Appel à contribution – Les sens du rite : encens et religion dans les sociétés anciennes (Rome, 23-24 Juin 2017)

Call for Papers

Sensing Divinity
Incense, religion and the ancient sensorium


Les sens du rite
Encens et religion dans les sociétés anciennes*

An international, interdisciplinary conference

23-24 June 2017, British School at Rome and the École française de Rome


Mark Bradley, Associate Professor of Ancient History, University of Nottingham (

Beatrice Caseau, Professor of Byzantine History, University of Paris-Sorbonne (

Adeline Grand-Clément, Associate Professor in Greek History, University of Toulouse Jean-Jaurès (

Anne-Caroline Rendu-Loisel, Post-Doctoral Researcher in Assyrology, University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès (

Alexandre Vincent, Associate Professor in Roman History, University of Poitiers (


Keynote speakers

Joël Candau (University of Nice)

Esther Eidinow (University of Nottingham)



Summary (*available in French on request)

This conference will explore the history of a medium that has occupied a pivotal role in Mesopotamian, Greek, Roman and Judeo-Christian religious tradition: incense. According to Margaret E. Kenna in her provocative 2005 article ‘Why does incense smell religious?’, this aromatic substance became a diagnostic feature of Greek orthodoxy during the Byzantine period, but it is clear that incense was also extensively used in the rituals of earlier polytheistic societies to honour the gods. Fragrant smoke drifting up towards the heavens emblematized the communication that was established between the mortal and the immortal realms, which in turn contributed to the sensory landscape of the sanctuary.

Although several studies have drawn attention to the role of incense as an ingredient in ritual and a means of communication between men and gods, there remains no comprehensive examination of the practical functions and cultural semantics of incense in the ancient world, whether as a purifying agent, a performative sign of a transcendent world, an olfactory signal to summon the deity, a placatory libation, or food for the gods. Moreover, recent archaeological research has provided evidence (alongside literary, epigraphic and iconographic evidence) that the physical origins and chemical constituents of incense are complex and diverse, as are their properties: resins, vegetable gums, spices, and a welter of aromatic products that could be exhibited and burned before ancient eyes and noses. These were components of a multi-sensory religious experience in which music, colourful costumes, lavish banquets and tactile encounters defined the ritual sensibilities of the community.

During the two days of the conference, incense will be interrogated as a historical phenomenon. We will explore its materiality, provenance and production, as well as the economic and commercial aspects of the incense trade. The conference will also examine the mechanics of incense use and the various ways it was integrated into various Mediterranean rituals (following the lines of enquiry set out by N. Massar and D. Frère), as well as its role within religious topography. The properties associated with the term ‘incense’ will be evaluated in the context of work by M. Detienne on The Gardens of Adonis (1989): what components of incense make them effective and potent within ritual? And what mechanisms and processes are used to release their aromas? And what was the perception of incense by the various participants of the ritual – deities, priests, assistants, spectators? These research questions will be informed by the recent research synergies of the organisers: M. Bradley, whose edited volume Smell and the Ancient Senses (Routledge, 2015) probes ‘foul’ and ‘fragrant’ odours as part of both human and divine social relations; A. Grand-Clément and A.-C. Rendu-Loisel, who lead the Toulouse research project on Synaesthesia that is dedicated to the interdisciplinary and comparative study of polysensoriality in ancient religious practice; and A. Vincent, who is engaged in the study of sensory perception in Roman ritual in his work on the Soundscapes (Paysages sonores).

This conference sets out to compare approaches across a range of disciplines in order to examine the role and significance of incense in ancient religion, and compare it to later aromatic practices within the Catholic Church. By adopting this cross-disciplinary and comparative approach, we hope to move beyond a universalist approach to religious aromatics and reach a more sophisticated understanding of the religious function of incense in the Mediterranean world: we hope to identify continuities in both the practice and interpretation of incense, as well as to identify specific features within individual historical contexts and traditions.

Although the conference is principally concerned with the use of incense in antiquity, we also welcome contributions from Byzantine and Medieval scholars, as well as church historians, to help provide a comparative perspective on the use and significance of incense within the Mediterranean world. We also hope to use the conference’s setting in Rome to examine current practice in the use of incense and aromatics in Roman Catholic contexts and other religious traditions. The conference will also provide an opportunity to examine first-hand the material properties of incense through a practical workshop around incense-production and burning (co-ordinated by A. Declercq, one of the scientific researchers on the Synaesthesia project at Toulouse), which will allow participants to handle a range of aromatic products and experience their various multi-sensory properties. The outcome of this workshop will be presented as the Musée Saint-Raymond at Toulouse in November 2017, as part of an exhibition on ‘Greek rituals: a sensible experience’, currently in preparation.

It is hoped that this conference will be of interest to scholars working in archaeology, anthropology, cultural history, literature, art history, and the history of religion, as well as local artists and members of the public. Papers should last approximately 20 minutes, and may be in English, Italian or French; they should be original and should not have been previously published or delivered at a major conference.

Paper topics might include, but are certainly not limited to, the following themes related to incense:

•           Material and chemical properties
•           Geography and distribution
•           Economics and commerce
•           Production and release
•           Religious topography
•           Transcendence and supernatural experience
•           Transition and rites of passage
•           Incorruptibility and immortality
•           Relationship to perfumes
•           Sacred and profane scents
•           Religious experience and synaesthesia
•           Community and homogenous sensations
•           Concealment of unwashed humanity and smells of sacrifice
•           Fumigation and purification
•           Drama and performance
•           Frankincense and myrrh
•           Censers and censing
•           Judaeo-Christian traditions

Abstracts of approximately 200-300 words should be submitted by 31 October 2016 to Mark Bradley ( or Adeline Grand-Clément ( Successful contributions may be considered for publication in a conference volume.

This conference has been funded with generous support from the École française de Rome, the British School at Rome, the Institut Universitaire de France and the IDEX of the University of Toulouse.

Conférence – Multidisciplinary Approaches to Food and Foodways in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean

conference lyonMultidisciplinary Approaches to Food and Foodways in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean

19-21 May 2016
Maison de l’Orient et de la Mediterranée – Lyon, France


Final conference for the POMEDOR Project « People, Pottery and Food in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean ».

Information and registration before May 1st.



09h00 Registration
09h20 Welcome
09h40 “Introduction. People, Pottery and Food in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean: the
POMEDOR Project” – S.Y. Waksman (CNRS Lyon)
10h30 Coffee Break

11h00 “Population Change in the Southern Levant as Reflected in Ceramic Production and
Consumption from the Fatimid to the Crusader Periods” – E.J. Stern (Israel Antiquities Authority),
A. Shapiro (Israel Antiquities Authority), S.Y. Waksman (CNRS Lyon)
11h30 “Food and Holy War: the Role of Food in the Crusaders’ Conduct of War and in their
Encounter with the New Land and its Inhabitants” – J. Bronstein (Haifa University)
12h00 “Eating and Drinking at Medieval Kinet” – S. Redford (University of London), C. Çakırlar
(Groningen University)
12h30 Discussion
12h45 Lunch Break

14h00 “Between « Tanur » and « Oven » – From the Early Islamic to the Crusader Kitchen” – E.
Yehuda (Tel Aviv University)
14h30 “Acre vs. Safed: An Archaeozoological Analysis of Faunal Remains from the Medieval
Holy Land” – N. Agha (Israel Antiquities Authority & Haifa University)
15h00 “Some Thoughts on Sugar Production and Sugar Pots in the Middle Islamic to Mamluk
Periods in Jordan” – R.E. Jones (Glasgow University), T. Grey (University of Wales Trinity St
15h30 “Ceramic Evidence for Sugar Production in the ‘Akko Plain: Typology and Provenance
Studies” – E.J. Stern (Israel Antiquities Authority), A. Shapiro (Israel Antiquities Authority), N.
Getzov (Israel Antiquities Authority), S.Y. Waksman (CNRS Lyon)
16h00 Discussion
16h15 Coffee Break

16h45 “Du lac de Limassol aux tables de Nicosie : pêcheries et consommation de poissons à
Chypre sous la domination latine (1191-1570)” – P. Trélat (Rouen University)
17h15 “Les tavernes (canutes) comme instruments de contrôle économique et social dans le
royaume de Chypre aux XIIIe-XVIe siècles” – G. Grivaud (Rouen University)
17h45 “Food, Wine and the Latin Clergy of Lusignan Cyprus, 1191-1473” – N. Coureas (The
Cyprus Research Centre, Nicosia)
18h15 “Archaeological and Archaeometric Investigations into Cooking Wares in Frankish and
Venetian Cyprus” – R.S. Gabrieli (University of Sydney), A. Pecci (Barcelona University), A.
Shapiro (Israel Antiquities Authority), S.Y. Waksman (CNRS Lyon)
18h45 Discussion
20h00 Conference Dinner (for speakers)

Byzantine Banquet Created by S. Grainger, A. Dalby and I. Anagnostakis
Paul Bocuse Institute, Ecully
Under the Patronage of Chef Régis Marcon

10h00 Coffee and Posters Session

11h00 “La nourriture des autres aux yeux des Byzantins (10e-14e s.): Petchénègues, Latins et
Turcs” – B. Caseau (Paris-Sorbonne University)
11h30 “The Composition of Church Festive Meals in a Medieval Christian Community in the
Southern Crimea, Based on Ceramics and Faunal Materials” – I. Teslenko (National Ukrainian
Academy of Science)
12h00 “Eating in the Aegean (ca. 700-1500): A Comparison of Pots and Pans in Athens and
Ephesus” – J.A.C. Vroom (Leiden University)
12h30 Discussion
12h45 Lunch Break

14h00 “Ceramic Vessels and Food Supplies: Chalcis as a Major Production and Distribution
Centre in the Byzantine and Frankish Periods” – N.D. Kontogiannis (Ephorate of Antiquities of
Boeotia), S.S. Skartsis (Directorate of Byzantine and Post Byzantine Antiquities, Athens), G.
Vaxevanis (Ephorate of Antiquities of Euboea), S.Y. Waksman (CNRS Lyon)
14h30 “Food Consumption in the Urban Environment; the Byzantine City as a Consumption
Centre” – E. Tzavella (Open University of Cyprus)
15h00 “L’approvisionnement de Constantinople et des cités pontiques par les Occidentaux”
– M. Balard (Paris-Sorbonne University)
15h30 Discussion
15h45 Coffee Break

16h15 “Animals in Food Consumption during the Byzantine Period in Light of the Yenikapı
Metro and Marmaray Excavations, Istanbul” – V. Onar (Istanbul University)
16h45 “Foods Consumed in Byzantine Greece: the Evidence of Biological Data and Stable
Isotope Analysis” – C. Bourbou (Ephorate of Antiquities of Chania)
17h15 “Food Production and Consumption in the Byzantine Empire in Light of the Archaeobotanical
Finds” – A. E. Reuter (Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz & Kiel University)
17h45 Discussion
18h30 Public Conference
“Banquets byzantins: la gastronomie du centre du monde” – A. Dalby


09h00 “Residue Analysis of Medieval Amphorae from the Eastern Mediterranean” – A. Pecci
(Barcelona University), N. Garnier (Garnier Laboratory), S.Y. Waksman (CNRS Lyon)
09h30 “One Amphora, Different Contents – the Multiple Purposes of Byzantine Amphorae
According to Written and Archaeological Data” – E. Todorova (Bulgarian Academy of
10h00 “Byzantine Amphorae of the 10th-13th Centuries from the Novy Svet Shipwrecks,
Crimea, the Black Sea. Preliminary Archaeological Typology and Archaeometric Studies” – S.
Zelenko (Kiev University), I. Morozova (Kiev University), S.Y. Waksman (CNRS Lyon)
10h30 Discussion
10h45 Coffee Break

11h15 “Freightage of Amphorae, Tableware and Foodstuffs in the Middle and Late Byzantine Period: the
Evidence of Shipwrecks” – G. Koutsouflakis (Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, Athens)
11h45 “Production for Whom and for What Target: Thoughts on a Group of Wine Containers from the
Kuşadası, Kadıkalesi Excavation” – Z. Mercangöz (Ege University Izmir)
12h15 “Food Habits and Tableware in Venice: the Connections with the Mamluk Sultanate” – V. Vezzoli (Ca’
Foscari University, Venice)
12h45 Discussion
13h00 Lunch Break

14h15 “Byzantine and early Turkish Tablewares in Sèvres and the Louvre Museum: Investigations by PIXE into
Provenance and Technology” – A. Bouquillon (PSL Chimie ParisTech & C2RMF Paris), J. Burlot (Lyon University),
S.Y. Waksman (CNRS Lyon), L. Tilliard (Cité de la Céramique, Sèvres), C. Maury (Louvre Museum, Paris)
14h45 “Changing People, Dining Habits and Pottery Technologies: Tableware Productions on the Eve of the
Ottoman Empire in Western Anatolia” – J. Burlot (Lyon University), S.Y. Waksman (CNRS Lyon), B. Böhlendorf
(Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz), J.A.C. Vroom (Leiden University), I. Teslenko (National Ukrainian
Academy of Science)
15h15 “Ottoman Period Sources for the Study of Pottery and Food (15th-18th centuries)” – F. Yenişehirlioğlu
(Koç University, Ankara)
15h45 Discussion
16h00 Concluding Remarks

Affiche ici.

Appel à contribution – OUBS’ 18th International Graduate Conference

Call for Papers

 Trends and Turning-Points: Constructing the Late Antique and Byzantine World (c. 300 – c. 1500)

 The Oxford University Byzantine Society’s 18th International Graduate Conference

26th – 27th February 2016, University of Oxford

Spanning more than a millennium in time, ranging from the Atlantic to Iran, and including a vast array of polities, social groups, and cultural moments, the Late Antique and Byzantine world is, if nothing else, complicated and varied. Despite Gibbon’s famous attempt to reduce it to a single trend, the Late Antique and Byzantine world refuses to be simplified.

This conference aims to provide a platform to identify, discuss and debate the major trends and turning-points in the Late Antique and Byzantine world. Postgraduate scholars might choose to examine trends and turning-points on their own terms or to reflect critically on the limitations and blind-spots of our discipline, questioning the ways in which medieval Romans, their contemporaries and modern scholars have gone about constructing this past. We are calling for papers which explore all types of trends and turning-points in all fields of Late Antique and Byzantine studies. Papers might address problems such as:

  • Trends in numismatic production and design
  • From Late Antiquity to Byzantium, turning-point or trend?
  • Complexity and new approaches to constructing the past
  • Archaeological trends in conflict with historical narratives
  • Economics with or without trends?
  • Religious discourse as turning-point or trend
  • Paradigmatic ‘trends’ of growth and decline
  • ‘Great’ battles or the deaths of emperors as turning-points
  • Constructing turning-points and trends in modern academic writing

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words, along with a short academic biography in the third person, to the Oxford University Byzantine Society at by Friday, 27th November 2015. Papers should be 20 minutes in length, and should be delivered in English or French.

As with our previous conferences, there will be a publication of selected on-theme and inter-related papers, chosen and reviewed by specialist readers from the University of Oxford’s Late Antique and Byzantine Studies research centres. Any speakers wishing to have their papers considered for publication should try to be as on-theme as possible in their abstract and paper. Nevertheless, all submissions are warmly invited.

Further information will be made available on the appropriate page of the OUBS website.

Call for papers (.pdf).

Rencontres 2015 – Appel à contribution

VIIIe édition des Rencontres internationales des doctorants en études byzantines

Pour la huitième année consécutive, les Rencontres internationales des doctorants en études byzantines se dérouleront à l’Institut national d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA) les 2 et 3 octobre 2015. Ces rencontres, inscrites depuis 2010 dans le cadre de l’Association des Étudiants du Monde Byzantin (AEMB), connaissent un grand succès et témoignent ainsi de l’importance des études byzantines aux yeux de la communauté scientifique. En effet, outre l’INHA qui accueille gracieusement les Rencontres byzantines depuis sept ans, cet événement ne pourrait avoir lieu sans l’aide financière des universités (Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris-Sorbonne, Caen Basse-Normandie), des grandes écoles (École pratique des hautes études, École des hautes études en sciences sociales, École des Chartes), du Campus Condorcet, de l’UMR Orient et Méditerranée et du Comité français des études byzantines.

Organisées sur deux jours, les Rencontres byzantines ont pour objectif de rassembler des doctorants de toutes nationalités consacrant leurs recherches à la civilisation byzantine, quels que soient leurs domaines de spécialisation (art, archéologie, histoire, lettres…). Afin de mettre en valeur la diversité des disciplines, aucune thématique n’est imposée. Chaque intervenant présente son sujet de recherche ou développe une problématique liée à son sujet pendant vingt minutes.

Les échanges méthodologiques sont encouragés par les discussions entre les intervenants et les auditeurs après chaque communication, soulevant des questions sur les outils de recherche et permettant à tous de partager des connaissances ainsi que de donner et recevoir des conseils par des doctorants plus expérimentés ou des professeurs.

Ces Rencontres sont aussi l’occasion pour les jeunes chercheurs de s’entraîner à l’oral afin de présenter leur travail de façon claire et construite, voire de parler, pour certains, dans une autre langue. Ils auront également la possibilité de publier l’intégralité de leur communication dans la revue en ligne Porphyra ( si le texte est accepté par le comité scientifique de la revue.

Les échanges dynamiques et pluridisciplinaires constituent le fondement de la réussite des Rencontres internationales des doctorants en études byzantines : venez nombreux !

Modalités d’inscription

Les doctorants souhaitant intervenir lors des Rencontres internationales byzantines les 2 et 3 octobre 2015 à l’INHA devront envoyer avant le 26 février 2015 à l’adresse suivante ( un résumé d’une vingtaine de lignes (maximum 2000 caractères, espaces compris) avec un titre, en précisant :

– le type d’intervention (présentation du sujet de thèse ou sujet libre)
– la langue souhaitée pour intervenir (français ou anglais)
– le nom du directeur de recherche, l’institution de rattachement et le sujet de recherche.

Un accusé de réception sera envoyé systématiquement dès réception du résumé.

Le programme définitif des Rencontres sera établi le 6 avril 2015 puis envoyé aux intervenants.

PDF de l’appel à contribution ici.

Journée d’étude — ENS Lyon Pouvoir et religion

Journée d’études
Vendredi 25 avril 2014
École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, site Ferdinand Buisson
Institut Français de l’Éducation, salle de réunion n°3

Programme téléchargeable ici

09h40 Accueil des participants

10h00 Présentation de l’AEMB (Jeanne DEVOGE) et introduction (Jérôme BASTICK)

10h20 Isabelle BROUSSELLE (Lille III, UMR 8164 HALMA-IPEL) :
« Vue de Byzance, la légende noire des derniers Mérovingiens »

11h00 Corinne JOUANNO (Caen, UMR 6273 CRAHAM) :
« La christianisation de la figure d’Alexandre le Grand à Byzance »

11h40 Matthieu PARLIER (Lyon II, UMR 5648 CIHAM) :
« Constantinople dans les éloges impériaux : nouvelle Rome, nouvelle Jérusalem »

12h20 Déjeuner

14h00 Lucile HERMAY (Paris IV, UMR 8167 Orient & Méditerrannée) :
« Higoumènes de Patmos, réseaux et pouvoirs »

14h40 Marie-Myriam CARYTSIOTIS (Aix-Marseille, UMR 7298 LA3M) :
« La survie d’une île monastère : la diplomatie des moines de Patmos »

15h20 Pause

15h40 Jean SCHNEIDER (Lyon II, UMR 5189 HiSoMA) :
« Maxime Planude et Andronic II : leurs relations d’après les lettres de Planude »

16h20 Christophe GIROS (Lyon II, UMR 8167 Orient & Méditerrannée) :
« L’exercice de l’autorité au Mont Athos aux XIVe et XVe siècles »

17h00 Conclusions (Jérôme BASTICK et Jacques BEAUSEROY)