ€). In addition to her public lecture on Wednesday 10 May 2017 (title: “Ex farragine lux: the Uses of the Material Characteristics of Manuscripts in Text Editing” - official invitation follows), the following day (Thursday 11 May 2017), she will give a doctoral seminar on “Transmitting Science in the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance (c. 1100 – c. 1500): the Material Evidence”.

Theme: From c. 1100 to c. 1300, the great re-discoveries of ancient scientific texts, such as those of Aristotle and Galen in either indirect or direct Latin translations, as well as original Latin texts, brought about a true scholarly revolution in Western Europe, very soon concretely visible in the program of the new universities. Hundreds of texts of scientific content circulating in the centuries between 1100 and 1500 still lack detailed examination of the manuscripts having transmitted them to the posterity, not to speak of proper critical editions. Existing studies point to interesting differences in copyists’ faithfulness between at least some traditions of scientific texts and those of e.g. historiographical and literary texts, making it interesting to reflect on such a key concept as text. Furthermore, there are some indications of differences in the material characteristics of the manuscripts  according to genre.

On the occasion of this seminar, LECTIO invites early career researchers (PhD students and postdocs) to submit proposals on specific manuscript traditions of scientific texts in Latin and in vernacular circulating in the period between c. 1100 and c. 1500, considering both the procedures of text transmission and the material characteristics of the manuscripts. The selected scholars will be given the opportunity to present their research (20 minutes) and to discuss it with the chair holder, the scientific committee and other colleagues, both junior and senior. A one-page description of the proposed paper and a short CV should be submitted no later than 6 March 2017 to .

For more information, please visit our website ( or contact or .