Sung, Written and Painted. The Akathistos Hymnos and Intermedial Compositional Processes in Later Byzantium

Goettingen, 2-3 June 2022

Painted cycles based on the Akathistos represent one of the great novelties of late Byzantine art, translating a by then already ancient piece of liturgical music into the world of visual art. However, even though the Akathistos Hymn to the Virgin Mary has been studied quite extensively, the relationship between its text, music, and illustrations has not yet been fully explored.

Building on the Akathistos Hymn, the planned conference will examine late Byzantine intermedial compositional processes. Painted cycles based on the Akathistos should be studied as a product of the interaction between hymnography, psalmody, and visual art – not just as a mere visualisation of a text. Illuminated and notated manuscript copies of the hymn ought to be examined as evidence for varied liturgical and devotional practices. Icons and murals that illustrate the Akathistos need to be seen as constituent elements of sacred space. At the same time, the broader social and religious context(s) for the hymn’s use during the late Byzantine period need to be considered.

Methodologically, the conference will have as its focus the concept of intermediality, that is, the interface between various media of cultural expression. The organisers hope that it will contribute towards bridging the methodological gaps that separates various scholarly approaches to the study of medieval culture.

We invite proposals in all disciplines related to Byzantine Studies, broadly construed, addressing the Akathistos – or other medieval evidence with a similar approach to intermediality and compositional processes. Contributions from graduate and early career researchers are particularly welcome. Abstracts of not more than 300 words should be sent to Jon C. Cubas Diaz at ( by 15 March 2022. Travel and accommodation expenses of accepted speakers will be reimbursed. The conference will be held in Goettingen as a hybrid event on 2-3 June 2022.

Les Dialogues byzantins

Pendant la crise sanitaire du Covid-19, l’AEMB a instauré une série de visioconférences  pour continuer les dialogues entre les jeunes byzantinistes à distance : Les Dialogues byzantins de l’AEMB.

Les  Dialogues aspiraient à partager les travaux récents dans diverses disciplines, de la philologie à l’histoire de l’art et l’archéologie, dans le monde byzantin entendu au sens large. Ils visaient également à maintenir le contact avec des chercheurs et chercheuses formés en France, que leur parcours a conduits, pour certains, à poursuivre leur carrière dans des institutions étrangères.

Les Dialogues de 2022

– Lundi 7 mars, 10h00, François Pacha-Miran, Docteur en histoire et l’art et archéologie : « Le poids des mots, le choc des images. Encres et pigments précieux des manuscrits syriaques de la BnF (XIIe-XIIIe siècle) »

– Lundi 14 mars, 10h00, Lucia Orlandi, Docteur en archéologie : « Le baptême à Byzance entre les VIIe et XIIIe siècles »

– Lundi 21 mars, 10h00, Numa Buchs, Docteur en histoire : « Constantin Monomaque et l’ascension des Latins au XIe siècle »

– Lundi 28 mars, 10h00, Romain Goudjil, Docteur en histoire : « Des procès immortels à Byzance ? Quelques réflexions sur le temps judiciaire byzantin »

– Lundi 4 avril, 10h00, Pierre Charrey, Docteur en histoire de l’art et archéologie : « Rome dans la balance. Gaule entre Antiquité tardive et haut Moyen âge »

– Lundi 11 avril, 10h00, Matteo Antoniazzi, Docteur en histoire : « La réception de la dynastie théodosienne chez Jean de Nikiou (VIIe siècle) »


Les Dialogues de 2021 

Cliquer ici pour télécharger l’annonce.

– Lundi 22 mars, 10h00, Geoffrey Meyer-Fernandez, Docteur en histoire et l’art et archéologie : « Recherches postdoctorales entre Chypre, la Crète et Rhodes à la fin du Moyen Âge »

– Lundi 19 avril, 10h00, Pietro d’Agostino, Docteur en philologie : « La littérature chrétienne en terre d’Islam : la figure de Théodore Abū Qurra entre Byzance et les Abbasides »

– Lundi 10 mai, 10h00, Milan Vukašinović, Docteur en histoire : « Moi au pluriel : Autobiographies byzantines du XIIIe siècle »

– Lundi 17 mai, 10h00, Véronique Petiteau, Docteur en histoire de l’art et archéologie : « La sacralisation du pouvoir en Serbie médiévale. Territoire, architecture et image (fin du XIIe siècle – milieu du XIVe siècle) »


Call for Papers : International Conference of the Volos Academy on St. Symeon the New Theologian

« On the occasion of the millinery anniversary of the dormition of St. Symeon, the New Theologian (1022-2022), the Volos Academy for Theological Studies organizes an international conference to commemorate his personality, thought, and contribution to Orthodox theology and spirituality, which will take place in Volos, Greece, in a physical form, from 26 to 29 May 2022, in compliance with all the enforced by the European and state sanitary measures.

This conference aims to bring together scholars who have made important contributions to the study of the work of St. Symeon the New Theologian and its reception from the philosophical, historical, philological and theological points of view. The following statement offers some possible topics but does not intend to exclude alternative issues:

The renewed interest in the study of the work and the thought of St. Symeon during the last decades has highlighted a number of both timeless and topical issues concerning, one way or another, the entire Christian world. The relationship between institution and charisma or sacraments and asceticism; the understanding of faith and doctrinal teaching as the content of personal consciousness; the anthropology of deification and the emergence of the Christian subject, as well as St. Symeon’s commitment to the ecclesial body are only some of the aspects of the relevant and on-going discussion. To rearrange these issues based on the critical and prophetic character of theology demands a creative and fruitful reflection, with the self-evident inclusion of the particularities of our times, in the perspective of the authentic experience of the life in Christ in the context of our current post-modern reality.

Committed speakers include: Theophilos Ambatzidis (Volos Academy), Eirini Afentoulidou (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna), Paul Argárate (Universität Graz), Sabino Chialà (Community of Bose, Italy), Marie-Hélène Congourdeau (CNRS, Paris), Barbara Crostini-Lappin (Uppsala University), Paul Gavrilyuk (Founding President of IOTA, St. Thomas University, MN, USA), Athanasios Markopoulos (University of Athens), Dimitrios Moschos (University of Athens), Dimitrios Oulis (University of Athens), Symeon Paschalidis (University of Thessaloniki), István Perczel (Central European University, Budapest/Vienna), Basilio Petrà (Facoltà teologica dell’Italia centrale, Florence), Aikaterini Tsalampouni (University of Thessaloniki), Vasilios Tsigkos (University of Thessaloniki), Stavros Yagkazoglou (University of Athens), Panayiotis Yfantis (University of Thessaloniki)

Junior and early career scholars are, therefore, invited to submit proposals for short papers (15 min.) which preferably should be related to one of the thematic axes of the conference. Provisional title, abstract (max. 350 words) and a concise CV (max. 200 words) should be submitted to Dr. Nikos Kouremenos ( by March 4, 2022. All proposals will be evaluated by a scientific committee. The working languages of the conference are English and Greek (with a simultaneous translation to be provided). The decision of acceptance will be communicated before the 1st of April 2022. Volos Academy will provide full accommodation to all accepted speakers – unfortunately, though, travel expenses will not be covered. After the conference, presenters will be invited to rework their presentations towards the publication of the conference proceedings, which will be assessed through a peer-review procedure. »

Worth Their Weight In Gold: The Significance of Lead Seals to Byzantine Studies

Worth Their Weight In Gold: The Significance of Lead Seals to Byzantine Studies

October 28, 2021 5:00-6:30pm EDT
Virtual Public Lecture with Alicia Walker


Byzantine sigillography is a specialized subdivision of an already esoteric field. Yet this seeming obscurity belies the substantial interdisciplinary value of lead seals. The iconographic, inscriptional, and functional aspects of these objects offer unique perspectives on diverse areas of interest, both within the study of Byzantine society and with respect to medieval intercultural dynamics. In this lecture, Alicia Walker presents Byzantine sigillography as a rich domain for interdisciplinary investigation and collaboration, highlighting lead seals as a nexus for exchange among the various fields of Byzantine studies and a vital conduit for contributions to medieval studies more broadly.

Alicia Walker (PhD, Harvard University) is professor of medieval art and architecture at Bryn Mawr College. Her primary fields of research are cross-cultural artistic interaction in the medieval world from the ninth to the thirteenth century and gender issues in the art and material culture of Byzantium. Her first monograph, The Emperor and the World: Exotic Elements and the Imaging of Middle Byzantine Imperial Power, Ninth to Thirteenth Centuries CE, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012. She is coeditor of the essay collection Negotiating Secular and Sacred in Medieval Art: Christian, Islamic, and Buddhist (Ashgate, 2009), and the special issue of the journal Medieval Encounters entitled Mechanisms of Exchange: Transmission in Medieval Art and Architecture of the Mediterranean, ca. 1000–1500 (Brill, 2012, vol. 18, no. 4­–5). She is an alumna of the Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine coins and seals summer program and her research on exotic motifs in Byzantine lead seals has appeared in The Medieval History Journal.

Image: Joseph imperial spatharios and kommerkiarios, tenth century, 25 mm diam. Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, bequest of Thomas Whittemore, 1951.31.5.1778